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AMD AIB ASRock is the first manufactorer to present a custom version of the Radeon VII. However, it is the reference design.
Radeon VII: No Customs – right?
At CES 2019 the time had come. AMD has introduced a new graphics card, the Radeon VII. The graphics card is the consumer version of the Radeon Instinct MI50 and the company’s first 7nm graphics card for end customers. It is a slightly trimmed Vega 20 chip, the 7nm version of the Vega 10 chip. With 60 compute units and the resulting 3,840 shaders paired with 16 GB HBM2 memory and a memory interface speed of 1 TB/s, the Radeon VII will also compete against the RTX 2080 from Nvidia in the gaming sector. But due to the memory, it should be interesting especially for content creators. With an MSRP price of 699 US dollars, the graphics card is not exactly cheap. And already in the run-up there were some news and rumors that made AMD fans sit up and take notice.
One of the worst rumors is that with the Radeon VII AMD has to record a loss on the sale of each unit. As a result, there will be fewer than 5,000 graphics cards at the start, while custom models are not planned at all. In general, the board partners have no cards planned. The fact that no custom models are available at the beginning is actually common at AMD. The board partners will first release reference versions with their own logo and packaging, the custom graphics cards will follow later. Exactly the same will apparently happen with the Radeon Vega VII.
ASRock Radeon VII Phantom Gaming unveiled
The still quite new AMD board partner ASRock was the first to show up. A picture of the ASRock Radeon Vega VII Phantom Gaming appeared in a Chinese forum. It is the reference design of AMD. Only on the fans there are stickers with the Phantom Gaming and the ASRock logo. The packaging is in the usual Phantom Gaming design from ASRock. Accordingly, there are few surprises. The board partners Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor and Sapphire have also confirmed to Hardwareluxx behind closed doors that there will be Radeon VII reference designs from them.
Custom designs possible, too
Hardwareluxx was also able to obtain another important piece of information from the board partners. Thus, contrary to rumours, AMD does not prohibit the board partners from offering custom models of the Radeon VII. The company leaves it up to each board partner to decide which designs come onto the market. But the reference versions are definitely the beginning. Whether the board partners are allowed to develop their own PCBs is still unknown. Most board partners will probably wait to see how high the demand is and then decide whether to develop custom designs as well. Especially the AMD-exclusive manufacturers Sapphire, PowerColor and ASRock might tend towards this step because they only offer AMD graphics cards. Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, however, also offer GeForce graphics cards from Nvidia and are therefore less dependent on the new Vega GPU.
The Radeon VII will be officially released on February 7. Whether the reference versions of the board partners are already available at this time is still unknown. AMD also sells the graphics card directly. Also the prices for Europe are not yet known, only the US price of 699 US dollars.