Fan Speed & Noise
Fan Speed & Noise
We now know that AMD prioritizes GPU temperature, meaning fan speed is what suffers. Let’s first look at how fast the fan is forced to spin on a warmed-up card across all eight of the configurations we're measuring:
The difference in noise between the card running at its lowest and highest clock rate is a massive 12.3 dB(A).
We discussed this fan's acoustic profile in our AMD Radeon Vega RX 64 8GB Review. Beyond the secondary BIOS' Power Save mode, Radeon RX Vega 56's noise level is unacceptable as well. The reference Radeon R9 290X, which made it even further beyond the 50 dB(A) mark, is really the only graphics card that does worse.
Primary BIOS Acoustic Profiles
If the fan speed limit was removed completely for our overclocking efforts, then the card would actually exceed 60 dB(A), compelling you to run the other direction.
Secondary BIOS Acoustic Profiles
The noise spectrum of the secondary BIOS' profiles appear in order of quietest to AMD's hurricane simulation.
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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.