After months of waiting, AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card have launched today. Good luck getting one though because just about every store I've checked has long since sold out. They're AMD's high-end answer to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 respectively. Benchmarks are now out in the wild, and unsurprisingly they both offer some excellent single-GPU 4K gaming performance. 

AMD Radeon RX Vega Technical Specifications v Nvidia

Model

Radeon RX Vega 64

Radeon RX Vega 56

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

GeForce GTX 1080

GeForce GTX 1070

Cores

4,096

3,584

3,584

2,560

1,920

Base Clock

1,247MHz

1,156MHz

1,480MHz

1,607MHz

1,506MHz

Boost Clock

1,546MHz

1,471MHz

1,582MHz

1,733MHz

1683MHz

Memory Bandwidth

484GB/s

410GB/s

484GB/s

320GB/s

256GB/s

Peak SP Performance

12.7 TFLOPS

10.5 TFLOPS

11.3 TFLOPS

8.9 TFLOPS

6.46 TFLOPS

Memory

8GB HBM2

8GB HBM2

11GB GDDR5X

8GB GDDR5X

8GB GDDR5

TDP

295W

210W

250W

180W

150W

MSRP

$499

$399

$699

$499

$349

 

AMD Vega 64 & 56 v GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, 1080 & 1070 4K Gaming Benchmarks

 So where do AMD's Radeon RX Vega cards sit in the current market? Here's a whole bunch of 4K benchmarks spread across a number of AAA PC titles.

  DOOM Hitman Rise of the Tomb Raider Dawn of War 3 Ghost Recon Wildlands GTA V Battlefield 1 Average
Radeon RX Vega 64 78 60 43 83 39 30 58 56
Radeon RX Vega 56 69 51 38 79 35 26 51 50
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 103 78 56 99 50 54 70 73
GeForce GTX 1080 72 64 43 98 40 38 54 58
GeForce GTX 1070 61 50 35 94 33 31 43 50

This is probably one of the least surprising benchmark results in history. The Radeon RX Vega 64 exchanges blows with the GeForce GTX 1080 while the Radeon RX Vega 56 is almost a direct equivalent of the GeForce GTX 1070. Some games tip Nvidia's way, some AMD's, but the overall result is two graphics cards which perform very similarly to Nvidia's offerings from last year. AMD's are the least power efficient of the bunch though, raising significant questions as to how and why AMD was so late to the market with a Pascal competitor.

Which High End Graphics Card is the Best Value for Money in 2017?

 

  Average Frame Rate Cost Per Frame
Vega 64 56 $8.91
Vega 56 50 $7.98
GTX 1080 Ti 73 $9.57
GTX 1080 58 $8.60
GTX 1070 50 $6.98

Ultimately, neither the Radeon RX Vega 64 nor the Vega 56 are the killer graphics card which would have made the wait worth it. Are all the rumours and speculation, we've ended up with a pair of graphics cards that are the equal of Nvidia's third and fourth best efforts. On the value for money front, the GeForce GTX 1070 trumps the Vega 56, yet in real terms, neither are going to be found for anywhere near there MSRPs. GTX 1070's on Amazon are currently retailing for in excess of $500, while the Vega cards are already sold out. Word of their excellent cryptocurrency mining performance will obviously also have got around, meaning it's probably going to be difficult to get hold of one for a while.

If you've been hanging around for the past 15 months to see what Radeon Vega has in store, your final answer will be tinged with disappointment. These aren't bad graphics cards, they've just turned up to the party while Nvidia's already steaming drunk and ready to go home. Radeon RX Vega isn't a game-changer, it's just a solid, by-the-numbers effort.