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AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 & Vega 56: More To Come

By: Anthony Garreffa | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 14, 2017 1:00 pm

For a recap of the review, we have this section - where I point out the best and worst of the card, as well as my final thoughts on both the Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition. But keep in mind: this is not my final word on Vega... far from it.

 

What's Hot

 

Vega: What's Hot? Vega is hot. Because we have both Radeon RX Vega 56 and the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition, I can test temperatures at idle and load on both cards. Radeon RX Vega 56 ran at 55C minimum, and 76C max during 4K benchmark runs, while the liquid cooled RX Vega 64 was much cooler at a minimum of just 27C, and maximum temp of 65C.

 

 

FreeSync + Radeon = Great Value: If you're a new PC gamer, then Radeon RX Vega 56 is a good - but not great value for money graphics card. Throw in a 1080p 60FPS or 1440p 60FPS display, and you've got a winning combo that isn't going to break the bank. But, this is a double edged sword. So while this is a 'What's Hot' part, there's also the second part in 'What's Not.'

 

amd-radeon-rx-vega-56-review-gtx-1070-killer_11

 

Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition = SEXY: You've got to give it to AMD... they have made one of the best, if not the best reference graphics card ever. The Radeon RX Vega 56 has the same style as the reference Radeon RX 480... but the Radeon RX 64 Liquid Cooled Edition is just gorgeous. The brushed aluminum not only looks great but feels nice to touch - and that glowing 'R' in the corner... UGH, so good.

 

AMD's Finally Back To High-End GPUs... Kinda...: While the Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 don't beat NVIDIA's greatest in the consumer graphics realm with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti... it's just good to see AMD back with a better card than a mainstream 1080p card in the RX 480/580. Unfortunately, it's not enough.

 

What's Not

 

No CrossFire At Launch?!: WHAT. Raja Koduri said on stage in LA just over a week ago: "what do enthusiasts want?" - you know what I want? ENTHUSIAST FEATURES LIKE CROSSFIRE. Has there been a launch of a major GPU in the last ten years without multi-GPU support on day one? Even the freakin' RX 480 supported multi-GPU on day one. UGH. Sad, AMD... very sad.

 

amd-radeon-rx-vega-56-review-gtx-1070-killer_15

 

POWER CONSUMPTION: OMFG: The power numbers on Vega are not good at all, there's absolutely no positive things to say about it. The cheaper Radeon RX Vega 56 still consumes up to 300W in our 7700K test bed, while the RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition uses up to 500W, and up to freakin' 600W of power when overclocked and the power limit is increased to 50%. These numbers are totally unacceptable for a mainstream, or even enthusiast gamer.

 

HBM2/HBCC = USELESS... For Now: I reached out to AMD to ask for some help in "testing the limits of HBCC, " and that I had an 8K display, I'd love to push the 8GB of HBM2 and next-gen High Bandwidth Cache Controller. Well, you know what - "no game uses more than 8GB" right now. AMD's words. Second, HBCC is f***ing useless for gamers, and so is the almighty HBM2. NVIDIA kicks AMD's ass all over the grass with GDDR5... and blatantly spits in their face with GDDR5X.

 

HBM2 was meant to usher in smaller cards... yeah, didn't happen. Radeon R9 Fury X was smaller than this, and it had HBM1. I've personally been waiting years for Radeon RX Vega so that HBM2 could possibly give us smaller cards. I'd have killed for AMD to release an RX Vega Nano at launch... but nope. We have huge, power hungry, oh-so-meh performing cards.

 

amd-radeon-rx-vega-56-review-gtx-1070-killer_16

 

It's SO Late: Vega was due months ago, but due to various difficulties behind the scenes (shifting from SK Hynix to Samsung for HBM2 didn't help) it was delayed and is still WEEKS away from a physical launch.

 

No Custom RX 56/64 For Weeks: Pushing the point above, AMD won't have Radeon RX Vega 56 or 64 cards in gamers' hands until the END OF THIS MONTH. So here I am at the end of my review where I'm meant to recommend them to you... but I wouldn't recommend a reference RX Vega from AMD due to the power consumption (which won't change with AIB cards) and the liquid cooler on RX Vega 64. If you want Vega, you'll be waiting until September if you didn't pre-order or grab one of the what-the-f***-is-going-on Radeon Packs.

 

Water-Cooling Required... AGAIN?!: I swore off water cooled cards with Radeon R9 Fury X, and here we are again. AMD can't make an enthusiast class card without limping down onto using water cooling. Sigh. Now... if AMD beat NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and needed watercooling... I'm down with that. At least I could say "AMD beat NVIDIA's best card, but needed watercooling to do it"... at least it would've beaten the GTX 1080 Ti. But it doesn't even come close, even with 600W at its disposal and a freakin' watercooler.

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