AMD’s latest graphics cards have certainly gained mass appeal, both from gamers and enthusiasts users alike the Vega series of graphics cards have a lot to offer. Built on an entirely new GPU architecture, AMD’s new line-up uses the Vega 10 14nm architecture, allowing for a smaller die, improved power-efficiency and up to 12.5 billion transistors. Available in three configurations – two of which feature the same exact same GPU board and specifications, with the only differences based on the cooling design. Labelled Radeon RX Vega 56, 64, and 64 Liquid Cooled, initial impressions of the graphics cards point to performance levels of Vega 56 matching the GTX 1070 with the latter reaching the GTX 1080.
While this may not seem all too impressive given the fact that Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Pascal series of cards have been out for almost a year, with the GeForce GTX 1080Ti still wearing the throne for the world’s fastest graphics card, the benefits residing within AMD’s newest series of cards are down to the implementation of GPU technologies as well as the hardware configuration forming the construction of the cards. Proving once again that GPU refinement and efficiency within the GPU’s architecture will always be more important than raw specifications and performance, it’s great to see Nvidia still remaining competitive thanks to the falling prices of the GTX 1070.
As the most popular card within AMD’s line-up the RX Vega 56 carries an impressive specification. Featuring 3584 Shader Cores running at 1471MHz, the 8GB of HBM2 memory gives way for an incredibly wide memory bus at 2048-bit. Where peak performance scales to 10.5TFLOPs of raw computing power, board power is measured at 210W. While this may not be anywhere near as efficient as the GTX 1070 or the GTX 1080, the gigantic specification of Vega 56 may actually be realized should AMD driver support seek an impressive improvement with this series of GPUs. As tradition, AMD graphics cards have always carried a level of performance rated drastically higher than competing Nvidia cards. Drivers and optimization issues is where the performance of AMD graphics cards have always fell behind. Here’s hoping the untapped performance of Vega is realized.
Next up is the RX Vega 64. Rated marginally higher than Vega 56, AMD’s top-tier card has been designed to go head-to-head with GeForce GTX 1080. Carrying the same memory configuration as its younger sibling, with Shader Cores being increased to 4096 at 1546MHz, the standard Vega 64 scales up to 12.7TFLOPs of computing power along with board power being pushed to 295W. The liquid cooled variant of Vega 64 takes minimal improvement to the standard model, taking core clock speeds to 1677MHz at 13.7TFLOPs. This implementation of cooling along with what is essentially a simple overclock now raises board power to 345W, making it quite questionable against the GTX 1080.
Where things begin to take a turn for cause is down to the pricing of the cards. Initial launch prices stated a £399 pricing for RX Vega 56 and £499 for RX Vega 64. This, on average, is the same pricing for both the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080. The problem here is down the price surging on AMD’s cards due to crypto-currency miners as well as the lack of stock from AMD directly. This has caused prices to reach £600 and above for RX Vega 64, and £700 for the liquid cooled variant. Should AMD manage to gain control over the pricing issues so that gamers may actually be able to purchase them, this may assist in providing them with more attention and a larger focus, since gamers don’t seem to be all too impressed with what’s been delivered.
Stay tuned for further updates on the AMD RX Vega 56 and 64 graphics cards, including benchmarks and performance overviews.