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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 Testing:

Finding out just how much gaming FPS performance the PowerColor Red Devil RX Vega 56 8GB HBM2 can deliver will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

  • Processor: Intel 8th Generation Core i7 8700K
  • CPU Cooling: Custom water cooling from EK
  • Motherboard: MSI Z370 Pro Carbon Gaming AC
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3600Mhz
  • Video Cards: PowerColor Red Devil RX Vega 56 8GB HBM2
  • Power Supply: Corsair Rx 1000i
  • Hard Drive: OCZ Trion 150 Primary, OCZ Vector 128GB x4 RAID 0
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • PowerColor Red Devil RX VEGA 56 8GB HBM2: 1611MHz Core, 896MHz Memory

Overclocking AMD's new Vega architecture is a bit tricky when you start out. Much like we saw with AMD's Polaris architecture, these GPUs clock speeds are dynamic even when manually applying a maximum speed. What I found was that to get the most out of the Vega core, you have to crank up the power limit and then find the best positive or negative offset on the core voltage. Top that off with maximizing the core clock speeds to keep the core and HBM2 memory cool enough to keep from throttling. Even though the screenshot below shows that the core clock speed is 1631MHz, the real speed fluctuates between 1603MHz and 1611MHz depending on the heat in the core.

Where I found the memory speed on the Vega 64 Liquid would play nice at 1000MHz, I could not get the PowerColor Red Devil to play at more than 900MHz, so I settled at 896MHz to give the card a little cushion once it heated up. Ultimately, setting the maximum clock speed to 1662MHz resulted in a dynamic clock speed around 1611MHz by using a +50% offset to the power limit and a 0mv offset to the core voltage. The memory speed was boosted 96MHz over the 800MHz baseline clock speed for a nice boost in memory bandwidth. I used MSI's Afterburner tool to overclock the card, although you can use AMD's Global Wattman tool as well. I just found that the card was more responsive using Afterburner.


 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 
  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Fallout 4
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  4. Tom Clancy's The Division
  5. Hitman (2016)
  6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  7. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  8. Destiny 2
  9. DOOM (2016)
  10. Watch Dogs 2
  11. For Honor
  12. 3DMark
  13. VRMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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