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By Jessica Brown On 11 Jan, 2018 At 10:13 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGood news for all you retrogamers out there: CES isn’t always about making bold strides into the future.

Hyperkin has just unveiled what it’s tentatively calling the “Ultra Game Boy” and is it ever a treat for those who are really into the classics. This new piece of hardware won’t come with any built-in titles (it is a third-party item, after all), but it will feature the ability to play all of your favorites on a brand-new device, sparing your old Game Boy from additional wear and tear. The device features an aluminum body, a built-in battery that can go for up to six hours, a USB-C charge port, stereo speakers, and left and right audio output ports. And if that isn’t enough to win you over, the Ultra Game Boy features a backlit screen, no longer requiring you to sit under a lamp or buy one of those clunky light attachments for gaming in the dark. The system will feature the traditional volume and contrast wheels, but it will also feature a new third wheel that can adjust the color of the backlight all the way through the RGB spectrum.

Of course, you’ll have to bring your own cartridges to the experience, but the Ultra Game Boy will breathe some new life into these classics. While it’s possible that the device will also be able to play Game Boy Color games, we’ll have to wait for more details about that.

The Ultra Game Boy is set to release sometime in the late summer of this year and should be just under $100. Stay tuned for more details as they become available!

By Jessica Brown On 10 Jan, 2018 At 08:04 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThrough a partnership with Asus, Acer, and HP, NVIDIA will be bringing their Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) to the masses…Well, those in the masses that can afford them!

These large displays are to accommodate PC gamers that are tired of gaming on “small” gaming monitors, but who don’t want to pick up a big 4K TV to game on because they feel like it will be a downgrade in features. The BFGDs are meant to meet them in the middle, offering high-end monitor quality features mixed with the benefit of a massive display size seen in larger consumer TVs.

Here’s what you’ll get if you can afford one of these behemoth displays:

  • 65″ screen size
  • 4K resolution (3840×2160)
  • 120 Hz native refresh rate
  • NVIDIA G-Sync technology
  • Low Input Latency
  • PC-tuned HDR
  • DCI-P3 color gamut with Quantum Dot technology
  • 1,000 nit peak brightness
  • Integrated NVIDIA Shield

There’s no official word on what the price of these screens will be, but don’t count on them being very affordable.

Meanwhile, if you’re seeking a large-format PC display but don’t want to splurge on something like this, it looks like TCL may have some viable alternatives (featuring full Dolby Vision support and low input lag) to consider in their upcoming 6 and 5 Series 4K TVs.

By Jessica Brown On 10 Jan, 2018 At 07:19 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Ozobot, the makers of award-winning coding robots, announced that a major update is coming that will reward Evo users:

Effective immediately, Ozobot is rolling out a leveling system that tracks users’ progress and rewards them even when using Evo without a tablet or smartphone. [This update] enables the company to reward Evo users for all the innovative ways they play, create, and share using the robot.

The update will be available to demo at the company’s booth this week at CES in Las Vegas. Here’s what users can expect from this:

  • New Level System: “Users can now get rewarded for and level up from their activities with Evo, from playing with Evo’s Tricks, to choreographing music and lights, to coding. As users level up, they earn coins which they can spend on things like upgraded avatars.”
  • Upgraded Avatars
  • OzoBlockly Update: “The app’s OzoBlockly section now features six sample programs that have been coded to highlight what Evo can do.”
  • Unplugged Play: “The new level system connects physical play with digital technology. For example, when kids program Evo with Ozobot’s patented Color Codes, which let them code their robots using nothing more than paper and markers, Evo remembers their activities and automatically rewards them the next time they connect to the app.”
  • New Design, Sound Effects, and Music

For more information, be sure to visit Ozobot’s website (and if you happen to be at CES this year, stop by their booth!).

 

Source: PR Email

By Jessica Brown On 9 Jan, 2018 At 09:35 AM | Categorized As Featured, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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With the Consumer Electronics Show just getting started in Las Vegas (the event runs January 9-12) we are already starting to get inundated with tons of pretty displays to ogle at. CES may be a lot of things, but it’s often all about extremes. Here, companies will showcase technology that is still a long ways off from ever becoming mainstream and, for those things that may be commercially available in the near future, they are often incredibly expensive. Many of the products shown off are things that most of us could only dream of owning, but at least the show affords people a glimpse of things to come. It’s also realistically about driving investor interest by showcasing various things these companies are working on in order to show that they are truly leaders in the industry.

That all said, though, CES also shows us some of the things that are going to be hitting the mainstream, even if they would be considered far less exciting than things like Samsung’s new 146 inch TV called “The Wall.”

Samsung is one of the companies that’s really taking off at CES already, showing off the aforementioned behemoth of a modular TV, but also demoing their new 8K Q9S TV (yes, you read that right: four times the resolution of a 4K TV!). At 7680×4320, the Q9S has an insanely high resolution, even for a panel of its size (85 inches). Also, it faces the issue of their being pretty much no 8K content available to view on it. That’s not a problem for Samsung, though, as they claim the TV’s “AI” is capable of smart scaling, learning from the various sources you feed it in order to get better at scaling almost any resolution up to its massive 8K native resolution, resulting in what they say will be an amazingly sharp viewing experience. Samsung has also spent a good deal of time talking about their MicroLED display technology – the company’s answer to LG’s popular high-end OLED displays that are capable of reaching ultra deep black levels. These MicroLEDs will also be able to turn off completely (much like an OLED display’s pixels can), resulting in very rich images as well.

Most of that stuff from Samsung is well beyond the true consumer market at this time, but thankfully companies like Hisense and TCL (both relative newcomers to the North American TV scene) have stepped up to fill in some gaps. Hisense will be offering a new lineup of 4K TVs sometime this year, ranging from the super high-end H10E TV (featuring a whopping 2,200 nits of peak brightness) all the way down to their more budget-friendly H8E and H6E displays. The top-of-the-line H10E will only come in a 75 inch variety, but will feature a massive 1,076 local dimming zones (to deliver life-like black levels), a 120Hz native display, and will use an Android TV system that works with Alexa and Google Home. The H9E+ has many of the same features, but lacks the quantum-dot color touted by the premium model. The more budget friendly models should also still be pretty excellent purchases, with options going up to 65-inches and featuring full HDR10 support.

More exciting to me is TCL bringing back its very popular P series of TVs, now branded as the “TCL 6 Series.” The 6 Series will feature both 55 and 65 inch models, both of which come with three HDMI 2.0a ports (allowing for HDR support on every port), Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, enhanced contrast control zones, a new feature called “HDR Pro Gamma,” wide color gamut, and “240Hz Natural Motion.” TCL also says that a 5 Series will be available, featuring displays ranging from 45 to 65 inches, and offering essentially the same features, minus the sleek metal design the 6 Series will have. Both lines of TVs should start becoming available this spring and should make for some excellent options for those in the market for a higher-end display that’s easier on your wallet.

With CES having only just started, there’s plenty more mainstream (and insanely high-end!) stuff to look forward to!

By Jessica Brown On 11 Nov, 2017 At 04:57 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Featured, Interviews, PC Games, Previews, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Haste is a software and infrastructure designed to improve gamers’ connections to the Internet by reducing jitter and packet loss while lowering ping to fantastic levels. In a nutshell, this is achieved through a proprietary software and a new infrastructure they have put in place with participating game servers, but this new service which is in its infancy has its sights set much higher.

Thankfully, Haste Founder and CEO Adam Toll was happy to answer some of our questions about this new service!

Q: “Haste” seems to be all about improving ping while reducing packet loss and jitter to overall improve a user’s connection to a game. Is there any information you can give us about how this is attained and what results you can expect on average?

Adam Toll: Haste was designed specifically to reduce latency in gaming by routing game traffic as directly and efficiently as possible. To do this, we engineered a cutting-edge network that employs fiber optic lines, switches and servers in key locations, including adjacent to the game servers.

Running on top of that, we have our proprietary network software which includes everything from proprietary route optimization algorithms to redundant pathing, so there’s no single point of failure. Finally, we have the software that gamers install on their game machines.

Because of the nature of the internet, results vary widely based on variables including location, hardware, ISP, etc., but we often see a reduction in ping and an elimination of packet loss and jitter.

The best thing is for gamers to just try Haste for themselves. We offer a free 14-day trial and diagnostic tools like Haste Check, so gamers can see exactly how Haste will impact their network performance.

Q: Currently it looks like Haste is focused on League of Legends, Overwatch, and CS:GO. What other titles do you expect to expand support for over the next year or so?

Adam Toll: Right, we spent most of this year building out our platform while in beta. We launched with Overwatch and League of Legends and just added CS:GO.

We’re now aggressively rolling out support for the top game titles and plan to add at least half a dozen games over the next two months, including such titles as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Dota 2, World of Tanks and Paladins.

Next year we’ll continue to add support for all the major titles.

Q: Are there any plans to expand Haste support in some way over to popular gaming consoles in order to improve the player’s connection in competitive titles?

Adam Toll: Absolutely, we are starting to work with both ISPs and hardware manufacturers towards solutions that will encompass any device connected to the internet. So not just console, but mobile as well.  With Haste embedded in an ISP’s infrastructure, and/or with a Haste-enabled Wi-Fi router at home, we can optimize traffic from any device.

Q: While Haste seems like it would really benefit the titles it currently focuses on, what about improving and stabilizing connections to platforms like Steam, to improve both network stability during Steam online gaming as well as perhaps improving overall download speeds? Would this be possible in the future?

Adam Toll: Apart from a few Valve titles, most of the games on Steam are hosted independently on the game companies’ servers versus a universal Steam server (Author’s note: I didn’t know that!).  As such, Haste will continue to roll out support for more titles with the end goal of supporting almost every game.  

While we’re currently focused on optimizing the internet for gaming, it is possible for Haste to improve download speed and might be something we focus on in the future.

Q: As a related question, what about connections to popular streaming sites or upload servers, namely to Twitch or YouTube/YT Gaming. Packet loss can have a terrible effect on online game streaming, so I wonder if Haste could one day help in that area too?

Adam Toll: Yes, in the future, we believe Haste might be able to optimize streaming video in the same way we’re optimizing gaming now. This would further benefit streamers and their fans by providing faster, smoother connections to streaming content.

Q: And finally, to sum up, a little, do you see Haste being used outside of a game-to-user connection? Perhaps with online streaming or other related activities?

Adam Toll: Absolutely.  While we’re 100% focused today on fighting lag in gaming, we see a future where Haste is optimizing the internet for any number of real-time applications. This could include streaming, VOIP communications, networked VR and many other applications.

 

It certainly sounds like Haste has some great plans for the future! Right now, they are running a free 14-day trial of their software, so if you’re curious to see how it may help you with its currently-supported games, be sure to give it a try!

By Jessica Brown On 30 Oct, 2017 At 01:32 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, PC Games, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Cloud-based gaming is an idea that has been tossed around for a little while now, but Parsec is hoping to make low-latency, high-quality gaming a reality on almost any device you own. Parsec’s customized software will allow you to connect to your own PC and stream your library of games to almost anything while also allowing you to share your own PC for this purpose with friends and family. Yet, beyond this, it also allows you to build your own “virtual computer” by buying usage hours on a supercomputer owned by either Amazon or Paperspace and thus have a high-end gaming experience without having to own a high-end PC.

Is it too good to be true? How does it all come together?

Parsec’s CEO Benjy Boxer was kind enough to answer some of my questions on this and more!

Q: Whenever I hear bold statements about how someone’s cloud-gaming platform will be able to rival an in-home gaming PC experience I admittedly become a bit skeptical. What is it that makes Parsec different in this space that would make this promise more able to be fulfilled?

Benjy Boxer: At Parsec, we don’t actually believe that our software can rival your in-home gaming experience. However, our goal is to provide casual gamers (those who spend less than 8 hours a week gaming) with the ability to experience PC gaming without having to invest in expensive hardware. You can save substantial money playing this way and depending on your games and perception to lag, not feel much of a difference versus a PC at home.

Some gamers may not notice a significant difference when using Parsec, but that depends on your game and distance from the cloud machine. We feel very strongly that we have made the right decisions to deliver the lowest latency possible for streaming games over the internet – we built our own networking protocol to reduce latency further. With that being said, Parsec is not like other cloud gaming companies. We offer a streaming software and platform that can be used on any gaming PC. So if you have your gaming PC at home, you can remotely access it. Perhaps more importantly, you can invite friends to co-play games or watch you play games for virtual hangouts and reliving the old days of couch gaming. Parsec is great for people who have gaming PCs because it gives them the power to do new things like co-play.

Q: NVIDIA has been doing something similar with GeForce now for a little bit, but their PC/Mac pricing scheme seems a bit aggressive. Also, they seem to have two distinct platforms, one being for computers and the other for their NVIDIA Shield. Did this inspire your vision with Parsec, making it more universal for users?

Benjy Boxer: We were inspired to build Parsec based on this blog post. It gave us the idea that it may actually be possible to stream games with low enough latency if you were to build software specifically for that purpose. We were not seeking to build a cloud gaming product, and we don’t think Parsec is a cloud gaming product like Geforce Now. We think of Parsec as a platform for accessing your games and playing games with your friends. Now, if you don’t have a gaming PC, you can rent one from one of our providers (AWS and Paperspace) and then connect to it via Parsec. But you can also connect to your home PC using Parsec or invite friends to connect and play games with you.

 

Q: When it comes to streaming games, even over a local network, input lag is a real concern. You already have whatever input lag exists between your controller/keyboard and your display, and this gets compounded by transmitting over a network. What would the average input lag be playing a game through Parsec and, if you can share this, what is it that keeps it as low as possible?

Benjy Boxer: Here’s some testing we’ve done:

From our testing, Parsec does not add more than one frame of lag on top of the lag the game engine already adds when it’s running on the computer. There will also be lag introduced by the ping between two machines. We’ve worked really hard to reduce our latency and have built custom networking code and our own capture, encode, decode, render pipeline.

Q: To follow up with the previous question, obviously a little input lag is just fine and most gamers won’t notice it. However, for those competitive gamers playing very fast-paced games, will Parsec be a viable option or will they need to stick to the more traditional, in-home route of gaming?

Benjy Boxer: We have lots of people winning games on PUBG, Overwatch, and other shooting games. That being said, I would assume that competitive gamers will never stream from a remote device – every millisecond matters. It’s like many professional musicians will never switch to Spotify because the minute sound differences matter, but for the casual gamer, it’s probably not going to be noticeable just like the casual listener to music is totally cool with streaming music.

Q: There’s no question that, despite what marketing and salespeople would like us to believe, 1080p is still the mainstream video format. However, with more people moving up to 1440p or 4K displays, does Parsec have a long-term plan to eventually supporting 1440p/4K gaming for those with the network to handle it?

Benjy Boxer: We already support 1440p at whatever refresh rate you want. We actually support up to 2k. It just takes a lot more bandwidth and can add latency to the encoder, which is why we mostly advertise 1080p. We’ll be able to push 4K when we add support for the h.265 codec.

Q: To follow up with Question 5, HDR is another thing that some pioneering gamers will care about (or at least games that support a 10-bit color space). Admittedly, only a few do this right now, but I imagine this will continue to change as time goes on. Will Parsec be able to handle rendering with higher color gamuts and HDR’s enhanced contrast? If not at 4K, perhaps at least HDR/wide-color at a scaled down 1080p?

Benjy Boxer: This isn’t something that we’re focused on right now. Generally speaking, more data means higher bandwidth requirements and higher strain on encoders and decoders. As the technology becomes viable and available to lots of people, we’ll work on making it possible. But it’s sort of a fight between codecs (h.264, h.265, v10) and bandwidth availability (up and down bandwidth).

Q: Personally, I’m someone that has a very high-end rig (i7 7700K, 32GB DDR4 3000, NVME SSD, GTX 1080 Ti), but the prospect of being able to game on any device is still alluring to me. Will there be any enthusiast options for gamers that don’t want to compromise on quality?

Benjy Boxer: Well, we really hope that you are able to use Parsec today from home and don’t feel like too much of the quality is lost when you access your gaming rig on another device or outside your home. We can’t claim it will be the same as sitting in front of that rig, but we’re working really hard to make it as close as possible if you have the right networking setup. Also, we hope you find value in inviting a friend watching you play or opting to co-op offline games, like Cuphead, with a friend online.

Q: Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and YouTube itself are very popular for Let’s Players and streamers. Obviously, streaming and recording footage at 1080p60 is a pretty demanding task for even a high-end computer, however people love sharing their gameplay online. Will Parsec have any features to allow this?

Benjy Boxer: Actually, a few streamers are doing this already. They get value in being able to play the game on the cloud machine, capture the Parsec window, and push that video directly up to Twitch from their local set up. This reduces tons of strain on the local gaming PC and lets the streamer use the local hardware for streaming and the cloud hardware for gaming. Here’s an example.

Q: As a follow-up to that, what about allowing these higher-end CPUs and GPUs to do some video encoding, for those wanting to put videos together for YouTube. Again, that’s a demanding and time-consuming task and one that people might like to offload onto a cloud system, even if they have a high end PC at home (as this would free it up to do other tasks, such as gaming!). Have you considered this?

Benjy Boxer: We will support that, and I think some streamers have figured out how to do that already. We’re going to release a video of streaming PUBG from a Raspberry Pi connected to a Parsec gaming rig in AWS. The only thing stopping us right now is that we don’t pass the computer’s camera and pass that data to the cloud machine. You need that to be a full streaming solution without requiring local hardware.

 

Thank you again for doing this interview.

By otakuman5000 On 26 Sep, 2017 At 03:42 PM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech, Videos | With 0 Comments

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Three months ago, Atari stunned many fans by announcing during E3 they were making a new piece of hardware. Touting an AMD processor and Radeon graphics technology, it looks like Atari is not messing around here. Here is what they had to say about the console today.

NEW YORK, NY – September 26, 2017 –Atari®, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, today released new information about Ataribox, a product that brings gaming and more to the living room. The launch also signals a return by Atari to creating its own hardware in a broad eco-system of accessories and content.  Since we announced Ataribox three months ago, we have received more than 90,000 registrations on Ataribox.com.

Ataribox has a unique modern design, influenced by iconic Atari products such as the Atari 2600. Technology wise, it is powered by an AMD customized processor with Radeon Graphics technology. Ataribox will offer games and more: bringing a full PC experience to the TV, it will also include streaming, applications, social, browsing, and music.

Ataribox will run a Linux OS, with a user interface customized for the TV. Ataribox will launch with a large back-catalog of Atari classic games, and current titles from a range of studios.  Additional details on content and partnerships will be released at a later date. Given the open nature of the OS, players will also be able to access and play compatible games from other content platforms.

“With Ataribox, we wanted to create an open system, a killer product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible. Atari games and content will be available as well as games and content from other providers,” said Fred Chesnais, Atari Chief Executive Officer. “We also wanted to launch Ataribox with our community, and reward our fans with exclusive early access, special editions, and include them as active participants in the product rollout.”

Ataribox will first be made available via the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform this fall, with targeted global launch in Spring 2018. The expected price range will be $249-$299 USD depending on specific editions and memory configurations.

“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS,” said Feargal Mac, Ataribox General Manager. “We’ve chosen to launch Ataribox with Indiegogo given their focus on delivering technology products, and their strong international presence in over 200 countries, allowing us to reach and involve as many Atari fans around the world as possible.”

Sounds like they mean business. Here is the teaser trailer released a few months ago.

By Jessica Brown On 23 Sep, 2017 At 11:28 PM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Case designer Caudible has just unveiled its new line-up of cases for the upcoming iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus phones from Apple. Like with their other products, these new cases will fit with the company’s design philosophy of producing sleek, minimalist, and smart products to protect your investment.

Here’s some quick info from today’s press release:

In addition to the Veil XT, the gold standard for ultra thin cases, this year’s lineup includes cases like the popular Sheath and Synthesis, both of which feature drop-tested shock absorption in an ultra sleek design, and Lucid Clear, a crystal clear, impact-resistant case made from the same polymer used in bulletproof glass.

These new cases will be available for purchase from the company’s main website as well as worldwide resellers in October of 2017, but you can visit their website now to get a preview of what’s to come!

By Jessica Brown On 23 Sep, 2017 At 11:29 PM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Ninety7 Life, creators of the VAUX portable speaker, has come up with a wireless power solution for Google Home and Amazon Dot smart assistants! “These enormously popular devices provide an amazing array of features,” a September 20 press release states, “but need to be plugged-in to work.” Soon, this won’t be an issue!

The company has two new portable battery bases that are available for pre-order and will solve this issue: the LOFT for Google Home ($39.99) and the VOX for Amazon Dot ($29.99). Both will begin shipping in October of 2017.

For more information, head over to the Nintety7 Life website!

By Jessica Brown On 10 Sep, 2017 At 09:12 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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For quite some time, “wait for Vega” was the rallying cry of many AMD fans. After the R9 300 series of cards (with the 390X and the Fury cards offering quite a punch) in 2015, AMD backed off of the high-end market for a while. In 2016 they released their Polaris architecture under the RX 400 product line with the RX 480 capping things off for a very reasonable $250 USD. Having had a 290/X and a 390/X in the previous generations, many fans were wondering what AMD had in store for the unannounced RX 490 card. Was this the mysterious, high-end Vega architecture that would replace the year-old R9 Fury cards? As the months wore on, AMD remained mum on the topic and by the end of 2016 it became pretty clear that Vega would not be released as part of the 400 series of products. April of this year saw the release of the RX 500 cards (a modest refresh of the Polaris architecture), but once again there was no RX 590 offering in sight. Soon, though, AMD made it clear that Vega would be released as its own product category.

As far back as mid-2016, fans were saying that Vega would be the card to finally put NVIDIA in its place. Rumors were running wild about supposed specs for this next-generation card. It was clear that the card would make use of the next-generation High Bandwidth Memory 2 interface, but how much memory would be present and at what speed the GPU would be clocked to were all pure speculation at best. The Polaris cards, while great for the money, were designed to appeal to mainstream PC gamers wanting to play at a solid 1080p or dip into 1440p a bit, but these GPUs were not meant to trade blows with the higher-end Pascal cards. Even the RX 580, which was marginally better than the R9 390X (though, to be fair, coming out almost two years later), would only compete with a GTX 1060. “Don’t worry,” fans said, “Vega will stomp the 1080. Vega will be a Titan-killer!” The problem was, though, that when Vega was finally on the horizon this year, its performance claims were pitting it against cards that were nearly a year old, taking some of the wind out of their sails. Even though NVIDIA did refresh Pascal a bit this year with a faster GTX 1080 (featuring 11Gbps GDDR5X), Vega’s performance claims would pit it against the architecture from the previous production cycle.

But now that Vega has actually been released, how does it hold up against its main competition?

Honestly, things aren’t looking that great for Vega. As the release of the consumer RX Vega cards was getting close, performance showcases showed that Vega would trade blows with the GTX 1080. Knowing that more than one flavor of Vega would be released, it was unclear which version this was that was being shown. Some held out hope that it was more of a mid-tier Vega, with the “full Vega” being able to go toe-to-toe with the GTX 1080 Ti, but ultimately this turned out not to be the case. As it stands, the “full Vega” (referred to as RX Vega 64) was designed to compete with the GTX 1080, while the more cut down RX Vega 56 was designed as a GTX 1070 competitor. On paper, things actually looked pretty good. RX Vega 64 promised an MSRP of just $499 USD, meaning it would compete with a card that was $50 to $100 more than it, giving gamers some strong performance for their money (which has always been one of AMD’s goals). In the case of Vega 56, it would mean a $399 alternative to the GTX 1070 (which is a monster in the 1080p, 1440p, and VR markets) with a faster HBM2 memory interface as opposed to GDDR5. Unfortunately, though, on paper is where everything ends.

Ultimately, RX Vega 64 does trade blows quite nicely with the GTX 1080, overall across several benchmarks, even though the RX Vega 64 has many individual games where it can be a GTX 1080, it also has a few where it comes in a good bit slower. Overall, it seems like the GTX 1080 is around 10% faster on average than the RX Vega. “But hey, that’s not too bad – GTX 1080 performance for less money!” This statement may seem like a valid response, but once you factor in the next two things, it’s really not. First, there’s the obviously higher power-draw of the RX Vega 64 versus the GTX 1080. Vega 64 has a TDP of 295W while the GTX 1080 comes in at just 180W. That’s a pretty significant difference, especially when you consider the fact that it’ll draw a lot more power than that if you attempt to overclock it. To drive this fact home, PC Gamer concluded that you could run two GTX 1080 cards in SLI and draw less power than RX Vega 64 under heavy loads.

Then there’s the unavoidable fact that you can’t find Vega at anywhere close to its promised retail price. Vega production was exceptionally limited (something we knew would happen given the limited stock of HBM2 modules) and what few cards could be purchased at launch were immediately snapped up by cryptocurrency miners and after-market resellers. On NewEgg, it’s possible to snag an RX Vega 64 as part of the “Radeon Black Pack” that comes with a few extra goodies (intended to cut down on purchase from miners who didn’t care about gaming), but even this costs a minimum of $679.99 as opposed to the $599 MSRP suggested by Radeon.

Ultimately, it comes down to the question of whether or not you need to upgrade your GPU right now. If you already have a GTX 1070 or 1080 (or beyond), you’re good to go: no reason to think about upgrades right now. If you’re dealing with older architecture (a GTX 900 series card, or an older AMD model) it may be a different story. Also, if you own an RX 480 and want to jump into the realm of higher resolutions, you may find yourself shopping around for a new card.

At the end of the day, though, if you have nearly $700 to spend on a graphics card, RX Vega 64 doesn’t really offer a compelling reason to purchase it. You can get a GTX 1080 card for around $549 and not only will it draw much less power than the Vega 64, it’ll also outperform it around 10% of the time. If you are truly willing to spend $700 and think that you can stretch your budget a bit more, you may want to consider getting a GTX 1080 Ti – Vega 64 can’t even touch the performance of the Ti, and the Ti still consumes less power than the Vega!

Still, as disappointing as Vega is in many ways, it’s kind of par for the course for AMD lately. The R9 290/X and 390/X were rather power-hungry cards, yet they had the advantage at least of being priced competitively with NVIDIA cards while offering some very solid performance. In this way, Vega feels like a bit of a step in the wrong direction even despite some of its more advanced technology that’s powering it.

On the plus side, though, AMD has shaken up the CPU market with its Ryzen processors and in that case, if nothing else, it should make pricing more competitive for those wanting to pick up a new CPU in the near future!