AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB review

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Radeon RX Vega 56 Black (8GB)
At 399 USD the much better Vega proposition?

You probably have just read our Vega 64 review. What if I tell you that the Vega 56 might be the better deal? This card is maybe 10% slower compared to the Vega 64, yet is 20% cheaper and will still get you into that high performance gaming bracket. The performance sits in-between the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080, which is mighty good spot to be located in at this price. As such in this review we take the 399 USD Radeon RX Vega 56 with 8GB graphics memory for a spin. This more affordable AMD graphics card might actually be the better proposition value for money wise while running a lower TDP and temperature.

It has been a long time coming for what we test and review; yes, AMD unleashed Vega base graphics processors to the consumer market. It has been a long haul alright, initially everybody expected some kind of availability back in December 2016. Though AMD never admitted it, the likely culprit next to fabbing a monolithic GPU, HBM2 graphics memory was a challenge. Not just getting it in good quantities, HBM2 pricing has been adding up as well. The lights for HBM2 are slowly going green though, we hear more companies now pursuing HBM2 to use and fab. Right now it is Summer 2017, and Vega for consumers has arrived. We have a lot to talk about and to show you today. As you know, the Radeon RX Vega series is AMD's most high-end graphics card series which they will be positioning into a gaming domain of 2560x1440 as well as Ultra HD gaming. VEGA, named after that star, of course. Vega, also designated Alpha Lyrae (α Lyrae, abbreviated Alpha Lyr, α Lyr), is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra, the fifth-brightest star in the night sky and the second-brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus. It is relatively close at only 25 light-years from the Sun, and one of the most luminous stars in the Sun's neighborhood. Vega has been extensively studied by astronomers, leading it to be termed “arguably the next most important star in the sky after the Sun. The traditional name Vega (earlier Wega) comes from a loose transliteration of the Arabic word wāqi‘ meaning "falling" or "landing", via the phrase an-nasr al-wāqi‘, "the falling eagle". A lot has been said and spoken regarding this graphics card series. Earlier this year you have seen AMD's Mi25 series release as well as the Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition. VEGA for consumers, or Radeon RX Vega 64, will offer you a comfortable 12.66 TFLOPs of single precision (fp32t) game performance. You guys have seen all the rumors, leaked benchmarks and FE edition results. Fact is that the product will battle the reference clocked GeForce GTX 1080, which is rated at 9 TFLOPs and the GeForce GTX Titan X (Pascal) at roughly 11 TFLOPS. This means that AMD can position itself at a rather comfortable position in the PC gaming domain. And the discussion of whether or not Vega arrives too late to the market is something only the end-user can decide.

AMD today announced their Radeon RX Vega 56 and 64 series graphics cards, there will be two air-cooled models initially, called the Radeon Vega 56 and 64 as well as a Vega 64 liquid cooled edition. 

The numbers in the suffixes are based on the actual shader clusters and thus you are looking at two air-cooled graphic cards initially being released, one with 3584 and one with 4096 shader processors. These are priced at 399 and 499 USD for the standalone air-cooled versions respectively. There will also be a liquid cooled edition that is clocked faster at a price of 699 USD, which does come with a bundle. AMD will also offer bundled packages and limited editions. I'll leave that info out of the equation as it is slowly becoming  massive flurry of non-understandable content otherwise. The three cards are due for release and availability in August, the vega 56 will be available starting August 28th. In this review we  take a look at that Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB, a lot has been said and spoken about the multiple SKUs that AMD is to release. Obviously a reference card is just that, the board partners will offer their own revision of Radeon RX Vega with customized PCBs, factory tweaks and efficient cooling solutions. Below you can see the Radeon RX Vega 56 Black edition. The card as it'll be sold as standalone in e-tail and retail. Both the 56 and 64 look IDENTICAL in aesthetics, have the same display outputs and PCIe power inputs. So for the reference card is is both exactly the same stuff, I can hear some of you thinking ... hmm Vega 56 with a 64 BIOS already :-)

Check out that Radeon RX Vega 56 (Black), the GPU has 3584 stream processors. The GPU is clocked at a boost-able up-to 1471 MHz and has been fitted with 8GB of HBM2 graphics memory. 


Radeon RX Vega 56 up and 64 down below - 100% similar.

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