ASUS ROG Strix RX Vega 56 Review
Published: 15th December 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Our initial experiences of the RX Vega GPU demonstrated how well the AMD Radeon had returned to the fray as a genuine contender.
When we reviewed the PowerColor Red Devil we found it to be the best Vega 64 that you'll probably come across, and certainly something worthy of consideration. However, like the sign above the door says, we are all about taking a more affordable graphics card and squeezing the absolute maximum from it, in the hopes that we can attain the performance of the next model up in the range. So if you're after a Vega 56 rather than the more expensive Vega 64, the Strix could just fit the bill.
We say 'could just', but the truth is it most definitely does.
The Vega 56 GPU is already a very capable basis for a graphics card, and the performance is up there with the GTX 1070 Ti, not an inconsiderable card itself. With the addition of the Strix trimmings - DirectCU cooler, RGB lighting, AURA Sync connector and fan headers - it already steps up into something that would require serious consideration. With some careful overclocking it moves from definitely on your shortlist to pretty much at the top.
It might seem like we're damning with faint praise to suggest that the combination of simple ingredients makes the Strix Vega 56 into something so desirable, but in truth that's what we have. A great GPU made better with the addition of one of the best coolers on the market, and then sprinkled with enough additional elements to step it up above the competition. After all, nobody ever complained that Steak and Chips wasn't tasty. Everything ASUS have put their DirectCU cooler onto has benefited from its inclusion and the Strix Vega 56 is no exception. The card runs cool and quiet at stock but, most importantly, with the correct overclocking it ends up amongst the coolest Vega cards around.
That overclocking has to be seen to be believed. With the voltages at stock and just increasing the power target the card works pretty much as you might expect. However, lower the voltage slightly to help keep the temperatures in check and smooth out the power delivery and it absolutely flies. You can just keep turning up the power target and the card responds with blistering clock speeds and soaring frame rates. What makes it jaw-droppingly impressive is how, because of the lower voltages, the overclock ended up both cooler and requiring lower power than the stock card, which was already suitably good.
To summarise. The Strix is seriously fast out of the box, and with some judicious overclocking ends up faster, cooler and more efficient. It's the holy trinity of what we do. No downside, only positives. It has to win our OC3D Enthusiast award.