Amongst the sea of cutting-edge televisions and wireless charging pads sits a jewel on the 2018 CES show floor that comes from two unlikely partners, AMD and Intel. The introduction of Ryzen early last year has caused AMD to be somewhat a thorn in the side of Intel with photographers and videographers building new machines based around the new chipset.
Intel did not sit idly by as demonstrated by their release of the new 8th generation Coffee Lake series of CPUs and, in a more recent effort, sniping AMD’s lead GPU architect. So it came as a huge surprise when both Silicon Valley giants announced that they were joining forces in efforts to fulfill the needs of consumers who desire more power and thinner hardware. The benefits of their partnership, have come to fruition with the introduction of the new G-series.
AMD has competition on two fronts: its CPU line against Intel and its GPU line against Nvidia which poses the question of why wouldn’t Intel team up with Nvidia to take on AMD? To follow the adage ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend‘, the partnership between Intel and AMD will result in significantly slimmer and faster machines.
It also appears as though Intel doesn’t like Nvidia all that much, having had them pay more than $1.5 billion in licensing fees since 2011. Currently, both Intel and AMD utilize OpenCL for graphics acceleration to provide a performance boost in programs like Affinity, Lightroom, Premiere, and Capture One. Though Nvidia cards actually support OpenCL, they rely heavily on their CUDA framework and aren’t as efficient as AMD GPUs when it comes to OpenCL. CUDA is not as easy for apps to adopt as OpenCL, requiring support from Nvidia.
Processors with RX Vega M GL (graphics low) are designed with thin and light systems in mind that will not exceed 65 watts. The Vega M GH (high), will be Core i7 only, can draw up to 100 watts of power, will be VR Ready, and are fully unlocked; benefiting all-in-one machines and compact desktops like Intel’s NUC.
Available in either Intel Core i5 and i7 variants, the new silicon will be a combination lower-powered 8th-generation Intel CPUs, and discrete AMD Radeon RX Vega M GPUs. The GPUs feature 4GB of HMB2 VRAM onboard, Freesync 2 support, Display Port 1.4 with HDR, and HDMI 2.0b with HDR10 support. Machines featuring this CPU/GPU combo will start to emerge later this year.