Eagerly anticipated for later this month is the launch of AMD’s first wave of Radeon Vega cards, the first-run workstation/early adopter-focused Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. To date, AMD has not yet said anything further about the launch since last month’s Computex unveil, however it appears that either AMD is opting to quietly release the sure to sell out cards, or some of their retailers have jumped the gun, as listings for both models have begun to show up.

SabrePC, one of the industry’s more specialized retailers whom tends to focus on workstation and server products, has posted listings for both of the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition cards that AMD has previously unveiled. That is, both the air-cooled card and the closed loop liquid cooled model. As you’d expect for these early-run cards, they won’t come cheap: the air cooled model is listed at $1199, while the liquid cooled card is higher still at $1799.

As a matter of editorial policy I don’t typically post news about retailer listings; these are often erroneous, or at the very least speculative. However any listings at SabrePC raise an eyebrow as they’re a more straight-laced player and one of the traditional retailers for workstation products. So they’re not known to post faulty listings. Which, coupled with the fact that other workstation retailers are also listing these cards, leads me to believe that this week’s listing isn’t an accident, even if AMD themselves aren't saying more about the product.

In any case, we had no real guidance for where AMD would price these cards at prior to today, so I’m admittedly a bit surprised to see the Frontier Edition cards come in as (relatively) cheap as they have. $1199 for the air cooled card is less than similar NVIDIA Quadros (and Radeon Pro cards, for that matter), and is perfectly aligned with NVIDIA Titan Xp pricing. Meanwhile the liquid cooled card is a bit more surprising with its $600 premium. All messaging so far from AMD is that these are a low volume part meant for customers to evaluate Vega as early as possible, so it’ll be interesting to see where AMD goes from here.

AMD Workstation Card Specification Comparison
  Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
Radeon Pro Duo (Polaris) Radeon Pro WX 7100 Radeon Fury X
Stream Processors 4096 2 x 2304 2304 4096
Texture Units ? 2 x 144 144 256
ROPs 64? 2 x 32 32 64
Boost Clock 1.6GHz 1243MHz 1243MHz 1050MHz
Single Precision 13.1 TFLOPS 11.5 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Half Precision 26.2 TFLOPS 11.5 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Memory Clock 1.89Gbps HBM2 7Gbps GDDR5 7Gbps GDDR5 1Gbps HBM
Memory Bus Width 2048-bit 2 x 256-bit 256-bit 4096-bit
Memory Bandwidth 483GB/sec 2x 224GB/sec 224GB/sec 512GB/sec
VRAM 16GB 2 x 16GB 8GB 4GB
Typical Board Power ? 250W 130W 275W
GPU Vega (1) Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Fiji
Architecture Vega Polaris Polaris GCN 1.2
Manufacturing Process GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 06/2017 05/2017 10/2016 06/24/15
Launch Price Air: $1199
Liquid: $1799
$999 $649 $649

Meanwhile SabrePC also lists technical specifications for the Frontier Edition cards, with both cards listed at the same memory bandwidth and peak throughput. At 13.1 TFLOPS FP32, this would put the GPU clockspeed at 1.6GHz on the dot, just a smidge higher than AMD’s own presentations last month. Meanwhile 483GB/sec of memory bandwidth puts the memory clock at just under 1.9Gbps. That both cards are listed with the same specifications is a bit surprising, and given the price difference I’m not wholly convinced that Sabre has the right specifications for the cheaper air cooled card – distinctly cheaper cards are usually built around harvested processors – but for now it’s what we have to work with. It may very well be that the listings are correct, but the air cooled card is expected to throttle more often relative to the high-efficiency air cooler.

In the meantime I’ve reached out to AMD for more information on these new listings, particularly since AMD's official Frontier Edition release isn't slated to be until the 27th. However quiet nature of these listings does have me wondering if AMD is purposely looking to avoid additional press at the moment – opting to silently get them into the hands of distributors to get out to their professional customers – as the company had made it clear that they’re not aiming these cards at consumers.

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  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - link

    Are you out your mind? Nobody with a brain is setting up mining for BTC with GPUs now.

    Its ASICs, or don't waste your time. Its been that way since 2015.
  • tsarunev - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    only for Bitcoin, not cryptocurrencies in general. Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, etc. are all still great on AMD cards, and Nvidia is pretty competent with them too, and much better at a few of the smaller coins.
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    @ tsarunev

    Yes, my 12 Nvidia cards agree with you, but he did specifically refer to BTC.

    Also, my Litecoin ASIC is also now not profitable. 54MH/s for 2200W (at the wall) leaves me -$4/day. Shame to see it stood there gathering dust. We were good friends.
  • tsarunev - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    ALSO! bitcoin gpu mining died sometime in 2013, with Litecoin ASICs being released in 2014 killing that too, Darkcoin filled a barely-profitable gap until 2015 when Ethereum launched, but eventually its growing DAG that has to be loaded into VRAM made it difficult, and then impossible to mine on cards with 2GB or less of VRAM. In 2016 Zcash launched bringing profitability back to a lot of older cards. I'm not sure when Monero launched but it is actually profitable on CPU and GPU, too, but it's the least profitable of the big 3 algos for AMD cards atm.
  • Toon_Spiderman - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    I've been eagerly waiting fir VEGA through delay after delay for 13 months. Yesterday i picked up an OC gtx 1080 for $330 US. I can't wait for AMD any longer and given VEGA will certainly be more expensive than $330 for grx 1080 performance AMD will have to deliver in 2018 to 2019 with Navi for it to earn my $$$. Sorry AMD i gave you every opportunity but you're unreliable to your consumers time and time again. Be prepared next round.
  • webdoctors - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    Wow, $330? Where? That's sub-1070 pricing...
  • bigboxes - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    You're on crack.
  • mapesdhs - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    "I can't wait for AMD any longer..."

    Ahh, first world problems. ;D
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    @ mapesdhs

    Yes Sir, but certainly better than 3rd world problems.

  • ItDesign - Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - link

    try it here much cheaper <a href="https://www.avantadigital.com">https://www...

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