You will no doubt have heard of the Nvidia GeForce Partnership Program (GPP). We reported on it, and it was delved into by Hard OCP. It seemed like a bad deal, and might even be borderline illegal. Essentially it forces partner manufacturers of graphics cards to reserve an exclusive brand for GeForce parts. This essentially leaves AMD graphics cards relegated to “second class”, as most manufacturers only ever has one gaming brand. To get around this, Asus has released the Radeon AREZ (as in Ares, the Greek God of War) series of graphics cards.
Asus says that the Radeon AREZ graphics cards bring premium production processes (something called Auto-Extreme) and better cooling (MaxContact). Asus says Auto-Extreme is totally automated and removes the human from production, reducing the chance of errors. MaxContact features better heat spreaders and enhanced active cooling from more effective fans. Because of these features, Asus claims that AREZ will have a longer lifespan and better performance compared to other Radeons. Well, of course they would. It’s a marketing thing.
Certainly, Asus makes high quality, high performing graphics cards in its STRIX and ROG brands. In some ways, it does appear that the branding is just that, as their cooling shrouds are taken direct from the STRIX lineup. It will remain to be seen just what is different about them beneath the skin. Hopefully these Radeon AREZ cards will live up to the expectations set by Asus in their marketing spiel.
The Radeon AREZ series will become available from May. The lineup will include the full spectrum of current AMD Radeon graphics cards, from Vega 64 down to the RX550. However, given the continuing shortage of RAM and insane demand from cryptocurrency miners, don’t expect there to be reasonable pricing. Or even a decent level of stock. That’s a whole other problem faced by gamers and PC builders. Hopefully, Gigabyte and MSI will follow with Radeon brands to make the playing field even again.