Gigabyte and MSI have little or no plans for custom-design Radeon RX Vega cards

Posted on Friday, September 22 2017 @ 21:25 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Just before the weekend there's another big update about the AMD Radeon RX Vega custom card situation. Tom's Hardware dug into the issue and spoke with various add-in board card makers to figure out why the custom cards are late. It appears AMD's partners have stumbled upon several issues with Vega that prevent them from creating custom cards.

The site heard that the difference in quality of the Vega chips AMD is providing is too extreme. At the moment, the AIBs are unable to finalize the specifications of their cards because they can't figure out a stable overclocked GPU frequency that will work for all cards. Additionally, they're also encountering issues with discrepancies between the temperature values provided by the GPU itself and the values they get when taking a measurement with a thermometer:
So what gives? Sources tell us that there is too much variance in the quality of the chips AMD is providing. AIB partners are unable to figure out a stable overclocked GPU frequency that works for all cards, and therefore cannot provide any sort of warranty on factory-tuned cards. Further, there continues to be discrepancies between the temperatures the GPU is reporting and what AIB partners are finding in actual measurements. This is true of the actual GPU and the capacitors below the GPU.
A third issue concerns the fact that there are multiple package version of Vega, this was discovered over a month ago and it seems this is indeed causing issues. The slight difference in height between the molded and unmolded Vega chips makes it harder to efficiently produce custom-design Vega cards in large volumes.

Below is a quick summary of the site's talks with various AIB card makers.
  • XFX: Is working on a custom card, launch date is unknown.

  • Sapphire: Same as XFX, could not say when the custom cards might be ready.

  • PowerColor: Mass production is expected in early November, is still waiting on DRAM? (not sure what this even means as the AIBs should receive the interposers with Vega + HBM2 from AMD)

  • VisionTek: No reply.

  • ASUS: ROG STRIX Radeon RX Vega cards are delayed to early October.

  • Gigabyte: Nothing expected until the end of the year, if not later. The Gigabyte representative said custom-design Vega cards are likely, but wouldn't or couldn't confirm with 100% certainty.

  • MSI: No plans to make custom-design Vega cards anytime soon.

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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