PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 8GB review

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PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX Vega 56 (8GB)
A demonic Vega proposition?

It has been a rocky road with the Vega, launched late and when launched, low availability. AMD has been trying to stay on top of the launch and sales, which placed their board partners in a second-row position really. We've stated it from the beginning, Vega ain't bad at all, sure it might need some more Watts and proper cooling, but it's exactly that last segment where custom design AIB partner cards can really make a difference. 

One of these partners is Tul, Powercolor. AMD seems to have backed out on forced reference design sales and is now delivering the actual GPUs to its partners to do their thing. You've likely read our ASUS STRIX Vega 64 review already, today the turn goes to PowerColor. We received their Red Devil Radeon RX Vega 56, and I've been stating this from the very beginning, the Vega 56 is the better deal value for money wise. This card is maybe 10% slower compared to the Vega 64, yet is cheaper and will still get you into that Quad HD resolution performance gaming bracket. Depending on the game workload and title, the performance sits in-between the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080, which is a mighty good spot to be located in at this price. There's more to it than just that though, the Vega 56 is showing a lower TDP and temperature. AMD might have never admitted it, the most likely culprit next to fabbing a monolithic GPU was not the graphics processor itself, we think HBM2 graphics memory was the biggest challenge. Not just getting it in good quantities, HBM2 pricing has been adding to the problem as well. The lights for HBM2 are slowly going green though, we hear more companies now pursuing HBM2 to use and fab, take for example the NVIDIA Titan V (Volta) released in early December 2017, with HBM2 memory. 

The numbers in the Vega suffixes are based on the actual shader clusters, one (56) with 3584 and the other (64) with 4096 shader processors. Originally launched back in August, the Vega 56 custom board should slowly become available to the market. In this review we take a look at that PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB, in particular, the Red Devil edition. The product code for today's reviewed graphics card is AXRX VEGA 56 8GBHBM2-2D2H/OC, should you require it. As mentioned, the GPU has 3584 stream processors. The GPU is clocked at a boost-able up-to 1526 MHz and has been fitted with 8GB of HBM2 graphics memory. The PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 does not come with one, not even two, but with three BIOSes, and you can address all three modes:

  • Silent mode with Mute Fan technology ensures quiet operation.
  • Std. mode pursues balanced gaming experience, low temperature with good OC capability
  • OC mode for gamers to push the limit of Red Devil

It is a product with a massive three-slot / three-fan cooler design. The card is designed with two 8pin power connectors for its 12 power phases. Anyway, we have a lot to chat about. Have a peek, and then let's head onwards into the review.


PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX Vega 56 (8GB).

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