AMD's Radeon RX Vega Benchmark Embargo Lifts

RX Vega’s day of reckoning arrives after a year of hype.

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For the AMD faithful, today has been a long time coming. After months of teases and leaks, AMD has pulled the veil off of its enthusiast-class gaming GPU, the Radeon RX Vega. The new architecture is meant to compete with NVIDIA's current high-end design, dubbed Pascal. Released in June of last year, Pascal is the architecture that drives cards like the GTX 1070 and 1080. The press embargo for RX Vega GPU performance has lifted this morning and shows that AMD’s new design is competitive with Pascal, but comes with some extra baggage in the form of excessive power draw.

The Radeon RX Vega will be launching in two main variants, the Vega 56 and Vega 64, with the 64 version available in air-cooled and water-cooled offerings. The RX Vega 64 cards officially go on sale today, with the Vega 56 cards expected to arrive at retail by the start of September.

As for the performance of the GPUs, slightly underwhelming is likely the most apt descriptor that can be used when factoring in the extra 14 months that nVidia’s Pascal cards have had free reign atop the video card market. The RX Vega 64 is generally within a few percentage points of a reference GTX 1080 and often pulls ahead when used to power games at 4K resolution. It can give a stronger showing than the GTX 1080 in games known to favor AMD hardware (Doom) and, unsurprisingly, fall under the nVidia in others (Grand Theft Auto V).

The liquid-cooled version of the RX Vega 64 fares a bit better than its air-cooled brother, giving PC gamers up to 12 percent more performance, depending on the game tested. It should be noted that the liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 retails for $200 higher than the regular RX Vega 64, putting it directly against the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti. The GTX 1080 Ti crushes the liquid Vega in performance and does so with much less power draw, making AMD’s $699 flagship a poor value.

The Radeon Vega 56 appears to be the strongest value in the Vega lineup. AMD’s smaller child is shown to perform a few percentage points higher than NVIDIA's GTX 1070 in almost every game. It is clocked slightly lower than the Vega 64 and carries fewer compute units, allowing for a slightly lower power draw. Priced at $399, it looks to provide a solid value for high-end PC gamers while GTX 1070 prices are being inflated by cryptocurrency mining.

For a more in-depth look at performance and thorough explanations on the design of the new architecture, check out the full reviews at AnandTech, Guru3D, PcPerspective.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 14, 2017 8:45 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, AMD's Radeon RX Vega Benchmark Embargo Lifts

    • reply
      August 14, 2017 9:58 AM

      Looks like the 56 dies well against the 1070 but dat power doe.

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        August 14, 2017 1:45 PM

        Yeah. If the European prices are competitive, I think I'll upgrade my 970 GTX with a Vega 56.

        Also: FreeSync > proprietary GSync shit.

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      August 14, 2017 10:06 AM

      1080 still seems like a better card vs the Vega 64 by a decent margin for most scenarios.

      Might be enough to pressure pricing a touch. It's relatively close at least.

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        August 14, 2017 10:20 AM

        If I were nVidia, I wouldn't budge on price. It would not surprise me to see supply issues on Vega for at least a couple of months.

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          August 14, 2017 10:49 AM

          Already reports there is no stock. :P

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          August 14, 2017 10:55 AM

          That, plus the coin mining thing pushing up prices means no price wars in the near future.

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          August 14, 2017 11:17 AM

          With the mining demand nvidia can't budge on the price even if they wanted to. Also wishful thinking on my part, but since the power is significantly higher on the 56 and 64 that may make miners shy away, allowing gamers access to a 1070 level card.

          Personally I'd like to get out of the nvidia ecosystem. Out of gsync, and into freesync which will also have console support down the road.

    • rms
      reply
      August 14, 2017 12:32 PM

      I managed to get in a 'Temporarily OOS but order anyway' amazon order in, wonder what the odds are I'll ever see that card?

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        August 14, 2017 1:01 PM

        Hopefully you get it before the Volta rumors start flying.

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      August 14, 2017 1:12 PM

      Honestly I thought the numbers would be way worse, I am glad they are good. It is unfortunate about the power draw compared to a 1080 or 1070 damn Nvidia did an insane job on that front.

      One thing to think about, AMD usually has really brutal drivers on day 1 and over time they gain a massive amount of performance so it is quiet possible the Vega 64 will eventually = a 1080 Ti.

      A die shrink and a possible re engineering of the power consumption(if possible) would make a refresh pretty rad.

      Well they sure have their work cut out for them for next year, Volta is going to crush the 1000 series which is pretty amazing as is.

      Still I have to say AMD has had an amazing year so far especially with their CPU come back, with out them in the industry we would have a very dark PC scene that none of us would want to live in.

      My self I have a 1080 Ti so I am not in the market for a GPU, but I am glad the Vega is not a disaster, for then we would all loose in the long run.

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        August 14, 2017 3:07 PM

        A refresh may not matter if nVidia continues its current pace an releases the 1160 Volta-based GPU for $250 within 12 months.

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          August 14, 2017 6:19 PM

          I don't think anyone really expects AMD to ever beat Nvidia.

          Having said that to just get their main/sort of only issue right now the power consumption under control would be a huge feat for them. Really their GPU is pretty much on par with the 1070 and 1080(with noob drivers) give or take which is really a big deal. Minus of course the power botch up and if you ignore the age of those Geforce cards(1080 + 1070) and that Volta is out Next year.

          The AMD CPUs this year are going to bring in a good revenue as well as the consoles(PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, Xbox One S) so hopefully they can build off the Vega tech in time for Volta.

          I am really happy with my 1080 Ti, but I love to see AMD keep at it for they are a really cool company and as we have seen with their recent CPU's + mobo platform they can make some cool stuff.

          Will see what happens, next year is going to be crazy. If AMD releases version 2 of all their tech they had this year and iron out some things it could be pretty insane/impressive. There is hope and right now that is good enough.

          If AMD was not around can you imagine what it be like for GPUs and especially CPUs? I don't even want to think about it :( . They deserve a PC Nobel Peace Prize(if there was one) and a mega government grant of like 100 million dollars.

          If I was Notch I give AMD a 100 million dollars to help them out.

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            August 14, 2017 6:45 PM

            I'm curious what the scene will look like when DX12, and Vulkan are the norm, and not the exception. For a few years now it seems like AMD is on par or outright trounces a comparable nVidia gpu under those two api's.

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        August 14, 2017 6:55 PM

        You really think a driver will take that GPU to 1080 Ti? Come on dude.

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          August 14, 2017 7:08 PM

          No, but it could that is why I said "quiet possible the Vega 64 will eventually = a 1080 Ti"

          If you look at their GPUs they have gained a lot of performance over time, same with Nvidia everyone knows this.

          Don't make this a AMD vs Nvidia I don't care, I have a 1080 Ti in my comp. Anyone who thinks day 1 AMD drivers on new GPU tech is not going to get better over time obviously has a beef with AMD.

          The 1080 and 1070 have been out for more than a year their drivers are pretty tapped out its not like they are going to get a huge performance boost anytime soon(they already have). As for the Vega it just came out, if you think over a years time it won't get a boost well I am not sure what to tell you.

          Come on dude.

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      August 14, 2017 2:46 PM

      Seems like a nice enough card if you're buying today or in the near future. Disappointing that the 56 barely edged out the 1070 that came out over a year ago while using substantially more power doing so.

      This would have been a better value six months or more ago. In my opinion if you have a card that you can string along for another 6 months I'd just wait for nvidia's Volta.