Asus could not have done much more with RX Vega 64 - the card is cool-ish, quiet and about as fast as can be.
Coming late to the premium graphics party, AMD has now delivered the latest Vega GPU architecture to consumers in the form of Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 cards.
GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 finally have some competition, but the release of reference Radeon cards only tells us so much, especially as they struggle with containing noise generated by the thirsty GPUs. What's really needed is add-in board partners to show what the Vega is capable of.
Asus provides a firm glimpse of how RX Vega 64 will perform once in full-retail form, and our opportunity of testing a pre-production Strix Gaming variant has been instructive.
The huge Asus card, using a cooler very similar to that employed on the GeForce GTX 1080/Ti and AMD's own RX 580, is more useful than ever before because it rectifies the problems faced by the reference model.
Performance is up to 10 per cent higher because the cooling enables the underlying RX Vega 64 GPU to maintain better frequencies through all tests, while a trio of larger, slower-spinning fans means the card is very quiet under load, which is an impressive feat considering the power running through it. And as usual, going down the Strix Gaming route leads to understated RGB lighting, FanConnect II, and a change in the default video outputs.
Asus could not have done much more with RX Vega 64 - the card is cool-ish, quiet and about as fast as can be. One worry we have is with respect to pricing; the reference card is already £100 dearer than expected and having it undergo the Asus Strix Gaming treatment is likely to further inflate pricing by, perhaps, another £75. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, no matter if it is presented well, really isn't a £600-plus GPU, so we hope that Asus/AMD can work on pricing when this model becomes available in a month's time.
Putting our neck on the line early, we feel that the Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix Gaming card is about as good as AMD graphics are going to get this year. Good enough to charge £500 for the privilege? Yes, but not a whole lot more.
Quiet under load
Premium build quality
Faster than reference
Pricing could be an issue
High power consumption
Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix Gaming 8GB
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