Oculus cut the price of the Oculus Rift + Touch combo not too long ago now, but now HTC has followed through with a price cut of its own: $200 off the HTC Vive headset, bringing it down to just $599.
HTC said that the new $599 price on Vive isn't about getting rid of its first-gen headsets, but it's a competitive move against Oculus and its cut throat pricing. Oculus Rift + Touch is still $449, but at $150 cheaper is Oculus offering a better deal? Well, considering you get the controllers in the package - with HTC and Valve building the Vive with the Lighthouse controllers in mind - while Oculus sliced their developers in half offering an Xbox 360 controller in the box and then releasing Touch separately.
Now that the HTC Vive is $599. will you be stepping into the world of VR?
ASUS has officially revealed its next-gen ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega series of graphics card, led by the flagship ROG Strix RX Vega 64 O8G, making it one of the first custom Radeon RX Vega 64 cards announced.
ASUS has used a custom design PCB, using their new DirectCU III cooling solution that the company used on their flagship ROG Strix GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. We have a heat pipe with a direct contact base, with the heat pipes passing through two aluminum fin stacks on either end, which are then cooled by 3 x 100mm fans. These fans will not spin until the card hits a certain load.
The new card will use 8+8-pin PCIe power connectors, with ASUS using a 13-phase VRM, and overclocked GPU speeds that are close to the speeds on the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition. ASUS will also have a "non-O8G" version of the card, which will be closer to the reference clocks, seeing GPU boost speeds of somewhere between 1495-1510MHz.
AMD's new Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are now in the wild, with Vega mobile GPUs now spotted in the form of AMD's upcoming Raven Ridge family of APUs.
Radeon Vega 10 is the new mobile graphics codename, with the Ryzen 7 2700U rocking an integrated GPU that is codenamed Radeon Vega 10 Mobile. This GPU should feature 8 compute units (512 stream processors), while the lower-end Ryzen 5 2500U features Radeon Vega 8 Mobile.
Radeon Vega 8 Mobile features 11 compute units (704 stream processors) which is weird - meaning Vega 8 sports more CUs than Vega 10. I'd say this news could be false, but I'm writing up the rumor as it stands. Here's what the OpenCL manifesto says:
AMD is struggling with the launch of Radeon RX Vega, but it won't help that custom RX Vega cards are suffering from WORSE performance than the reference cards... something that is now being tested.
The new ASUS STRIX RX Vega 64 has been sampled out to a few reviewers so far, with the sites testing the new STRIX card. ASUS' latest Radeon graphics card has a 260W TDP, which is massive - even compared to the already large 240W+ on the reference card. This increased TDP allows for higher clock speeds than the reference card, but does it result in more performance? Nope. Actually, less performance.
At stock frequencies, the Radeon RX Vega 64 reference card loses to the ASUS STRIX RX Vega 64, but when RX Vega 64 reference card is overclocked to its maximum clocks, it BEATS the overclocked and custom ASUS STRIX Vega 64 card.
Update: AMD has provided us with the following statement: "Radeon RX Vega64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand. Our initial launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega64 at SEP of $499, Radeon RX Vega64 Black Packs at SEP of $599, and Radeon RX Vega64 Aqua Packs at SEP of $699. We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega64 including the standalone cards and Gamer Packs over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days".
Radeon Technologies Group seems to be in a world of tumbles right now, with the SEP on Radeon RX Vega stated to be $399, $499, and $599.
During AMD's recent Ryzen Tech Day in LA, the company underlined the pricing of Radeon RX Vega and the media (including TweakTown) were surprised with the strong pricing of RX Vega. Well, that has all changed after a huge $100 increase in price. Gamers Nexus is reporting that AIB partners confirmed the $499 launch pricing on Radeon RX Vega 64 was a limited time offer, with AMD reportedly offering e-tailers a $100 voucher - now that those vouchers have run out, RX Vega pricing has hit $599.
Stock availability is incredibly low, with AMD blaming day one demand for RX Vega and its incredible reception - but I don't think that's the case. I had an industry source tell me there would be less than 16,000 units available in the months post-launch, and it seems I was right. I've had another source tell me that those numbers are even lower, hovering somewhere in the 5000 region - if that's true, it would be disasterous.
AMD's new Radeon RX Vega graphics cards run a little on the hot side, which is going to open up a huge market for companies to make, and provide new cooling solutions... just like Alphacool.
Alphacool has announced their new Eiswolf 120 GPX-Pro ATI RX Vega all-in-one cooler, and their new Nexxxos GPX ATI RX Vega waterblocks - yeah, that's not a typo, I did mean to say ATI.
Starting with the Eiswolf GPX-Pro ATI RX Vega, we have an all-in-one liquid cooler that features a copper waterblock and pump assembly, teamed with the copper-based Nexxxos radiator. The normal version rocks a 120mm radiator, but there's the option for a bigger 240mm radiator. The kit includes Alphacool's Eisbaer expandable CPU AIO liquid cooler kit, which features spill-minimizing quick release fittings.
AMD might have just launched their next-gen Radeon RX Vega graphics cards with HBM2 in tow, but it looks like SK Hynix and Samsung might be ruining the high-end/enthusiast graphics card market with increases in VRAM pricing.
DigiTimes is reporting that the market prices for graphics memory from both Samsung and SK Hynix rose by over 30% in August, with the blame being placed on both DRAM manufacturers "repurposing part of their VRAM production capacities for server and smartphone memories instead", reports AnandTech.
We should expect VRAM pricing to continue to increase according to DigiTimes' sources, with PC DRAM chips to continue getting more expensive through to 2018. Both Micron and SK Hynix have announced GDDR6 recently, with NVIDIA set to use the new standard on their Volta-based GeForce graphics cards in early 2018.
We don't know if Micron's super-fast GDDR5X memory that's used on GTX 1080, GTX 1080 11Gbps, GTX 1080 Ti, and TITAN Xp will increase - but we should see this in the coming weeks if it happens.
AMD might not be enjoying much positivity with the first waves of Radeon RX Vega reviews, but the company is looking after miners (who they called out and blamed for global GPU shortages in LA two weeks ago) with a new beta driver that provides improved cryptocurrency mining performance.
The new beta driver increases block chain compute performance, with AMD naming the driver "Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute". What does this new driver have on offer?
- This driver is provided as a beta level support driver which should be considered "as is" and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes
- This driver is not intended for graphics or gaming workloads
- Optimized performance for Blockchain Compute Workloads
I'm going to install these drivers soon and run our Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX Vega 64 air-cooled, and Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition through their paces.
AMD has officially released their new Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards, led by the flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition, and the new GTX 1070 killer with the Radeon RX Vega 56.
Now that we have the gaming stuff out of the way, I wanted to do some testing with Ethereum mining. As much as we get flak for doing mining on graphics cards, there were an overwhelming amount of readers and FB fans asking us for Ethereum performance... so here you go.
There were reports a couple of weeks ago that Radeon RX Vega would be pushing 100MH/s mining Ethereum, and I'm here to tell you that is far from the truth. I never reported on the story because I knew it was bogus and technologically impossible to have Vega pushing 300% above Radeon RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and now I have Vega in my hands I've done my own testing.
AMD just launched their new Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics cards (my review here), but this hasn't stopped NVIDIA ramping up the production of 12nm GPUs with TSMC.
NVIDIA's upcoming 12nm production will be ready for next-gen Volta-based GeForce graphics cards that will be released early 2018, and even possibly teased earlier than that. NVIDIA has already released Volta in the form of the AI-ready Tesla V100 graphics accelerator, but it looks like we'll see the 12nm FinFET process and Volta, and I'm sure GDDR6, in early 2018.
Starting in Q4, the company will ramp up 12nm Volta GPU production preparing for the big next-gen GeForce launch. It was only just recently that NVIDIA founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talking to investors, where he said that gamers shouldn't expect a Volta-based GeForce until the end of 2017 or early 2018. Huang said that "Pascal is just unbeatable", and even with Vega here from AMD, I still agree.
Huang continued: "Volta for gaming, we haven't announced anything. And all I can say is that our pipeline is filled with some exciting new toys for the gamers, and we have some really exciting new technology to offer them in the pipeline. But for the holiday season for the foreseeable future, I think Pascal is just unbeatable".