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Gaming Performance - Part 1

The ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC is a video card based on the most recent generation of GPUs from AMD. It has 4,096 cores and 8 GiB HBM2 memory. Let's check how fast is it.

There are, to date, two models of GPUs of the new family from AMD: Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64. While the Vega 56 models have (hence their name) 56 compute units and 3,584 cores, the Vega 64 models have 64 compute units and 4,096 cores. There are also integrated GPUs based on the same architecture, present on AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G desktop CPUs, and on some Intel (yes, you read right) mobile CPUs like the Core i7-8809G.

The reference model for the Radeon RX Vega 64 has a base clock of 1,247 MHz and a turbo clock of 1,546 Mhz. The model we are testing (ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC) has an advertised clock of 1,590 MHz (they didn't say if it is the base clock or the turbo clock,) but the clock shown on GPU-Z was 1,630 MHz. So, this video card has an overclocking of around 5%.

The Radeon RX Vega video cards use HBM2 memory. On the Vega 64, this memory works at 1,890 MHz with a bus width of 2,048 bits, which gives a bandwidth of 483,8 GiB/s. The model we tested uses 8 GiB of VRAM on the reference clock.

The TDP of the Vega 64 GPU is 295 W, and the minimum recommended power for the power supply is 750 W.

Figure 1 shows the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC. The areas around the fans lit on programmable colors and patterns.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 1: the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC

The closest competitor of the Radeon RX Vega 64 is the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. So, we are comparing there two video cards, also including the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, and the GeForce GTX 1080, to see which one is the best buy.

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video cards we included in this review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com for this article.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC

1,590 MHz

1,630 MHz

1.89 GHz

2.048 bit

483.8 GB/s

8 GiB HBM2

4.096

295 W

12

USD 1,060

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE

1,480 MHz

1,582 MHz

11.0 GHz

352 bit

484 GB/s

11 GiB GDDR5X

3,584

250 W

12.1

USD 960

GeForce GTX 1080 FE

1,607 MHz

1,733 MHz

10.0 GHz

256 bit

320 GB/s

8 GiB GDDR5X

2,560

180 W

12.1

USD 670

GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

1,607 MHz

1,683 MHz

8.0 GHz

256 bit

256 GB/s

8 GiB GDDR5

2,432

180 W

12.1

USD 600

Now let's take a closer look to the tested video card.

The ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC is 11.8 inches (300 mm) long and uses three slots. It uses three 90 mm fans with red LEDs.

Figure 2 shows the video connectors of the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC. It brings one DVI-D, two HDMI 2.0, and two DisplayPort connectors.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 2: video connectors

In Figure 3, you see the top of the card, where there are two eight-pin PCI Express power connectors. The logos lit when the card is powered on, and you can select the color and light effect for them.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 3: top view

Figure 4 shows the bottom of the card. Here there is an RGB LED stripe connector and two connectors for extra fans, which is great because you can automatically control the case fans according to the video card temperature.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 4: rear view

Figure 5 shows the solder side of the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC, which is covered by a backplate. Here we also have a logo lit by programmable RGB LEDs.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 5: backplate

Figure 6 shows the solder side with the backplate removed.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 6: solder side

Figure 7 shows the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC with its cooler removed. It is a huge cooler with six heatpipes, that touches the GPU and the HBM2 memory chips (which are all in the same package,) and also the transistors on the voltage regulator circuit. Under the cooler, there is also a metal frame that helps to distribute the heat.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 7: cooler removed

In Figure 8, you see the PCB without this metal frame.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 8: metal frame removed

Figure 9 unveils the Radeon RX Vega 64 chip, with the two HBM2 chips (each one with 4 GiB or VRAM) next to it.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 9: the Radeon RX Vega 64 chip

Figure 10 shows the voltage regulator of the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC. It uses 12+1 phases.

Radeon RX Vega 64 reviewFigure 10: voltage regulator

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between the tests, the only variable component was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Driver Versions

  • AMD driver version: 18.1.1
  • NVIDIA driver version: 388.71

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. We ran the Time Spy, Fire Strike Extreme and Sky Diver benchmarks.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

The Time Spy benchmark measures DirectX 12 native performance, running at 2560 x 1440 resolution. In this benchmark, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 17% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

The Fire Strike Ultra benchmark measures DirectX 11 performance and is aimed at high-end gaming computers. It runs at 4K UHD resolution. In this test, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 20% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

The 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark is aimed at mainstream PCs with DirecX 11 simulations. It runs at 1920 x 1080 Ti. In this test, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 13% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, graphic options “high” and MSAA 2x.

The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in Full HD, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 15% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 21% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

F1 2017

F1 2017 is a racing game launched in August 2017, using the Ego 4.0 engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested the performance in this game using the built-in benchmark, with quality options “high”.

The results below are expressed in fps.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On the Doom test with Full HD, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 24% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 17% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

These results shown that there was a CPU bottleneck in this game.

GTA V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD and 4K, with all image quality set as "very high" and MSAA 2x.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On the Full HD benchmark, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 20% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 30% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “ultra” and SMAA on.

The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On Hitman, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 5% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

With 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 8% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set as “very high”.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On Mad Max, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 26% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 28% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Rainbow Six Siege

"Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege" is a tactical FPS game launched in December 2015, using the AnvilNext engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using graphics quality “ultra”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On this game, in Full HD, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 9% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 11% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using graphics quality “high” and DirectX 12 enabled.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On Rise of the Tomb Rider, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC performed similarly to the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 24% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG, released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance in this game, we walk around at the first scene of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD (1920 x 1080), with image quality set to “ultra”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second and represent the arithmetical mean of the three collected results.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On Rise of the Tomb Rider, in Full HD, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 10% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Radeon RX Vega 64 review

On 4K resolution, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC was 22% slower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

While the Radeon RX Vega cards were highly anticipated, the reality was frustrating. Not because it is bad, or slow, but because it has not a good price/performance ratio.

ASUS Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB Overclocked 2048-Bit HBM2 PCI Express 3.0...
  • Compatible OS platforms : Windows 10 -- 32 /64 bit , Windows 8.1 -- 32/64 bit , Windows 8 -- 32/64 bit , Windows 7 --...
  • ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting provides a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects across...
  • MaxContact plus Auto-Extreme manufacturing technology delivers 2X more GPU to heatsink contact for increased cooling...


The Radeon RX Vega 64 is a real high-end video card, powerful enough to run recent games on 4K resolution with graphics settings as high or very high. The problem is that it is just as fast as the GeForce GTX 1080, which costs less.

It is important to notice that the video card market is passing through a very atypical moment, because of cryptocurrency mining. There is a big demand for video cards, which makes the prices to rise and the stocks to be near zero. This is good for manufacturers, as they are selling a lot, for a high price, but terrible for the gaming customer.

Talking about the model we tested, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 OC, it is an impressive piece of hardware, because of its size, robustness, and overall quality. It has great lightning and cooling features. The only drawback, again, is its price.

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