Review: Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 56 video card

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Review: Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 56 video card

Vega is goin NOVA.

Reviewing a card like the Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 56 is somewhat difficult at this time. Graphics cards might as well be called mining cards. Currently, gamers are being forced to pay crazy money for decent high resolution gaming performance in AAA games. Do you delay your upgrade or sell a kidney? Mining aside, Vega is actually a competent gaming GPU and Asus have produced a stellar design in the ROG Strix Vega 56. It’s an absolute beast of a card that offers an excellent feature set.

It’s effectively a triple slot design, which is something to keep in mind. The Strix Vega 56 is simply miles ahead of noisy reference cards. The Asus Strix is cooler and quieter thanks to its triple dust resistant fan implementation, much larger fin surface area and lapped base for maximum heat transfer. The card is fed by dual 8 pin power connectors which are definitely needed if you want to overclock to any meaningful degree.

Asus has included some attractive RGB lighting on the lovely back plate and on the shroud of the card. You can control the lighting with the Asus Aura Sync app and we have to say it looks really good when paired with a motherboard like our Asus Maximus IX Apex. The card has a total of five video outputs consisting of two DP v1.4, two HDMI 2.0b and one DVI-D port. Asus includes a pair of fan headers for connecting to adjacent case fans that can ramp up under heavy load. 

YOU CAN GAME WITH IT TOO

Gaming performance is strong, but not outstanding compared to the Nvidia competition.  It trades blows with the GTX 1070 Ti and as we see in Total War: Warhammer II, it even ends up ahead of the GTX 1080 at 1080p and 1440p. During testing, the recorded temperatures were excellent with a highest reading of just over 70c. Very good! Power consumption is a concern for all Vega cards with total system draw at 463w. This goes to show just how effective the Strix cooler is. If it can handle this hungry GPU, it can handle anything.

THE VALUE QUESTION

Now we come to the crux of it. A wise man once said: There are no bad graphics cards, only bad prices. The mining craze means Vega cards are poor options for gamers at this time due to extreme price inflation. If you’re a gamer, grab a GTX 1070 Ti or GTX 1080. The 1080 performs better, runs cooler, uses less power and doesn’t have the same level of price inflation.

Price aside, the Asus Strix Vega 56 is a decent gaming card. Sure it uses too much power for our liking but in the end it provides solid performance to go along with the unique AMD features like Freesync. That price though. No. Just no. Having said that, if the Vega cards ever come back to their RRPs then they become more compelling. 

Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 56
3 5
Verdict
"That price though. No. Just no."
Overall
Specs
$1299 AUD
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU • 3584 Stream Processors • 1297 MHz Core Clock • 1573 MHz Boost Clock • 8GB HBM2 Memory • 2048-bit bus • 800 MHz Memory Clock • 2x DP 1.4 • 2x HDMI 2.0b • 1x DVI-D
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