The AMD Radeon VII, which shipped to members of the press with a stand of sorts.
|Specs at a glance: AMD Radeon VII|
|MEMORY BUS WIDTH||4,096-bit|
|MEMORY SIZE||16GB HBM2|
|Outputs||3x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b|
|Release date||February 7, 2019|
|PRICE||$699 directly from AMD|
In the world of computer graphics cards, AMD has been behind its only rival, Nvidia, for as long as we can remember. But a confluence of recent events finally left AMD with a sizable opportunity in the market.
Having established a serious lead with its 2016 and 2017 GTX graphics cards, Nvidia tried something completely different last year. Its RTX line of cards essentially arrived with near-equivalent power as its prior generation for the same price (along with a new, staggering $1,200 card in its "consumer" line). The catch was that these cards' new, proprietary cores were supposed to enable a few killer perks in higher-end graphics rendering. But that big bet faltered, largely because only one truly RTX-compatible retail game currently exists, and Nvidia took the unusual step of warning investors about this fact.
Meanwhile, AMD finally pulled off a holy-grail number for its graphics cards: 7nm. As in, a tiny fabrication process that packs even more components onto a GPU's silicon for other hardware and features (the Radeon VII's HBM2 RAM shares die space with the GPU). In the case of this week's AMD Radeon VII—which goes on sale today, February 7, for $699—that extra space is dedicated to a whopping 16GB VRAM, well above the 11GB maximum of any consumer-grade Nvidia product. AMD also insists that its memory bandwidth has been streamlined to make that VII-specific perk valuable for any 3D application.