Articles

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Video Card Review

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Monday , August 14, 2017

We put the new AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 to the test in eleven games mixed among DX11, DX12, and Vulkan to find out what it can deliver. We pit it against the competition's GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, and in the end, find the strengths and weaknesses of the new AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 for PC gaming. Is there value at $499?
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Power and Temp

We tested the power utilization at the wall of the entire system. For full load game testing, we used real gaming. The power supply is a Corsair CX850M.

Instantly we found out that Idle power on the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 was higher at 71w, while with the GTX 1080 and 1070 it was about 9-10w lower.

That isn’t all that was higher, the wattage while gaming was also much higher. Note that in the table the gaming wattage is showing the peak or highest wattage we experienced while playing games. We watched the wattage meter in each game and took note of the highest wattage. To give you an idea where the new AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 truly lands here are our results in some games.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - 445w

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 448w

Fallout 4 - 476w

DOOM - 452w

Battlefield 1 - 473w

Heaven Benchmark 2560x1600 Maximum IQ - 505w

There were a couple of times we experienced the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 peaking at 498w when transitioning scenes in Rise of the Tomb Raider. We didn’t count that though since it wasn’t repeatable in other games. Battlefield 1 was always in the 460-470 watt range.

For comparison, the GeForce GTX 1080 peaked at 324w, but it’s average is closer to 300w most of the time while gaming. Given all this data it seems with AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 it draws 130w-150w more power than the GTX 1080 depending on the game.

There is no question that the GPU runs hot at 85c under a gaming load, and the video card exhausts a lot of hot air.

More Temperatures - Sound and Fan Noise

Kyle has provided his temperature and sound results from his Limited-Edition model with the metal shroud. This was done using the looping demo in the Heaven benchmark at 2560x1600 at maximum IQ settings. As noted above, this does represent a heavier wattage load than what we saw in any game by ~30 watts, but should represent a real-world worst case scenario.

Ambient Temperature: 25C / 76F

Shroud Temperature: 60C/140F. Temp on the outside of the card shroud at the top by the I/O panel.

Exhaust Temp: 69C/158F. This is the air temperature being blown out of the card, right in the middle of the IO panel.

Idle Temperature: 29C/85F Top of Shroud - 31C/89F Exhaust Temp.

Noise

All I can say about the fan, it is loud. It literally sounds like it’s running at 100% fan speed when the card runs for long lengths of gaming. It’s running its little heart out trying to dispel as much heat as possible, and there’s a lot of heat to throw out on this card for sure. The cooler is inadequate, in my honest opinion for the reference design. Look towards custom cards with custom cooling to do a better job hopefully. (Kyle should have a preview of a custom RX Vega 64 card this week.)

As recorded by Kyle.

Sound Pressure: 45.5dB at 4 feet away, directly in front of exhaust.

(Editor's Note: I have to disagree with Brent on this point about noise. I did not find the card to be "loud" or annoying in any way. Yes, it surely can be heard but I have not found it distracting while gaming. I can hear it operating but the sound profile is not "whiny" or so high pitch that it bothers me personally. All that said, it is certainly louder than a GTX 1080. This card puts off a lot of heat and I can see that being bothersome, the same way the 2900XT had a tendency to heat things up in the past. )