AMD’s first Vega-powered graphics card arrives June 27, but not for PC gamers

AMD’s first graphics card based on its new Vega chip architecture will arrive on June 27, CEO Dr. Lisa Su said at a press conference at this week’s Computex technology convention in Taipei, Taiwain —  fulfilling the company’s promise of delivering its next-generation graphics cards during the first half of 2017.

But don’t get too excited just yet.

Called the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, this card will target the professional workstation market as an upgrade to the Radeon Pro Duo, Radeon Pro WX 7100, and competing graphics card solutions. The Vega Frontier Edition will consist of 4,096 stream processors (aka 64 compute units), 16GB of HBM2 dedicated video memory, and around 25 teraflops of compute performance.

But what about AMD’s PC gaming audience? When will the Radeon RX Vega cards hit the market? Towards the end of the press conference, Su said details regarding the launch would be provided during SIGGRAPH 2017, which starts on July 30 and ends on August 3. Sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery, this conference focuses on professional computer graphics and “interactive techniques.”

“We chose SIGGRAPH because we believe that for high performance graphics and all the content creation capability there, that this is the perfect place to showcase the Vega product line,” Su said.

However, that didn’t stop Su from teasing the Radeon RX Vega in a demo featuring Prey. This demo actually relied on two Radeon RX Vega cards in CrossFire mode, and the game set on Ultra High settings and a 3,840 × 2,160 resolution. The demo also showcased an upcoming Ryzen Threadripper processor that’s coming this summer, featuring up to 16 cores, 32 threads, and support for up to a massive 64 PCI Express 3.0 lanes. That said, the Prey demo looked really, really good.

In other Vega-related news, Su said AMD will talk more about the upcoming Radeon Instinct MI25 graphics card on June 20. This card will head straight into the data center to accelerate machine intelligence, as it’s designed for deep learning training. June 20 will also serve as the launch date for AMD’s return to the data center with its new lineup of Epyc processors for servers (aka Naples). However, the Vega-powered Radeon Instinct MI25 card won’t be launched at that time.

That said, there’s a possibility AMD may not make a hard launch of its PC gaming Radeon RX Vega solutions during the SIGGRAPH 2017 convention in late July. Instead, AMD may introduce the card lineup, their prices, and availability during the show with a hard launch shortly thereafter. Hopefully, we’re completely wrong and AMD floods the market with Radeon RX Vega cards at the end of July.