AMD RX Vega 56 Tear-Down & Undervolting / Overclocking Livestream

By Published August 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Tearing open the RX Vega 56 card revealed more of what we expected: A Vega Frontier Edition card, which is the same as Vega 64, which is the same as Vega 56. It seems as if AMD took the same PCB & VRM run and increased volume to apply to all these cards, thereby ensuring MOQ is met and theoretically lowering cost for all devices combined. That said, the price also increases in unnecessary ways for the likes of Vega 56, which has one of the most overkill VRMs a card of its ilk possibly could -- especially given the native current and power constraints enforced by BIOS. That said, we're working on power tables mods to bypass these constraints, despite the alleged Secure Boot compliance by AMD.

We posted a tear-down of the card earlier today, though it is much the same as the Vega: Frontier Edition -- and by "much the same," we mean "exactly the same." Though, to be fair, V56 does lack the TR6 & TR5 screws of FE.

Here's the tear-down:


If you prefer some photos:

amd rx vega 56 board 1

rx vega 64 board 1

And related to this, we also decided to livestream overclocking and undervolting on Press beta6a drivers, demonstrating the following final results:

We ended up at 236W @ PCIe cables when undervolted +50% power, with a clock boost of +66MHz and a power reduction of -71W (from +50% with no undervolt). Pretty damn good, could be better if you spent more time than we did. This is 30-33W over stock, but with a higher clock-rate by roughly 50-70MHz, depending on which numbers you take. Keep in mind that clock reporting tools are questionable right now, so we're not sure how accurate they are.

As for the last 40 minutes of the video (or so), we ended up with:

  • STOCK+50% power (no OC, no UV): +9.9% on stream, +12% in official review
  • STOCK+50%+HBM @ 950MHz: +4.3% over the previous number (so +14.7% over stock)
  • STOCK+HBM950+CORE at 9%: +2.6% over the previous HBM+50% number, +17.6% over stock
  • STOCK+HBM980+Core at 9%: +19.9% over stock

Huge note: We have to validate these numbers in gaming. For now, we only stability tested in FireStrike for a few minutes -- so not final, and not conclusive. But this does give you an early look at performance, with all the pains and driver bugs along the way. The archive is below:

More to come.

Host/editorial: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman

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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