Today saw the launch of the new VEGA Frontier Edition VGA card from AMD, and people expecting the grail of gaming cards had sort of a hiccup, since VEGA is NOT a gaming card at all. So what exactly is VEGA Frontier Edition? Let’s define the new product from AMD starting from what is not: a gaming product. Yet, there are still some people that could argue with that assumption, since AMD came out with a “gaming mode” for its drivers, so VEGA is indeed a gaming card after all, is it? I mean, why include a “gaming mode” in the drivers if not for gaming?
But let me state this clear: VEGA is a mid-range professional card using non-certified drivers that can (but I wouldn’t) play the occasional game with high fps and exceptional graphics experience. Does this make it a gaming VGA card? absolutely not, just as the usually gaming branded Nvidia 1080ti is capable of rendering the occasional 3d scene for the architect without problems, still not using certified drivers to do so and probably taking a couple of seconds longer than a TESLA or QUADRO powered card.
So, what is the big deal with a ~1000USD VGA card that is a bit faster than gaming VGAs from the competitors at the same price point in professional benchmarks and that can actually also do some gaming, you would ask?
The point is that VEGA Frontier Edition is a after all a very nice card, offering some great performance right out of the box in the professional environment, thus allowing SMBs to develop and visualize products faster and better with a product that is half or even 1/3 the price of a real professional video card using certified drivers. That is the big deal. And honestly speaking, who was expecting it to be a gamer’s card got it all wrong.
You see, the VGA market is not only about gaming. And who cares if the new VEGA Frontier Edition cannot play Crysis (I bet someone, somewhere, already asked that stupid question…). Gaming is a segment of a more vast market, which also includes discreet VGAs, embedded VGAs, professional VGAs and what have you. So AMD is only targeting another segment, and in that probably a much more profitable for them, of the entire VGA ecosystem, actually offering a video card that performs pretty well in professional applications (emphasis on “professional”), without having to use certified drivers, at a much lower cost than a Quadro or TESLA VGA.
So is VEGA what people were waiting months and saving their hard earned dollars for? The answer is, well, that it depends on who actually those people are. Gamers will surely be disappointed, but SMBs on a budget won’t.
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