AMD have been showing off a new AMD Vega GPU in the two-step public tour, which kicked off in Budapest yesterday. The closed gaming systems at the event were configured for a blind test, with the RX Vega demo card going head-to-head with a GTX 1080 system, with gamers being challenged to tell the difference.
More second-hand GPUs have tipped up on eBay, but if you want a brand new one these are the best graphics cards to buy right now.
The only currently released example of the Vega architecture, the Frontier Edition, delivers gaming performance somewhere between GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 levels. The expectation is that, with optimised gaming drivers, the consumer-facing AMD RX Vega cards will end up a little faster than that.
With the setup AMD have been showing off at the Budapest event, it’s clear the GTX 1080 is where they’re aiming the RX Vega cards at. They showed no actual frame rate comparisons between the two systems, running Battlefield 1 and Sniper Elite 4, preferring to base it on perceived differences rather than detailed performance figures. AMD look like they’re trying to demonstrate gamers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two systems, despite the Nvidia-based version reportedly costing some $300 more.
Sadly that’s not down to the difference in price of the graphics cards themselves, but a large part of it will be down to the fact they were using 3440 x 1440 ultrawide monitors to game on, one using FreeSync and the other G-Sync. A G-Sync ultrawide costs significantly more than a FreeSync screen.
We also don’t know what other hardware AMD had kitted out the Nvidia-based rig with. The Vega PC was running a Ryzen 7 CPU, but it’s possible there was a different processor platform used in the GTX 1080 machine, which would also add to the cost.
There is only one other stop in the Vega tour – Portland between July 21 and July 23 – before the official (probably paper) launch happening at SIGGRAPH at the end of July. Actual AMD RX Vega cards are likely to start to filter out sometime in August, that’s when we’ll genuinely know how the exciting new cards perform.