The Radeon VII (Vega II) Graphics Card Launch

AMD’s Radeon VII has arrived! All hail the Radeon VII! But does it belong in our build chart?

The Good

AMD’s new $700 card is 7nm, and comes packed with 16GBs of VRAM. That is awesome! Its performance in both 1440p and 4K is very good.

The Bad

Unfortunately, it seems that AMD rushed its launch, and the relative performance for this card fluctuates wildly between games. On average, the card is somewhere around 10% lower in performance when compared to its target competition, the $700 RTX 2080. Even more unfortunately, the card runs louder, and hotter too. This is quite a fatal combination, as there are some people who are willing to sacrifice a bit of performance in order to gain better temps/noise, but there is no one who will opt for a lower performing, hotter, louder card for the same price.

Radeon VII Performance Overview

So what card does the new Radeon VII perform like? On average, it is on par with the GTX 1080 Ti, which is last year’s $700 card. Readers will remember that we retired the 1080 Ti in a previous update, since its price and performance was no longer logical when the new 2070 and 2080 existed. As such, if we want to be fair, we cannot really recommend the VII at $700.

But there is hope yet. We know AMD, and we are quite sure that AMD’s drivers for this card will mature, and that performance will improve. We also know that reference cards are rarely the best option for good temps and noise, so we can expect non-reference cards will come out in the near future, fixing the Radeon VII’s temp/noise issues. In time, with better performance, temps, and noise, this card can be recommended, even at its $700 price. But as it stands now? No, it is not a competitive card.

Going forward

We will keep checking the Radeon VII’s performance with new drivers, and temps/noise with non-reference cards. Once it is a logical recommendation, we will add it.

Other Update (Slightly Embarrassing)

In the TR 2920X description, the “Cores/Threads” was wrong: It does not have 43458 cores. It has only 12/24. We are updating the TR 2920X description to remove this miraculous core count. And I am sorry about that… I have fat fingers. I am on a diet right now, so hopefully this will not happen again.