Date: Monday , August 14, 2017
With much anticipation AMD’s answer to high-end and enthusiast performance PC gaming is finally being launched today. We’ve heard much about the AMD Radeon RX Vega series leading up to this launch, with a full product announcement only two weeks ago. On July 31st AMD Revealed Specs and Pricing on the Radeon RX Vega series. We found out there are going to be four distinct video cards, three of which are based on the same Radeon RX Vega 64 model, but with different types of cooling and shrouds.
Below is the Base model Radeon RX Vega 64 is seen below in its black plastic shrouding.
AMD also has a premium version of the RX Vega 64 that comes in a aluminum shroud that is shown below in our video. Both of these cards are the same in terms of hardware specifications and clock speeds.
The two basic video card specifications are the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56. In regards to the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 there is only one reference design of it. The MSRP will be $399 for the Radeon RX Vega 56, however availability will not be until August 28th.
The video card launching today with availability is the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. This is the one we are reviewing today. There will be three variants of Radeon RX Vega 64. The basic model will be the Radeon RX Vega 64 and retail for $499. This model has a plastic shroud and a Base Clock of 1247 MHz and a Boost GPU Clock of 1546 MHz. The basic black model was used for our gaming review today. The RX Vega 64 competes with the NVDIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 as it has an MSRP of $499 as well. We will be comparing it to this video card.
The next variant is called the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Limited Edition video card (shown above in the video). This one is only available as a bundle and has a unique brushed aluminum shroud. The bundle, including the video card costs $599 MSRP. This video card has the same clock speeds as the basic model, the only difference is the aluminum shroud.
Finally, there will be an AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled video card also sold as part of a bundle. This card comes with an attached AIO liquid cooler and will cost $699 MSRP. The video card will run at a much higher Base Clock 1406 MHz and Boost Clock 1677 MHz.
Therefore, the basic model and limited-edition model video cards will perform the same. The liquid cooling video card should be faster due to the clock speed increase and better clock consistency offered with better cooling. For clarification, all of the game data today is taken on the basic plastic shroud version, which I (Brent) has. Kyle has the limited-edition and he will be showing temperature and sound levels and upcoming VR data from his specific video card, but the metal shroud should not affect performance at all, both video cards are clocked the same.
We are not going to re-hash in-depth the architecture here, as we have provided for you all of the architecture slides previously in our AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU Specs and Pricing Revealed article. If you look at Page 2 of that article you will find all of the slide presentation detailing the Vega 10 Architecture that AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 are based on. Suffice it to say, Vega does have a full implementation of DX12 in terms of tier support.
If you wish to deep-dive even more on the architecture, we have provided the complete whitepaper on the architecture on the following page. All of the presentation is put on that page for your reading pleasure to gain even more knowledge about the intricacies of how Vega 10 architecture works and upgrades AMD has made for this generation.
One point to note, Vega 10 is most definitely an evolution of the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture found in the last several iterations of AMD GPUs, dating back to 2012 with the AMD Radeon HD 7900 series. Vega 10 is however superior to Polaris, which the AMD Radeon 480 and 580 series GPU is based on. There are big improvements in this evolution compared to Polaris. However, when you look at things like stream processor count, ROP count, texture unit count you will find it is very similar in many ways to AMD Radeon RX Fury X. However, throughputs have been greatly increased in each aspect, comparatively.
The RX Vega 64 video card requires two 8-pin connectors, and measures 11 inches in length. There is one HDMI and three DisplayPorts on board. The basic model has a plastic shroud and a red LED Radeon logo on the edge which can be changed to blue via a switch. This video card also supports a dual-BIOS switch atop the video card. The second position has lower power profiles for those that need the video card to operate at a lower power demand, which also means lower performance, but a quieter video card. We did not use any low power gaming for this review, the RX Vega 64 is operating at its highest stock clocks.