AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 versus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 and the GeForce GTX 1070 is supposedly the sweet spot for three Vega cards released by AMD thus far. AMD is banking that the Vega 56 will be the high-performance card to buy at the $399 price point once it starts shipping on August 28th, 2017. Pricing is always an interesting topic and right now it’s nearly impossible to talk about as most of the cards in this price range are being purchased by alt coin miners. That is causing a supply issue that has caused prices to shoot up. You better go buy a lottery ticket if you can find a GeForce GTX 1070 or Radeon RX Vega for the MSRP anytime this month.

RX Vega 56 GeForce GTX 1070
GPU Vega 10 GP104 Pascal
Transistor Count 12.5 Billion  7.2 Billion
GPU Cores 3584  1920
Base Clock 1156 MHz  1506 MHz
Boost Clock 1471 MHz  1708 MHz
Texture Units 224  120
ROP Units 64  64
Memory 8 GB 8 GB
Memory Clock 1600 MHz 8000 MHz
Memory Interface 2048-Bit HMB2 256-bit GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 410 GB/s 256 GB/s
TDP 210 Watts 150 Watts
Peak Compute 10.5 TFLOPS 6.5 TFLOPS
Process Node 14nm 16nm
MSRP (Aug 2017) $399 $379

On paper the Radeon RX Vega 56 looks like it would easily perform better than the GeForce GTX 1070, but what did our performance tests show? When we take a look at 1440P gaming performance the RX Vega 56 took the lead in Battlefield 1 and Deus Ex Mankind Divided that were tested running DirectX 12. The GeForce GTX 1070 won Gears of War 4, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. So, the Radeon RX Vega 56 took home 2 titles and the GeForce GTX 1070 won the other 4. When it comes to synthetic benchmarks the Vega 56 won 3DMark, the GeForce GTX 1070 won SuperPosition and we’d call VRMark a tie. So, they split the synthetic benchmarks with one win each.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 versus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

When it comes to power consumption, noise and temperatures the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 proved to be more power hungry, louder and hotter. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 at $399.99 costs more than the $379 GeForce GTX reference design to cap that off. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming that we used today has an MSRP of $429.99, so it is priced $50 more than that and $30 more than the Vega 56. We were expecting NVIDIA to reduce the GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 video card prices once RX Vega was released, but it appears they don’t really have a reason to. The miners are buying everything the board partners put out to sell and it doesn’t appear that the Radeon RX Vega 56 is going to put too much pressure on the GeForce GTX 1070 or GeForce GTX 1080.

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 does appear to be the best bang for the buck with the Vega cards. If you are an AMD fan and wanting to build a nice new gaming rig with a display that features FreeSync technology the Vega 56 looks like it should do really well. This is because the FreeSync range on most 4K displays is between 40-60Hz and between 48-100Hz on some of the new 11440P UltraWide gaming displays. The AMD FreeSync Certified range is 30Hz to 144Hz, but most monitors don’t have a range that wide. Ideally you want the minimum frame rate to be in the displays FreeSync range to get a smooth gaming experience. Setting up a FreeSync display for your gaming system is less costly than an NVIDIA G-Sync solution, so that is one area that AMD will be heavily pushing with Vega.

AMD made a move in the right direction with Vega, but what looks good on paper can be deceiving and don’t always translate into great real world performance. Maybe AMD can pull some more performance out of the new Vega architecture with driver enhancements in the months to come, but for now it looks like the year old GeForce GTX 1070 is standing strong.

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  • forextor

    Impressive review… you even included mining comparison!.. I am looking forward for comprehensive reviews like this in the future..

  • Meow Meow

    AMD should have priced BOTH cards 100$ USD LOWER and this would have been a much better discussion and review…

    Although I guess it doesnt matter what theyre priced if Joe Blow consumer cant obtain one.

    • Meno Mam

      One important piece of information that has been repeatedly presented wrongly in the review. 1070’s MSRP is $349, NOT $379. Miner inflated prices aside, this puts vega 56 in even worse light

  • Meow Meow

    They are limiting cards and still theres no stock.

    Big miners have contacts within the industry to procure cards before release…
    Also Coach, right now, probably not worth it. Unless you get free electric… Or get creative and mine an odd coin that may shoot up in value.

  • Coach

    I do not know why sellers will not limit the card to one per customer to start. That may help. At this point, the return on Ether is way down, is it not? I mean, even if you buy 4 Vegas in quad crossfire, would it be worth the electric to mine?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      The chart below is based one Radeon RX 480 video card at stock settings. It still is profitable to mine, but you are only making a couple bucks a day per card after electric expenses. As you can see the amount you make is generally dropping. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6aaef01d878d256c93e1bb1ea7c62f6d1a7d0f6c4ce0692bc5ef7101bece9a11.png

      • Ted

        This is a truly outstanding contribution to the article, Nate. And if electrical holds steady while performance drops, we got to rethink a lot about latest-gen options in GPU mining.

  • Coach

    I wonder how the aftermarket versions of Vega will fair. The comparison is with a Gigabyte G1 card with Windforce cooling (3 fans) versus a stock reference model. We know they do not cool as well. If you compared a Gigabyte version of Vega with 3 fans, you would see more comparable sound levels and likely a very slight bump in fps in some games, as usual for a non-reference card. When they come out in another month or so, a more direct comparison of Gigabyte cards or another brand would be interesting to see.

    • Coach

      LOL, I jumped the gun posting this after reading page 13, page 14 calls me out!!!! 😀

      • Coach

        At least I wasn’t mean like some people. 🙂 It was a “LEGIT” question.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Coach, Your comment wasn’t mean it was truthful and makes a valid point. When custom AIB cards come out hopefully next month I’ll of course review them and compare them. I had people call me mean things, tell me I don’t know what I’m doing, that this is a waste of space and even link to ‘better’ sites on this comment section. Funny they linked to sites that are pay to play and have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. Some sites get cards days before others, so to have someone come on here and bash my coverage and then link to another site with better more in-depth coverage does strike a nerve. When a site gets paid for something and gets it earlier than the rest… I do expect it to be more in-depth and better. Heck, it should be as they were getting paid for it. I haven’t deleted a post on LR in years, but that got me. If anyone wants to see something tested and I have the ability to do it then I’ll do it. I do it for free and have always done that for people in the comment section and the forums. It’s one thing to ask someone to try a different test setup if they could and another thing to tell someone they are garbage and bash them. That isn’t right.

          end rant… sorry 🙁

    • Coach

      However, I still want to see a Gigabyte Vega 56 with Windforce tested. 😉

      • Nathan Kirsch

        We are still around a month away from custom AIB cards coming out. Heck, we are still 10 days away from the Vega 56 reference card being released. I so want to see the custom cooled cards as well. Mining performance on the water cooled cards look good, so it looks like lower Voltage and temps might actually help this series! I don’t have any water cooled models here to try it on and AIB’s haven’t even shipped cards to the US yet.

        • Ted

          I believe said card is out today

  • Norman

    Finally a review that compares Vega to the newest GTX cards ….
    Interesting read, bit dissapointed at Vega results and availibility.
    Lets see what the price does compared to 1070 when it does come available over here.

  • AMDominant

    Weak, run of the mill shill “testing” here. Of course FPS, thermals, and noise are going to favor an AIB triple fan vs a reference blower. Thanks for wasting space.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Glad to see AMD Team Red is still kicking. Please go take a look at Newegg and count the blower style GTX 1070 cards versus the others and let me know what you came up with. No waste of time here just facts. If you don’t like the temperature/noise results then don’the look at those pages. The FPS results are what they are. AMD has had Vega running in the labs since 2016, so I think they were able to properly cool it.

      • Conor

        Deleting comments that call you out, nice one.