The 2017 GPU Benchmark Suite & the Test

Paired with our RX Vega 64 and 56 review is a new benchmark suite and new testbed. The 2017 GPU suite features new games, as well as new compute and synthetic benchmarks.

Games-wise, we have kept Grand Theft Auto V and Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. Joining them is Battlefield 1, DOOM, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, F1 2016, and Total War: Warhammer. All-in-all, these games span multiple genres, differing graphics workloads, and contemporary APIs, with a nod towards modern and relatively intensive games. Additionally, we have retired the venerable Crysis 3 as our mainline power-testing game in favor of Battlefield 1.

AnandTech GPU Bench 2017 Game List
Game Genre Release Date API(s)
Battlefield 1 FPS Oct. 2016 DX11
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation RTS Mar. 2016 DX12
DOOM (2016) FPS May 2016 Vulkan
(OpenGL 4.5)
Ghost Recon Wildlands FPS/3PS Mar. 2017 DX11
Dawn of War III RTS Apr. 2017 DX11
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided RPG/Action/Stealth Aug. 2016 DX11
Grand Theft Auto V Action/Open world Apr. 2015 DX11
F1 2016 Racing Aug. 2016 DX11
Total War: Warhammer TBS/Real-time tactics May 2016 DX11 + DX12

In terms of data collection, measurements were gathered either using built-in benchmark tools or with AMD's open-source Open Capture and Analytics Tool (OCAT), which is itself powered by Intel's PresentMon. 99th percentiles were obtained or calculated in a similar fashion: OCAT natively obtains 99th percentiles, GTA V's built-in benchmark include 99th percentiles, and both Ashes: Escalation and Total War: Warhammer's built-in benchmark outputs raw frame time data. Dawn of War III continutes to suffer from its misconfigured built-in benchmark calculations and so its native data cannot be used. In general, we prefer 99th percentiles over minimums, as they more accurately represent the gaming experience and filter out outliers that may not even be true results of the graphics card.

We are continuing to use the best API for a given card when given a choice. As before, we use DirectX 12 for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, being natively designed for that API. For DOOM (2016), using Vulkan is an improvement to OpenGL 4.5 across the board, and for those not in-the-know, Vulkan is roughly comparable to OpenGL in the same way DX12 is to DX11. We also stick to DX11 for Battlefield 1, with the persistent DX12 performance issues in mind, and similar reasoning follows with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, where DX12 did not appear to give the best performance for RX Vega.

In the same vein, we have used DX12 for Total War: Warhammer when testing AMD cards, but we are still sussing out the exact effects on the Vega cards. With Vega running Total War: Warhammer, neither API seems to be absolutely better performing than the other, and we are continuing to investigate.

2017 GPU Compute and Synthetics

We have also updated our compute and synthetics suites, which are now as follows:

  • Compute: Blender 2.79 - BlenchMark
  • Compute: CompuBench 2.0 – Level Set Segmentation 256
  • Compute: CompuBench 2.0 – N-Body Simulation 1024K
  • Compute: CompuBench 2.0 – Optical Flow
  • Compute: Folding @ Home Single Precision
  • Compute: Geekbench 4 – GPU Compute – Total Score
  • Synthetics: TessMark, Image Set 4, 64x Tessellation
  • Synthetics: VRMark Orange
  • Synthetics: Beyond3D Suite – Pixel Fillrate
  • Synthetics: Beyond3D Suite – Integer Texture Fillrate (INT8)
  • Synthetics: Beyond3D Suite – Floating Point Texture Fillrate (FP32)

Testing with Vega

Testing was done with default configurations with respect to the High-Bandwidth Cache Controller (HBCC) and BIOS/power profiles. By default, HBCC is disabled in Radeon Software. As for power profiles, both Vega 64 and 56 come with primary and secondary VBIOS modes, each having three profiles in WattMan: Power Saver, Balanced, and Turbo. By default, both cards use the primary VBIOS' Balanced power profile.

GPU Power Limits for RX Vega Power Profiles
  Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Radeon RX Vega 56
Primary VBIOS Secondary VBIOS Primary VBIOS Secondary VBIOS
Power Saver 165W 150W 150W 135W
Balanced 220W 200W 165W 150W
Turbo 253W 230W 190W 173W

A small switch on the cards can be toggled away from the PCIe bracket for the lower power secondary VBIOS. In Radeon WattMan, a slider permits switching between Power Saver, Balanced, Turbo, and Custom performance profiles. In total, each card has six different power profiles to choose from. RX Vega 64 Liquid has its own set of six profiles as well, ranging from 165W to 303W. We don't expect Turbo mode to significantly change results: for Turbo vs. Balanced, AMD themselves cited a performance increase of about 2% at 4K.

The New 2017 GPU Skylake-X Testbed

Last, but certainly not least, we have a new testbed running these benchmarks and games. For that reason, historical results cannot be directly compared with the results in this review.

CPU: Intel Core i7-7820X @ 4.3GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i
Hard Disk: OCZ Toshiba RD400 (1TB)
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 4 x 8GB (16-18-18-38)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
Monitor: LG 27UD68P-B
Video Cards: AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (Air Cooled)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
AMD Radeon RX 580
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Release 384.65
AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 (for non-Vega cards)
AMD Radeon Software Crimson Press Beta 17.30.1051
OS: Windows 10 Pro (Creators Update)
Competitive Positioning, Radeon Packs, & Crytocurrency Demand Battlefield 1
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  • rtho782 - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

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

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

    BestBuy sold out of all of their SKUs as well. :-(
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • coolhardware - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - link

    Way to stick with it! Did Best buy complete your order? Fingers crossed for you :-)
  • 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*
  • 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.
  • 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.

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