AMD Radeon VII - South African pricing and the real bad news

genetic

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
28,661
The real bad news is that it's a *** card at an expensive price

 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
The real bad news is that it's a *** card at an expensive price

Day 1 review.

It is pretty much known by now that the drivers are unoptimised for the Radeon VII. Many believing that the product is being rushed to market and some reviewer samples tested better than others.

Nobody was able to overclock, this when AMD themselves said the GPU can be overclocked with their given recommendations.

Some reviewers was able to undervolt their GPUs by a rather good margin.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
After seeing the pricing for some places Europe, Australia and New Zealand I was expecting it to be priced here around the R20 000 mark. R15 000 isn't bad when considering it as a workstation GPU, that is if Rebeltech stick it out with that offering.
 

The Voice

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
8,070
Yeah looks like they screwed up on the launch with this one. While the card isn't a problem, the release drivers for it definitely are. Bad move by AMD.

Can't really blame the reviewers or call them biased, either. They can only use what they've been given. One of them even phoned AMD to ask what was going on, and they just said they were aware of the issues. So they knew, but still pushed the samples out to reviewers.
 
Last edited:

genetic

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
28,661
Day 1 review.

It is pretty much known by now that the drivers are unoptimised for the Radeon VII. Many believing that the product is being rushed to market and some reviewer samples tested better than others.

Nobody was able to overclock, this when AMD themselves said the GPU can be overclocked with their given recommendations.

Some reviewers was able to undervolt their GPUs by a rather good margin.
You're forgetting the most important part - it's price vs feature set. nVidia's 2080 has so much more to offer with similar performance for the same price. The VII is old technology. AMD keep rehashing their old GPU's factury overclocking them, giving them a new name and slapping on a bigger price tag.

They're not doing themselves any favours.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
You're forgetting the most important part - it's price vs feature set. nVidia's 2080 has so much more to offer with similar performance for the same price. The VII is old technology. AMD keep rehashing their old GPU's factury overclocking them, giving them a new name and slapping on a bigger price tag.

They're not doing themselves any favours.
AMD is relying on DirectML to bring in a DLSS alternative which also happens to be an open alternative. They are not targeting Ray Tracing with the Radeon VII. To be honest, Ray Tracing isn’t quite there yet, it is much unsupported by developers at the moment and it mows down the FPS in every scenario. Why Ray Tracing on inadequate graphic settings?

Though RTX can give more now, it is an early adopter’s product. The next RTX series may be better suited in the marketplace when the technologies are wider adopted by the developers, but at this stage, it is limited unless you can show or indicate to me otherwise.

So much more, well, that is only Ray Tracing. The RTX 2060 isn’t in a good place come to Ray Tracing and the RTX 2080 is also punished by enabling Ray Tracing. It is all good and well in a single-player experience, but severely lacking come multiplayer where FPS counts. The more worthwhile tech is DLSS with its upscaling and FPS gains are superb, don't see where people are seeing the loss in quality.

The Instinct MI60 was announced around September 2018, IIRC, where the MI60 launched in November and the MI50 in December, priced between $8 000-$10 000. The Instinct MI50 being a lesser quality sample and also the same sample on which the Radeon VII is based. This is Vega 20 which isn’t a rehash or an overclocked GPU. Vega, though, is two years old, but the TSMC's 7nm FinFET production isn’t, and this is now technology used in close to every AMD product line. This may be an Instinct MI50 with a new name and without the Double-Precision, but it is less than 4 months old. It is an expensive product to produce, and it is known that they may be taking a loss on the GPU. This isn’t a product to rival NVidia’s RTX 2080, but a product to illustrate their competitiveness and to reposition themselves in the market to entice investors.

Navi is expected to be announced next month, it will support DLSS and Ray Tracing. AMD themselves said that they will only target the low to mid-range market at launch and leakers have it that they will target Nvidia up to their RTX 2070. Only later around Q3/Q4 may we see a high-end Navi GPU.

For now, AMD has a really strong workstation card with still unoptimised drivers rushed to the market. The GPU has multiple uses at the high and enthusiast end. When DirectML comes along, which is soon to be expected, then RTX only has Ray Tracing which isn’t that much more than Radeon VII.

Not to mention that NVidia wants to gap out Navi with their GTX 1660/1660Ti launch which is based on Turing but without that much, RTX, more. Talk about rehashing old tech without the actual tech.

As you know, NVidia’s investors aren’t that happy at the moment. Favours…

I criticised the Radeon VII at the announcement, digging out old criticism on Vega 2 (which turned out to be Radeon VII), but seeing how more and more expensive the RTX series are being listed at the moment I am seeing fewer issues with where the Radeon VII is positioned. I wouldn’t buy one, I will likely buy a Navi GPU rivalling the RTX 2070 because I’m not into content creation.

Nonetheless, I would like to see where Radeon VII will be at with DirectML and optimised drivers.
 

ponder

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
76,585
In two minds here.

As a gaming card it should come in cheaper than a 2080, the 16GB VRAM is of no use to gamers and it does not do raytraycing which is no biggie in my book but others will mention & consider that.

As a workstation card for content creators it makes more sense than a 2080 due to its 16GB VRAM, it will do stuff the 2080 can't.
 

stefan9

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
7,380
As prosumer card it has decent value.

As a gaming card no way I would buy a slower card at the same price that lacks rtx and dlss compared to the 2080.

Yes there isn't much ray tracing yet but I rather have the option then not.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
In two minds here.

As a gaming card it should come in cheaper than a 2080, the 16GB VRAM is of no use to gamers and it does not do raytraycing which is no biggie in my book but others will mention & consider that.

As a workstation card for content creators it makes more sense than a 2080 due to its 16GB VRAM, it will do stuff the 2080 can't.
I agree, and I see that there are new rumours that Navi will be postponed until October... Will have to see.
 

stefan9

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
7,380
By the time navi gets here nv will have their 7nm cards ready. Nothing either AMD nor Intel are doing is promising much in the gpu sector for the near future, atleast not at the high end.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
As prosumer card it has decent value.

As a gaming card no way I would buy a slower card at the same price that lacks rtx and dlss compared to the 2080.

Yes there isn't much ray tracing yet but I rather have the option then not.
DirectML will introduce open source DLSS. RT, well, it does come at a FPS cost.

Still, the Radeon VII is still rushed to market and Gamers Nexus did a cool article on the bad heatsink seating. A custom modder did a heatsink rework and could achieve much success in regard with reducing the heat and undervolting the GPU. The drivers are a issue, it is also preventing the GPU to be OCed, and the modder which I believe is mentioned by Steve did conclude that the GPU has much clocking room.

Custom AIB cards may improve the GPU. At the end, it will likely be positioned between the RTX 2080 and Ti, gaming wise, when the drivers are optimised and the cooler is improved. The only limit being Ray Tracing which is already heavy on the RTX 2080.
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
24,970
The real bad news is that it's a *** card at an expensive price

Video is missing both frame times and minimum fps, I rarely watch Linus's CPU or GPU reviews because of it.
https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3437-amd-radeon-vii-review-not-ready-for-launch
They're both quite similar, and I still find it funny that they have even near the same power draw (they being Vega VII and 2080 FE).
Still want to see an update on performance once drivers become a bit more stable/overclocking happens.

Again, this card is more a stop-gap than an actual solution, to say they have something. As @Fulcrum29 said, Navi is what you're looking for.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
Overclockers UK updated their response on Reddit and will have their stock updated with around 1000 units by late February or early March. I guess this will be the time we will release units.

Just remember that Overclockers UK is a AMD.com retailer and I guess that these sales partners have 1st right to the stock allocations.
 

genetic

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
28,661
Overclockers UK updated their response on Reddit and will have their stock updated with around 1000 units by late February or early March. I guess this will be the time we will release units.

Just remember that Overclockers UK is a AMD.com retailer and I guess that these sales partners have 1st right to the stock allocations.
It just doesn't make sense buying this card. Where it excels in some workstation results, nVidia's Cuda kills it in others that utilise Cuda.

It's expensive, power hungry and has less features than the 2080, (which at the end of the day is a better buy).
 

stefan9

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
7,380
DirectML will introduce open source DLSS. RT, well, it does come at a FPS cost.

Still, the Radeon VII is still rushed to market and Gamers Nexus did a cool article on the bad heatsink seating. A custom modder did a heatsink rework and could achieve much success in regard with reducing the heat and undervolting the GPU. The drivers are a issue, it is also preventing the GPU to be OCed, and the modder which I believe is mentioned by Steve did conclude that the GPU has much clocking room.

Custom AIB cards may improve the GPU. At the end, it will likely be positioned between the RTX 2080 and Ti, gaming wise, when the drivers are optimised and the cooler is improved. The only limit being Ray Tracing which is already heavy on the RTX 2080.
You are assuming there will be custom aib cards. There has no announcement from any aib of any cards but reference. Compare that to the 20 series nvidia launch.

As for driver updates making a massive difference it may some titles but it is very unlikely to change things overall.

Tom's hardware did an article on it last year.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-nvidia-driver-updates-performance-tested,5707.html

Hardware unboxed also addressed this in previews for radeon 7. They don't believe driver updates will give AMD an advantage.


As for directml we haven't seen any performance numbers for it even from AMD themselves. Nvidia showed their dlss at launch.
 

genetic

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
28,661
You are assuming there will be custom aib cards. There has no announcement from any aib of any cards but reference. Compare that to the 20 series nvidia launch.

According to the Gamersnexus there will be no aib cards. Again, purchasing this card makes no sense.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
29,237
You are assuming there will be custom aib cards. There has no announcement from any aib of any cards but reference. Compare that to the 20 series nvidia launch.

As for driver updates making a massive difference it may some titles but it is very unlikely to change things overall.

Tom's hardware did an article on it last year.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-nvidia-driver-updates-performance-tested,5707.html

Hardware unboxed also addressed this in previews for radeon 7. They don't believe driver updates will give AMD an advantage.


As for directml we haven't seen any performance numbers for it even from AMD themselves. Nvidia showed their dlss at launch.
I am not assuming anything. I have made several posts on Radeon 7 across several Radeon 7-related discussions on MyBroadband. I did, however, assume that there will be no customised AIB GPUs due to it being a repurposed deep learning-oriented GPU which is competing against the NVidia Tesla product line. AIB partners are limited to technologies. The Radeon 7 cooler, though, is designed by Sapphire.

My assumptions are actual comments on the Gamers Nexus reviews:

https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3437-amd-radeon-vii-review-not-ready-for-launch

In regard to update drivers, well that is your assumption to see whether there will be massive improvements as I talked about optimised drivers, to quote GN:

Due to time constraints following significant driver-related setbacks in testing, we will be revisiting the card with a heavier focus on these “content creator” tests.



We spoke with Roman (Der8auer) about this also, and he also experienced issues with manual overclocking even when using dry ice. One of his best OC results was with auto OC and -25C core temperatures, illustrating that the broken manual overclocking is at least partially a result of driver issues, but check his channel for more on that.

AMD’s drivers have largely improved over the past months, which is perhaps why it’s so disappointing that the Radeon VII drivers are so riddled with bugs. The company has worked hard to eradicate this perception of bad drivers, and has done well to fix its image and its driver packages, but botched the entire thing in one go with Radeon VII. Here’s a small list of what we encountered – we didn’t write all of them down:



The list is posted in the article



We will revisit overclocking as soon as it works. We will also be posting some targeted benchmarks following the Radeon VII main review; unfortunately, as a result of losing at least one entire day to AMD driver issues, we pushed some of our feature tests out into other content pieces.

t is unfortunate that AMD has torpedoed its launch with drivers that aren’t ready, particularly coming off of relatively strong driver improvements in its recent past. The product in general needs more time. This launch was rushed – like most recent launches (see: initial RTX lineup) – and it really could have been a lot cleaner. Radeon VII seems to have more OC room than AMD is letting on, but bugs are holding it back.



We have some follow-up targeted feature testing for Radeon VII that will get separate content pieces; unfortunately, because of the time lost to driver defects, we had to push some testing back for a separate content item. For now, though, from a gaming and enthusiast standpoint, the Radeon VII card is difficult to recommend. At price equivalence, at best, you get rough equivalence in frame throughput, a good PCB and VRM, and maybe good overclocking features at some point, depending. That has been our primary reason to recommend Vega 56 lately – its overclocking is genuinely fun for enthusiasts, something that NVIDIA has shied away from and nearly altogether dropped. With Radeon VII losing all of that, it is harder to justify. Our primary hope would be that driver updates resolve much of this, but we’ll have to check back for that. We do not review based on promises, just like we didn’t for RTX.
In regard to Hardware Unboxed:

https://www.techspot.com/review/1789-amd-radeon-vii/

While testing the Radeon VII, we ran into numerous stability issues with the early drivers supplied by AMD and as we pieced this content together, a fix had yet to be issued.

...

Instead of testing 30+ games we're sticking with a dozen titles that accurately represent how the Radeon VII performs across a wide range of titles. Once a stable driver has been provided a mega benchmark session will follow with 2 or 3 dozen games tested.

...

Before we move on, please note we haven’t tested with more games on our day-one review as we're not fully confident in the drivers AMD’s provided. As mentioned earlier, we are finding them unstable and we’ve confirmed this with other fellow publications. The performance is accurate nonetheless, but before we go crazy on testing dozens of games, we rather wait for a more stable driver.

...

Cons: Radeon VII runs hot and loud. Value is worse than RTX cards, and you don't even get the benefit of the doubt of DLSS or ray tracing for the extra money. Drivers are unstable at launch, which could mean more performance down the line. If not, AMD will have to cut pricing by at least $100.
For notice, DirectML's SDK is still in preview and to add:

https://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-vii-excellent-result-directml/

In an interview with Japanese website 4Gamer.net, Adam Kozak (Senior Manager of GPU Product Marketing at AMD) addressed both topics. The most interesting part is that Radeon VII is already performing well through Microsoft’s DirectML API, according to Kozak, and he also suggested AMD could even try to develop something similar to NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super-Sampling with a GPGPU approach instead.

At last year’s Game Developers Conference 2018, Microsoft announced a framework “Windows ML” for developing machine learning based applications on the Windows 10 platform, and “DirectML” that makes it available from DirectX12.

We are currently experimenting with the preview version SDK of DirectML, but Radeon VII shows excellent results so far.

By the way, Radeon VII scored about 1.62 times the GeForce RTX 2080 in “Luxmark” which utilizes an OpenCL-based GPGPU-like ray tracing renderer.

Based on these facts, I think NVIDIA’s DLSS-like thing can be done with a GPGPU-like approach for our GPU.
DirectML is slated to go live in Q3 2019. Like NVidia's DLSS and RT, it is up to the developers to implement the support. DirectML will be usable on the V56/V64.

Gamers Nexus also started to explore AA, Radeon VII vs RTX 2080

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3438-amd-radeon-vii-anti-aliasing-5k-8k-benchmarks-vs-2080

It is also worthwhile to check out https://www.youtube.com/user/der8auer (Der Bauer) to see what AIB partners can achieve should they be able to customise the GPU.

Forbes also did a nice article on where 16GB HBM2 memory can be used in practice,

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2019/02/07/apparently-you-really-do-need-that-16gb-of-hbm2-in-amds-radeon-vii/
 
Top