In case anyone is wondering, NVIDIA is not feeling threatened by AMD’s recently unveiled Radeon VII graphics card, which is the first implementation of a 7-nanometer GPU in a consumer gaming product. During a Q&A session with members of the media, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang called the overall performance of the Radeon VII “lousy” and said his company’s GeForce RTX 2080, which is priced the same, will “crush” it.
Image Source: Flickr via Maurizio Pesce
That’s really just barely scratching the surface of what Huang had to say—he railed on AMD’s product launch, shared his opinion about FreeSync, and even had something to say about Intel getting into discrete graphics.
“The performance is lousy and there’s nothing new,” Huang said in regards to the Radeon VII. “No ray tracking, no AI. It’s 7 nanometers with HBM memory that barely keeps up with a 2080. And if we turn on DLSS we’ll crush it. And if we turn on ray tracing we’ll crush it.”
Part of that statement is presumably conjecture on Huang’s part. The only available benchmarks of the Radeon VII are the ones AMD shared during the company’s keynote. One of the slides showed the Radeon VII hanging with a GeForce RTX 2080 in gaming performance, and even surpassing it in a Vulkan title.
The card will sell for $699 starting February 7. That’s $100 less than the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition, and the same price as reference models that are sold by some of NVIDIA’s third-party partners. What Huang is basically alluding to is the comparative value proposition of the GeForce RTX 2080 over the Radeon VII, as for the same money users can get access to real-time ray tracing and DLSS.
“It’s a weird launch, maybe they thought of it this morning,” Huang joked.
Obviously AMD disagrees with NVIDIA’s assessment. PCWorld asked AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su what she thought about Huang’s comments, to which she replied, “What I would say is that we’re very excited about Radeon VII, and I would probably suggest that he hasn’t seen it yet.”
Huang also had things to say about FreeSync this week. At the start of CES, NVIDIA announced it would support VESA’s open Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology, which AMD brands as FreeSync.
“[FreeSync] was never proven to work. As you know, we invented the area of Adaptive Sync. The truth is most of the FreeSync monitors do not work. They do not even work with AMD’s graphics cards,” Huang said.
That’s not entirely true, though Huang didn’t pull that statement out of thin air. NVIDIA said it tested 400 FreeSync panels for G-Sync compatibility, and found that only a dozen of them passed muster and would be enabled automatically. The rest require the user to manually enable G-Sync.
Finally, Huang took a shot at Intel and the graphic team it assembled.
“Intel’s graphics team is basically AMD, right? I’m trying to figure out AMD’s graphics team,” Huang said.
Part of these comments are all in good fun, rather than being ill-willed. Huang also noted that “there’s a lot less competition” between NVIDIA an Intel “than there is collaboration.” Still, it’s a lot of salt Huang had in his pocket, and he’s been sprinkling it liberally at CES this week. Fun times.