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SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX VEGA 56 Limited Edition 8G HBM2 Review

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SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX VEGA 56 Limited Edition 8G HBM2 Testing:

Finding out just how much gaming FPS performance the Sapphire NITRO+ RX Vega 56 Limited Edition 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: Intel Socket 1151 Z370 Based

  • Processors: Intel Core i7 8700K 4.5GHz
  • CPU Cooling: Liquid cooling = EK Block and 360mm Radiator, D5 pump
  • Motherboard: MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600MHz 32GB
  • Video Card: SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX VEGA 56 Limited Edition 8G HBM2
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000x
  • Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SATA 3
  • Case: Corsair 780T
  • OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • Sapphire NITRO+ RX Vega 56 Limited Edition 8GB HBM2: 1615MHz Core, 904MHz Memory

Getting the most out of this card from Sapphire requires overclocking it. Out of the box, it can hits speeds upwards of 1600MHz on the Vega 10 core. This shows in the higher performance numbers you will see in the balance of the testing section. Managing overclocked performance on the Vega 10 architecture is a balance between the power curve and the temperatures of the core and HBM2 memory. AMD's Global Wattman and other tools are available to tweak the performance of the Sapphire NITRO+ RX Vega 56. For my testing, I found Afterburner a bit more reliable and used it.

Regardless of the clock speed set, the maximum core clock speed under load was around 1611MHz to 1615MHz allowing for an overall bump in performance. At this speed, the clocks were in a consistent range. When you compare the clock speeds under load to the baseline boost clock speeds of 1572MHz, there is not a whole lot of meat on the bone, although the clock speed consistency again comes into play.

Memory overclocking was much like I found with the PowerColor Red Devil Vega 56 card and I was able to get about another 100MHz out of the memory -104MHz to be exact. What helps to keep the clock speeds high is the vapor chamber cooling solution used by Sapphire on this card. Using the factory defined profile, the card is dead silent and delivers excellent cooling.    

 

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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