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Supposed leak reveals AMD Vega GPU specs

Image: AMD
Image: AMD
A recent Linux Direct Rendering Manager, supposedly from AMD, contains the specifications of an unnamed Vega GPU. The card in question has 8 GB of HBM2 and posted 12.5 TFLOPS of performance.

AMD’s Polaris architecture has been a boon for the microprocessor manufacturer. The RX 480 was arguably one of the most popular desktop GPUs last year and found its way into several gaming rigs. While several gamers found a place in mid-tier performance with Polaris, many are looking to AMD’s upcoming GPUs based on their new Vega architecture for true high-end performance that can compete with Nvidia’s top-tier offerings.

A recently released Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) update for Linux shows what may be an upcoming Vega GPU. The update was supposedly submitted by AMD and contains a driver package with the specifications of the card. The GPU has:

  • 4 shader engines
  • 4096 stream processors (based on GCN)
  • 64 render output units
  • 256 texture mapping units
  • 8 hardware threads
  • 8 GB High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM 2) with a 2,048-bit interface
  • 12.5 TFLOPS of performance

If this is indeed a Vega GPU, the performance puts it in the same neighborhood as Nvidia’s flagship GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU, which hits about 11.4 TFLOPS. But perhaps the most intriguing piece is the High Bandwidth Memory 2. We saw the first iteration of HBM on AMD’s Fiji-based R9 Fury X in 2015. HBM allows the video memory to stack on top of the actual GPU die, which can drastically improve memory bus speed. HBM2 improves this design by allowing for impressively high memory throughput. Compared to the 1080 Ti’s 352-bit memory bus on its 11 GB of GDDR5X memory, the supposed Vega GPU has 8 GB on a 2,048-bit interface. This can result in huge memory bandwidth speeds in a smaller package. In theory, this will allow the card to run higher resolutions with greater performance and at a lower power draw.

Keep in mind that this leak is unconfirmed and comes from a submission by a member of the Reddit community. While it looks legitimate, we won’t know for certain what Vega will bring until we get official word from AMD. Also, just because it can put out more TFLOPS and has a faster memory interface doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll destroy the 1080 Ti in games. As with most PC hardware, driver support and developer optimization play a large part in how well software runs, and this is most evident in gaming. Without good support from the actual game makers, Vega may fall flat compared to Big Green.


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Sam Medley, 2017-05- 8 (Update: 2017-05- 8)