VR: Chronos (DirectX 11)
Chronos at its highest quality settings is taxing, even for today’s top-end graphics hardware. But it’s also a UE4-based game, and Nvidia historically fares better in those.
Sure enough, we see the GeForce GTX 1080 spend a brief bit of our 80-second run in ASW mode, while the rest of its frames are new. GeForce GTX 1070 is a little more dependent on synthesized frames for a smooth experience, but it starts generating new frames again once the runtime sees headroom open up.
Radeon RX Vega 64 starts the benchmark pumping out new frames, but never recovers once we hit the taxing passage that forces Nvidia’s cards into ASW mode initially. Vega 56 simply cannot help but to rely on a 1:1 ratio of real to synthesized frames.
An unconstrained frame rate >45 FPS shows that Vega 56 at least has some performance reserves to maintain its ratio of one real to one synthesized frame. We’ve seen slower cards, like Radeon RX 470, that often require two synthesized frames for every real one. That’s no good. But it also means Radeon RX Vega 56 is significantly slower than GeForce GTX 1070 in Chronos.
The 99th percentile frame times show why it’s necessary for all of these cards to switch over into ASW mode for at least part of our Chronos benchmark.
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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.