AMD Radeon Vega 8 Mobile GPU Lacks HBM 2
Samuel Wan / 1 year ago
After using variations of GDDR and DDR memory for years, the industry is finally moving on. AMD starting things off with HBM based on their GCN architecture. After testing to waters, the company moved onto HBM 2 with their new Vega GPUs. In addition to desktop Vega, AMD is releasing mobile variants starting with Vega 8. According to new information, it appears that Vega 8 will not be using HBM 2.
With Vega, AMD is targetting a large range of mobile GPU performance. Despite keeping the Vega moniker, Vega 8 is no powerhouse. The key clue is the name which denotes 8 CUs or 512 shader units. Current APUs have the same amount of shaders in their iGPU as well. Keeping in line with that level of performance, the memory used for Vega 8 won’t even be dedicated GDDR or DDR but system DDR4.
Vega 8 Performance Limited by System Memory
By cutting out any dedicated memory, AMD is going for maximum efficiency and cost-cutting. Vega 8 will be a counter to the MX 110 and MX 130 and a decent but not overwhelming upgrade over Intel iGPUs. Depending on firmware version, the GPU will be able to address from 512MB to 1GB of system DDR4. This puts performance roughly in the same area as AMD’s latest Zen and Vega APUs which also use system DDR4 memory.
While it is nice to see Vega arrive as a mobile dGPU, Vega 8 has a very small niche. AMD is pushing out new Ryzen APUs with similar iGPU performance and even Intel is bundling in Vega for their chips. With the advances made in Vega however, the new chip should offer stronger performance than expected compared to Nvidia. It will be interesting to see how performance plays out in the real world.