XFX has quietly introduced its first new custom Radeon RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 video card designs. The custom Radeon RX Vega Double Edition graphics adapters from XFX are not factory overclocked, but have an improved cooling system featuring two fans that may enable a higher overclocking potential when compared to regular air-cooled boards based on AMD’s Vega GPU.

When AMD released its reference Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards earlier this year, the company surprised reviewers and enthusiasts with rather long PCBs (when compared to the Radeon R9 Fury X products) that had a lot of empty space. As it turned out, the RX Vega-series boards need a good cooling and thus a relatively large heatsink. As a result, the company decided to go with a long half-empty PCB to simplify auxiliary PCIe power cable management for end users. As for VRMs, AMD’s reference cards feature a 6+1 phase VRM based on the International Rectifier IR35217 power controller with six IR 3598 phase doublers for the GPU power circuity to maximize efficiency.

XFX decided to change design ideology of its custom Radeon RX Vega-based products when compared to AMD’s reference cards. The company’s Radeon RX Vega 56 Double Edition (RX-VEGALDFF6) and Radeon RX Vega 64 (RX-VEGATDFF6) Double Edition graphics cards rely on a notably shorter PCB that is just 153 mm long, and the cards are also equipped with an even larger cooling system when compared to AMD's reference cards (more about the cooling system later later). XFX says it uses a VRM with 6+1 phases for its graphics cards based on the Vega GPU, but it is unknown whether the company also installs phase doublers. The XFX Radeon RX Vega Double Edition cards have two 8-pin auxiliary PCIe power connectors that are located on the top right corner of the PCB. Given the large cooler, power connectors are placed in the center of the card, which will not simplify cable management.

Overall, the cooler the company uses for its custom Vega-based offerings resembles coolers it uses on the Radeon RX 500-series. It features two large aluminum heatsinks with tens of thin fins, a special copper plate that covers GPU+HBM2 package as well as VRM, five or more heat pipes that take away heat from the two aforementioned components, and two fans. A plastic shroud on the front covers the cooling system, whereas the other side of the card is covered by a backplate.

The heatsink used by XFX for its Radeon RX Vega Double Edition video cards has a 75% larger surface area than AMD’s reference one, according to XFX. Meanwhile, as this is an open-air cooler design, it comes with the usual tradeoffs relative to the blower-based reference cooler: potentially better cooling and lower noise thanks to the two fans, but at a cost of recycling most of the heat generated from the card back into the case. By equipping its custom Radeon RX Vega 56 Double Edition and Radeon RX Vega 64 Double Edition with its own coolers, XFX clearly wants them to stand out from the rest of the Vega camp in terms of noise and overclocking potential. At least initially, custom Vega-based boards from XFX will only be offered with reference clocks, so overclocking potential will be one of their key selling points.

XFX has not disclosed MSRPs of its Radeon RX Vega 56 Double Edition and Radeon RX Vega 64 Double Edition graphics cards, but we are told to expect them to close to AMD's MSRPs for similar boards. Meanwhile, the burning question of when these custom cards will be available hasn't been precisely answered, but XFX has narrowed the window some, as the company has stated that they hope to put their custom cards on store shelves before Christmas. At press time, the products were listed on the company’s website meaning that they can hit the market anytime now.

As for real-world pricing, given the cryptocurrency mining frenzy and the holiday season, virtually all graphics cards are sold at prices above their MSRPs, so it is not a good business to make any predictions here. Besides, it is also unclear whether AMD’s recently launched Prey and Wolfenstein II bundling campaign covers XFX’s custom Radeon RX Vega adapters.

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Source: XFX

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  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    This actually one of the best open air cooling designs. It allows the "back fan" to blow freely through the fins rather than against the PCB, which reduces the resistance to the air flow significantly. Hence the cooler can perform better or be more silent. And venting more heat straight into the CPU area is generally a good thing, as this area is usually the best vented one. There has been a Fury with a conceptually similar design, I think from Gigabyte, with far superior thermal & acoustic performance. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    I can tell you right now what the best cooling solution is - a centrifugal fan that sucks air from both sides and pushes it through the gpu radiator and out of the case.

    Centrifugal fans offer the best performance and durability, which is why they are used throughput the big industry. Unfortunately, the graphics card designs which incorporated it were subpar, even if it is currently found on many high end products, including the 8500$ quadro gp100.

    Now if the fan would be extended to fit the entire height of the card and allowed to take in air from both sides that would increase airflow significantly. The second step is to property engineer a radiator that takes into account the fact that air expands when it heats, a phenomenon that impairs airflow and cooling performance. The third and final step - rather than relying on regular heatpipes and a solid block radiator, instead design the radiator panels to be individual heatpipes, well they won't be pipes per se, more of heat exchanger panels, which would significantly improve thermal conductivity of the radiator and overall heat displacement.

    Although this solution is so effective I doubt we will see the mediocre industry embracing it until we get to 500 or even 1000 watt GPUs
    Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    That doesn't sound like the best cooling solution to me. It sounds like an expensive over-engineered mess. To put it mildly. Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    Not engineered. Nothing in it is new or remotely challenging. It won't be considerably expensive neither, especially relative to the cost of actual gpus.

    But certainly overbuilt. It will contemporary high end gpus at 10 degree above the ambient temperature.

    There is no mess, and it would offer by far the best cooling performance for the buck, because its cooling advantage will greatly exceed its price premium over comparable contemporary solutions.

    It will also be far less prone to clogging with dust and significantly quieter. Current solutions actually generate more noise pushing air through the fins than the actual fan rotation, whereas this solution will generate almost no noise from the airflow as the "fins" will be much more sparse, which is also why they won't clog with garbage.
    Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    you know they are unlikely to do this, they like many want to do the bare minimum to keep price artificially inflated as long as possible cause we are just peasants after all. look at how much Nv stripped away from 200 series and up to focus on raw speed who cares about advanced stuff, and Intel who keeps cycling out new motherboards for no reason other than folks are "stupid" enough to keep buying new socket generations even when the previous generation has the pin count to allow all them fancy new features.

    They could likely easily implement simple amazing coolers for cpu heatsinks or gpu heatsinks that cost next to nothing in material or manhours design time, but they will not, cause that means they cannot sell a higher end version that costs a significant chunk more.

    I prefer blower style as all the hot air it produces is vented outside directly, but, those rads seem purpose built to constrain it as much as possible so they get clogged quite easily with dust and not at all as easy to keep clean as should be (purpose designed to fail)
    Reply
  • privater - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    This looks like a bra to me.. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    That's a clear sign you need to see more bras :) Reply
  • milkod2001 - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    lol, agreed Reply
  • lazarpandar - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    U G L E E Reply
  • anubis44 - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    If it runs cool due to its design, then it's freaking gorgeous to me. Reply

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