From June 2014 to September 2017 the graphics card in my system was the GTX 770, which I've talked about a fair amount here and here.
In August 2017 I wanted to buy the new Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. It turned out that the GTX 770's measely 2GB of VRAM in a Vulkan title and the lack of optimizations due to being quite old at that point meant that performance was absolutely unplayable and within 30 minutes I applied to have the game refunded using Steam Refunds. Ultimately, this experience finally convinced me I needed to buy a new GPU as previously I had wanted to buy one but couldn't justify it.
Later on in September 2017 due to me leaving Hong Kong to go to Uni in the UK I ended up selling most of my PC parts and ultimately decided in January 2018 that I wanted to buy a new PC.
I was determined not to buy Nvidia because of my awful experiences with Nvidia drivers with my 770 in the last few months of using it. I wanted an AMD card. Unfortunately for me the mining craze was still very much alive in early 2018 and after careful consideration I decided to buy an RX 480 8GB at a ludicrous asking price of £320. It was actually a really nice card other than the excessive heat and noise due to being a blower reference card. I put up with the noise and heat for a while but in August 2018 I decided I wanted to sell my reference 480 and buy a much better 480. I ended up with a seller refurbished Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB and bought it for £199 on eBay. I was able to sell my reference RX 480 8GB but at substantial loss and I came to terms with the fact that I'd never get that money back.
I really liked my Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB. It was the perfect RX 480 8GB. But gaming had moved on and some video games were pushing the envelope of graphics too hard and also the increasing number of unoptimized PC titles meant that in some games my 480 delivered a mediocre experience. In December 2018 I decided I wanted to buy a new graphics card. Either the upcoming rumored at the time Navi based RX 3080 with the rumored performance of an RX Vega 56 or buying a Vega 56.
In January 2019 I made the decision to purchase an RX Vega 56 after realizing that any potential GPUs being shown off at CES would be many months away at best. By a stroke of luck I was unintentionally correct as AMD announced the Radeon VII, a $699 RTX 2080 competitor, instead of the Navi series.
Before I sold my Nitro+ 480 8GB I wanted to benchmark it to compare it to my current RX Vega 56 so I do have comparisons to it in most games and synthetic benchmarks I've chosen. In several synthetic tests I have results from my GTX 770 as well for a 3 way comparison.
The test system is my main PC with an R7 1700X Stock, MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard, 16GB DDR4-3200 (2x 8GB), Corsair RM850i PSU, and Corsair H100i V2 CPU cooler.
The performance numbers for my RX 480 are from my Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8GB with AMD Radeon Software Adrenaline Edition 18.11.2 . My RX Vega 56 card is an Asus ROG Strix triple fan that I bought from @ChewToy! and is running AMD Radeon Software Adrenaline 2019 Edition 19.1.2 although at the time of posting the latest version is 19.2.1 . I didn't switch to the new version when it came out as I had already done a large amount of testing before and wanted to be consistent across all the games and tests.
Between changing GPUs the drivers were freshly removed using DDU, display driver uninstaller (a 3rd party program which is good for removing gpu drivers), with a new version downloaded from AMD's website and installed.
Both were on Windows 10 Version 1809 X64 with no real difference between them in the software side. During testing I closed all applications that weren't required for benchmarking.
Performance information in most games was recorded by FRAPS except in games using DX12 or Vulkan. In games using DX12 or Vulkan, the built in benchmarking tool was used which provided performance information.
Some games were tested using Virtual Super Resolution. It's basically AMD's version of allowing upscaling to higher than native resolutions. In those cases I have specified if it has been used and what resolution it was tested at. I did also decide to test some synthetics as well.
I may add more game benchmark results at a later date if I have time.
List of games tested (Year it was released) and notes:
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (2016)
Battlefield 4 (2013) - Actual gameplay of first story checkpoint
F1 2015 (2014)
For Honor (2016)
Grid Autosport (2014)
GTA V PC (2015) - Actual gameplay of first story mission
Metro 2033 Redux (2014)
Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)
Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor (2014)
Tomb Raider (2013)
Rise of The Tomb Raider (2015)
Watch_Dogs 2 (2016) - Actual gameplay - I have found some issues with the benchmark results so I'll be re-doing the Vega 56 benchmarking for it.
List of Synthetic Benchmarks tested
3DMark Firestrike Extreme
3DMark Timespy Extreme
Folding at Home Benchmark
I'll re-add Watch Dogs 2 results once I'm satisfied the re-tested benchmark results are indicative of actual gameplay performance.
Overall then is the Vega 56 a good upgrade from someone around an RX 480 level of performance? I would say hell yeah. It's a major improvement in performance and the only thing holding it back is prices although prices have gotten a lot better recently. If you can get one near MSRP or buy one used for cheaper then it's definitely worth it. I'll be doing more testing on my Vega 56 in the future. Sorry I rushed this a bit.
I'm going to update this with the synthetic performance and more benchmarks later so check back on this thread in the future for updates.
Definitely am thrilled with my purchase and I would buy a Vega 56 again if given the same situation.
Thanks for checking this out .