Nvidia boss Jensen Huang calls Radeon VII “underwhelming” and “lousy”

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What just happened? During AMD’s keynote speech at CES yesterday, CEO Lisa Su unveiled Ryzen VII: the world’s first 7nm gaming GPU. It’s designed to compete with the RTX 2080, but is Nvidia boss Jensen Huang concerned? Apparently not. He called his rival’s product “underwhelming” and “lousy.”

Su showed off the Radeon VII’s power on stage with a series of benchmark tests and a 4K demo of Devil May Cry 5, which mostly ran at between 70 – 120 fps. Huang, however, was far from impressed. “The performance is lousy and there’s nothing new,” he said during a roundtable interview published by PC World.

“[There’s] no ray tracing, no AI. It’s 7nm 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.”

Radeon VII uses 16GB of HBM2 (second-generation high bandwidth memory), whereas the RTX 2080 features 8GB of GDDR6.

Huang also noted that forty laptops with RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080 cards are on their way, and pointed out that the RTX 2080 is sold by every-in card vendor.

“It’s a weird launch, maybe they thought of it this morning,” he quipped.

Responding to Huang’s comments about Radeon VII, AMD’s Su said: “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.”

Su is right in that we should wait until we see the real-world performance of Radeon VII before passing judgment. At $699, it’s cheaper than what most RTX 2080s sell for, and while Huang lauded ray tracing and DLSS, few games support these features. Moreover, Su has said AMD is working on ray tracing “both on the hardware side and the software side.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Huang said consumers on a budget were right to be angry at the RTX cards’ high prices, adding that the company now catered for this market with the $350 RTX 2060, which has “twice the performance of a PlayStation 4.” He also took a dig at Intel when asked about its move into graphics.

“Intel’s graphics team is basically AMD, right?” Huang asked. “I’m trying to figure out AMD’s graphics team.”

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