At the start of April, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) launched the Titan Xp, its new flagship and what was billed as the “world’s most powerful graphics card.” Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) did not take long to respond. Yesterday, the company announced the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. This new AMD graphics card tops the specs of the Titan Xp, in a power move designed to wrestle the spotlight — and sales — away from its market-leading rival.
Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
AMD announced the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on May 16. Key specs of the new AMD graphics card include:
- Approximately 13 TFLOPs Peak FP 32 computing performance (25 TFLOPs Peak FP 16 computing performance)
- 16 GB high bandwidth cache
- 64 next-generate compute units
- 4096 stream processors
- 16 GB HBM2 memory
- Supports 8K resolution
- Available liquid cooling
Featuring AMD’s new Vega architecture, the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition tops the 12 TFLOPs of processing power Nvidia claims for the Titan Xp. By how much exactly is a mystery, as AMD is saying “approximately 13 TFLOPS,” but the company is clearly confident the final number will be more than the Titan Xp’s 12.
Why “Frontier” Edition?
For decades, the battle over graphics card market share has been focused on the video gaming market. And while AMD is still gunning to have its GPUs inside high-end gaming PCs — especially ones running demanding virtual reality applications — the company is aiming for another target demographic with this card.
It describes the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition as empowering the next generation of data scientists, visualization professionals and digital pioneers.
If that messaging isn’t clear enough, AMD starts the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition announcement with this intro:
“Who are the pioneers? They are the ones who have cured diseases and strengthened our bodies. They work to heal our planet and explore new ones. They work to undo mankind’s mistakes and protect the next generation from making them again. Harnessing science to fuel creativity, and employing creativity to drive science.”
In other words, the new AMD graphics card is actively targeting some of the hottest and most demanding new technology fields, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data mining, design visualization and machine learning.
Gaming Is Still In AMD’s Sights
While the goals for the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition may be loftier than playing games, make no mistake — AMD is coming after Nvidia on the PC gaming front too.
The announcement for the new AMD graphics card points out that the company’s GPUs are found not only in gaming PCs, but many consoles as well. Both Sony Corp (ADR)’s (NYSE:SNE) Playstation 4 and Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One use AMD processors. AMD claims game developers who equip their PCs with the new AMD graphics card will be able to “simplify and accelerate game creation.“
AMD is taking its battle against Nvidia in gaming to a new level, by positioning the Radeon Vega as the flagship graphics card for the developers who design the next generation of games. Other new Radeon cards using Vega architecture will target the gamers themselves.
Release Date and Pricing for the New AMD Graphics Card
AMD hasn’t set a release date for the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition other than an end of June timeframe. It also hasn’t announced a price, although expectations are that it will be in the $1,000 range.
2017 has been a critical year for AMD. The company began with an aggressive campaign to win back PC marketshare from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) with its new Ryzen CPUs. With the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, the company is now kicking off its assault on the graphics card market and rival Nvidia.
The new release is not aimed at consumers, but by wresting the “world’s most powerful graphics card” title from Nvidia and aiming at the most demanding (and high profile) professional users, AMD is seeking to position itself for recognition as being the GPU of choice at the high end. And it will leverage those bragging rights to help drive sales of its new generation of consumer graphics cards when they launch.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.