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- AMD unveils Vega 64 and 56 starting at $400, available on August 14
- Vega finally arrives for gamers
- DEMAND MORE, DEMAND RADEON
- Immersive VR Experiences
- AMD FreeSync™ Technology
- HDR compatible
- MILITARY CLASS 4 COMPONENTS
- SOLID CAP
- Performance Summary
- What We Learned
- But are they actually worth it
- Bargain graphics card
- Powercolor Red Dragon Vega 56
- Cheap PC accessories we love
- Anker 4 port USB 3.0 hub ($10 at Amazon)
- Ikea Fixa Cable Management System ($11 at Amazon)
- NZXT Puck ($20 at Amazon)
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 verdict
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 review: A good 4K graphics card that’s just too expensive right now
- Tagged With
- Support Rock Paper Shotgun
- Futuremark VRMark
AMD unveils Vega 64 and 56 starting at $400, available on August 14
Ever since AMD took the world of budget GPUs by storm with the RX 480, users have wondered when the red team will make a move in the high-end graphics card market. As gamers drool over a card based on the new Vega architecture, AMD is ready to roll out the Radeon Vega 56 and 64. It also plans to hit the workstation market with two new Radeon Pro WX cards, one of which has two terabytes of memory.
We learned a lot about the Vega architecture at CES 2017, and our post from this event features many new additions and improvements. With that said, let’s take a look at what’s new.
Vega finally arrives for gamers
Radeon Vega 64, as the name suggests, is powered by a set of 64 next-generation compute units, including 4,096 stream processors. It has a base clock of 1247 MHz and a boost clock of 1546 MHz, which gives a maximum performance of 12.66 teraflops, which is more than twice the performance of the RX 580. Combined with 8 GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) and a bandwidth of 484 GB / s, the Radeon Vega The 64 represents a huge leap in potential performance, but costs a surprisingly sensible $ 500. This applies to the air-cooled variant.
If that’s still a bit too rich for your bloodstream, the Radeon Vega 56 might be a better option. It reduces the number of next-generation computing units to just 56, which also cuts the price by $ 100 at a very competitive $ 400 price tag. Even so, it still offers up to 10.5 TFlops of potential performance.
Positioning or new AMD Vega hardware gives some credibility to rumors that Vega cards will not beat Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti performance. This card costs around $ 700, so if Vega had beaten the GTX 1080 Ti, it would have done so at a discount that might be too good to be true.
It looks like the new Vega cards will be targeting the GTX 1080 and 1070. While perhaps not as exciting on paper, AMD’s win over these cards would be enormous. The GTX 1070 in particular is a bestseller for Nvidia, and AMD is struggling to find the answer to that.
The Vega 56 fared significantly better in this test, slightly outperforming the GTX 1070 at the two higher test resolutions. It also managed to overtake the Radeon R9 Fury X in all three test resolutions.
MSI Afterburner is the world’s most recognized and widely used graphics card overclocking utility that puts you in complete control of your graphics cards. It also provides an extremely detailed hardware overview and includes additional features such as fan profile customization, benchmarks, and video recording.
DEMAND MORE, DEMAND RADEON
Bring your games to life
The Radeon ™ RX Vega graphics card is designed for extreme gamers who want to run their games at the highest resolutions, highest frames per second, maximum settings and want the state-of-the-art features to carry them into the future.
Immersive VR Experiences
Experience the next level of immersion in the world of VR gaming and entertainment with Radeon RX graphics cards based on the revolutionary Polaris architecture.
AMD FreeSync™ Technology
Eliminates choppy gameplay and broken frames with smooth, artifact-free performance at virtually any frame rate.
Increased contrast and colors deliver a strikingly sharp, colorful and vivid visual experience.
MILITARY CLASS 4 COMPONENTS
One of the decisive factors in performance is the quality of the components used. Therefore, MSI only uses MIL-STD-810G certified components for graphics cards. These components have been proven to be durable enough to withstand torture in extreme gaming and overclocking during extended use.
Thanks to the aluminum core construction, Solid CAP is the foundation in high-end component design and provides lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) as well as a service life of over 10 years.
We’re seeing virtually identical performance on Rainbow Six Siege using the new Vulkan API, although the Vega 56 staggers a bit at 1440p, and again we believe it’s due to the extra 2GB of VRAM.
Considering how massive the Vega 56 array is and the fact that it has more transistors, many more cores, and has HBM2 memory for over 20% increase in throughput, it’s remarkable what AMD has achieved with the much smaller Navi array. Yes, some of the gains can be attributed to the 7nm process, but a lot of that can be attributed to the RDNA architecture. Before we dive into this conversation, let’s take a look at how the Vega 56 and 5600 XT compare in the 32 titles we tested.
We can see that at 1080p 5600 the XT was 8% faster on average than the Vega 56. The only title where the Vega 56 enjoyed a significant performance advantage was Sniper Elite 4, a title optimized for the GCN architecture, so it makes sense. Vega was also a tad faster in Red Dead Redemption 2, which we think is more of a VRAM problem. We’ve also seen identical performance in Strange Brigade, World War Z, Resident Evil 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Battlefield V, DiRT Rally and Control.
Many other titles favored Navi, including F1 2019, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, The Outer Worlds, Gears 5, The Witcher 3, PUBG, and many more.
Moving on to the 1440p, we’re seeing more of the same, although the 5600 XT’s lead is slightly smaller. At this higher resolution, the newer Navi GPU was 6% faster and overall more consistent.
What We Learned
AMD has made a giant leap with its RDNA architecture and 7nm manufacturing process. The Radeon 5600 XT uses about half the power of the Vega 56 GPU while providing slightly higher performance. These results are in line with AMD’s own claims of a 50% performance boost with RDNA compared to a GCN based GPU at the same power level. They also claim that ~ 20-25% of this increase is provided by the 7nm shrinkage process, with most of it coming from an improvement in per-clock performance.
Given the huge performance improvements and the fact that it’s faster out of the box, we think you fare a lot better with the newer Radeon GPU. Moving on, AMD will be spending more time optimizing gaming performance for RDNA, so expect the gap to widen over time.
The Ryzen CPUs and RX series GPUs introduced a wide range of new software features that we are already huge fans of. Radeon Wattman in particular made overclocking your system’s CPU and GPU a breeze, and you can even adjust a lot of settings like clock frequency and voltage without even restarting your PC.
But are they actually worth it
Buying something because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s a profitable purchase. But when it offers good performance and a low price, it suddenly becomes a good value. Basically, that’s what we’re at right now with Vega graphics cards. Either way, you’ll get a solid frame rate and high detail in 1080p and 1440p, albeit from a more power-hungry card than the NVIDIA counterparts. Power consumption is probably the biggest reason you can’t get it.
I just grabbed the reference £ 299 Vega 64 card here in the UK, and it requires two 8-pin power connectors with a higher TDP than the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti – without offering 1080 Ti performance levels. Unless you have a power supply of at least 650W, more like 750W for the Vega 64, then the value suddenly disappears.
But assuming this is a simple replacement for your system, it remains an excellent choice. The Vega 56 and Vega 64 have never been really bad GPUs, but a number of factors have made them harder to recommend to anyone other than dedicated AMD fans. Prices peaked during the cryptocurrency mining phase of 2018, and even now some variants at different retailers are so high that they never sell to anyone who is able to do a simple internet search.
Pure performance is there. Ignoring what can be obtained from a comparable NVIDIA graphics card, Vega cards deliver high performance. Games can look beautiful and run at high FPS, and now for really good prices if you can get the ones that sell cheap. All this before you consider lowering the voltage or overclocking to unlock some extra performance.
Ultimately, this is the conclusion. For mid-tier money, you can get AMD’s previous high-end graphics cards, and they’re definitely worth it if you can get one at a low price.
Bargain graphics card
Powercolor Red Dragon Vega 56
Suddenly, it is of great value
With Navi on the horizon and some price cuts, the Vega 56 is now a truly powerful mid-range graphics card for anyone looking for performance on a tighter budget.
Cheap PC accessories we love
Take a look at these amazing PC accessories that will enhance your Windows experience.
Anker 4 port USB 3.0 hub ($10 at Amazon)
Whether you’re using a desktop or laptop, you always need more ports to plug things in. This hub provides an additional four USB 3.0 Type A ports.
Ikea Fixa Cable Management System ($11 at Amazon)
This IKEA cable management kit is your ticket to clean installation. It is simple and functional.
NZXT Puck ($20 at Amazon)
This clever little accessory has powerful magnets on the back that allow it to stick to any metal panel on your computer case or anything else. It’s great for hanging accessories like headsets.
Here’s another hot round of testing. The GTX 1070 was ahead of the Vega 56 in all three resolutions, but only by a few frames in each case. The Vega 56 beat the Radeon R9 Fury X in all resolutions, although in 4K it’s close enough to cause a draw.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 verdict
The overall design of the Vega architecture appears to have been to mark the sand as a branch point for future generations of AMD GPU technology. It has sacrificed legacy gaming performance to promise the future of its sleek-looking, if largely unused, feature set. The little touches that the Vega architecture blended in look like they could really change the game .. but only in some alternate timeline that never came.
If it were guaranteed that the HBCC and Rapid Packed Math antics would be used around the world, and not just by AMD’s best buddies Bethesda, then Radeon technology would surely be the one that could be applied to Nvidia’s old school design.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus showed Vega’s impressive performance in the face of GTX 1080 competition, with the traditional AMD Vulkan speed wins in the low-level API. But Vega is showing more profit than the Polaris architecture, which would indicate there is something to Rapid Packed Math.
If you were spending around $ 300 on a graphics card today, it would still be hard to get a Radeon recommendation. It’s arguably a more advanced architecture, but in terms of performance, the smaller, slightly cheaper, and more powerful Nvidia GTX Turing GPU is likely to deliver higher FPS in more games you currently play.
AMD and its partners price the Vega as aggressively as possible so late in her life, but unfortunately the price of HBM2 is a big problem. Fortunately, the end is near for Vega, forget the 7nm Radeon VII, we have a new AMD Navi architecture coming by the end of September, which again heralds some serious competition for mainstream graphics cards.
Still, I liked what AMD was trying to do with the Vega, but sacrificing current performance for the vague chance of higher frame rates in an alternate future was too much of a challenge for most of us PC gamers.
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However, this goes beyond the usual tweaking and tweaking, as Radeon has already introduced a number of features in the previous weeks that improve both the development and consumption of GPU-based software.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 review: A good 4K graphics card that’s just too expensive right now
With the graphics card mining crisis looming, choosing the time to upgrade your PC became a minefield of overpriced and over-the-top markups – and nowhere more felt than the new AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 and its older brother, the Radeon RX Vega 64.
While the RX Vega 64 aims at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (our favorite 4K gaming graphics card), the RX Vega 56 aims at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. This is an excellent graphics card for 2560×1440 resolution with ambitions to push the 4K arena with a few compromises. And yet their prices couldn’t be any more different, and the cheapest GTX 1070 currently costs around £ 500 / AU $ 665, while a lame old RX Vega 56 will set you back at least £ 750 / AU $ 750. The easily digestible version of the Asus Radeon RX Vega 56 ROG Strix OC Gaming I have here requires even more, and prices at the time of writing are pitifully out of the range of around £ 840 / $ 900.
This immediately puts the RX Vega 56 on the rear foot, no matter what you’re going for, but assuming things start to calm down at some point in the future (and good sauce, I hope so) I will ignore the prices for a while and after just focus on whether it’s just a good graphics card. Kapica? Kapica. Let’s get down to it.
So what makes Asus so cool and elegant and worth this big old bonus compared to the smaller Vega 56 cards? Well, just like the ROG Strix OC version of the RX Vega 64 we tested not too long ago, the ROG Strix OC Vega 56 comes with 8GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) memory that uses memory stacked to make things faster and more efficient and three fans with IP5X dust protection. This means that in theory it should last longer and be less prone to getting clogged up with goo blankets in a few years.
As the name suggests, it also has overclocked cores, thanks to which its base clock slightly jumped from 1156 MHz to 1297 MHz, and the boost clock from 1471 MHz to 1573 MHz. You also get Asus’ fancy RGB technology, Aura Sync, so you can color-code your card to match an Asus compatible motherboard, mouse and keyboard, and you also get a decent selection of ports, including two HDMI 2.0 outputs (useful if you own cybergoggles. VR), two DisplayPort 1.4 outputs and one DVI-D output.
Asus continued to impress when it comes to playing some real-world games. The Hitman Costume Simulator was the first to arrive in the test arena, and what a convincing performance. Agent 47 slipped through the crowds of Parisian fashion at 1080p and 1440p on Ultra quality settings, with frame rates regularly averaging at least 80fps in both resolutions in the built-in benchmark tool. 4K did not cause him too much trouble on the Ultra, with an impressive average of around 51 frames per second.
Doom also made no mistake as the RX Vega 56 supports all three resolutions on Ultra without breaking a sweat. I didn’t get the benefit of the benchmark tool, but the Vega 56 was almost certainly at least 60fps when I got through my first big UAC firefight, with no drop even in 4K.
Katharine is the editor-in-chief of the RPS, which means she is now to blame for it all. After joining the team in 2017, she spent a lot of time in the mines of RPS gear testing all the components that are in our computers, but now she can write about all the cute games we play as well. She will play pretty much anything she can get her hands on and is very biased in JRPG games and quest downloads.
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Although AMD has provided information on most of the Vega hardware, one thing has surprised – the Vega Nano. The company donated the first of these cards to Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games.
The creator of 3DMark presents his first VR benchmark. No goggles are required to run the trial version if you want to test your own equipment before investing in a VR headset.
VR has high hardware requirements, so this test aims to show you the general capabilities of VR. As mentioned earlier, we conducted the Orange Room sub-test.
This time, the GTX 1070 scored about 6 percent higher than the Vega 56, while the Vega 56, on the other hand, scored about 18 percent better than the R9 Fury X. Still, since the VR on the AMD side is based on the RX 480 or the newer RX 580 and 570, the Vega 56 should easily support current VR games as well as those of the near future.
After all, we feel the same with the Radeon RX Vega 56 as we are with the higher-end Vega 64. This weaker Vega card did a slightly better job in our tests to trade with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 than the Vega 64 compared to the GTX 1080. But these the two tabs were close enough to call it a draw in terms of raw performance – especially if you mean a specific monitor that favors one or the other’s tab (FreeSync for AMD or G-Sync for Nvidia).
Also, while the Vega 56 has the same power / performance issues compared to the current generation Nvidia cards as the Vega 64, the differences with this card are less drastic. Just know that you may still need a more powerful PSU if you opt for a Vega over the GTX 1070. There is a 150 watt difference in the suggested minimum PSUs for both cards. AMD cards are definitely more energy-consuming.
A possible big X-factor for some small subsets of buyers might be the “Radeon Red Pack” that AMD offers around the Vega 56. The Radeon Red Pack is a $ 100 option ($ 499 compared to buying the card alone ($ 399) and certainly can sweeten the deal. With the Red Pack, you get two free games (Prey and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus in the US), a $ 200 discount on the 34-inch Samsung CF791 FreeSync Ultra Wide Monitor ($ 547.67 on Amazon Canada), and $ 100 off some Ryzen 7 processors and motherboards purchased together You must purchase any of these devices from the same retailer that sells you the Red Pack and in the same purchase.
If you’re considering a high-end monitor and a new AMD-based PC built from the ground up, $ 300 in hardware savings plus about $ 120 in free games means buying a Radeon RX Vega 56 (bundled) could technically be more than paying for itself . But be sure to shop carefully. Because (a) you must make all of these purchases at the same time to get the discounts, and (b) if your monitor, CPU or motherboard (or any combination of the three) turns out to be cheaper elsewhere than where you are purchasing the package , this seemingly sweet Red Pack can leave a sour apple aftertaste if you don’t do your research before clicking the buy button.