AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Officially Launches, Full Review Roundup – RTG Unleashes Their Latest Flagship Successor After More Than Two Years

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Aug 14, 2017
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AMD is officially launching their highly anticipated and flagship graphics product, the Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card today. The card will be aiming at the high-end graphics market and we will be covering the full review roundup in this post too.

AMD Officially Launches The Radeon RX Vega 64 Graphics Cards – Comes In Three Variants Starting at $499 US

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card is based on a new GPU known as Vega. The chip took several years in making and is finally here for gamers to purchase. The RX Vega launch is also the longest time it took AMD to release a flagship successor to their last-gen flagship. AMD’s previous flagship, the Radeon R9 Fury X with Fiji GPU was released way back in June 2015 and Radeon Vega arrives in August of 2017. The launch comes more than two years after the R9 Fury X and also more than a year after NVIDIA’s first Pascal GPU launch. So the question is, has AMD finally been able to deliver a product that dethrones NVIDIA’s fastest from the throne and best their own Fury X by a huge margin?

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You can purchase the Radeon RX Vega graphics cards and Radeon Packs from the links provided below:

I guess that question can be found out by looking at the multiple reviews that are posted in the chart below. There’s another thing to note here, AMD is also letting reviewers test the RX Vega 56 graphics card today so you can see reviews of that card in the reviews below too.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX 56 Review Roundup – ‘Poor Volta’ Still A Distant Dream For Radeon Technologies Group

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 Reviews Roundup:

Review PublisherGraphics Card
AnandtechAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
PCGamerAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
PCperAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
TechpowerupAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
TechpowerupAMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
ComputerbaseAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
TechreportAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
TomshardwareAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
HardocpAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
EurogamerAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
EurogamerAMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
PCWorldAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
HexusAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
KitguruAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
TweaktownAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
4GamerAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
4GamerAMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
NordichardwareAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
TechspotAMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
PCGameshardwareAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
GolemAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
HwbattleAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
HothardwareAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
PhoronixAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
Lab501AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
Hardware.frAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
HardwareLuxxAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
Hardware.InfoAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air
XfastestAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
SweclockersAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Air
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air

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Reviewers Quotes:

W1zzard – Techpowerup

Price-wise the Radeon RX Vega 64 clocks in at $499, which is not unreasonable. It is basically the same price as GTX 1080, which does offer much better power/heat/noise levels. There are pricier “halo” variants of this card. At $599 you get the “Limited Edition” card, which is basically the reference card with a fancy brushed-aluminium cooler body, which looks really cool, but has no performance benefits over the reference design. At $699, you get the Liquid Edition card, with an AIO liquid cooling solution, which enables higher clocks. This card is priced higher than the GTX 1080 Ti, and we doubt if it can compete with that card in performance.

Ryan Smith – Anandtech

Unfortunately for AMD, their GTX 1080-like performance doesn’t come cheap from a power perspective. The Vega 64 has a board power rating of 295W, and it lives up to that rating. Relative to the GeForce GTX 1080, we’ve seen power measurements at the wall anywhere between 110W and 150W higher than the GeForce GTX 1080, all for the same performance.

The catch for AMD is that what they need to price RX Vega at to be competitive and what it should be able to do are at odds with each other. The Vega 10 is a large, power-hungry GPU. Much larger and much more power hungry than NVIDIA’s competing GP102 GPU. And while this isn’t an immediate consumer concern – we pay what the market will bear, not what it costs AMD to make a chip with a nice gross margin on the side – from a technology and architectural perspective it indicates that AMD has moved farther away from NVIDIA in the last couple of years. Whereas the Radeon R9 Fury X was almost a win that AMD didn’t get, the RX Vega 64 doesn’t appear to be fighting in the weight class it was even designed for. Instead the power efficiency gap between AMD and NVIDIA has grown since 2015, and apparently by quite a bit.

Jarred Walton – PCGamer

For those who aren’t part of the AMD ecosystem, and who aren’t interested in becoming part, Vega is far less interesting. Its direct competitor, the GTX 1080, is over a year old now, GTX 1080 Ti is available for those who want even higher performance, and we all know Nvidia isn’t standing still. The question at this point is how far away Nvidia’s Volta GPUs are from public launch, and how fast they might end up being. If Vega had been able to catch the 1080 Ti, Volta GPUs might have arrived as early as this fall. Having now seen Vega, however, it could be spring 2018 before we get a GTX 1180 (or whatever Nvidia ends up calling it). The good news is that when it comes to high-end GPUs, AMD now shows up in the discussion again.

Ryan Shrout – Pcper

With AMD’s cards now on the table, it’s time to see what NVIDIA chooses to do, if anything. Will they make any pricing moves on the GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 to take mindshare back from an aggressive Radeon marketing team? There appears to be no reason to release a higher performance part than the GTX 1080 Ti with it still holding a 25-30% lead over the GTX 1080 and RX Vega 64. It is also possible that NVIDIA remains confident in its lineup, its software advantage, and its power efficiency and chooses not to affect its own profitability with GeForce price changes. NVIDIA will likely wait and see how RX Vega inventory holds up, and how the mining market shifts in the coming weeks, before considering any major moves.

AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU Specifications – 12.5 Billion Transistors on a 14nm 484mm2 Die, 4096 Cores, 256 TMUs, Max Speed of 1700 MHz and 8 GB of HBM2 VRAM

The Vega chip will be utilizing the latest 14nm core architecture which is based on the NCU (Next Compute Engine) design. It is said that Vega took the evolution step and builds upon the fabric laid out by current GCN cores while adding more features to it. The Vega die measures approximately 484mm2. The Vega 10 graphics core deploys 12.5 billion transistors.

The graphics chip will feature 64 Compute Units or 4096 stream processors and 256 TMUs. AMD plans on increasing the throughput of the chip through increased clock speeds. This will allow AMD to pump numbers better than the Fiji GPU which is based on the 28nm GCN 3.0 architecture and comes with the same number of cores, 4096 SPs.

There’s also 8 GB of HBM2 VRAM which comes in two stacks (4 GB per stack). The graphics card has a total rated bandwidth of 484 GB/s which is lower than the 512 GB/s on Fiji. Compared to HBM1, a Vega die features 2x bandwidth per pin and 8x capacity per stack. The bandwidth is not entirely 2x but its comparable as the chips are clocked higher to deliver almost the same bandwidth output. It also enables a 75% smaller footprint than conventional GDDR5 memory and is 3.5x more efficient as stated by AMD.

However, we don’t know which variant of GDDR5 memory is AMD comparing to HBM2. GDDR5 is steadily progressing forward with 9 Gbps modules available and up to 12 Gbps modules available with G5X that deliver great performance output and added power savings over GDDR5. The chips also features a pixel fill rate of 90 GPixels/s. Additionally, the cards will feature 4 MB of L2 cache and 45 MB of SRAM across the GPU.

AMD Radeon RX Vega Architecture Presentation

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 Graphics Card Lineup:

Graphics CardAMD Radeon R9 Fury XAMD Radeon RX Vega NanoAMD Radeon RX Vega 56 ReferenceAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 ReferenceAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 LimitedAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
GPUFiji XTVega 10Vega 10Vega 10Vega 10Vega 10
Process Node28nm14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET
Compute Units64TBD56646464
Stream Processors4096TBD3584409640964096
Raster Operators646464646464
Texture Mapping Units256TBD224256256256
Clock Speed (Base)1000 MHzTBD1156 MHz1247 MHz1247 MHz1406 MHz
Clock Speed (Max)1050 MHzTBD1471 MHz1546 MHz1546 MHz1677 MHz
FP32 Compute8.6 TFLOPsTBD10.5 TFLOPs12.6 TFLOPs12.6 TFLOPs13.7 TFLOPs
FP16 Compute8.6 TFLOPsTBD21.0 TFLOPs25.2 TFLOPs25.2 TFLOPs27.4 TFLOPs
Memory (VRAM)4 GB HBM18 GB HBM28 GB HBM28 GB HBM28 GB HBM28 GB HBM2
Memory Bus4096 bit2048 bit2048 bit2048 bit2048 bit2048 bit
Bandwidth512 GB/sTBD410 GB/s484 GB/s484 GB/s484 GB/s
TDP275W150W210W295W295W350W
Price$649TBD$399
($499 US Actual)
$499
($599 US Actual)
$599$699
Launch201520172017201720172017

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Black – Reference Air Cooled Model With 295W TDP, $499 US Price

The base model in the Radeon RX Vega 64 family is the air cooled black variant. The model is very simplistic in design and features a shroud design that is very similar to the reference RX 480. The card features a slightly bigger chassis compared to the Radeon RX 480 due to a bigger and bulkier PCB layout. We are looking at a Radeon logo on the front, near the IO panel and also an “R” logo on the blower fan. The blower fan size has also increased from the one we saw on the Radeon RX 480 and will be able to dissipate more heat out from inside the chassis.

Inside the card, we are looking at a thermal heatsink that goes on the GPU, a 13 Phase PCB design and a dual 8 pin power connector configuration. Display outputs include three DisplayPort and a single HDMI port. On the back of the card, we are looking at a nice backplate with the GPU tach switches that let you change color of the LEDs for the GPU usage indicators over the power plugs. The card will hit retail at $499 US and feature the base clocks of 1247 MHz (base) and 1546 MHz (peak).

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Silver – Limited Edition Air Cooled Model With 295W TDP, $599 US Price

The next mode we have is the Radeon RX Vega 64 Limited Edition. This card is very similar to the reference model in terms of PCB design and clock speeds. While the reference model features a simplistic shroud design with rubberized mesh on the front and plastic finish, the limited edition sports a much more elegant cooler design that makes use of premium materials that look great

There’s the Vega logo on the top and a Radeon “R” square in the corner which emits LED light, similar to the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. This model will cost slightly more than the reference edition and since it’s a limited edition, it won’t be available for the entire lifespan of the Vega lineup.

The card uses a plastic base plate to provide extra support to the PCB and heat dissipation. There is a single blower fan that pushes air towards a large isothermic vapor chamber and out of the assembly and through the exhaust vents on the I/O. The TDP has been configured at 295W for the air cooled models and power will be provided through dual 8 pin connectors. The silver model will feature a pricing of $599 US.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid – Liquid Cooled Model With 345W TDP, $699 US Price

The last model is the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Edition which as the name suggest will feature liquid cooling. The Radeon RX Vega 64 liquid cooled model looks very similar to the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Liquid which has already been launched and will come with higher / stable clock speeds of 1406 MHz (base) and 1677 MHz (peak). When compared to the air cooled variants, the card has better cooling potential and higher clock speeds but will feature much higher power draw.

The Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid looks very premium and nicely designed with the whole brushed silver texturing. The Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Edition graphics card is powered by dual 8 pin power connectors and will require beefy power supply units to keep it fed under heavy gaming loads. The TDP for the Liquid cooled model will be configured at 350W. Pricing will be set at $699 US which is $200 US more than the GeForce GTX 1080 at $499 US.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Air Cooled Reference Model – The Cut Down Vega For $399 US, Launching August 28th With Reviews Today

AMD will also be shipping the Radeon RX Vega 56 which is based on the cut down Vega 10 die. The card will be available in reference only variants at launch and feature the same blower styled cooler as the Radeon RX Vega 64 reference model. The graphics card will feature 3584 cores that will be clocked at 1156 MHz base and 1471 MHz boost. The chip will feature a total compute horse power of 10.5 TFLOPs (FP32) and will feature a TDP of 210W which will be provided through an 8 and 6 pin power connector configuration.

The Radeon RX Vega 56 will also feature 8 GB of HBM2 VRAM which will deliver a rated bandwidth of 410 GB/s along a 2048-bit bus interface. In terms of pricing, the model will hit retail for $399 US and will get custom models around late Q3 or early Q4 2017. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 will be available two weeks later on 28th August but you can check out the reviews today. ASUS has shown off their custom ROG STRIX models and we can expect similar treatment for the RX Vega 56 later.

Lastly, for those who want to know more, AMD has also announced Radeon Packs. These include the following:

  • Radeon AquaPack with RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled for $699
  • Radeon Black Pack with RX Vega 64 Air Cooled for $599
  • Radeon Red Pack with RX Vega 56 for $499

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid, Air and reference models will be shipping with these packs. The starting price of the Radeon Red pack is $499 US for the reference model which grants you two free games (Wolfenstein II and Prey 2). The higher priced Radeon Black Pack for $599 US grants you the game and a $100 US discount on a Ryzen 7 CPU while the top end Radeon Aqua pack will get you all of the above plus $200 off of an Samsung ultra-wide FreeSync monitor for just $699 US. The AMD Radeon RX Vega family will also include Radeon RX Vega Nano as revealed earlier.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Launch Prices (Credits: Videocardz):

GPU NameAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 ReferenceAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 LimitedAMD Radeon RX Vega Liquid
Official MSRP499 USD599 USD699 USD
ShopBlt (US)650 USD650 USD758 USD
LambdaTek (UK)703 GBP703 GBP789 GBP
Mdcomputers (India)71,500 INR72,725 INR85,350 INR
PCThemes (Singapore) 999 SGD 999 SGD1149 SGD
Eurozone599 EUR599 EUR699 EUR
Japan73,800 YPN73,800 YPN85,800 YPN

At the end of the day, we have a GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 competitor from AMD that draws much higher power and runs really hot when cooled on air. The card delivers high-end performance but the GTX 1080 Ti remains the reigning champion of the graphics throne with a huge performance benefit over the 1080 and RX Vega. The sad thing is that $699 US for the liquid cooled Vega is the same price as a GTX 1080 Ti. We also know that the base model would be selling for $599 US instead of $499 US which makes it $100 US more expensive than the GTX 1080. We will be posting more information on the cards in separate articles soon too!

For now, you can vote which graphics card will you be most interested to purchase in the coming days in the following poll.

Which high-end graphics card will you be purchasing for your PC?

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