This week, AMD released the Radeon VII GPU, with the first 7nm chip in the world. The card competes against Nvidia’s family of Turing-based GPUs. And it does by barely matching the RTX 2080 and easily surpassing the RTX 2060.

However, it also matches the RTX 2080 on price at about $700, albeit shipping with a game bundle (wich includes a Resident Evil 2 Remake). We can say, without any doubt, the price is not convincing at all.

Both AMD and Nvidia are becoming increasingly expensive. It seems PC Build is not just for PC enthusiasts, but for PC enthusiasts with some money to spare

The card began as a professional GPU for scientific computing and heavy workloads. It means we’ll probably won’t see lower-end alternatives.

That section -the budget AMD GPUs- is for the 7nm Navi processors arriving late 2019.

AMD Radeon VII
AMD Radeon VII. Source: ExtremeTech.

AMD’s budget alternative: Navi architecture

Navi is AMD’s first new 7nm GPU architecture. It gives AMD a chance to hit the reset button after launching a not very compelling. In fact, we can say the same about Nvidia, as the Turing-based series is expensive than ever.

Nvidia has moved its pricing relentlessly higher while holding performance per dollar as their constant.

For example,  example, while the RTX 2060 is fairly more expensive than Nvidia’s older and Pascal-based GTX 1070 Ti (a very high-end card), Turing architecture doesn’t really offer a great deal of performance improvement.

AMD is not covered in budget glory, either. The $700 Radeon VII, albeit faster than its predecessors, has no last-gen equivalents and no budget alternatives.

Although it’s uncompromisingly faster than the Vega 64, it also requires double the power (300W) and makes much more noise. So, in the end, it limits its overall appeal while also matching the RTX 2080 high-end price.

Price-per-performance is getting worse

Putting it in numbers, the Radeon VII is 1.75 times more expensive than Vega 64 just for a 1.32 increase in 4K performance. Not an excellent ratio for being a super-ultra-high-end GPUs.

However, both Nvidia and AMD have to deliver better and better performance for the dollar. And, as of now, the graphics card market is more expensive than ever.

It’s surprising, then, that both alternatives have so little to show for their on their new GPUs. The units are, as always, a bit faster, a bit better, a bit more useful…and a lot pricier.

AMD has a second shot at 7nm architecture with Navi. A chance to make a brand-new design that’s intended for the gaming market and gamers with a budget.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Source: ExtremeTech.

Furthermore, the only card that really pushed tech forward was the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. And that’s a $1,200 card. That has never happened before.

Although the RTX 2060, RTX 2070, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Ti, and Radeon VII are not bad cards, pricing still matters. The GPU market has always delivered better performance for the same price.

High expectations on Navi

Radeon VII started as a high-end professional and scientific product, just like the whole GPU market began. Because of that, the pricing is very high.

Navi is AMD’s next-gen graphics architecture; which will either supplant current Vega architecture or become an alternative.

There have been plenty of rumours about Navi. Many say performance will land between the RTX 2060 and the RTX 2070.

Furthermore, the consistent rumour is that the first Navi graphics cards will be a mid-range unit. Also, it will have a high-end version.

Or, maybe, customers are just willing to pay more and more for performance improvements. What do you think? Leave your comment down below.


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