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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:

Temperature Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1080 using 8x AA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.



  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920x1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius







Power Consumption:

The power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and loaded states, taking into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine Heaven Benchmark version 4.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A fifteen-minute load test will be used to heat up the GPU, with the highest power usage recorded as the final result. The idle results will be measured after fifteen minutes of inactivity on the system with the lowest recorded power usage as the final result.


  • Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark
  • 1920x1080 resolution
  • 8x AA
  • 15-minute load test
  • 15-minute idle test
  • Measurement is in watts





There is no doubt that AMD's Vega architecture is very power hungry when you start running a 3D load. PowerColor's Red Devil RX Vega 56 consumes 43 watts more than MSI's full-tilt GTX 1080 Ti, yet does not pull as much current as the AMD Vega 64 Liquid. AMD has traditionally had issues with managing power consumption, ergo, thermals on the graphics cores. This gives pause for thought as to why the non-reference cards took a while to reach the market. The 100 watts used at idle is not that much higher than comparable cards if you look at the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titaniums 98.6W idle usage.

The cooling system has to be fully optimized to handle getting rid of 445 watts of thermal energy when running at full song. That's a lot of juice to get rid of. PowerColor does an excellent job of managing the thermals on this variant of the Red Devil. Using a tri-fan cooling solution with two 8mm and four 6mm heat pipes spread across two large fin arrays the GPU core and HBM 2 memory stay right at 70 °C when running the OC profile. Cranking up the fan speed on the cooler and overclocking the card the temperatures drop another 13 degrees to 57 °C under load. Truly not bad for the amount of power this card has to dissipate.

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