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AMD Radeon RX Vega64 8GB (Air) Review

Our newest GPU test procedure has been built with the intention of benchmarking high-end graphics cards. We test at 1920×1080 (1080p), 2560×1440 (1440p), and 3840×2160 (4K UHD) resolutions.

We try to test using the DX12 API if titles offer support. This gives us an interpretation into the graphics card performance hierarchy in the present time and the near future, when DX12 becomes more prevalent. After all, graphics cards of this expense may stay in a gamer’s system for a number of product generations/years before being upgraded.

A shipping mishap with our GTX 1080 FE meant that we had to buy a new GTX 1080 for testing purposes. As it happens, the cheapest GTX 1080 cards available tend to be factory-overclocked offerings with better coolers than the FE card. As such, we spent just over £500 on Gigabyte’s GTX 1080 G1 Gaming which features a triple-fan cooler and a factory overclock. Reference RX Vega64 versus overclocked GTX 1080 may not be the most ideal comparison. However, it is the comparison that is most relevant given that gamers with around £500 available are unlikely to spend £50 (10%) more on the slower FE card.

Note: We tested the RX Vega64 using the ‘Turbo‘ power mode in AMD’s WattMan software. This prioritises all-out performance over power efficiency, noise output, and lower thermals.

General Test System Notes

  • AMD Graphics cards were benchmarked with the AMD Crimson Beta (RX Vega pre-release) driver.
  • Nvidia Graphics cards were benchmarked with the Nvidia 384.94 driver.

Test System

CPU
Intel Core i7-7700K ‘Kaby Lake’ (Retail)
Overclocked to 4.8GHz Core
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z270X-Ultra Gaming
Memory
G.Skill Flare X
16GB (2x8GB) @ 3200MHz 14-14-14-34
Graphics Card
Varies
System Drive
Crucial M4 512GB SATA 6Gbps SSD
Games Drive SK hynix SE3010 960GB SATA 6Gbps SSD
Chassis NZXT Phantom 630 (medium fan speed)
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D14
Power Supply
Seasonic 1000W Platinum
Operating System
Windows 10 Professional with Creators’ Update (64-bit)

Our test system consists of an overclocked Core i7-7700K processor and 16GB of 3200MHz G.Skill DDR4. High-end hardware is used to eliminate CPU and memory from the bottleneck equation and put the performance onus solely on the GPU being tested.

Comparison Graphics Cards List

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Reference (1480MHz core / 1582MHz Boost / 11Gbps memory)

Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming (1696MHz core/ 1835MHz Boost / 10Gbps memory)

Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition (1506MHz core/ 1683MHz boost / 8Gbps memory)

Software and Games List

  • 3DMark Fire Strike & Fire Strike Ultra (DX11 Synthetic)
  • 3DMark Time Spy (DX12 Synthetic)
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (DX12)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (DX12)
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands (DX11)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12)

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  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    Has anyone found a store actually selling these in the UK yet? Release date is today, but can’t find anything at overclockers.co.uk, amazon.co.uk, etc.

  • Steven Morrison

    What a shocking bad cooler. Will wait on some partner cards before making a decision. Power consumption looks dire too. 🙁

  • obimas

    Scan and overclockers got some stock

  • KVragec

    1900 MHz? How much power will then need to be delivered to it 😀

  • Rerry1000

    kinda disapointed because to me, this VEGA won’t make my fury X obsolete, delivery 95 FPS 1080p on Deus ex, the fury delivery 85 fps on 1080p, to me at least isn’t a great evolution :/

  • Varinder

    The prices on Overclockers for the Vega 64 is £548.99 for the cheapest and £599 for the special edition..though not in stock…The cheapest GTX 1080 reference on Overclockers is £449.99 and in stock.. a £100 price difference.. It’s got get to the price of the GTX…please!

  • TEAM GREEN

    A factory overclocked GTX 1080 G1 gaming by Gigabyte is only 519USD on Amazon.

    I’m sure you could find cards costing 499 by other vendors

    Vega 64 even in 499 isn’t worth it when you consider the price to performance to TDP.

    GTX 1080 is a better buy if you care only for gaming performance and TDP….unless you want mining in which Vega 64 might be better.

  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    I get what you’re saying, but it’s not meant to be a 1080p-optimised card
    It’s hitting 1440p very well, but is still lagging in 4K. It’s an upgrade compared to Fury X, and probably noticeably in games, but it probably won’t blow you away like a 1080TI would. It’s cheaper than the TI, but still disappointing that AMD isn’t going after high end anymore.

  • WhiteSkyMage

    I will wait till board partners and custom bioses so I can OC this beast. A Vega 64 LC board with a EK waterblock in my loop and 2 bioses would be just awesome. I just hope the drivers arrive and enable primitive shaders, Rapid packed math and fix the HBCC. I won’t treat these benchmarks as final and would take them with a grain of salt. Besides, you are NOT playing the games, you are using the in-game benchmarks which are INACCURATE, so ALL the KitGuru benchmarking are UNRELIABLE!!!!

  • TEAM GREEN

    No one in their right mind should buy a Vega 64 at 1080 prices when you consider its gaming performance and TDP.

  • BntyHunter

    Lol you are obsessed with TDP. No gamer should care. Can you give it enough power? Can you keep it cool?

    Your arguing a point that means little since this cards power delivery was build almost perfectly.

  • BntyHunter

    You should not be as you don`t know what the card will do once its optimized for the game. Once more Dirt 4 changed 1 AA setting and it went from neck and neck with 1070 to smashing it by 24%. Also when I look at the games it struggles in they are mainly past there prime, like GTA 5 and if someone tweak cache settings this Vega will take off like a rocket.

    The one thing HBM simply cannot be argued about is how insanely powerful it is calling massive textures as well as limiting the low frame dips.

    I notice micro stutters and frame dips 100x more than a 10 FPS difference past 60 TBH.
    And I am really going for that. Hopefully it blows the doors off the current lows.

  • BntyHunter

    Power doesnt matter as much on here because normally we equate tons of power with heat. But this VRM is at the realistic limit almost at 91.5%

  • BntyHunter

    Pls link it. I have been looking for a long time twice daily, and because Nvidia slacked when miners first appeared they have been wiped out.

    Also why should gamers care about TDP at all? Its the miners who should. Gamers in general have much higher PSUs than normal as well as spend tons on parts they cant even use all the way “Hello 1080”.

    If anyone is using the 1080 for 1080P at any level the 1080 is a massive waste. And this is where the 56 Vega is so great, it blurs the 1070/1080 line.

    Hell the best bang for buck card that is worth it as much as a 1070 is the 1050TI for its price.

    It has always been said the 970/1070 lines are the high sweet spot while 960/1060 was low sweet spot.

    TDP only matters if the VRM is iffy. Vega has the best VRM made in a while and so even with huge power input it doesn’t get limited by thermals, its limited by power, which once more better for gamers.

    I am going to either get a 1070 or Vega to replace my 970. Basically the reason im leaning hard Vega now is Free Sync. Running 100 FPS is a odd but very nice spot in games and Gsyncs are just insanely priced.

  • Rerry1000

    yeah, I only sad that’s VEGA isn’t make Fury X obsolet, worth it more get a second fury x than a new VEGA…