In a recent blogpost, after dealing with the nasty antics of a deluded AMD fanboy, I already discussed what we should and should not expect from AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX480.
Today, the NDA was lifted, and reviews appear everywhere on the internet. Cards are also becoming available in shops, and street prices become known. I will make this blogpost very short, because I really can’t be bothered:
I told you so. I told you:
- If AMD rates the cards at 150W TDP, they are not magically going to be significantly below that. They will be in the same range of power as the GTX970 and GTX1070.
- If AMD makes a comparison against the GTX970 and GTX980 in some slides, then that is apparently what they think they will be targeting.
- If AMD does not mention anything about DX12_1 or other fancy new features, it won’t have any such things.
- You only go for aggressive pricing strategy if you don’t have anything else in the sense of a unique selling point.
And indeed, all this rings true. Well, with 3. there is a tiny little surprise that AMD does actually make some vague claims to some ‘foveated rendering’ feature. But at this point it is not entirely clear what it does, how developers should use it, let alone how it performs.
So, all this shows just how good nVidia’s Maxwell really is. As I said, AMD is one step behind, becaue they missed the refresh-cycle that nVidia did on Maxwell. And this becomes painfully clear now: Even though AMD moved to 14nm FinFET, their architecture is so much worse in efficiency that they can only now match Maxwell’s performance-per-watt at 28 nm. Pascal is on a completely different level. Aside from that, Maxwell already has the DX12_1 featureset.
All this adds up to Polaris being too-little-too-late, which has become a time-honoured AMD tradition by now. At first, only in the CPU department. But lately the GPU department appears to have been reduced to the same.
So what do you do? You undercut the prices of the competition. Another time-honoured AMD tradition. This is all well-and-good for the short term. But nVidia is going to launch those GTX1050/1060 cards eventually (and rumour has it that it will be sooner rather than later), and then nVidia will have the full Pascal efficiency at its disposal to compete with AMD on price. This is a similar situation to the CPU department again, where Intel’s CPUs are considerably more efficient, so Intel can reach the same performance/price levels with much smaller CPUs, which are cheaper to produce. So AMD is always on the losing end of a price war.
Sadly, the street prices are currently considerably higher than what AMD promised us a few weeks ago. So even that is not really working out for them.
Right, I think that’s enough for today. We’ll probably pick this up again soon when the GTX1060 surfaces.