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Review: AMD Radeon VII

by Tarinder Sandhu on 7 February 2019, 14:01


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Power, Temperature, Noise

Here is where the Radeon VII, as largely expected, does not do so well. AMD is extracting as much from the Vega 20 die as possible, leading to a painful combination of frequency and enhanced voltage.

AMD reports two temperatures: GPU and Junction, and the latter represents the hottest part of the silicon. We take the GPU temperature in the graph, to be consistent with others, and it creeps up over the 20-minute full-load run. The Junction temperature, however, scales to over 100°C.

Though the cooler feels capable, taming that kind of power isn't easy. We get the feeling that Radeon VII ought to have been a watercooled card, even if that meant an extra 50 bucks on the asking price.

And this is why we say it. The three fans spin up pretty damn quickly when under the pump. The noise is nothing short of annoying even in a large, well-ventilated chassis such as the be quiet! Dark Base 700, underscoring that comfortably air-cooling a dual-slot card pulling 300W is a hugely difficult task.

AMD may get close to Nvidia in the pure framerate stakes, but the green team is way ahead on efficiency, cooling and noise. Bear these factors in mind when properly evaluating the cards.