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staggeredsix
Elite
Elite

Review : Vega 56 Reference

Here we all were. Clambering over the newest and best AMD GPU. Vega was a word on the lips of every reviewer, gamer and miner. The official announcement was amazing. $399 and $499? I quickly jumped from my chair and started trying to find pre-orders. What a time to be an AMD die hard! Well... launch day came around and I was ready and waiting. My fingers were prone and my wallet screamed "Take my money!"...... Vega was gone everywhere within seconds.

I managed to find a 56 kicking around at a Best Buy in Fort Collins, Colorado for $550. Not a bad price considering what online retailers are scalping them for. I snapped it up without even a thought. Let's talk expectations. Vega 56 is poised to match up with the Nvidia 1070. Pricing right now for both cards is a bit overblown. The MSRP of a reference 1070 is $379. Vega 56 is at $399. Truth be told you'll never find them close to that. That's okay... If you can find Vega for a good price you've got yourself some gold!

20171207_082207.jpg

Performance :

First my test system :

Ryzen 7 1700x @ Stock clocks

8 GB DDR4 2400

ADATA SU800 128GB SSD

Rosewill HIVE 1kW PSU

LG 4K w/Freesync

XFX Reference Vega 56

Methodology :

Performance is measured in a few ways. Average FPS and Realized Smoothness. Realized smoothness is measured on my experience with game play. Each game is tested at 1080, 1440 and 4K. I don't bother testing a massive list of games because I don't have a lot of newer titles. Unless y'all want SimCity and whatnot thrown in here.

Games tested : Overwatch, PUBG and Destiny 2. The reasons I chose these titles is they show a wide range of relative performance across current generation games.

​​PUBG

ResolutionAverage FPSRealized Smoothness (1-10)Game Play ExperienceSettingsRating
4K3767Ultra/Low Shadows/Low Foliage6.5
1440601010Ultra/Low Shadows/Low Foliage10
1080601010Ultra10

Vega 56 struggles to keep a high frame rate in PUBG at 4K but I'd expect framerate improvements as this early release title matures. Driver improvements by RTG will further boost performance. 1440p is Vega 56's strong point in PUBG. Smoothness delivered on my LG 4K Freesync display was relatively good. Although there was extremely noticeable chugging at 4K the 56 does a great job. I'd set this title to 1440p on PUBG for the best experience possible.

Destiny 2

ResolutionAverage FPSRealized Smoothness (1-10)Game Play ExperienceSettingsRating
4K4033Ultra3
14405597Ultra8
1080601010Ultra10

Destiny 2 is highly optimized for all resolutions so the 56 really shines. A combination of drivers and engine maturity gives a great game play at 1440p but is extremely choppy at 4K even with the relatively good framerate. I'm not sure where the breakdown is but Destiny 2 has the ability to overload this card's resources and really hurt your experience. I think frametimes are either low or frames are being reused. Even with depth of field turned off the chop continues. There is a fantastic experience at the 1440p resolution on the other hand. The card is able to chew up and spit out Destiny without any issues. I was extremely impressed with this performance and ended up playing far past my 10 minute testing time because I was having such a good time. It was bananas.

Overwatch

ResolutionAverage FPSRealized Smoothness (1-10)Game Play ExperienceSettingsRating
4K4567Epic7
14406010It's Over 9000Epic100
1080601010Epic10

The Vega 56 really stands out as THE Overwatch wrecking ball. I was blown away by the freesync technology locking this at 60 FPS and delivering seriously butter smooth gameplay. 4K was a bit wobbly but that's to be expected when all the settings are cranked up. Overwatch is actually a GPU hog on Epic settings. I actually enjoyed playing Overwatch on this card more than I do on my 1080ti. Honestly? Amazing. The card was taking full advantage of Freesync and letting me play with shocking smoothness. I also tested it at -50% board power with no AA - still had a fantastic experience!

Here's the lame Firestrike benchmark. I don't usually run this unless I get a new card and want to see what kind of theoretical performance my card.

Vega 56: 19120

1080ti : 28906

Vega 56 gets a huge thumbs up from me. If you can get it at somewhere around the MSRP then you're really in for a treat. The $550 I paid doesn't make it disappointment because I know the retailer scalped me. AMD has a real winner at $399. Hopefully we're able to see some matching production to demand ratios.

Also Vega is a beast miner. If you mine while your computer is idle you're in for a treat!

Tags (3)
29 Replies
staggeredsix
Elite
Elite

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

I'll edit this tomorrow. The forum kept logging me out and hosing my work lol

feverstriker
Challenger
Challenger

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

I would love to see a comparison between Vega 56 and Vega 64. Awesome review.

staggeredsix
Elite
Elite

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

Thanks! I'm far from a professional and I figured I'd give it a go using some real world play rather than benchmarks and fancy graphs. Hopefully I'll be able to get a 64 at some point!

darkwolfca
Miniboss
Miniboss

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

aweseome write up I hope to pick up a vega once the ones with the aftermarket coolers pop up in stores just a looks thing but still

walking_corpse
Challenger
Challenger

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

Nice job! Really like the extra Received Smoothness category, often we just rely on benchmark data without giving it a frame of reference.

kxuping
Forerunner
Forerunner

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

Im super happy with my Vega 64 and more now with Radeon Adrenalin that can record Eyefinity.

staggeredsix
Elite
Elite

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

I gotcha. I didn't really hear the card all that much. As soon as XFX gives me the green light I'll swap out the TIM. I really like the shroud design of reference cards and I'm going to stick with it. It would be nice to have the water cooled 64 but that's a pipe dream

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mattyd7829
Elite
Elite

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

not to hijack the thread or anything but I also have a vega 64, and I was wondering whether you get the ability to select your compute mode in the global settings area of Adrenaline? I have tried allsorts to clean install the drivers but still do not get that option. Am I missing something? (There is another person with this issue but no-one has answered the thread that he started)

eta don't worry, found the answer in this thread. Vega needs no compute option as it is already optimised

https://community.amd.com/message/2837889#comment-2837889

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staggeredsix
Elite
Elite

Re: Review : Vega 56 Reference

Eh. To be honest the gaming drivers aren't that good at hashing. You want to use those block chain drivers. You'll see massive performance gains in XMR hashrates. I haven't tested other algorithms long enough to judge the performance overall. This time I am only mining one altcoin because I can mine blocks by myself. Pretty sweet to kick out an average of $60 - $90 a day mining on three cards

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