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The AMD Vega FE is a prosumer powerhouse that falls short of gaming excellence

The AMD Vega FE aims to satisfy both pros and gamers alike - but only succeeds at one. (Source: AnandTech)
The AMD Vega FE aims to satisfy both pros and gamers alike - but only succeeds at one. (Source: AnandTech)
Although the AMD Vega Frontier Edition is slower than the average GTX 1080, its performance in professional applications is still the one to beat.

AMD's much touted Vega GPU architecture has seen its first commercial outing with the Vega Frontier Edition (Vega FE). Being the successor to the R9 Fury X, gamers naturally had high expectations of a formidable rival to NVIDIA's GTX 1080 and above chips. But if the initial benchmarks are to go by, the Vega FE seems to have a lower performance than even the GTX 1070 in some gaming bechmarks. The Vega FE, although billed as a GPU for the pros (the ones who swear by CAD/CAM and simulators), aims to bridge the gap between professional users and gamers. In the Cinebench R15 OpenGL and SPECviewperf benchmarks, the Vega FE trumps the current NVIDIA flagship, the Titan Xp

The new Vega GPU is anywhere between 25 to 45 percent faster than the R9 Fury X but 13 percent slower than a GTX 1080. With optimized drivers not yet available, it has been observed that the Vega FE's overclocking performance was abysmal with Gamers Nexus not being able to overclock the GPU without halving the memory clock. This has caused discernible concerns among gamers about the promise of the Vega architecture as a viable competition to current NVIDIA's Pascal based flagship GPUs. Raja Koduri, VP Radeon, told users in a Reddit AMA that the consumer version, RX Vega, will be much more faster than the Frontier Edition. The RX Vega is scheduled for a July 30 launch during the Siggraph 2017 event in Los Angeles.

The Vega FE has 4096 stream processors and 16GB of HBM2 memory, which is pegged as a next-gen GPU memory architecture. The Vega FE surely makes sense if you are a pro who loves to game and is willing to shell out US$1000, but it may not be the raw FPS cruncher that fans of Team Red have hoped. It remains to be seen how the gaming optimized Vega cards will fare, especially with their Ryzen brethren having made significant inroads into the next-gen CPU market.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 07 > The AMD Vega FE is a prosumer powerhouse that falls short of gaming excellence
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-07- 4 (Update: 2017-07- 4)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.