Editorial: AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 joins our GPU roster

AMD fans, here is something special for you today. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 has joined our GPU roster and will be featured in all of our future PC Performance Analysis articles. As for our NVIDIA fans, we can guarantee you that we’ll get the upcoming high-end GPU once it’s released (provided it’s available in our country).

Of course this Editorial would be meaningless without some benchmarks and let us tell you that you will be surprised by some of them. For our tests, we used an Intel i7 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) with 8GB RAM, Windows 10 64-bit and the latest version of the AMD Radeon Adrenalin Software drivers. The games we’ve tested are: Quantum Break, Gears of War 4, Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Kingdom Come Deliverance and Final Fantasy XV.

While the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 is more powerful and does actually offer better average framerates than the GTX980Ti, the GTX980Ti had better minimum framerates, something that is most likely due to its more optimized DX11 drivers. It appears that AMD’s drivers are not particularly well optimized, resulting in higher CPU usage (which basically translates to worse minimum framerates when a game stresses the CPU).

Far Cry 5 saw a 8fps hit, while Assassin’s Creed Origins dropped to 44fps in the benchmark’s town section (for comparison purposes the GTX980Ti was able to push a minimum of 53fps). Final Fantasy XV also saw a small hit (2fps).

On the other hand, Quantum Break ran signficantly better on the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. Without upscaling and on Ultra settings, we were able to get a minimum of 44fps and an average of 54fps in the first Act (something was simply not possible with the GTX980Ti). Gears of War 4 also ran great.

Last but not least, Kingdom Come Deliverance appears to have major optimization issues on AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64. On Ultra settings, and even though none of our CPU cores was maxed out, the game was unable to take advantage of the GPU. And yes, while overall performance was better than the one we’re getting with the GTX980Ti (35/46 compared to 28/45), it’s still a far cry of what we’d expect (even with the Vega performance tweak that gamers can enable by setting r_BatchType to “1”). On Very High settings, the Vega 64 ran the game almost identically with the GTX980Ti. The key difference here, however, is that on the GTX980Ti we were GPU-limited whereas with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 we are CPU-limited. When we lowered our resolution on our GTX980Ti, we saw a major performance boost. When we did the exact same thing on the Vega 64, we did not notice any performance improvements.

It will be interesting to see whether AMD will be able to further optimize its drivers as right now, NVIDIA’s GPUs require less powerful CPUs in order to be fully utilized. This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits for NVIDIA and since there haven’t been a lot of DX12, AMD will have to step up its game.

Before closing, we’d like to remind you that we are not sponsored by anyone. Not by MSI, not by EVGA, not by AMD, not by Intel, not by NVIDIA, not by Gigabyte… not by anyone. This means that we have to purchase all the hardware parts ourselves. It would have been easier to sign up deals but let’s just say that we want complete control and freedom over our hardware (and what we can say about each and every company). If you want to see more GPUs – and perhaps an AMD Ryzen system – and in order to support DSOGaming and our work here, you can become a Patreon.