AMD Ryzen discussion


3000 series is looking to be a BEAST.


With Intel apparently targeting the sub $300 market with the discrete gpu they are shipping next year, AMD really needs to figure something out.


Maaaaaybe. But past history shows that Intel’s attempts at GPUs (discrete ones too) have be shit. Not the shit. Just shit.



Well they hired Raja Koduri away from AMD to lead the effort, so possible it will go different than the previous attempt. They have hired a number of AMD folks to work on the effort.


Where does the perception of Koduri as some kind of a rainmaker come from? His leadership at AMD produced only two GPUs which were two of their worst turkeys, the Polaris and the Vega. Obviously he can’t take the full blame for that given the dire straits AMD was in at the time. But nor should he be getting any particular credit.


He was CTO of the graphics product group from 2001 until 2009 prior to his 4 year stint at Apple, so I’m guessing his leadership was involved in the product line from that period as well? I’m not saying he is a miracle worker that is magically going to shit a gold brick, but they seem to be serious about making this effort different than what they’ve tried in the past.


Polaris was and still is a fantastic GPU. It launched at $199 with GTX970-class performance and very reasonable power utilization (150w) back in 2016, when GTX-970s were $300+. You know how much the cheapest Nvidia card with GTX970-class performance costs on Amazon today, the GTX1060? $210. Three years later!

The problem is AMD hasn’t been able to follow Polaris. The RX-580 was the same GPU given much more power (185w), generating more heat, and the RX-590 even more so (a whopping 225w). Three years, no new $200 GPU.

Imagine if AMD launched a RX-680 today with GTX-1070/1660-class performance at $200. The streets would run green with blood.


Ah, the old “there’s no bad products, only bad prices” theory. Unless I’m totally misremembering things, the $200 SKU was the 4GB one that was produced in such limited quantities that it might as well have been a paper launch. The real 8GB 480 was priced the same as a 1060.

Polaris was a bad GPU on most dimensions. It was big and slow. To try to make it less slow, AMD brutally overclocked it out the gate. So it also ended up running hot and with little overclocking headroom. The only remaining dimension AMD had to work with was the cost.

But they couldn’t sufficiently undercut the 1060, since the 480 was more expensive to manufacture than the 1060. It was a bigger die on a comparable process and needing more memory. So the 1060 ended up 5x more popular on the Steam hardware survey.


The RX-480 was a great GPU at a great price. The refreshes were neither.


Yes, the 480 is the GPU that I was talking about. That’s why I wrote “480” rather than “580”. If it truly had been a great card at a great price, why did it sell so badly?

Here’s three statements:

  • The 8GB 480 and the 6GB 1060 were both MSRP ~$250 cards.
  • Ignoring price, the 6GB 1060 was a better card than the 480.
  • The 4GB 480 was a paper launch, not sold in meaningful quantities

I think they’re all true. I also think they combine to show that the 480 wasn’t a competitive product. Which one do you disagree with?


RX480 4GB initially released in limited quantities because it actually had 8GB of VRAM on the card, cut down to 4GB in firmware so AMD could make their $199 pricepoint at launch.

AIB card makers released real 4GB models the next month in July 2016 and they were readily available at $199. Typically the 4GB models weren’t heavily pre-overclocked so they did come in at that price.

Coincidentally that next month, July 2016, is when the GTX1060 6GB released at $250. It was fifty dollars more than the RX480 4GB and $10 more than the RX480 8GB, ignoring discounts. Then the GTX1060 3GB came out in August specifically to compete at that $199 pricepoint.

The RX480 was a great card at a great price, but Nvidia is a strong competitor. Nvidia released a card that was ~15% faster and more power efficient. This led to the RX480 8GB being discounted to $220, where it still made some impact, but I certainly wouldn’t have purchased one over a GTX1060 if we hopped in a time machine back to August 2016. Doesn’t make the RX480 a bad card, it wasn’t. It was amazing to get that level of price/performance. Nvidia just beat it.

The GTX1060 is a fantastic example why it’s important to have competition. Without the RX480, God only knows what would Nvidia have charged.