AMD Radeon VII: High-End Chip (Part 2)

Original author: Nate Oh
  • Transfer
Part 1 >> Part 2 >> Part 3


Due to the SMU changes mentioned earlier, no third-party utilities can read Radeon VII data, although patches are expected soon. Partner tools, such as MSI Afterburner, must support the new SMU. Overall, Radeon Wattman was the only monitoring tool available, although we noticed that logging performance metrics sometimes caused problems in games.

It is worth noting here that the instability of the driver provided to the press was an important factor in this review. Known issues include the inability to lower HBM2 frequencies on Radeon VII, which, as AMD explained, is a known bug announced at Adrenalin 2019 19.2.1; or a system failure when the Wottman voltage curve is set to one minimum / maximum point. There are also crashes in the DX11 games that we encountered in the early stages, which AMD also considers.

For these reasons, we do not provide data on the frequency or overclock of Radeon VII in the current review. In truth, these shortcomings are not so small: although Vega 20 is a novelty for gamers, it is far from a novelty for drivers, and if Radeon VII really was always in the plan, then game stability should have been a priority. Despite the fact that Radeon VII remained a semi-professional graphics card, it is also a new flagship game. There is no indication that this is anything more than minor problems at the start of the launch, but it seems to mean that the Radeon VII was launched in a big hurry.

Thanks to Corsair, we were able to get a replacement for our AX860i PSU. Although our plan was to use Corsair Link as an additional source of energy data, for the reasons stated above, this was not feasible. Therefore, energy consumption figures will differ from earlier data from the 2018 Bench GPU.

In addition, for Ashes, GTA V, F1 2018 and Shadow of War, we have updated some steps of automatic testing and data processing, so the results may differ by 1080p compared to previous GPU data in 2018.

Battlefield 1 (DX11)

Battlefield 1 returned to us from the 2017 test suite, where the game was an important component after DICE brought gamers the long-awaited AAA class shooter about World War 1 in 2016. Battlefield 1 with detailed maps, environmental effects, and combat provides an overall well-optimized but demanding graphics load. DICE's next Battlefield game, Battlefield V, closes the circle, returning to World War II, but more importantly for us, is one of the most famous names when it comes to real-time GeForce RTX ray tracing.

We use the preset Ultra, unchanged. Since these tests were carried out in single-user mode, our rule of thumb with multi-user performance is the same: in multiplayer FPS, as a rule, drops to half the figure in a single game. Battlefield 1 also supports HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision).

Our previous experience with Battlefield 1 shows that AMD equipment generally works well here, and Radeon VII is no exception. Of the games in our set, Battlefield 1 is actually only one of two games where the Radeon VII leads the RTX 2080, but nevertheless, this is still a reason for pride. The performance increase compared to Vega 64 is an impressive 34% at 4K, and this is more than enough to clearly indicate the card rating to a higher level. In addition, Battlefield 1 defines the Radeon VII as faster than the GTX 1080 Ti FE. And the RTX 2080 for such a result needed additional Founders Edition settings.

The 99th percentile reflects the same trend, and at 1080p the CPU bottleneck plays a greater role than the slight differences between the top three cards.

Far Cry 5 (DX11)

The latest Ubisoft Far Cry sergeant sends us straight into the unfriendly arms of a warlike cult in Montana, one of the many lost places in the United States. With a charismatic and mysterious adversary, magnificent landscapes of the northwest American flavor and lots of violence, this is the classic and beloved Far Cry. A graphically rich open world requires the player to take action and research.

Far Cry 5 supports Vega-oriented features with Rapid Packed Math and Shader Intrinsics. Far Cry 5 also supports HDR (HDR10, scRGB, and FreeSync 2). This test was conducted without including HD textures. This is an option that has been recently fixed.

The built-in Far Cry 5 benchmark is not famous for sensitivity, but the essence of the results is that Radeon VII leads in 4K, and lags behind at lower resolutions. For 4K and 1440p, it should be noted that the Radeon VII, GTX 1080 Ti FE and RTX 2080 are more or less in the same league.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (DX12)

A veteran from our 2016 and 2017 game listings, Ashes of Singularity: Escalation, remains a pioneer in DirectX 12, and Oxide Games developer designs and builds the Nitrous Engine around a low-level API. The game implements all the basic functions of DX12, from asynchronous computing to multi-threaded task transfer and bulk computing. And thanks to the full support of Vulkan, Ashes provides a good understanding between the most modern APIs. Its built-in benchmark is still one of the most versatile ways to measure workloads in a game in terms of output, automation, and analysis; Offering such a tool publicly and as an integral part of the game, the campaign sets an example that other developers should focus on.

The settings and methodology have remained identical since testing in the 2016 GPU test suite. Note that we use the original Ashes Extreme graphic preset, which is compared to the current one with MSAA, reduced from x4 to x2, and we also adjust the Texture Ran (MipsToRemove in settings.ini).

We have updated some automation and data processing settings, so the results may differ for 1080p resolution compared to previous data.

For Radeon VII, the obvious goal was to catch up and face off with the RTX 2080. The situation in Ashes: Escalation still shows that this was possible in 4K, where, despite the lag behind the GTX 1080 Ti FE / RTX 2080, Radeon VII comfortably in front of the RTX 2070 and RX Vega 64. Leadership is gradually lost at lower resolutions, but Radeon VII can still claim 20% acceleration at 1440p compared to the RX Vega 64.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Vulkan)

Id Software is widely known for several games in which you need to shoot at all sorts of different things until it dies. “It” changes from game to game, and it happens: by the Nazis, demons, or other players who despise the laws of physics. Wolfenstein II is the last reincarnation of one of the first such games, and the continuation of a series of modern "reboots". The game was developed by MachineGames, and was created on the basis of ID Tech 6. And, although the game is no longer as “meaty” as before, in its heart it remains a frantic FPS, following the traditions of DOOM, the modern title game for Vulkan. Wolfenstein uses a pure implementation of Vulkan, not OpenGL as the original DOOM.

Featuring 1961 Nazi-occupied America, the Wolfenstein II is luxuriously designed, while not too heavy for hardware. This goes well with the pace of his actions, when levels overflowing with design are full of alternative historical details.

The highest quality preset “Mein leben!” Was used. Wolfenstein II also includes Vega-oriented GPU Culling and Rapid Packed Math, as well as Radeon-centric Deferred Rendering; neither GPU Culling nor Deferred Rendering were included in the preset.

We knew that Wolfenstein II makes good use of its frame buffer. To explain the obvious outsider, it's worth mentioning that the 4GB HBM1 Fury X is simply not enough for a smooth gameplay. The resulting performance is better displayed on the 99th percentile, and even at 1080p, freezing makes the game unplayable.

Returning to the rest of the details, Wolfenstein II's tendency towards the architectures of the current generation is again revealed (i.e., Turing, Vega). Here, the GTX 1080 Ti FE based on Pascal does not claim to be the best in its class: the RTX 2080 takes first place, and Radeon VII shows an almost similar result. Again, the net margin on average FPS increases at lower resolutions, which means that the Radeon VII is sometimes somewhat slower than the reference RTX 2080, but judging by the 99th percentile, the real difference is close to zero.

Compared to the RX Vega 64, the performance gain is exactly 24% at 4K and 25% at 1440p, which is a funny coincidence, given the promised 25% given earlier.

Final Fantasy XV (DX11)

When porting to a PC earlier, Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition was subjected to graphic processing because it was ported from the console. This is the result of their successful partnership with NVIDIA, and we have not noticed any hint of problems during the initial production and development of Final Fantasy XV.

In preparation for the launch, Square Enix decided to release a separate benchmark, which they managed to update since then. Using the Final Fantasy XV benchmark gives us a long standardized sequence of using OCAT. After the release, this benchmark was criticized for performance problems and various bugs, as well as for confusing graphical presets and performance measurement by a certain “assessment”. In their initial iteration, the graphic settings could not be edited, leaving the user with presets that are tied to resolution and hidden settings, such as GameWorks features.

Since then, Square Enix has fixed the benchmark for working with custom graphics settings, fixed errors to improve accuracy in profiling gaming performance and graphics options, however, it left the result in the form of an “assessment”. For our testing, we enable or change the graphics settings to the highest parameters, with the exception of NVIDIA-specific functions and Model LOD. Final Fantasy XV also supports HDR, and will support DLSS later.

Moving on to Final Fantasy XV, this test turned out to be the worst for Radeon VII. Historically, the game worked well on NVIDIA hardware, so RTX and GTX performance levels are well known. The Radeon VII has the potential to get around the RX Vega 64 everywhere, showing a speed increase of up to 34% at 4K and up to 28% at 1440p. Although its resources are enough to overtake the reference RTX 2070 at 4K / 1440p, the RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 Ti FE remain out of reach.

Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)

An honored participant in the testing is GTA V. Veteran of past game packages, which is still graphically demanding. Working on the obsolete DX11, it gives an idea of ​​graphically intensive games of the past years that do not contain the latest features. Originally released for consoles in 2013, the game was ported to a PC. The game port contains many graphical improvements and options. Equally important, GTA V includes an intense and informative built-in benchmark, somewhat unusual for open world games.

The game settings have not changed from previous tests, and are user-specific, since GTA V has no presets. Recall that “Very High” quality is used when all the main graphic options have been raised to the highest value, except for grass, which has its own high settings. Meanwhile, 4x MSAA is included for direct display and reflections. This option also means enabling some advanced rendering features — long shadows in the game, high-resolution shadows, and high-resolution streaming — but does not increase the viewing range.

We have updated some steps of automation and data processing, so the results may differ from the 1080p mark compared to previous data.

GTA V is another game in which Radeon VII shows a lag. Its 38 percent improvement in 4K performance over the RX Vega 64 is outstanding and should not be doubted, but even this jump is not enough to compete with the GTX 1080 Ti FE and RTX 2080. Ultimately, it is somewhere between the reference RTX 2070 and RTX 2080.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (DX11)

Next comes Middle-earth: Shadow of War, a sequel to Shadow of Mordor. Designed by Monolith, whose last hit may have been FEAR, Shadow of Mordor brought the campaign back into the spotlight thanks to an innovative NPC rival creation and interaction system called the Nemesis System, as well as a storyline based on JRR Tolkien legends. The game runs on a highly modified engine that originally worked on FEAR in 2005.

Using the new LithTech Firebird engine, Shadow of War improved detail and complexity, and thanks to the free add-ons with high-resolution textures, it shows a good example of getting great graphics from the engine, which may not be advanced. Shadow of War also supports HDR (HDR10).

We have updated some steps of automation and data processing, so the results may differ for 1080p resolution compared to previous data.

In Shadow of War, the positioning of the Radeon VII is much closer to perfect. The card is located between the GTX 1080 Ti FE and the reference RTX 2080, while showing a more than 25% increase compared to the RX Vega 64. An important point here is the result at the level with the reference RTX 2080 in 4K resolution - which means Radeon VII can finally confirm that works at the performance level of the RTX 2080 / GTX 1080 Ti FE.

F1 2018 (DX11)

The heir to F1 2016 is the F1 2018 race, the last iteration of Codemaster in the official Formula 1 racing games. It includes a reduced version of the built-in test tools and Codemasters scripts, which are unexpectedly absent in DiRT 4.

In addition to being aware of the events in the world of Formula 1, HDR support was added to F1 2017, which migrated to F1 2018. Graphically demanding On its own, F1 2018 retains the racing-type graphics payload in our tests.
We have updated some steps of automation and data processing, so the results may differ at 1080p resolution compared to previous data. Notably, for F1 2018, this includes calculating the 99th percentile from the net frame output time.

The 2018 F1 is another example where the Radeon VII is in a better position. 4K / 1440p performance is essentially the leadership of the reference RTX 2080, GTX 1080 Ti FE and Radeon VII. And, as usual, it is noticeably faster than the RX Vega 64.

Total War: Warhammer II (DX11)

The last in our 2018 game kit is Total War: Warhammer II, built on the same engine as Total War: Warhammer. Although there is a more recent game in the series - Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, this game was built on a 32-bit version of the engine. First TW: Warhammer was a DX11 game that was developed to some extent with DX12 in mind, with pre-builds demonstrating DX12 performance. However, in Warhammer II, this question was apparently missed because the DX12 mode is still labeled beta and also has performance regression for both vendors.

This is unfortunate because Creative Assembly itself recognizes that their games are highly CPU-bound, and with the reuse of game engines, the DX12 optimization would continue to provide benefits. Especially if the future of graphics in RTS games will tend to use low-level APIs.

Currently, there are three built-in tests with different graphics and processor load; we chose the Battle test, which seems to be the most tied to the graphics.

He completes the game tests of Total War: Warhammer II, and this team is not quite suitable for the competition between Radeon VII and its competitors. As in the case of GTA V, the map significantly exceeds the characteristics of its predecessor. At 4K, we see a staggering 47% increase over the RX Vega 64. However, if we forget about the comparison with the RX Vega 64, the Radeon VII is still about 15% behind the reference RTX 2080, although it is faster than RTX 2070 in 4K / 1440p. This is not the place that Radeon VII would like to take, despite a respectable lead over the RX Vega 64.

Thank you for staying with us. Do you like our articles? Want to see more interesting materials? Support us by placing an order or recommending to your friends,30% discount for Habr users on a unique analogue of entry-level servers that was invented by us for you: The whole truth about VPS (KVM) E5-2650 v4 (6 Cores) 10GB DDR4 240GB SSD 1Gbps from $ 20 or how to divide the server correctly? (options are available with RAID1 and RAID10, up to 24 cores and up to 40GB DDR4).

VPS (KVM) E5-2650 v4 (6 Cores) 10GB DDR4 240GB SSD 1Gbps until the summer for free when paying for a period of six months, you can order here .

Dell R730xd 2 times cheaper? Only we have 2 x Intel Dodeca-Core Xeon E5-2650v4 128GB DDR4 6x480GB SSD 1Gbps 100 TV from $ 249 in the Netherlands and the USA! Read about How to Build Infrastructure Bldg. class using Dell R730xd E5-2650 v4 servers costing 9,000 euros for a penny?

Also popular now: