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Vega 64 Strix tried: Asus' Radeon makes almost everything better

Monday, August 21st, 2017 | Gadgets

The Vega 64 Strix is ​​the first custom design of the Radeon RX Vega 64 we tested. Last week we had the opportunity to watch the graphics card for a few hours. To this Asus visited us with several developers from Taiwan, who brought us two minimally different models of the Vega 64 Strix. Both are final from hardware point of view, at the firmware but there may still be minor changes.

As is common with partner cards, the focus is on the improved cooling combined with slightly more power plus manufacturer-specific functions. For this purpose, the Vega 64 Strix uses a board with six doubled GPU and two memory phases, and another can be switched. The card is powered by two 8-pin connectors, which is theoretically sufficient for 375 watts, and therefore also for easy overclocking.

        
    Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix (Photo: Marc Sauter / Golem.de)

When cooling, Asus uses the solution known from the Geforce GTX 1080 Ti Strix. The original DirectCu construction with heatpipes, which are directly on the chip, no longer exists, instead a classic coldplate with six heaters and a very large number of slats. The voltage transformers are in contact with the radiator, the backplate serves solely for the optics. Together with the three 90mm fans, the radiator occupies just over two slots.
Typical for Asus are the two PWM connections for fan cabinets, the speed of which is determined by the GPU temperature instead of the processor. This makes sense for a gaming system with an axial rather than a radial graphics card. The lighting around the fans and the logo can be adjusted or switched off using Aura software.

        
    Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix (Photo: Marc Sauter / Golem.de)

As with the reference design, there are two BIOS versions that specify the GPU power target. The Vega chip on the Strix can accommodate up to 260 instead of 220 watts in the performance mode and in the Quiet mode it is 240 instead of 200 watts. At the clock rates, Asus has not changed, the highest DPM state respectively the maximum GPU frequency are thus 1,630 MHz. Due to the higher power profile, however, the Strix clocks a bit faster on average.
We measure a power consumption of 318 watts (performance) and 297 watts (Quiet) at 78 degrees Celsius, the reference design comes in the preset BIOS to 280 watts at 85 degrees. Instead of an average of 1.440 MHz, the Strix clocks with 1.470 MHz (Quiet) and 1.520 MHz (performance). The Strix reckons with minimum speed faster than the reference design, and in performance mode it is 5 percent ahead with Doom in 4K UHD with volcano.
The models mentioned at the beginning differ in the package: AMD makes it produce with manufactures (apparently Amkor and ASE), only one pours out the gap between Vega and HBM2 chips. Asus' internal tests do not show differences in performance, the leakage currents from GPU to GPU have far more effect on the switching speed.

        
    Asus Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix (Photo: Marc Sauter / Golem.de)

We especially like the volume – or rather, the strix is ​​anything but loud. Up to 55 degrees GPU temperature, the fans stand still, then they squeal very quietly. From a closed and insulated Fractal Design Define R5, we could barely hear the Asus card, which is excellent for over 300 watts of power.
Asus plans to launch the Radeon RX Vega 64 Strix in September 2017, the price of the graphics card is not yet available.

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