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[AMD GPU] I won the Cougar PC and need a GPU, should I get Vega or wait?

So I’m a student in Electrical Engineering Technology and I do work with Autocad and some simulation programs. I’ll need both the compute power and the rendering for games :slight_smile: and I’m not very fond of Nvidia despite their great hardware. I like to dual-boot Linux and I’ll need to be working with Linux later for Arduino anyways, so I wanted to steer clear of the proprietary graphics of Nvidia, even if I’ll take a performance hit in regards to OpenCL.

I don’t need a GPU yet in this PC, I still play a lot of old games and I have another PC that I use for the heavy workloads right now.

So, should I wait for the next AMD flagship, go for Vega, or do something different?

Edit: To update with the discussion below, Autocad, gaming, spreadsheets, simulations (CPU based), and video editing are my workloads. Most are suggesting to get Vega 56 once aftermarket versions are available.

  • Vega 56/64
  • Wait for next AMD flagship
  • Other [Nvidia]
  • Other [AMD]
  • None of the above

0 voters


Night Pics

I chose “Other (AMD)” because you should wait for Sapphire and ASUS’ aftermarket Vega 56. The Sapphire one looks the most overclockable, (3 8pin PCI-E is insane, but necessary) while the ASUS one has the Aura sync to bling out your RGB.


Do you think that the 8 additional compute units would be worth it for the price? (Autocad and other compute loads)

Edit: It looks like the Vega 64 is ~10% faster for compute loads but 25% pricier.

I think it depends which you want the machine to be primarily, a workstation, or a gaming machine.
If you want it to be a workstation, it might be worth looking at this:

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If I was going more towards the workstation route, I think I would be getting a workstation board with ECC RAM. Edit: the WX 7100 does not have ECC, but the WX 9100 will have ECC, and twice the RAM. Thanks for the link BTW!

That being said, I would be interested in a VM GPU-passthrough that the workstation cards generally support though. That could make me go that route.


In practice the additional CUs do very little. Certainly not enough to justify the price increase.

You’d likely get more performance OCing the core and in particular the HBM clocks. Especially if you just flash a V64 BIOS to get higher HBM clocks as well.

IMO no one should buy V64.

As of right now V56 is also insanely overpriced with almost no partner cards available so if you can wait I would.

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I’m not looking at overclocking, I usually powerlimit for low noise, low temps, and for just a little bit less performance.

I’ll definitely wait till Vega drop in price if I decide to go for it. I have a few months still to decide.

That’s assuming it actually hits the market AND you can get a hold of it AND its not absurdly expensive (I’m thinking well north of 650 is probably). So far all we have is a paper release… no review samples, no listing in Amazon or Newegg or Microcenter with a card that was paper launched 3 weeks ago.

Vega is insanely overvolted out of the factory.

If you undervolt you can actually get higher clocks while using less power and running cooler/quiter. A V64 will of course run hotter and use a bit more power and if you want a quiet card you def do not want a reference blower Vega card.

Regardless though even if you didn’t OC the V56 the 64 isn’t fast enough to justify the price increase. GCN scales poorly after ~3000SPs.

I was one of those people who grabbed a few $150 CAD R9 290 cards from people who had mined before. It’s so loud that I needed the Fractal Design silent case and powerlimiting to keep the noise down. It’s still going strong so far, but certainly showing its age.

As a student get a 56. After out and working in chosen field build a true workstation if needed. A student should not require certified drivers. I am also assuming being a student you have limited income.

I have yet to see a 56 beat either one of my 64s in performance, but the price to performance isn’t there unless your time is very important.


A worthy winner… what are the odds of that ? Congrats !


Alright, so it looks like the consensus is to get the Vega 56 if going for the RX Vega cards. Are the workstation cards worth the hit in performance in other areas?

Haha, well, I don’t know about worthy, but I couldn’t believe it! I honestly thought it was spam and I stared at the email address in disbelief.

Certainly not an expert on this but I would say no. Unless you absolutely need some certified driver or ECC/more VRAM on the higher end models they really don’t seem to be worth the extra cost.

Especially since you’ll see less performance and worse cooling

If you really did need more VRAM the Vega FE is prob the better bet than a WX depending on prices.

Though as of now, IMO, Vega generally is still very much a wait and see. The stock isn’t there, the prices are nuts, and the drivers are extremely problematic

The list that I currently have in my head is:

  • Vega 56 [~$450 USD] (aftermarket card|8GB HBM2)
  • WX 7100 [~$700 USD] (value/budget workstation|8GB GDDR5)
  • WX 9100 [~$1550 USD] (performance workstation|16GB ECC HBM2)

and I’m thinking that @Raziel 's advice of getting the Vega 56 is a good idea.

But–and this is the main reason for asking–will it be worth it to get a Vega 56 around the time that we should start to see release dates for the next AMD GPU?

No. WS cards have lower performance for the money. You are paying for certified drivers.


While not school related, I also do video rendering of some fairly massive videos (2+ hour long weddings with multiple perspectives). I’ve never used a workstation card so that’s another consideration.

Really not in the same performance class at all for a lot of money.

Extremely overpriced and not really available

You only buy a WX if you need certified drivers which, though not for sure, I can almost guarantee you do not.


That is pretty difficult to answer as, tbh, we really don’t know when and what that would be. There are rumors of a die shrunk and possibly “fixed” Vega card coming sometime next year and Navi hasn’t been talked about at all and prob won’t be until 2019 at the earliest.

The only way to answer that question would be to, when you’re getting ready to buy the V56, to look around and see what info is available. If the successor is coming a month later than yeah wait but if not or you need a GPU then just buy V56.

If you keep waiting for the next tech product you’ll always bee waiting.

Workstation cards, unless they have ECC (which really isn’t needed for video editing), are essentially identical in in terms of hardware. You just get fancy drivers that let certain applications work with it

They aren’t special at all. A v56 will do, because of higher clocks and better cooling, a better job than a WX9100 in that job and absolutely destroy a Polaris based 7100