Who's going to make custom AMD RX Vega 64 cards? Short answer: maybe no-one

Asus ROG RX Vega STRIX

Update September 29, 2017: Contradictory to the rumours yesterday, Guru3D are being told by their own sources at Gigabyte, that possibly four RX Vega cards will be released late October - including RX Vega 64. The reason for the delay in cards seems to be stock issues, the same issues that are currently affecting the majority of board partners.

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Original story September 28, 2017: Custom-designed AMD Vega graphics cards aren’t expected to arrive until mid-October, with some of the largest of their board partners, now including Gigabyte, MSI, and Sapphire, foregoing the flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 card entirely.

The latest news comes from the German wing of Tom’s Hardware, which indicates that Gigabyte will not be releasing a custom-designed RX Vega 64 card, possibly only favouring the RX Vega 56 for their custom designs. With shortages of Vega GPU packages rumoured to continue until mid-October, Gigabyte may be tempted to drop plans for any custom RX Vega cards altogether. This follows indications that MSI and Sapphire will also not be developing their own designs for one of, if not both, the released RX Vega cards.

MSI have also indicated that they are no longer going to be developing any custom design RX Vega cards, preferring to instead focus on moving as many of the reference card designs as they can get their hands on. MSI have a luxury not afforded to all board partners, in that they can still cater to enthusiast gamers with their Nvidia graphics cards, unlike exclusively AMD board partners such as Sapphire.

We’ve heard Sapphire may also only be favouring the RX Vega 56 with a custom design, potentially leaving the RX Vega 64 on the back-burner indefinitely. This is quite a warning sign for future custom Vega cards, considering Sapphire saw phenomenal success with their impressive Polaris-based Nitro designs.

One manufacturer has, tentatively, thrown in their lot with AMD’s latest tech, with Asus already giving some reviewers hands-on with their latest RX Vega Strix card. The initial performance of the card has been far from encouraging though, with unspectacular performance when held up against AMD’s reference card design. It’s entirely possible that the early samples sent out to reviewers may be the only Strix Vega 64s to see the light of day, as release dates are shaky at best going forward.

The only custom design the world has been privy to has so far failed to impress, and without a drastic supply surplus from AMD, it currently looks like an October release for fancy RX Vega cards, with new coolers and tweaked clocks, may be yet another straw man.

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