Power, Temperature, & Noise

Moving on from performance metrics, we’ll touch upon power, temperature, and noise. This is also normally where we’d discuss voltages, but as Vega is a new chip on a new architecture, nothing seems to read Vega 64 and 56 correctly.

In terms of average game clockspeeds, neither card maintains its boost specification at 100% with prolonged usage. Vega 64 tends to stay closer to its boost clocks, which is in line with its additional power overhead and higher temperature target over Vega 56.

Radeon RX Vega Average Clockspeeds
  Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Radeon RX Vega 56
Boost Clocks
1546MHz
1471MHz
Max Boost (DPM7)
1630MHz
1590MHz
 
Battlefield 1
1512MHz
1337MHz
Ashes: Escalation
1542MHz
1354MHz
DOOM
1479MHz
1334MHz
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
1547MHz
1388MHz
Dawn of War III
1526MHz
1335MHz
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
1498MHz
1348MHz
GTA V
1557MHz
1404MHz
F1 2016
1526MHz
1394MHz
 
FurMark
1230MHz
HBM2: 868MHz
1099MHz
HBM2: 773MHz

With games, the HBM2 clocks ramp up and stay at their highest clock state. Expectedly, the strains of FurMark cause the cards to oscillate memory clocks: between 945MHz and 800MHZ for Vega 64, and between 800MHz and 700MHz for Vega 56. On that note, HBM2 comes with an idle power state (167MHz), an improvement on Fiji's HBM1 single power state. Unfortunately, the direct power savings are a little obscured since, as we will soon see, Vega 10 is a particularly power hungry chip.

As mentioned earlier, we used the default out-of-the-box configuration for power: Balanced, with the corresponding 220W GPU power limit. And under load, Vega needs power badly.

Idle Power ConsumptionLoad Power Consumption - Battlefield 1Load Power Consumption - FurMark

The performance of both Vega cards comes at a significant power cost. For the RX 500 series, we mused that load consumption is where AMD paid the piper. Here, the piper has taken AMD to the cleaners. In Battlefield 1, Vega 64 consumes 150W more system-wide power than the GTX 1080, its direct competitor. To be clear, additional power draw is expected, since Vega 64 is larger in both shader count (4096 vs. 2560) and die size (486mm2 vs. 314mm2) to the GTX 1080. But in that sense, when compared with the 1080 Ti, powered by the 471mm2 GP102, Vega 64 still consumes more power. 

As for Vega 64's cut-down sibling, Vega 56's lower temperature target, lower clocks, and lower board power make its consumption look much more reasonable, although it is still well above the 1070.

In any case, the cooling solutions are able to do the job without severe effects on temperature and noise. As far as blowers go, RX Vega 64 and 56 are comparable to the 1080 Ti FE blower.

Idle GPU TemperatureLoad GPU Temperature - Battlefield 1Load GPU Temperature - FurMark
Not Graphed: Temperature of the actual Vega (Star): 9329C

Noise-testing equipment and methodology differ from past results, with a more sensitive noise meter and closer distance to the graphics card. Readings were also taken with an open case. As such, the noise levels may appear higher than expected.

Idle Noise LevelsLoad Noise Levels - Battlefield 1Load Noise Levels - FurMark

 

Synthetics Final Words
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  • rtho782 - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    First? lol Reply
  • FireSnake - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    Good! Now, let us read this in peace :) Reply
  • coolhardware - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    Exactly. I am VERY excited to read about this, especially since AMD has been dragging this launch out for what seems forver.

    While reading I will also have another window open furiously refreshing http://amzn.to/2hZ9iPb (shortened URL for direct amd vega search on Amazon!) to see when they come in stock, and if we can get one before they sell out! ;-)

    WOW, just checked and NewEgg is already out of EVERY Vega SKU :-( Like 15 different models from various brands :-( Bummer and I bet 80% are miners!
    Reply
  • coolhardware - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    BestBuy sold out of all of their SKUs as well. :-( Reply
  • Targon - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    I ran into the Out of Stock, auto-notify on Newegg for hours....and suddenly one showed up that I could actually buy. So, I hit it, and it has been in packaging for the past five hours. Amazon really messed up with the Ryzen launch, allowing far more orders than the expected number of Ryzen 7 chips, to the point where it took several additional weeks before some of them shipped out. That is why I won't order a highly anticipated item from Amazon. Reply
  • Manch - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - link

    I ordered the Oculus package, the $399 one from Amazon on July 12th. They shipped the controllers two days ago. headset is out of stock until further notice. It was in stock when I ordered. Then it was all orders before July 15th will be filled first. Then it was the touch controllers are out of stock. Then the touch controllers ship but the headset is out of stock. Aggravating to say the least. They are one of the few that ships electronics to APO without being shitty about it or charging triple of actual costs. Reply
  • coolhardware - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - link

    Way to stick with it! Did Best buy complete your order? Fingers crossed for you :-) Reply
  • rtho782 - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    I think the GTA5 1440p benchmarks and the BF1 load power consumption graphs made me laugh the most.

    I guess it's a pretty effective space heater. Maybe they want to discourage crypto mining by using more power to make it unprofitable.

    It's a shame, we need more competition. *sigh*
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    295 watts..?!?!?! Currently my whole system only pulls about 225 watts even when torture testing. That testing is only including CPU and RAM but other articles say my RX460 is about 104 watts during torture testing. So if I was stress testing CPU, RAM and video card all at once I'd be at around 329. Not a gamer myself but its hard for me to imagine over 500 watts for my system. Just doesn't make any sense in this day and age. Reply
  • Kratos86 - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    Hmm you either don't understand how crypto mining works or what a joke is. Cryptominers generally turn the GPU clock down because it isn't very useful in these situations, even bandwidth isn't as relevant as latency. These cards with a bit of tweaking are getting 35 mh/s at $35 for $500. The Vega 56 blows the 64 away but both GPU's beat the RX 580 in terms of bang for buck and that's considering they haven't been optimised for mining performance yet.

    If these things hit 40 at $500 a piece, two for $1000, thats 80 mh/s for less than a Titan XP which at a cost of $1370 does around 37 mh/s. Saving $50 a year on power consumption and paying double the price for that privilege is not a very intelligent way to do things.

    Suffice to say if you want one of these at the prices they are supposed to be selling at, you might get lucky and find one sometime this year because you are not finding these GPU's at these prices anytime soon and thats if they aren't sold out at any price. Unless AMD do something to get this in stock and keep it in stock the next few months are going to suck if you want one of these at prices that aren't inflated.

    I guess AMD could have worst problems than "cryptominers keep buying our GPUs faster than we can make them" but it's still a situation they need to remedy.
    Reply

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