Review: PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 (8GB)

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    We take the first custom Vega 56 board for a test spin. In this review, we take a devilish PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 56 with 8GB graphics memory for a spin. The 56 is arguably the more affordable grap...

    Review: PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 (8GB)
     
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  2. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Nice to see more reviews of the custom Vega GPU's. :)

    EDIT:
    That's not too bad, what does it translate too at retailers though.
    And let's see here (56 version.) one store has them listed so far from what I can tell (Not in stock though.) for...700 USD after conversion.
    (Sans tax and such which in total drives it up to about 840 USD.)

    Guessing the shortage and price hiking isn't going away any time soon.

    Nice review though, always fun to read these. :)


    EDIT: Some Sapphire 64's are listed too on a few stores between 750 to 800 Euro or 900 - 950 USD roughly.
    At that point you're really going to want to look into a 1080Ti ha ha, well hopefully this will be resolved before too long.
    (I mean it's only been about four months or so now since the product launched. :D Ha ha.)



    EDIT: And going back to the review it seems the cooler is doing pretty good keeping thermals in check and at a slightly reduced noise level although overall performance isn't too different but it's a little bit faster than the stock 56 :)
    (Though even the '56 draws a fair bit of power compared to competing products.)

    And I see there's a mention of the pricing and availability situation at the final page of the review.


    Wonder if there's going to be a review of the Sapphire version eventually, that should be a fun read.
    (More power! Ha ha, well as long as there's a good PSU in the system I suppose that's one way to get more out of the GPU and it does have a bios switch that lowers it down a bit.)

    So these and any other Vegas will be the main availability from now on then with AMD no longer making reference models available and existing supply slowly dwindling down.


    Will be interesting to see what the situation looks like next year, primarily for price and availability but also if other models will be unveiled and if there's any truth to the Vega refresh GPU but then that's going to hit right into another supply and demand situation I'd imagine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  3. warlord

    warlord Master Guru

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    1070Ti is the rival (not old 1070(non-Ti)) of Vega56 and wins by large margin.

    1080 oc 11Gbps is the true rival (not old one 10gbps) of Vega64 and wins by large margin.

    Every benchmark site including us here, should take this into consideration and don't sweeten the pill for AMD. They weren't enough competitive this round. End.

    Nice review by the way. Thanks.
     
  4. BReal85

    BReal85 Active Member

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    What? :D Why they wouldn't be against the 1070 and the 1080? Because You said it? Funny guy you are. These cards are pretty good to be honest, getting close to Vega 64 and the 1080 ref.
     

  5. warlord

    warlord Master Guru

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    Because I am a pro for more than 17 years I know how technology works. And these 2 gpus (1070Ti-1080(11gbps)) are from 2017 not 2016 (like the older ones) and they should be against Vega series (2017 gpus). There is no need to soothe AMD's defeat with all respect.
     
  6. BReal85

    BReal85 Active Member

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    "1070Ti is the rival (not old 1070(non-Ti)) of Vega56 and wins by large margin."

    You even lie mate. There are 13 game benchmarks here. Out of the 13, the 1070 Ti wins in 7 titles. In 6, the Vega56 wins. And you say the 1070Ti wins by large margin.... So what the heck are you talking about? " a pro for more than 17 years"...
     
  7. warlord

    warlord Master Guru

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    That's why 1080 (11gbps) is vanished from every benchmark site to not blacken vega64? This gpu does exist you know.

    Only 13 titles tested here but not all games especially dx11 titles there are tons of them from the past. Give me a break.
     
  8. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    I couldn't agree more with your whole post JonasBeckman
     
  9. Kaarme

    Kaarme Master Guru

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    Is the memory used in 56 and 64 different? Cheaper variety in 56? Or does AMD artificially create the value difference between them by forcing lower MHz in the 56 and disabling overclocking the memory? Maybe HBM2 is so delicate it will melt if overclocked practically at all.

    Why don't you buy all the relevant cards and test, let's say 500 games with them and some computing plus productivity software while you are at it? We'll hear back from you in 2019 when you publish the results. I'm afraid you won't be seeing the break for a good long while, but you can prove your point beyond doubt.
     
  10. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    Big deal that only a small marginal win in fact not really much of a win in my book to me there very close match where the 1070 Ti dose win at is your wallet that what counts right now so in tell they do something about the price the 1070 (NoN Ti) and Ti is the best over all deal under $500 for now but some people the best deals will be the 1060 6GB and RX 580 8GB at $300 or less.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017

  11. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Thank you. :)

    As I see it it's a good GPU keeping up nicely with the 1080 (It does fall behind a bit more in a few games though.) which was also the GPU it was going up against if I remember it correctly. (AMD's poor marketing aside.)
    However with the situation being what it is even if the 1080 is normally priced at a similar level it's now the cheaper alternative and the markup on these new third party Vega GPU's even put it up on par with the price of a 1080Ti which for gaming is 20 - 30% faster.

    I haven't checked how it looks like for the rest of Europe but the GPU shortage here means only a couple of these come in with each shipment and then sell out very quickly and at above the MSRP at that, if retailers can buy these in bulk from PowerColor, Asus, Sapphire and other companies doing these custom cards and then sell them for a profit almost 30% higher (or more.) then I'm not surprised we're seeing GPU's like this one closing in on the 800 US Dollar price range or the Sapphire one at nearly 900 US Dollar rather than the 600 MSRP figure. There's still a number of stores here that have entries for the Vega 56 stock model selling for close to 700 USD too and somehow it all sells out completely shortly after any new stock comes in.

    Likely leading to quite a profit for these stores and by extension I guess the high demand reflects favorably to AMD as well but they're having issues keeping up since well from checking there's like a dozen or so GPU's coming in each time (Around once a month or so.) and that's not really a lot.


    I would guess it's due to the HBM2 memory expenses and availability being the main shortage, hopefully this will be resolved in 2018 but for gaming it's hard to justify the price of the current Vega GPU's unless you're lucky and can pick these up at a sale or at least closer to the MSRP range than the current prices ha ha, even some higher-end third party 1080 Ti models sell for less and then you have a factory overclocked GPU that pushes ahead by a even greater margin.
    (When I checked yesterday that's around 700 - 800 US Dollar after currency conversion which leaves the Sapphire GPU in particular in a pretty poor position plus it draws more power too.)


    It's interesting to read about HBM2 overclocking being locked down too, that actually gave a good performance gain on Vega last I checked having it run upwards of 1000 to 1100 Mhz if it could be kept under the thermal threshold where it would downclock. (80c I think.) so if AMD is lowering this down to stock 56 and 64 speeds. (Barring bios modding the 56 with the info from the 64 bios I guess.) then that's going to hamper the GPU's too.

    Spec wise I remember reading something on how AMD listed HBM2 at 1000 Mhz and 1.2v with the final result being 950 Mhz (Vega 64) at 1.35v though there's still room for clocking it higher but voltage and temperature ramps up too.
    (And the memory itself is rated 800Mhz at 1.2v so AMD is overclocking it a fair bit already, if that info is correct.)


    So yeah upgrade wise things are a bit problematic at the moment, for my own GPU the 580 is a bit of a side-grade due to it's weaker hardware but it makes up for it with features such as being able to discard unneeded geometry and a few other improvements and then there's Vega which is 30% or so faster under ideal conditions but sometimes only 10% or so for when it's underperforming which happens in a few titles, hopefully further work driver side can help with this particular problem at least a bit.

    580's are also slowly becoming more readily available with numerous third party models and of course also the 570 and 560 GPU's whereas well it's kinda hard to say how the situation with Vega will continue, I don't expect the shortage to clear up soon but I'd like to be wrong.


    EDIT: It's also interesting to read these reviews particularly as new drivers become available and maybe improving overall performance a little bit further, not too sure how things are currently looking for Vega 56 and 64 and how many AMD partners will do custom models and in what numbers but it does look like there's at least four or five now albeit initial availability is currently a issue as is pricing. :)

    Still fun to read how these perform though and what changes have been done to parts such as the PCB although I heard AMD's stock design is actually pretty good so there's likely not too much left to improve on and the water cooled 64 model likely is at the top of what's possible already.
    (If the Sapphire 64 sticking an extra 8-pin on the GPU still isn't showing any larger gains and for a huge increase in power that's kinda a good indication the GPU might be pretty tapped out already at some 1700 Mhz core clock speed at best and unless it's now been completely locked down around 1000 Mhz HBM2 speeds.)

    (Though for air cooling managing a bit over 1600 Mhz core clock isn't bad, secondary bios reduces it a bit but the actual performance hit isn't that big so it might actually be preferred to do this.)


    Though this is the Red Devil and the 56 so a little bit lower clock speeds and power usage but still not that much slower which just indicates these GPU's are already pushing pretty close to their limits at stock. :)
    (But the user then has the ability to control power usage by under volting and possibly being able to get a even better power usage at a minor performance impact.)


    EDIT: Well from how I see it at least, will be interesting to see if that refresh rumor turns out to be true and what that can do for Vega if so and if AMD launches a refresh of the big Vega GPU with these tweaks.

    (And this is becoming quite a bit of text by now so well in summary it's a good GPU improving on some of the shortcomings in the Fury but the price is hampering things compared to competing products.)
    (1.3x performance isn't bad, 2x to 3x the price however, well that is bad and the current situation might take time before it improves.)

    (Though then you have the whole bit about just how much higher clocked these are compared to the Fury...but that's already been discussed at length when the GPU's first came out.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  12. Crest

    Crest New Member

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    Hilbert, big fan of your website for years nows ! I think I saw an error in the GPU shootout table, and wanted to let you know (maybe I'm mistaken).

    I see RX Vega 56 STRIX, just above the VEGA 64. As far as I know you never had the 56, but the 64 STRIX in test... Also the numbers are not correct I think for a 56.

    Best regard,
     
  13. Lee83ant

    Lee83ant New Member

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    This is kinda frustrating at the moment, I really want to upgrade my 970 GTX and was planning to go AMD for free sync but the price of these cards are insane, just browsing through some retailers this card sells for more then a 1080 GTX. I understand that the price point is supposed to me much lower but for the actual cost of these cards as a gamer it seems really poor value :(
     
  14. ZXRaziel

    ZXRaziel Member

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    I cannot wait for the "bittcon" bubble to burst , then the prices of graphics cards will drop to where they should be .
     
  15. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    I got really luck and scored one $400 yes that at MSRP sweet deal in Nov 2 that same day 1070 Ti review come out.
    I like my Freesync it to bad that nVidia didn't support it I can't see my self spent 200+ more for a all ready very expensive monitor
     

  16. ZXRaziel

    ZXRaziel Member

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    That is your opinion , the numbers speak for them self , the cards are pretty close performance wise , obviously Nvidia cards will always gain little bit of advantage in games that are optimized for them ( most games that say - the way it' s meant to be played ;-) ) , I am not a fanboy , I have only used Nvidia cards, never owned ATI / AMD in my life . But i am not blindly defending AMD the fact is that the new 56 and 64 loose in the power consumption and pricing ( prices are not AMD's fault to be fair , mining craze driving the prices up , wasting prescious resources to create something out of nothing ) . Right now Nvidia cards are better option in my opinion , but if the prices of AMD cards drop where they should be ( much cheaper than the Nvidia ) they will offer very good value .
     
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  17. BReal85

    BReal85 Active Member

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    Marginal, lol... :D If you can get a Vega56 for 400$ or an AIB Vega56 for 450$, it's the best overall deal under 500$.
     
  18. The Edge

    The Edge Active Member

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    Well a nice card but Vega 56's biggest problem is the price. I can get a reference Vega 56 for 470€ cheapest. For that same price I can have a nice aftermarket Evga 1070 Ti. But the biggest problem for both of these is that the cheapest aftermarket 1080 is 520€. And if you are ready to spent 470, I bet you can find those 50€ to buy a way better 1080 instead.
     
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  19. slicer

    slicer New Member

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    Did I read correctly that AMD has locked the HBM2 clock on non-reference cards like this one?
    I have seen that so many good things come when OC'ing the HBM2 memory to 1000 or more....
     
  20. Evildead666

    Evildead666 Master Guru

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    I was wondering that too, and checked again, and he does mention multiple times that the memory is locked.
    I couldn't see if it was just for non-reference cards.
    Seeing as AMD isn't making any more ref cards, that could be a problem...
     

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