Tecnologia

AMD Radeon VII Will Ship Without Double-Precision

AMD’s soon-to-be-released Radeon VII graphics card will come with FP64 (double-precision floating-point) disabled, Sasa Marinkovic, Director of Product Marketing at AMD, confirmed to Techgage in a report this week. 

Credit: AMDCredit: AMD
One of the first things you may notice about the AMD Radeon VII is its resemblance to the existing Radeon Instinct MI50. The former is a gaming graphics card, while the latter is marketed towards data centers and enterprises. However, the two are both based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) 5.0 microarchitecture and employ the Vega 20 silicon. Not to mention that they are also product of TSMC’s 7nm FinFET manufacturing process. But the similarities don’t stop there.


AMD Radeon VII AMD Radeon Instinct MI50 AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Architecture (GPU)
Graphics Core Next 5.0 (Vega 20) Graphics Core Next 5.0 (Vega 20) Graphics Core Next 5.0 (Vega 10)
Shaders
3840 3840 4096
Peak FP32 Compute
13.8 TFLOPS 13.4 TFLOPs 12.5 TFLOPS
Texture Units
240 240 256
Base Clock Rate
1450 MHz 1200 MHz 1200 MHz
GPU Boost Rate
1800 MHz 1746 MHz 1536 MHz
Memory Capacity
16GB HBM2 16GB HBM2 8GB HBM2
Memory Clock 2000 Mbps* 2000 Mbps 1890 Mbps
Memory Bus
4096-bit 4096-bit 2048-bit
Memory Bandwidth
1024 GB/s 1024 GB/s 483.8 GB/s
ROPs
64 64 64
TDP
295W* 300W 295W
Transistor Count
13.2 billion 13.2 billion 12.5 billion
Die Size
331 mm² 331 mm² 487 mm²

*=unconfirmed

AMD equipped both the Radeon VII and Radeon Instinct MI50 with 3,840 stream processors, 240 TMUs (texture mapping units), 64 ROPs (render output units) and 16GB of HBM2 memory across a 4096-bit memory interface. Being a gaming-focused product, the Radeon VII comes with a higher base clock and boost clock. Therefore, it seems the chipmaker had to take something away from the Radeon VII so it doesn’t negatively impact Radeon Instinct MI50 sales. That’s where FP64 comes in.

The Radeon Instinct MI50 can deliver up to 6.7 TFLOPs of FP64 peak performance. By disabling or gimping the Radeon VII’s FP64 performance, AMD effectively creates a huge gap between the two models. Despite all this, the Radeon VII should be capable of pumping out 862 GFLOPs of FP64 performance and stay ahead of the Nvidia Titan RTX (509 GFLOPs) and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (420 GFLOPs).

For the average consumer, is it a dealbreaker that the Radeon VII’s FP64 performance isn’t on par with the Radeon Instinct MI50? Not really, since gamers can surely live without it. But there are professional users who are also gamers, and while they would have loved to have a graphics card that brings both premium FP64 and gaming performance, AMD isn’t letting that happen with the Radeon VII.