Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Overview

AMD has been shaking things up this year with its recent technological advancements. First, they unveiled their new 16 core, 32 thread count Ryzen Threadripper central processing unit (CPU). Following the Threadripper anouncement, AMD launched their newest workstation graphics processing unit (GPU), the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. This new GPU utilizes the new Vega architecture which is both more powerful and energy efficient compared to the previous generation architecture, Polaris. It is important to note that this new GPU is primarily meant for workstation applications. However, the new card is plenty capable of handling any new video games on with ease as well as other consumer applications.

Who Will Be Using This Card?

AMD’s business model has always been to provide the latest technology hardware at very attractive price points. They are applying this same strategy with the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition GPU and marketing it towards the Deep Learning, Media & Entertainment, and Design & Manufacturing markets. This means they are supplying an accessible option for those looking for the best price per performance from their GPUs.

Both the active cooled and liquid cooled models are said to be given competitive consumer level pricing. AMD’s strategy is to help bridge the gap between “prosumers” and consumers by offering workstation level graphics power at a price point considered to be much more consumer friendly. This pricing strategy will enable many developers, data scientists, and researchers to create high-end graphic or compute workstations within their budgetary constraints.

Specification Comparison

AMD’s previous reigning champion card was the Radeon Pro Duo. While it may initially appear that Vega specifications are only slightly higher than the Pro Duo, the Duo is technically two GPU’s on a single card. So the fact that the new card is able to be beat essentially two previous generation GPU’s is an impressive feat. The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition tops the Pro Duo by having both a higher base and boost clock, which equates to higher overall TeraFLOPs performance, especially at half precision. While the Vega card technically has lower memory clocks, those looking to buy should keep in mind that it is utilizing the new High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) interface. HBM2 memory has a higher memory bus width that results in double the total memory bandwidth. The full specification comparison can be seen below:

Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Radeon Pro Duo (Polaris) Radeon Pro WX 7100 Radeon Fury X
Stream Processors 4096 2x 2304 2304 4096
Texture Units 2x 144 144 256
ROPs 64 2x 32 32 64
Base/Typical Clock 1382MHz N/A N/A N/A
Peak/Boost Clock 1600MHz 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 1.89 Gbps HBM2 7 Gbps GDDR5 7 Gbps GDDR5 1 Gbps HBM
Memory Bus Width 2048-bit 2x 256-bit 256-bit 4096-bit
Memory Bandwidth 483 GB/sec 2x 224 GB/sec 224 GB/sec 512 GB/sec
VRAM 16 GB 2x 16 GB 8 GB 4 GB
Typical Board Power <300W 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: $999
Liquid: 1499
$999 $649 $649


If ever there was a time to reinvest in AMD products, whether it be the new CPU or GPU products, there is no better time than now. AMD has made an outstanding effort to revitalize their hardware offerings this year, with price points that make them fiercely competitive. For anyone still on the fence about purchasing a Ryzen CPU or a Vega GPU, these new offerings require thorough consideration. Initial performance figures and specifications indicate that these new architectures are sure to impress and help secure more market share.