AMD’s Raja Koduri Tweet Storm Addresses Radeon RX Vega Pricing, Power Consumption And The Competition
Raja Koduri, head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group, is back in the United States after spending two weeks in India, a combination of a vacation and visiting AMD's engineering sites in Hyderabad and Bangalore. While he was gone, there has been much chatter about AMD's recently launched Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card for gamers, including perceived price hikes and supply falling short of demand. If you are wondering what Koduri's take is on all that has transpired, you need only visiting his Twitter stream.
"I try to stay away from social media while traveling to be present where I am! Sometimes successfully. Looks like folks missed me too much," Koduri joked on Twitter, complete with a smiling emoticon.
It was the second of more than a dozen Twitter posts in response to all that he missed while he was gone. He jumped right into things by discussing the shortage, noting that AMD's supply teams are hard at work trying to increase availability. Koduri did not say what exactly the supply side is doing to ramp up production, though he did make a rather interesting observation that some of the critics seemed to have taken for granted.
"Every Vega we sell effectively adds a new user to our small base of enthusiasts gamers and it's in our best interest to enable a lot of them," Koduri said.
The difficulty there is that cryptocurrency miners are depleting inventories of popular cards, including the new Vega parts. It is frustrating for gamers, especially those who waited a long time specifically for Vega, and it surely does not help when AMD releases GPU drivers intended to help the mining community. While Koduri is sympathetic to that, he was careful not to choose a side.
we live in interesting times, where the gamer doesn't want the miners to buy and miners don't want the gamers to buy GPUs— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 29, 2017
As to Vega's power consumption, Koduri had plenty to say on the matter.
Seems like a lot of questions around power of Vega. The initial round of reviews didn't showcase the perf/watt dynamic range of Vega well.— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 29, 2017
New articles in the last few days showing interesting range of options. Vega10 has the largest perf/watt dynamic range than any GPU I recall— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 29, 2017
There is a dilemma of whether the default setup be optimized for perf/$ or perf/watt. Ideally both..but..— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 29, 2017
Sales data tends to favor perf/$, but some opinions favor perf/watt. We tried to give user options to default based on their preference— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 29, 2017
Even so, Koduri is high on the architecture and feels it may be getting a bad rap. He points out that if doing a performance per mm2 comparison, reviewers and analyst need to account for Vega 10 features competing with three different competitive SoCs (GP100, GP102, and GP104).
To really understand an architecture - you need to understand the architecture in the content of overall roadmap, tradeoff and constraints.— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 30, 2017
Infinity fabric on Vega is optimized for server. It's a very scalable fabric and you will see consumer optimized versions of it in future.— Raja Koduri (@GFXChipTweeter) August 30, 2017
At the time this was big news, we reached out to AMD and were told the following:
Radeon RX Vega 64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand. Our initial launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega 64 at SEP of $499, Radeon RX Vega 64 Black Packs at SEP of $599, and Radeon RX Vega 64 Aqua Packs at SEP of $699. We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega 64 including the standalone cards and Gamer Packs over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days.Koduri also addressed the rumor that AMD is losing $100 on every Vega card sold. While he did not come right out and say it, Koduri insinuated that the actual bill of materials for Vega is not what reports think they are.
So there you have it, a bit of clarification on Vega from the man himself. It's nice that Koduri took the time to explain some things on Twitter, though until AMD ramps up supply and is able to catch up with demand, none of this will mean a whole lot to gamers.