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AMD Brings 7nm GPUs to PCs

February 12, 2019

Author: Tom R. Halfhill

AMD’s new Radeon VII GPU for PCs handily outperforms its predecessor, the Radeon RX Vega 64. The company says Fortnite fans should see 25% more performance, and other popular games show 35% to 42% improvements. Video editors should see gains of up to 27%, and the consumer GPU scores 62% higher on OpenCL LuxMark.

As the first 7nm graphics processor for PCs, the Radeon VII heralds a coming wave of 7nm GPUs that will quicken the competition with Nvidia and Intel. We expect AMD to unveil its next-generation Navi GPU at Taiwan’s Computex show in June.

Specifications reveal that the consumer-market Radeon VII is the same chip as the Radeon Instinct MI50 and MI60 announced last November for data-center servers and high-performance computing. All these 7nm Vega20 chips have a 331mm2 die containing 13.2 billion transistors and a 4,096-bit memory bus, which supports 16GB of second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) and up to 1TB/s of peak bandwidth. To avoid cannibalizing sales of the higher-price data-center products, the Radeon VII disables the PCI Express 4.0 interfaces and some acceleration logic for 64-bit floating-point math.

Although the consumer market for a 300W GPU that costs $699 is relatively small, it’s important to AMD. It’s a segment in which the company excels, and it helps fund the development of new graphics processors that reap even higher prices in the faster-growing data-center market. The Radeon VII satisfies the existing demand for more performance and foreshadows even better things to come when the sixth-generation Navi debuts in 7nm technology.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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