The Witcher 3 (DirectX 11)
We had to pull our cards back out after wrapping up benchmarking to confirm what you see here: that The Witcher 3 averages slightly higher frame rates on Radeon RX Vega 56 than 64.
While our test sequence is a manual run-through and subject to some variation, we do know this game is power-hungry. It’s plausible that this DX11-based title isn’t utilizing AMD’s NCUs efficiently, keeping Vega 64’s extra Stream processors/texture units from augmenting performance. At the same time, higher power consumption could put a cap on Vega 64’s clock rate that Vega 56 isn’t limited by. In any case, Vega 56’s match our expectations more than what we’ve repeatedly measured from Vega 64.
Jumping up to 4K puts more stress on each GPU’s ability to render pretty pixels quickly, so Vega 64 assumes its position ahead of Radeon RX Vega 56 at 3840x2160, as we'd expect. Vega 56 notably leads the two GeForce GTX 1070 cards as well, turning what we considered to be a curious loss in our Vega 64 review into redemption for AMD’s derivative model.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table
MORE: All Graphics Content
Good job AMD, hopefully next gen you can make more headway in power efficiency. But this is a good card, even beats the factory OC 1070.
Some 'Other Guys' (Namer Gexus?) were experimenting on under-volting and clock-boosting with interesting results. It's not like you guys don't have enough to do, already, but an Under-Volt-Off Smack Down between AMD and nVidia might be fun for readers ...
Yeah Tom's Hardware does objective reviewing. If there are faults with something, they will call them out like the inferior VR performance over the 1070. This is not the National Inquirer of tech review sites like WCCTF. There are more things to consider than raw FPS performance and that's what we expect to see in an honest objective review.
Guru3D's conclusion with caveats:
"For PC gaming I can certainly recommend Radeon RX Vega 56. It is a proper and good performance level that it offers, priced right. It's a bit above average wattage compared to the competitions product in the same performance bracket. However much more decent compared to Vega 64."
Tom's conclusion with caveats:
"Even when we compare it to EVGA’s overclocked GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming 8GB (there are no Founders Edition cards left to buy), Vega 56 consistently matches or beats it. But until we see some of those forward-looking features exposed for gamers to enjoy, Vega 56’s success will largely depend on its price relative to GeForce GTX 1070."
^^And that's the truth. If prices of the AIB cards coming are closer to the GTX 1080, then it can't be considered a better value. This is not AMD's fault of course, but that's just the reality of the situation. You can't sugar coat it, you can't hide it, and you can't spin it. Real money is real money. We've already seen this with the RX 64 prices getting close to GTX 1080 Ti territory.
With that said, I am glad to see Nvidia get direct competition from AMD again in the high end segment since Fury even though it's a year and four months late to the party. In this case, the reference RX 56 even bests an AIB Strix GTX 1070 variant in most non-VR games. That's promising for what's going to come with their AIB variants. The question now is what's looming on the horizon in an Nvidia response with Volta. We'll find out in the coming months.