Radeon RX Vega 56: Price, performance, features compared

With the Radeon RX Vega 56, AMD delivers premium gaming performance at 1080p, 1440p and in virtual reality.

Radeon RX Vega 56 at a glance

How powerful is the RX Vega 56? The RX Vega 56 has no trouble running the latest games at 1080p and 1440p, and even has the grunt to dabble with 4K.
When did the RX Vega 56 come out? AMD launched the RX Vega 56 on 28 August 2017.
How much does the RX Vega 56 cost? The RX Vega 56 can be found retailing for between $900 and $1,100 depending on the specific variant.

What is the RX Vega 56?

The RX Vega 56 is the more affordable of the two high-end graphics cards in AMD's Radeon RX Vega line. Built on a different architecture to AMD's accompanying RX 500 cards, the RX Vega 56 is aimed at the enthusiast crowd looking for top-notch performance in the latest games at both 1080p and 1440p, as well as the ability to venture into the field of 4K gaming at 30fps.

From a performance perspective, the RX Vega 56 operates in the same space as Nvidia's GTX 1070. Price-wise, however, AMD is at a significant disadvantage. Due to the particular technologies used in the RX Vega 56, it typically retails for several hundred dollars more than the GTX 1070 despite offering little in the way of increased performance.

Much of this price disparity comes down to the type of RAM included in the RX Vega 56. Instead of the industry-standard GDDR5 RAM, AMD opted for the more expensive HBM2 kind. HBM2, or High Bandwidth Memory, features RAM chips stacked in a vertical orientation rather than laid out horizontally. This allows for the transfer of more data to and from RAM at any one time, but the complex manufacturing process leads to higher production costs.

8GB of this HBM2 RAM resides in the RX Vega 56, operating at a seemingly languid 1.6Gbps. Thanks to the extra-wide 2048-bit memory bus, however, overall bandwidth is a lofty 410GB/s. This is backed up by a GPU clock running at a base frequency of 1156MHz and a boost frequency of 1471MHz.

In addition to its steeper price tag, the RX Vega 56 is also considerably more power-hungry than Nvidia's GTX 1070. Typical usage sees it sucking down 210W, and AMD recommends a minimum 650W power supply to satisfy the card's energy needs. You'll also need two free 8-pin power connectors for delivering that power to the RX Vega 56.

What features does the RX Vega 56 support?

Like its Radeon RX 500 series, AMD's RX Vega graphics cards support a wide array of additional features. These include:

  • Radeon Chill
  • Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • Virtual Super Resolution
  • Vulkan API support
  • Radeon WattMan
  • Radeon ReLive recording software
  • FreeSync 2
  • LiquidVR
  • DirectX 12
  • HDCP 2.2
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • DisplayPort 1.4 HDR
  • AMD CrossFire

How powerful is the RX Vega 56?

With its high-end specs and hefty price tag, it's no surprise that the RX Vega 56 is one of the most capable graphics cards in the current market. Pitting it against modern games at 1080p sees it deliver framerates well in excess of 60fps with all the graphical settings maxxed out, even breaking the 90fps mark in many cases. It does well at 1440p, too, holding steady at 60fps in most current titles.

Crank the resolution to 4K, and the RX Vega 56 continues to perform quite well. Even with all the graphical bells and whistles turned on, it maintains a stable 30fps and even creeps into 60fps territory in certain titles.

The RX Vega 56 also fares admirably in virtual reality. Hitting the comfort threshold of 90fps is rarely a challenge for it even in the most graphically-demanding VR titles, although it does rely on the Oculus Rift Asynchronous Space Warp technology to maintain performance when running particularly demanding games like Dirt Rally at max settings.

RX Vega 56 availability and price

AMD rolled out the RX Vega 56 on 28 August 2017. Depending on the brand and variant in question, you'll find it typically retailing for between $500 and $800.

RX Vega 56 specs

Base clock speed
Boost clock speed
Memory speed
Memory bus
Card length
Card width
Dual slot
Card height
Power draw
Recommended system power
Power connectors
2 * 8-pin
No. HDMI ports
No. Display Ports
No. DVI ports
DirectX support

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