Skip to main content

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB Review

Ethereum Mining

The latest version of Claymore’s Dual Ethereum AMD/Nvidia GPU Miner (v9.8) includes support for Radeon RX Vega, so that’s what we used for our mining benchmark.

All of the AMD cards run in ASM mode, which requires some fine-tuning using the -dcri command line option. Our Radeon R9 Fury X saw its hash rate peak at -dcri 85, while our Radeon R9 390X was optimal at -dcri 20. After experimenting with fine-tuning values on our Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 8GB, we saw slightly higher hash rates using the -asm 2 switch for alternative ASM kernel mode. Radeon RX Vega 64 didn’t seem to like being messed with as much; adjustments from the default -dcri 30 did little to affect performance in a positive way.

Perhaps the most glaring upset in our chart comes from GeForce GTX 1080, which underperforms the lower-end 1070. This is a known issue though, as the Ethereum base code fits the latency characteristics of GDDR5 better than GDDR5X. Both the 1080 Ti and Titan Xp get around that problem with a much wider 384-bit memory interface. So if you could build your card from Nvidia’s parts bin, it’d be a GP102 processor with a 384-bit bus equipped with 9 Gb/s GDDR5 overclocked to 10 Gb/s. If only it was that easy, right?

AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 achieves roughly 98% of Vega 64’s Ethereum mining performance at a lower price point while using less power. Although the card’s HBM2 operates at a ~15%-lower data rate, it must employ tighter timings in order to make up the difference so convincingly.

This is going to be bad news for gamers, but expect greater interest in Radeon RX Vega 56 from miners than RX Vega 64.


MORE: Best Graphics Cards


MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table


MORE: All Graphics Content

  • kjurden
    What a crock! I didn't realize that Tom's hardware pandered to the iNvidiot's. AMD VEGA GPU's have rightfully taken the performance crown!
    Reply
  • rwinches
    Just when on sale Newegg and Amazon $399... Gone!
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    Vega 56 vs GTX 1070, Vega goes 6-2-2 = Winner Vega!

    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.
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    Thanks for the hard work and in-depth review -- any word on Vega Nano?

    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 ...

    Reply
  • pavel.mateja
    No undervolting tests?
    https://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=https://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.php/artikel/hardware/grafikkarten/44084-amd-radeon-rx-vega-56-und-vega-64-im-undervolting-test.html&edit-text=
    Reply
  • thomas.moore.ii
    Yawn....... It's 4am here at the party.....you just now showing up Vega?
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    20112576 said:
    What a crock! I didn't realize that Tom's hardware pandered to the iNvidiot's. AMD VEGA GPU's have rightfully taken the performance crown!

    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.
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    We've seen what they can do in a factory blower configuration. Are board manufacturers allowed to take 64 and 56 and do their own designs and cooling solutions, where they can potentially coax more out of it (power usage aside)? Or are they stuck with this configuration as Fury X and Fury Nano were stuck?
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    No, there will be card vendors like ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI who will have their own cooling. Here's a review of an ASUS RX 64 Strix Gaming:

    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/109078-asus-radeon-rx-vega-64-strix-gaming/
    Reply
  • pepar0
    20112412 said:
    Radeon RX Vega 56 should be hitting store shelves with 3584 Stream processors and 8GB of HBM2. Should you scramble to snag yours or shop for something else?

    AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB Review : Read more
    Will any gamers buy this card ... will any gamers GET to buy this card? Hot, hungry, noisy and expensive due to the crypto currency mining craze was not what this happy R290 owner had in mind.
    Reply