Due to the fact that AMD took more than a year to release the game accelerators of the level GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 the Radeon RX Vega family faced the difficulties of catching up development. In addition to the fact that the release of Vega 10 chips with HBM memory still does not satisfy the demand for video cards, competing products retain the advantage of a wide range of original design cards with a powerful cooling system. At the same time, the vast majority of proposals based on Vega is a reference design with a closed cooling system manufactured by SAPPHIRE.
At the same time, AMD engineers should be given credit: the company took into account the negative experience of the first video cards of the family Polaris and did not economize on the hardware of the reference Vega 56 and Vega 64 . Among all the accelerators of reference design that AMD and NVIDIA have ever released, Vega stands out as a huge reserve of power, and the cooling system is perhaps as effective as it is possible with a closed design with a single radial fan. But in this area Vega still has room for further improvements. In order to fully discover the frequency potential of the new GPU, it is required to even more increase the available graphics card capacity and at the same time to ensure adequate heat dissipation while maintaining acceptable acoustic parameters.
Four months after the release of the gamer versions of Vega, there are several original video cards on the market, all of them refer to the "premium" series of the respective brands. Power consumption of Vega 10 chips leaves no room for simplified options, which are possible in case of GeForce GTX 1070/1080.
ASUS has the honor to launch the first Radeon RX Vega 64 model with a non-standard board and cooling system, and we will continue to explore the capabilities of AMD's latest graphics processor using ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC. In addition, this review will test a new method for measuring the current directly on the power lines of the video card – so we will know the true power consumption of Vega 64 compared to the NVIDIA accelerators and its power requirements for the power supply.
By default, ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC operates at reference frequencies: the limit for the graphics processor is 1630 MHz, and the HBM2 memory is 1890 MHz. OC Mode, which is activated in the ASUS GPU Tweak II utility, increases the GPU peak frequency by 20 MHz, and the Boost Clock (the maximum frequency in the range that AMD guarantees under typical compute load) increases from 1546 to 1590 MHz. Thus, the overclocking regime here is of purely symbolic significance.
|The model||Radeon RX Vega 64||ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC|
|The graphic processor|
|The name||Vega 10 XT||Vega 10 XT|
|Microarchitecture||GCN 1.4||GCN 1.4|
|Technical process, nm||14 nm FinFET||14 nm FinFET|
|The number of transistors, million||12 500||12 500|
|Clock frequency, MHz: Base Clock / Boost Clock||1247/1546||1247/1546 (1590)|
|The number of shader ALUs||4096||4096|
|The number of texture overlay blocks||256||256|
|The number of ROP||64||64|
|The width of the tire, bit||2048||2048|
|The type of the microcircuits||HBM2||HBM2|
|Clock frequency, MHz (throughput per contact, Mbps)||945 (1890)||945 (1890)|
|The input / output bus||PCI Express 3.0 x16||PCI Express 3.0 x16|
|Peak performance of FP32, GFLOPS (based on the maximum specified frequency)||12665 ||13025|
|Performance of the FP32 / FP64||1/16||1/16|
|Throughput of operative memory, Gbytes / s||484||484|
|The output of the image|
|Image output interfaces||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4||HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, DL DVI-I|
|Retail price (USA, excluding tax), $||499 (recommended at time of release)||ND|
|The retail price (Russia), rubles||From 42 510 (market.yandex.ru)||ND|
The video card is equipped with a disk with software, paper documentation, an adapter from two six-pin to one eight-pin power connector and branded cable ties.
Against the backdrop of the general decoding of video cards of the Vega family, ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC is even more difficult to obtain than the reference design devices. The ASUS model is not available either on Russian or American sites (Newegg and Amazon). Only in a few online stores in Germany and Austria, it recently appeared on sale at prices from € 715 to € 951.
The ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC has a length of 298 mm, which is larger than the standard ATX (244 mm) board width and eliminates the need to install the video card in compact cases where the drive bins are located close to the motherboard. The thickness of the device takes two and a half expansion slots.
The exterior of the video card contains all the characteristic features of the Strix series. Transparent elements of the body of the CO and a figured slot on the protective plate on the back are illuminated with RGB diodes, the hue of which and various operating modes allows you to choose firmware. There are contacts for connection of two case fans with the ability to control the revolutions in automatic or manual mode. Through another connector on the board, the video card's lighting is synchronized with the motherboard's backlight (assuming it is an ASUS card with the Aura option).
The design of the cooling system in general terms is similar to that of the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti . Here, fans with a diameter of 92 mm protected by the IP-5X standard are used, which means a high (but not absolute) degree of isolation from solid particles. When the GPU temperature drops to 55 ° C, the rotation of the fans stops.
Six heatpipes 6 mm in diameter connect two sections of a massive radiator with a polished sole that removes heat from a GPU crystal. To the transistors of the power supply system of the graphic processor, a separate protrusion of the radiator is pressed.
The thick aluminum frame under the radiator gives the video card rigidity and cools the transistors feeding the memory chips, due to a separate block of ribs.
The plate covering the back side of the printed circuit board is needed exclusively for aesthetics and protection of surface mounting elements. In cooling, it does not participate.
The signal to the image output device is transmitted via the DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces, which ASUS supplemented with the Dual-Link DVI-D connector, absent on the reference design board.
The ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC card retained the original feature of the AMD reference cards – a redundant BIOS chip with a switch, which in this case, like the reference Radeon RX Vega 64, contains a firmware with a reduced power limit for the three pre-installed WattMan profiles – Power Save, Balanced and Turbo.
In our copy of the video card is a Vega 10 GPU of the Taiwanese case, which uses Samsung's HBM2 chips, and the gap between the chips on the substrate is covered with an epoxy compound. In this version of Vega 10 GPU and RAM chips have the same height (unlike the Korean assembly with SK hynix memory), which contributes to efficient cooling and reduces the risk when installing and removing the radiator.
ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC, like the reference board, is equipped with a 13-phase power system, but ASUS has allocated two phases for powering the RAM chips, and the reference board is one. The location of the PWM controller in the GPU voltage converter is occupied by the Infineon IOR 3567B chip – a typical choice for high-performance boards on the AMD platform.
Hotwire interface contacts are provided for aggressive overclocking. They allow analogue measurement of GPU, RAM, and PLL (VDDCI) supply voltages and adjust them (either by individual tools or directly through the UEFI menu on ASUS top motherboards) . But the hardware voltmod, unlike monitoring, is activated only after the user removes two resistors and adds a jumper in the right places of the printed circuit board (with the inevitable loss of warranty).
If you notice an error – select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.