AMD's 7 nm Radeon VII GPU officially launched at a price of $699 in the US

The 7 nm AMD Radeon VII GPU goes head-to-head with Nvidia's recently unveiled RTX 2080 GPU.

Announced back at CES 2019, AMD today finally announced the prices of its newest and most capable GPU, the Radeon VII. The GPU is also being touted by AMD as the world's first 7 nm consumer GPU. The Radeon VII is certainly a product that not only caters to the high-end demands of gamers but also to content creators.

The card will be available on AMD's e-store in the US for $699. Those who pick up the Radeon VII (or any Radeon VII powered PC) sooner rather than later will also get a complimentary copy of Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5 and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, which is a nice bonus for gamers.

Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD, holds up the Radeon VII, a 7nm gaming graphics card during a keynote address at the 2019 CES. Image: Reuters

Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD, holds up the Radeon VII, a 7nm gaming graphics card during a keynote address at the 2019 CES. Image: Reuters

AMD claims that the next-generation graphics card offers up to 29 percent better gaming performance and 39 percent better performance for content creation than the previous Radeon RX Vega 64. The Radeon VII uses a refreshed version of the Vega architecture which is the same architecture used in last year's Radeon Vega 56 and Radeon Vega 64 GPUs.

The Radeon VII touts a hefty 16 GB of HBM2 of memory, 1 TB bandwidth and 60 compute units that run a boosted clock speed of up to 1,750 MHz. Meanwhile, power consumption is rated at 300W.

That said, not everyone is charmed by the numbers claimed by AMD. While the units haven't reached consumers yet, initial reviews indicate that performance is mostly at par with 2017's Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and the current Nvidia RTX 2080 GPUs. What this means is that despite a modern manufacturing process and brand new 16 GB of memory, it's only now competitive with Nvidia's previous generation offering. Worse still, the RTX 2080 retails at the same price and offers support for features like DLSS and ray-tracing. AMD's only edge appears to be in pro environments where the massive bandwidth and 16 GB of memory will help in handling heavy workloads such as 4K video editing.

For those wondering about what DLSS and RTX mean, here's a simple explainer. RTX basically brings more realistic reflections to games. You could, for example, see the reflection of someone sneaking up behind you, something that was previously not feasible to implement.

DLSS is short for Deep Learning Super Sampling. Graphics cards use various techniques to deal with the presence of jagged edges on objects that are rendered on your screen. The most popular technique is anti-aliasing (AA). AA is implemented in various ways but regardless of method, costs a lot, in terms of processing power, to implement. DLSS uses deep learning, or AI, to intelligently apply anti-aliasing to only areas that the average user would notice. This should dramatically improve visual fidelity while limiting the overall performance impact.

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