Flagship GPU’s are always the envy of most gamers every generation. While a small percentage of the more deep-pocketed builds can snag them, most gamers end up a few notches down the scale in ‘mainstream’ category of cards. Unless you are chasing blistering frame rates at extreme resolutions on tomorrows games with maximum eye candy, you’ll probably appreciate that capabilities of a much more affordable GPU. Today, we’ll be checking it out and seeing what you can expect.
It’s been a few months since we checked out the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64, and today we got our hands on its little brother the ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 56. While the number of Compute Units (or CU’s) is reduced from 64 to 56, not much else is changed save for a small difference in power limits. Does the difference matter for gaming?
Launched late summer 2017, AMD’s Radeon Vega series cards were well received, to the point of being a little scarce on store shelves. It really didn’t help that the Crypto-boom of late 2017 had anything of Team Red’s flying off the shelves without a second glance, but it did give board partners time to work on aftermarket versions of the line quietly in the shadows. While all cards are still flying off the shelves faster than you can blink lately, the first aftermarket variants of AMD’s Vega line are starting to trickle out, and one of the first is right here carrying ASUS famous ROG STRIX Branding in the ROG STRIX Radeon Veag64 OC. Featuring an improved PCB layout, better power delivery, and ASUS’s triple fan Cooler, and packing 8GB of HBM2 memory, this just might be the best Vega yet.
Vega has traveled down a difficult path getting on retailers/eTailers shelves and shortages have been reported on all models. AMD finally relented and let partners design custom boards but supplies of parts and availability have been a problem. Well, Vega is here at Proclockers and PowerColor sent us a Red Devil RX Vega 56 on a custom PCB packed with goodies and a powerful cooling solution. Triple fan, triple slot monster in traditional Red Devil Red and Black and AMD said let there be Vega and there was and Vega is GOOD!
Water cooling has long been the realm of a few brave DIY enthusiasts for a few decades now and only recently has started being available to many. Even still, most enthusiasts are faced with a dilemma, keep your warranty intact and hope you have a decent air cooler on your GPU, or throw a water block on to not only cool the GPU, but also the burn of instantly voiding any and all warranties. A few manufacturers have responded with factory water-blocked cards, but then you HAVE to water cool or you can’t even power it on safely. Enter ASUS with the Poseidon series, part air cooler, part water block, and all business.
On November 2nd Nvidia released yet another SKU this time the GTX 1070 Ti and Asus sent us their ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti STRIX Advanced 8G GAMING 8GB (STRIX-GTX1070TI-A8G-GAMING) which is a 3 fan variant of the 1070 Ti. Now when Asus releases a Strix card you can believe they mean business and this beauty is filled with premium features. Starting with the Asus Strix Strix GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Gaming 8GB cores totaling 2432 a mere 128 shaders less than the mighty GTX 1080 performance will be similar to the GTX 1080 but perhaps a couple of FPS less, so by specifications the true differences between a GTX 1080 and a GTX 1070 Ti is the GTX 1070 gets GDDR5 and 2432 shaders while the GTX 1080 gets 2530 shaders and GDDR5X. Since most games and applications don’t saturate the current memory bandwidth performance differences should be minimal.
If your first reaction to the picture above was “Sweet, a new Lightning card!” we won’t fault you, even though there IS one of those out there too. FROZR fans on a GPU are nothing new to MSI, but slapping three of them on a card has mostly been the realm of their Lightning series cards, not the Gaming X class. MSI brings Nvidia’s Pascal based 1080Ti its Premium air cooling solution, all-metal back plate, VR friendly output configuration, Mystic Lighting, and perhaps the most important thing of all to anyone tired of red and black, a more neutral color scheme.