• Memory: 8GB HBM2
  • Ports: 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
  • Slot Size: Dual-Slot
  • Dimensions: 280 x 127 x 40mm
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Future-proof
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3D Mark Fire Strike: 13,593 points
  • 3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme: 8,589 points
  • 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra: 4,672 points
  • 3D Mark Time Spy: 6,229 points

Into The Stars

Finally making its way into the world, the Vega graphics cards that everyone has arrived at last. After a long wait and rumours floating about, AMD released the Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the RX Vega 56 and can’t wait to show what this thing can really do.

The unit we received is a reference RX Vega 56 with a blower type cooler, which looks very similar to the R9 Fury. It comes with a base clock of 1,156MHz and boost clock of 1,471MHz but with some overclocking, we’re pretty sure we can get more out of it. The RX Vega 56 also uses HBM2 memory and has 8GB of it as well. With a rated TDP of 210W, its power consumption could be considered above average, resulting in its need of two 8-pin PCI-e power connectors from the PSU.

Jumping into our benchmarks, the Vega proves that it is capable of hitting high scores across 3DMark, but what about real games? The Vega is capable of playing just about any games in 1080p in its highest settings easily. It does even better when it comes to DX12 games, but there are still too few DX12 games out at the moment. Cooling performance is decent and with the blower type cooler you’ll have the advantage of expelling hot air out of your case instead of into it.

Noise profile isn’t that great but that’s how it is with blower type coolers; on full load, the Vega 56 is loud enough to be noticeable. On the other hand we were able to get a minimum temperature of 41 degrees Celcius and max temperature of 64 degrees Celcsius while gaming, so in terms of temperature the Vega satisfies. Also making a return is the GPU Tach load meter, which gives you a rough idea of how much load your Vega is on. The way we see it AMD has aimed the Vega 56 towards the future, considering that it performs better on DX12. It even has triple DisplayPort outputs together with a single HDMI output, which is still immensely popular at the moment.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A great card for the future but it isn’t what most people want now. Still, it’s something to consider if you’re thinking of future proofing.

(previously published in issue October 2017)

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56