The AMD Radeon VII is the world's first 7nm desktop gaming GPU
3rd Gen Ryzen desktop CPUs are claimed to exceed Intel's performance
The Radeon VII will go on sale in February for $699 with three free games
AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su announced a new high-end GPU for gamers and creators, the Radeon VII, at her debut CES keynote. The new Radeon VII is based on the company's second-gen Radeon Vega architecture and will be the world's first desktop GPU to be built using a 7nm manufacturing process. According to Su, this GPU will be able to deliver performance exceeding 60fps in the latest games using the highest settings while running at 4K. Su also showed off a preview version of an upcoming 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPU, which will be launched in the middle of 2019.
Compared to the Radeon Vega 64, the new Radeon VII GPU is said to deliver 29 percent better performance on average in games, and 36 percent better performance on average in content creation, including game development. For gamers who aren't using 4K, the Radeon VII is claimed to deliver high refresh rates with HDR enabled at 1080p, or ultrawide 1440p, or general productivity at 8K.
The GPU is built around 3840 stream processors clustered into 60 compute units, running at up to 1.8GHz. Radeon VII graphics cards will have 16GB of second-gen HBM2 memory using a 4,096-bit interface for a total memory bandwidth of 1TBps. This is 2X the amount of memory and 2.1X the bandwidth.
AMD did not detail performance relative to competition from Nvidia, including the recently launched GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or Titan RTX, but did say that performance compared to the Radeon Vega 64 is up to 35 percent better in Battlefield V, up to 42 percent better in Strange Brigade, and up to 25 percent better in Fortnite.
The Radeon VII of course also supports AMD's Freesync for adaptive refresh rate syncing with compatible monitors, and the driver-enabled ReLive and WattMan features for game recording and power optimisation respectively.
The new AMD Radeon VII will be available to purchase and in select Dell Alienware gaming desktop starting from February 7 for a suggested retail price of $699 (approximately Rs. 49,290) with three free games: Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5.
Closing out the keynote with “one more big thing”, Su showed off a preview of the upcoming 3rd Gen Ryzen desktop series. These will be 7nm CPUs using the Zen 2 architecture and a chiplet-based design. According to Su, the 3rd Gen Ryzen series will “absolutely set the bar on performance, technology and power efficiency”. Contrary to pre-CES rumours, this was only a preview. The launch announcement will happen in mid-2019.
Su provided the first ever public preview of one of these chips, though no detailed specifications were announced. This was an 8-core, 16-thread sample chip running at non-final speeds, and it was benchmarked against an Intel Core i9-9900K live on stage using Cinebench R15 (multi-threade only). The 3rd Gen Ryzen sample chip scored 2,057 points and appeared to be running at an average of 133W, while the Intel Core i9-9900K scored 2,040 points and appeared to be consuming 179W on average. AMD also demonstrated the CPU running Forza Horizon 4 at 1080p using the highest settings, and achieving over 100fps consistently.
Su showed off a sample chip without its heatspreader for the first time, revealing two dies on the package. The smaller one is the 7nm Zen 2 die with eight cores, while the larger one is an IO die using an older manufacturing process. Su also announced that the 3rd Gen Ryzen series will be the first to support PCIe 4.0, but will also work with existing Socket AM4 motherboards as a simple drop-in upgrade.
On the gaming front, Su also announced that Google's Project Stream cloud gaming initiative is now using AMD Radeon GPUs, and provided updates on AMD's partnerships. The company is still working closely with Microsoft for game development and future Xbox consoles, and is supporting the e-sports team Fnatic.
Su also recapped the earlier Ryzen 3000 mobile series launch, including the company's first CPUs for Chromebooks, and stated that its upcoming 7nm second-gen AMD Epyc server CPUs are on track to begin shipping in the middle of 2019.
8K TVs, insane soundbars, folding phones, modular laptops: Who won CES 2019? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Jamshed Avari has been working in tech journalism as a writer, editor and reviewer for over 13 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to PC components and accessories, and has also written guides, feature articles, news and analyses. Going beyond simple ratings and specifications, he digs deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape. He's happiest when something new comes along