AMD Vega: Frontier Edition Review & In-Depth Benchmark

By Published July 02, 2017 at 12:58 am

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AMD Vega: FE vs. Fury X, RX 580, GTX 1080 Ti, Titan Xp, & More

Getting to gaming and synthetics, we start first with FireStrike to provide a baseline for performance. With FireStrike Ultra, we see Vega: FE ($1000) place at 4906 points when stock, which ranks it about 2.4% behind the GTX 1080 Founders Edition card, with the GTX 1070 Founders Edition card about 15.6% behind the Vega: FE card. Aftermarket models will obviously score higher, but we’re focusing on reference for today.

Compared to a 1080 Ti, Vega: FE is about 27% behind the 1080 Ti Reference card, and about 31.7% behind the 1080 Ti Gaming X partner model, just to illustrate the type of gains you see from partners. As for the similarly priced Titan Xp, the Vega: FE card operates about 32% behind the stock configuration, or about 40% behind the overclocked configuration.

vega fe firestrike ultra hi

As shown in the charts, the overclocking issues we faced on Vega ended up lowering performance, not raising it. We think this is primarily due to the HBM clock bug in WattMan that drops the reported clock by 445MHz, but we’re not positive; we’ve reached out to AMD and haven’t received an answer specifically addressing this issue. For the rest of the charts, now that we’ve illustrated the bug, we’ll leave OCing out.

vega fe firestrike extreme hi

FireStrike Extreme shows similar performance, with Vega: FE sandwiched between the GTX 1070 (with the 1070 FE about 13% behind Vega: FE) and the GTX 1080 FE cards, with Vega: FE about 5.5% behind the 1080 FE card, where Vega has lost ground at 1440p. Vega: FE is about 29% behind the 1080 Ti and about 34% behind the Titan Xp reference card.

vega fe firestrike normal hi

With FireStrike at 1080p, Vega: FE operates a score of 21355, meaning that the 1070 FE is 16% slower, with Vega: FE running 1.9% slower than the 1080 Reference card and 6.7% slower than the SC2 1080.

Here are the corresponding FPS numbers, for perspective:

vega fe firestrike normal fps

And TimeSpy with AMD Vega: FE:

vega fe timespy

DOOM (Vulkan) Benchmark with AMD Vega: FE vs. 1080 Ti, 1080, Titan Xp

For gaming, let’s start with AMD’s most favored benchmarking scenario, then move on to other games:

vega fe doom 4k

With DOOM at 4K and Ultra settings, using async Compute and Vulkan, the Vega: FE card operates an AVG FPS of 64.2, which places it slower than a GTX 1080 FE by 5%, slower than a 1080 Ti FE card by 28%, and slower than a Titan Xp by 32%, due to the thermal limiter. Going to a Hybrid mod brought the Titan Xp performance much higher, as we showed several months ago, and using a 1080 Ti Gaming X also increases performance somewhat significantly over the Ti FE.

The GTX 1070 FE runs a 54.7FPS AVG, about 10FPS slower than the Vega: FE card.

AMD Vega Benchmark: Ghost Recon: Wildlands vs. 1080, 1070, Titan Xp

vega fe grw 4k

Moving to Ghost Recon: Wildlands at 4K and with Very High settings, the Vega: FE card runs an AVG FPS of 37.7, 1% LOWs of 34, and 0.1% LOWs of 33.7FPS. In the very least, AMD’s frametimes are reasonably consistent here; unfortunately, the card still runs about 12% slower than a GTX 1080 FE at 43FPS AVG, and about 32% slower than the GTX 1080 Ti FE’s 55FPS AVG and consistently timed lows. For reference, the Titan Xp operates at 60FPS AVG, with the 1080 Ti Gaming X at 58FPS AVG. The GTX 1070 operates at 35FPS AVG, with lows around 30, and a GTX 980 Ti operates roughly the same, at 33.7FPS AVG.

vega fe grw 1440p

At 1440p, the Vega: FE card manages to maintain 62FPS AVG, which marks it about tied with a GTX 1070 in AVG FPS. Vega’s low-end performance is still remarkably consistent, here, but the card clearly struggles in averages to keep up in gaming workloads. Not really the target use case, as we discussed on page 1. A 980 Ti runs about 8% slower than Vega: FE. The 1080 Ti cards are all in the 90s, alongside the Titan Xp, marking Vega: FE about 32% slower than the slowest 1080 Ti.

vega fe grw 1080p

Above are the 1080p results.

For Honor - AMD Vega: FE Benchmark

Here's For Honor at 4K. Forgot these tests on first upload -- thanks, commenters:

vega fe forhonor 4k

vega fe forhonor 1440p

vega fe forhonor 1080

AMD Vega Benchmark with Sniper Elite (Dx12) vs. GTX 1080 Ti, Titan Xp

vega fe sniper 4k

Let’s move to another benchmark that’s historically been favorable to AMD. In Sniper Elite 4 with DirectX 12 and async Compute at high settings and 4K, Vega: FE operates a 53FPS AVG, with lows close by. This marks the GTX 1070 FE card 10.3% slower and marks Vega: FE about 11.5% slower than the GTX 1080 FE card, or about 30% slower than the 1080 Ti FE card. Moving to a Titan Xp, that difference becomes 39% slower on Vega FE.

Ashes (Dx12) – Vega: Frontier Edition vs. 1080 Ti, Titan Xp, 1070

vega fe aots 4k

Maybe, then, Ashes with DirectX 12 and High settings could show some difference. With this game, Vega: FE runs an AVG FPS of 69.4, with lows at 44.6 and 40.7 0.1%. The GTX 1080 FE card operates about 10FPS faster, at 78.9FPS, and the GTX 1070 FE operates about 9FPS slower, at 61FPS AVG. The Titan Xp is nearly 100FPS AVG, for its persistent difference of a 29% deficit on Vega: FE.

Continue to the final page for the conclusion, power, thermals, & noise.

Last modified on July 03, 2017 at 12:58 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.


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