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PowerColor Red Devil RX VEGA 56 8GB HBM2 Review

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PowerColor Red Devil RX VEGA 56 8GB HBM2 Conclusion:

PowerColor's Devil series video cards have always been something special and not your run of the mill build. The Red Devil RX Vega 56 does not stray too far outside the wheelhouse and checks all the boxes. Let's start with the performance delivered by this card. The Vega 56 fits neatly in the performance window between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1070 Ti in just about every game I tested the performance in. In some cases, the Red Devil RX Vega 56 even outplayed the GTX 1080 FE. What this gets you is a very solid 2560x1440 card with the ability to jump up and play at 4K by tuning the in-game quality settings.

Along that vein, the performance can be bumped up by overclocking. In most games, the overclock I reached would deliver stock GTX 1080 FE performance. Not bad for AMD's latest architecture. When you compare the performance delivered by the Red Devil RX 580 to the FPS performance delivered by the Red Devil RX Vega 56, you see a significant lift in performance from Polaris to the lower spec Vega. When overclocking the card I was a little disappointed at the amount of headroom on the card, but that has been a trait of AMD ASICs over the past few generations. The factory overclock of 1500MHz was boosted to 1631MHz with actual running speeds in the 1611MHz range did boost performance.

The overclock on the HBM2 memory was a little short of my expectations after testing the AMD RX Vega 64 Liquid. I was able to bump the memory speed up by 96MHz for a final speed of 896MHz. I have seen speeds higher, but these are what I can do with the card tucked in a case.

The one knock on AMD video cards has just about always been the power consumption at the high end. For Vega, this does not change as PowerColor's Red Devil RX Vega 56 pull less power than only on the card I have tested, the AMD RX Vega 64 Liquid. What helps this card perform is that it is as far from a reference version as can be. An all-digital power supply circuit and the massive six heat pipe heat sink with dual fin arrays that are used to keep the Vega core cool so that it does not throttle is just the start of the equation.

When run at the factory overclocked setting, the card reached a maximum temperature of 70C while running dead silent. That's pretty good for a card that is using a ton of power. Using three dual ball bearing fans provides plenty of airflow for the cooler to work efficiently once the core temperature gets above 60 °C. Below 60 °C, the card runs in a passive mode to reduce noise and power consumption. After the 60 °C threshold is reached, the fans kick in and do the job they are intended to do quite well. Low noise and great cooling only complement the factory overclocked core. PowerColor uses several clock speed profiles so that you can choose your operating parameters based on your need. From the Silent Mode through Standard and finally the OC Mode, each profile has its own speed/cooling profile. For the gamer, the OC profile gives you the best of all worlds. 

PowerColor has built a card that delivers excellent performance in all the resolutions tested and you can tune the settings for even higher FPS levels. Priced at $599 at launch, the Red Devil RX Vega 56 does come at a steeper price point than the GTX 1080, but when overclocked and tuned it can deliver better than stock GTX 1080 performance. Combine the good looks that stick with the Red Devil theme and you have a great card for gaming.    


  • Massive cooling solution
  • FPS performance
  • Good looks
  • Low noise
  • Multiple clock speed profiles
  • Platinum Power Kit


  • Power consumption
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