vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Asus adds two ROG Strix RX Vega 56 graphics cards to lineup

by Mark Tyson on 24 August 2017, 10:11

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadkzc

Add to My Vault: x

HEXUS reviewed the Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix Gaming last Friday. We were impressed by the quiet cooling system and premium build quality, but not so much by its premium pricing and power consumption. What if Asus released a Strix version of the Radeon RX Vega 56 - could that directly address those two biggest concerns? Today a couple of new Strix RX Vega graphics cards were listed by Asus, so it looks like the question posed could be answered soon.

Asus has published dedicated product pages for the ROG Strix RX VEGA64 OC edition 8GB, and the ROG Strix RX VEGA56 8GB - both cards are Aura Sync RGB editions. Looking over the product pages you can see that these cards look identical. I also didn't spot any visual difference to the triple fan Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 64, as reviewed at HEXUS towers.

Switching to the product page specifications section doesn't make things clearer, and neither does setting up an online product comparison. Asus simply hasn't fleshed out the specs of these new RX Vega 56 SKUs at the time of writing beyond the basics. Both cards have the same 'product highlights' as follows:

  • MaxContact Technology that is 2X more contact with GPU for improved thermal transfer.
  • Patented Wing-Blade IP5X-Certified Fans for maximum airflow and longer fan lifespan.
  • ASUS FanConnect II equips with hybrid controlled fan headers for optimal system cooling.
  • Industry Only Auto-Extreme Technology with Super Alloy Power II delivers premium quality and best reliability.
  • ASUS Aura Sync RGB LED synchronization enables a gaming system personalization.
  • VR-friendly HDMI ports let you enjoy VR experiences anytime without having to swap cables.
  • GPU Tweak II with XSplit Gamecaster provides intuitive performance tweaking and real-time streaming.

Those are the exact same product highlights as the ROG Strix RX VEGA64 8GB.

Important specs such as GPU clock speeds, OC amount on the OC model, and so on are not provided. However, now listed, it shouldn't be long until these cards become available for reviews and retail so we can get a closer look.

Radeon RX Vega pricing

There has been a pretty constant rumble of discontent regarding AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphic card pricing since day one of availability. We touched upon this news previously here (scroll down). In recent hours there have been further reports casting a critical eye on RX Vega pricing.

Yesterday Kumquat Research published an article called 'AMD: The Vega Pricing Scandal'. It looks at the initial accusations, and subsequent AMD refutations. In the end the writer concludes that "Vega's pricing and supply are rational and efficient despite claims to the contrary." It's simple economics that goods in short supply and in high demand are priced higher, over RRPs, in this case. Furthermore, Kumquat asserts that AMD loosening supply "could put the entire GPU market in danger of a pricing bust should cryptocurrency prices take a dive".

Today TechPowerUp provides another angle on Vega pricing woes for consumers. It has pictorial evidence that even distributors are marking up Vega prices, before the retailer gets a cut. It seems to paint AMD as helpless in being able to control the prices, quite a different view from Kumquat Research.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
•MaxContact Technology that is 2X more contact with GPU for improved thermal transfer.

What does this mean? Does it mean that they're covering twice the surface area? The clamping load on the chip from the sink is twice as much? The thermal paste gets into twice as many tiny little surface imperfections? If you can easily double the contact with the GPU to the point where it's being doubled then either everyone else is doing it realllly badly or you're probably doing something pointless.
AMD are helpless IMO, they can't demand retailers sell for X amount (afaik that's illegal) and it's not like supply has been short, at least not going on what this WCCFTech article says

that ‘tens and thousands of Vega GPUs were shipped out’ yet they appear to have run into unforeseen delays which meant that only a fraction of the available quantity was up for sale when the launch window opened.

From what i can tell distributors and retailers are increasing price purely because they can and because cryptocurrency miners are hovering up what supply there is, with AMD being hit hardest because they're better as cryptocurrency mining cards, there's next to nothing manufactures can do to control the price in the shops as increasing supply risks a collapse in cryptocurrency causing thousands of cards to go unsold and we're not talking small numbers hear, a recent article on MarketWatch says…

Sales of add-in cards of AMD and Nvidia hardware were 520,000 units higher in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to JPR. Traditionally, we would expect the standard seasonal drop of 10,000-20,000 units. This indicates that upwards of 500,000 total units of high-end graphics were sold into the channel and, indeed, for mining-specific uses. About one in three graphics cards sold at retail, to OEMs or businesses was used for cryptocurrency mining.
philehidiot
What does this mean? Does it mean that they're covering twice the surface area? The clamping load on the chip from the sink is twice as much? The thermal paste gets into twice as many tiny little surface imperfections? If you can easily double the contact with the GPU to the point where it's being doubled then either everyone else is doing it realllly badly or you're probably doing something pointless.

'flat' surfaces aren't perfectly smooth - there will be enough roughness even in a polished surface that the actual contact will be limited to a vanishingly small area of the overall area of the chip. So everyone is making heatsinks really badly, but it's also really hard to do it right.

The ratio of actual metal-to-silicon contact area to apparent contact area can be approximated as equal to the mounting pressure / the microhardness of the softer material . Assuming a mounting pressure on the order of 10kg, a die area for vega around 600mm^2 (for the area of the GPU and memory stacks) and a microhardness of copper on the order of 1GPa, then the mounting pressure is a lowly 160KPa. This gives a contact area ratio on the order of just 0.01%, meaning you get just 0.1mm^2 of metal-to-silicon contact for heat conduction and the rest has to go through a few microns of thermal goop.


: https://www.lepten.ufsc.br/publicacoes/tucal/eventos/2003/AIAA/milanez_yovanovich_mantelli.pdf This goes into lots more detail on the subject, the Ar/Aa = P / H equation is the simplest one I could see with a quick scan through
: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.514.10&rep=rep1&type=pdf I know, they're looking at a weird alloy, but it's the closest i could find and it should be correct to within a factor of 10
Furthermore, Kumquat asserts that AMD loosening supply “could put the entire GPU market in danger of a pricing bust should cryptocurrency prices take a dive”.
Cheaper graphics cards! Now that would be a bummer… :shocked2:
azrael-
Furthermore, Kumquat asserts that AMD loosening supply “could put the entire GPU market in danger of a pricing bust should cryptocurrency prices take a dive”.
Cheaper graphics cards! Now that would be a bummer… :shocked2:

You sir, get the upvote today.