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ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda

ASUS shows AMD how their Radeon RX Vega 64 reference cards should've been with its ROG Strix version.

@anthony256
Anthony Garreffa
Published Tue, Oct 24 2017 1:53 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction

AMD first launched their Radeon RX Vega series of graphics cards with the RX Vega 64 and a much better liquid cooled version that held its GPU and HBM2 clocks during overclocking thanks to the improved cooling on the Radeon RX Vega 64 LCE. With an improved air cooler, will the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 keep its GPU clocks?

Let's find out.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 12 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 32 IMAGES

One of the main selling points of the new ROG Strix RX Vega 64 is that it features ASUS' impressive MaxContact Technology that has "2x more contact with the GPU for improved thermal transfer", but Vega runs so hot that all of this cooling prowess didn't help.

But there is another big surprise that ASUS has over AMD and its reference RX Vega 64, and that's overclockability and the noise of the card when it's under 100% load.

Detailed Specs

ASUS tunes the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 with some good GPU overclocks, while the 8GB of HBM2 stays at its 945MHz clock.

The Vega 10 GPU rolling around inside of the card has 4096 stream processors, 256 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. We have GPU clocks of 1247/1546MHz for base and boost, respectively.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 05 | TweakTown.com

The card requires 8+8-pin PCIe power connectors, with some pretty gnarly power consumption numbers of 400W for the entire system.

Cooling Tech - Vega With Way Better Air-Cooling

This Is How You Cool Vega

The entire interposer that houses Vega and HBM2 is filled with some of the most advanced GPU technology the planet has to offer right now on a consumer graphics card, and I think we have some serious efficiency issues with Vega which sees voltage and temperatures that are through the roof.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 11 | TweakTown.com

My air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 easily sits at 85C all day long when it's under 100% load, while the fan spins at 5000RPM to get it down to 70-75C. The liquid-cooled version of the card runs at less than 50C, which is a big surprise... so I was expecting the ASUS cards to handle 100% GPU load at less than 70C. I didn't even think about the improved fans on the ROG Strix RX Vega 64, which was the huge surprise for me.

The ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 can sit at 100% load and have its fans at somewhere in the 80% range, and it's still quiet when compared to the Radeon RX Vega 64 reference card from AMD. The fan on that thing is just so crazy at 100%; I can't bear to use it like that. ASUS on the other hand, do as well as they can with the issue at hand: Vega. It runs HOT, and even with the triple-fan cooler on the ROG Strix RX Vega 64, we're still looking at temperatures that hit 75-80C.

You're going to want plenty of airflow in your system, and might want to tweak those fan profiles to have the triple-fan cooler working a little harder so that you can game with less heat being pumped into the room. During summer, you're not going to want 80C+ of hot air blowing into your room. Adjust the fan profiles, and you'll be fine, with temperatures in the 60-65C range.

Detailed Look

ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 Unboxed

ASUS doesn't disappoint with retail packaging, so the box for the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 looking great isn't a surprise. I love the massive inclusion of the RX Vega 'V' logo in the top right, and massive AMD branding all over the place. Performance wise, RX Vega might be disappointing, but they've nailed their marketing in some really effective ways.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 01 | TweakTown.com

The front of the box, showing that the RX Vega 64 has High Bandwidth Cache, NCUs, and support for Radeon FreeSync 2.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 02 | TweakTown.com

On the back, we have some more details on the MaxConnect Technology, ASUS Aura Sync, and more.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 03 | TweakTown.com

What's better than one RX Vega 64? Two of them.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 04 | TweakTown.com

The ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 in the flesh, with its triple-fan cooler.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 05 | TweakTown.com

Once again from the front.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 06 | TweakTown.com

We have 8+8-pin PCIe power connectors are required, a staple of Radeon RX Vega.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 07 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 09 | TweakTown.com

On the back of the card, we have the ASUS ROG eye that also looks great, and a military-theme on the back.

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 41 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1440p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 51 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 4K

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 61 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 40 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1440p

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 50 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 4K

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 60 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 3440x1440

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 70 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p

1080p Benchmarks

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 42 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 43 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 44 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1440p

1440p Benchmarks

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 52 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 53 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 54 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 4K

4K Benchmarks

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 62 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 63 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 64 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 3440x1440

3440x1440 Benchmarks

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 72 | TweakTown.com
ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 74 | TweakTown.com

Overclocking & Performance Analysis

Overclocking... Yeah... About That...

This is one area where I did not expect any wiggle room from ASUS, with some mild overclocking achieved on the ROG Strix RX Vega 64, but it's nothing you can't do on the RX Vega 64 reference card. You'll need to throw the power limit to the max, and then you can get to around 1650-1700MHz on the GPU, while the HBM2 will hit a ceiling at 1100MHz.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 01 | TweakTown.com

I wouldn't recommend overclocking the card at all, as the results are less than 5% better in every test. In most tests, I found absolutely no difference in real-world performance, because we're talking about 55FPS to 56FPS at best, really. The additional power consumption is simply not worth it. The card does alright on its own, especially at 1080p and 1440p.

Performance Analysis

Throughout our 1080p testing, the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 performed better than AMD's reference RX Vega 64, while trading blows with NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. In games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, we have 116FPS average - the same result as the GTX 1080 FE, and 2FPS more than the RX Vega 64 LCE card.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 04 | TweakTown.com

We're looking at 151FPS average in Shadow of Mordor, just 5FPS off of the GTX 1080 FE, while Metro: Last Light Redux was pushing 146FPS average, the same as the GTX 1080 Ti FE - a $699 card. The RX Vega 64 LCE has just 137FPS, while the GTX 1080 FE has 1FPS less with 136FPS - over 10FPS slower than ASUS' new ROG Strix RX Vega 64.

At 2560x1440 in Rise of the Tomb Raider, the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 loses to the GTX 1080 FE and RX Vega 64 LCE - but by losing, we mean 3FPS. We still have 84FPS average at 1440p, which is more than enough for a 1440p 60Hz screen. More so, if you dropped some of the visual details, you could easily run Rise of the Tomb Raider at 120-144FPS for high refresh rate gaming panels on the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64.

The same can be said for Shadow of Mordor, with 112FPS average compared to 115FPS on the GTX 1080 FE and 111FPS on the RX Vega 64 LCE. Impressive performance from the ROG Strix RX Vega 64 at 1080p and 1440p.

Final Thoughts

Want To Buy Radeon? Buy ASUS

ASUS is the only one on the market with a custom Radeon RX Vega 64, and while they don't see a huge performance jump, the improved cooling technology helps in a big way. Instead of a card that's screaming at 5000RPM, we have a triple-fan cooler that spins much slower and still keeps the Vega 10 GPU nice and cool.

ASUS ROG Strix Vega 64 Review: Vega, Refined, Kinda 03 | TweakTown.com

If you were an owner of a 1080p or 1440p monitor, and were upgrading from your older Radeon R9 200 series graphics card, and were fortunate enough to buy a FreeSync panel, you are in luck. If you have a 60Hz refresh, you can easily smash into any game on the market at 60FPS average. If you have a 120-165Hz monitor and wanted to play something like CS:GO or Rocket League, you'll also be home with the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 graphics card.

For those who want to game at 4K, you will want to skip the Radeon RX Vega 64 altogether. Grab yourself a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which ASUS makes plenty of high-end GP102-based GPUs. For UltraWide monitor owners, the 3440x1440 native resolution is absolutely fine with the custom RX Vega 64, thanks to the improved triple-fan cooler. Vega 10 is fast enough to handle 3440x1440 at 100FPS, so if you've got the AMD-recommended Samsung CF791, the Quantum Dot 34-inch 3440x1440 @ 100Hz FreeSync panel, you want the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64.

If you were on the fence about buying the Radeon RX Vega 64 reference, stop whatever you're doing and cancel it. If you want to stay on Team Red, and didn't need the brute performance of the GTX 1080 Ti, then ASUS have you covered with the ROG Strix RX Vega 64.

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)90%
Quality (build, design, cooling)90%
General Features (display outputs, etc)95%
Bundle, Packaging & Software95%
Overall93%

The Bottom Line: If you own a FreeSync monitor, the ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 should be the card for you. It's one of the best Radeon graphics cards on the market, perfect for #TeamRed.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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