The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 is the patriarch of AMD’s Vega architecture family, it was our recommended centerpiece for enthusiast high-end PC builder until a few months ago when all the graphics cards pricing went out the window thanks to cryptocurrency mining. But still it occupies the spot for being the first consumer-facing Vega GPU and is company’s precision strike on the remarkable Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080. So without further ado let’s take a look at what this card has to offer.
AMD RX Vega 64 Architecture:
The Vega architecture is the most advanced architectural change that AMD engineers have made in the last five years. This architecture is designed to achieve higher graphics card performance and clock speeds. The compute units have also been reworked and optimized completely to reduce and improve the physical connection and wiring inside the building blocks, however, they still have the same 64 individual GCN cores inside them. These NCUs will enable a feature known as the “Rapid Packed Math” that will allow the GPU to do two mathematical instructions at nearly half the price. This means that the Vega can support both FP16 and FP32 calculations.
Also, the GPU is equipped with high-performance, mini memory SRAMs which were originally developed for the Zen CPUs, these memories have been tweaked for GPU usage. Not only this, the engineers have also utilized the high-performance Infinity Fabric interconnect from the Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors which allows the GPU core to connect to the rest of graphics login in the package. All the other components are connected using the high speed interface. The architecture also features its own clock frequency which enables it to stay unaffected by the dynamic scaling and high frequency of the GPU clock.
The Vega architecture will also sport a new geometry engine which supports both standard DirectX-based rendering as well as the ability to use newer, more efficient rendering pipelines through primitive shader support, it also sports an optimized pixel engine to cope with today’s high-resolution, high refresh rate displays. Also, the brand new memory setup allows freeing the entire cache which enables it to access the different logic blocks of the Vega 10 chip.
The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 comes loaded with 8 Gigs second generation of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) from Hynix. The HBM2 memory offers higher data rates and larger capacities than the old memory used by AMD. The memory is connected directly to the GPU to improve the efficiency and to get a smaller form factor which makes it a great deal for compact laptops and notebooks. The HBM2 memory is also directly connected to the high-bandwidth cache and high-bandwidth cache controller (HBCC) which allows utilizing a small portion of PC’s system memory as the video memory when needed.
AMD’s Scott Wasson explains, “You are no longer limited by the amount of graphics memory you have on the chip, It’s only limited by the amount of memory or storage you attach to your system.”
Other than that the Vega GPU is also capable of scaling right up to a maximum of 512TB as the virtual address space available to the graphics silicon. You get the same Vega 10 silicon, with 12.5 billion transistors packed into its pretty massive 486mm2 die. You also get a 14nm FinFET process with the smallest working, 4,096 GCN cores and 26 texture units.
The base clock speed of the GPU is 1,247 MHz and the boost clock speed is 1,546 MHz, if you pick the liquid chilled v variant of this GPU then you will get clock speeds of 1,406MHz and 1,677MHz respectively.
When it comes to performance this is the best performing card by AMD which is manufactured to go head-to-head with Nvidia’s GTX 1080. The GPU is designed to beat the GTX 1080 but unfortunately, it is 20% slower when it comes to Direct X 11 titles, However, in Direct X 12 and Vulkan based titles this GPU starts to show its capability and performs 16% faster than the stock GTX 1080. The story is same in the benchmark results.
This GPU is also very power consuming compared to Nvidia’s GP104 GPU which has 43% percent less power consumption despite being released more than a year before the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. The reference RX Vega 64 requires a pair of 8 pin PCI Express power connectors.
Overall the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 is a really impressive GPU which packs some really amazing and unique features but it is difficult to recommend to someone as it is out of the stock most of the times or costs a fortune. Pricing is a real issue these days for all the graphics cards out there but still, the Vega 64 comes at a really high price compared to others which is tough to justify. You can purchase it from Amazon here.