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The Best Vega56 Settings


#1

Hey all,
I’ve lurked around this forum for a while and only posted a couple things…
But I figured this is the forum that would be the most interested in the Vega56 settings that I have come up with.

I have a reference Vega56 with the reference blower fan… as those of you who have these cards know… these things REALLY STRUGGLE to cool past 220w (stock vega64 TDP).

So after reading numerous overclocking guides for the Vega56… I determined that they all were useless if you were running a stock cooler. Infact even the undervolting guides weren’t so useful as most of them had you putting all your power into the HBM and still cranking the power limit to +50% and thus sitting in thermal throttle land with a screaming card 24/7.

Upon doing some testing of my own with all these guides… I flashed my Vega56 to a Vega64 bios (as many of the guides require, since you need the additional voltage for the HBM).

After being unsatisfied with the results published by a number of different places (people on Reddit, Reviews from Newegg, Hardware Unboxed, Gamers Nexus, HardOCP, etc) I decided that it was time for me to do my own tweaking… Because I was logging the performance, temps, and power usage during all these different guides…

Now I haven’t done much GPU OC/tuning for a long time (Since X1600 Pro Era), and mostly have only tuned CPU’s and Ram timings.

My goals here were to get the most performance out of the stock Vega64 TDP (220W), keeping the fan under 3250rpm (since thats where it gets REALLY REALLY LOUD) and keeping the temps at or under 77C (since it tends to lose some stability as it approaches 80c).

This is what I came up with:

What the result here is clockspeeds that are consistently above 1400mhz and usually closer to or over 1500mhz, temps that are under 75c most of the time and a metric ton of performance…
For reference my Overwatch 4K Ultra performance went from ~94fps with dips to ~68 to ~120fps with dips to ~90. HoTS 4K hits 144fps with average gameplay fps near ~120, also on Ultra.
In Prey 4K Medium I went from around ~42 fps (I didn’t really play the game at this fps since It was too low for me) to ~58fps. It will dip to around 45 lowest I’ve seen but peaks around 68fps.

Outside of those 3 games, I haven’t done too much meaningful testing (atleast comparing the before and after results in the last week).

Since my card is a reference card… I have samsung HBM. I don’t know if such work would be possible with Hynix HBM.

I also did get a bit more performance out of the same settings with 1000mhz HBM, but I Found that often in low load tasks the card would crash the entire machine.
Truth be told I didn’t explore this too much as it could have been my boost clock was too high for my P7 (it was 1586mhz) and the core didn’t always have enough power if it boosted. But dropping the HBM to 985 from 1000 took away less than 1% performance and dropping the boost clock to 1536 didn’t affect performance at all (since it doesn’t typically boost that high anyway, only to around 1520mhz usually).

The whole key here is to free up enough power for the core to move, this was done by dropping the clock on the P6 all the way down to 1445… Because otherwise the core is too shy to boost to p7 state at all and it doesn’t matter if you set it to 3000mhz it won’t really ever use that state in a heavy load.
Since you cannot adjust P5 and below… you need to coerce the card to get into p7 by dropping the vcore on p6 along with the clockspeeds.
But the idea is that the clockspeeds are in an attainable range (not like the stock clock of 1536) that won’t cause too much power draw.
The HBM clock can also not be too high (mine can go to 1100, but doing such ruins the performance by more than 10% as it takes way too much power from the core and clockspeeds sit around 1360mhz) so you can conserve power.

With the massive boost in performance that I have seen… I wonder why AMD didn’t play around with this more and release the cards this way…

One of my friends just bought a Vega56 and was lucky enough to get Samsung HBM, so we will be trying this tweak on his card too to see if he can reach the same targets I have.

For some other reference my setup is:
Ryzen 7 1700x (OC 3.925)
MSI B350 Tomahawk Arctic
Team Xtreem 32GB 3766mhz (DC to 3200Mhz CAS 14)
Corsair H105 GTX
512G HP EX920
960GB Crucial M500
2TB Hitachi Ultrastar
Corsair Carbide Case
1x UP3216Q
2x UP2414Q (Yes its a triple 4K monitor setup)

Interested to see what other people have come up with, or if my tweaks can work for everyone :slight_smile:

Enjoying +25% performance boost (sometimes more) is nothing short of amazing, especially for free.


#2

I have also just got a ASUS Strix Vega 56 that also has Samsung HBM and is hitting similar numbers to you.

1050mv at 1635mhz on the core
but I have only pushed it to 950Mhz and 1000mv on the memory will try and push it a little higher on the memory after reading this post

I hear if you flash the bios to Vega 64 you can get 1100 on the memory but I will not do that atm performance the system been good enough and it is only 2 days old

The system is a

Ryzen 2700x
Gigabyte x470 aurus gaming 7
G skill Trident Z 3200mhz
256 samsung evo NVMe
256 sansung sata that is paired with a 2 Tb hdd using storeMI(this works great btw)

I just built this PC for my son it is his first gaming desktop and he is loving it


#3

What I have found with Vega (64) is that you need to be real careful with temperature of the HBM (which is on the same cooler as the GPU die).

If you get the HBM above 80 (?) degrees it down-clocks, and Vega appears to be memory bandwidth limited.

I’ve got 2x reference 64s, i’ve given up tweaking them until i put them on water as the reference cooler is loud as you say. My tolerance for fan noise is… low.

The power settings on 64 at least are pointless. I get within 5 percent of balanced performance on “power save” with less heat. Turbo is entirely pointless.

Under-volting and keeping HBM as fast as possible (ensuring it doesn’t get too hot and drop clock) is the order of the day IMHO.

edit:
I’ve managed to run 1100 HBM on mine for mining previously, but again, if it gets hot it will drop to 800…


#4

My entire card stays at or under 75c most of the time. In the last days the max temp seen is 76c.
So with the HBM at 985mhz with the settings I have posted, its possible to keep the card cool with the reference blower.
I have given the settings to my friend with his 64 reference card, and I’m waiting to hear back on what his performance numbers are. With the reference cooler, really you can only cool around 225w max unless you really want the fan to scream.


#5

Surprised you are able to get 950mhz on the memory with the stock 56 bios.
My card would not go above 900mhz on the stock 56 bios with 1000mv. I tried 1050 and 1100mv and it didn’t help me pass the 900mhz barrier.
Only the Vega64 bios let me pass that barrier (as shown in the settings above).

With a Strix card you will have much better cooling than I have, and therefore you can push your core and your HBM up higher than I can.


#6

I recently got a used MSI “Air Boost” Vega 56 OC edition. The “OC” is a joke. MSI Afterburner and GPU-Z both report that MSI set the clockspeed at a default of 1620MHz, but the card can barely clear 1400 MHz in some benchmarks. In Superposition the card maxes out at 1320MHz.

I’ve tried increasing the power limit by 15%, raising the ‘default’ clock speed to 1650Mhz and bumping up the voltage by a small amount, but it made no difference to the max clock speed. Is there any way to get this thing to go faster?

I should note that I’m not at all disappointed with the purchase. I paid US$250 for it used, and it’s still 50% faster than my old RX 580.


#7

5 days


#8

Depends where you are limited. You want to keep the HBM cool though. Drop vCore, raise HBM clock, try keep core as cool as possible (well, under 75-80 degrees, as it is on the same heat-sink as the HBM.

Vega is memory bandwidth limited (yes, even with the HBM - definitely on Vega 56 where the HBM is clocked at 800mhz!) and if the HBM gets too hot it drops clock severely and performance tanks. I’d ignore trying to raise core clock. That’s not really where the bottleneck is.


#9

Having some good success with your advice about ignoring the core clock. At -50mV, +30% power, 900MHz RAM (starts artifacting at 925MHz), and a very aggressive fan curve, I’m now hitting 1470MHz. Maximum temperature I’m seeing is about 60C, but the blower is REALLY loud, so I’m going to need to fine tune the curve.

In Superposition @1080p Extreme I was getting a 3765 score at stock settings. Now I’m seeing 4093 with the settings I dialed in above. Too bad the RAM won’t clock higher. In my case, the setting that seemed to make the biggest difference was power limit, and to a lesser degree the aggressive fan curve. I think someone else in the thread had little luck changing power limit, but it really helped with my card.


#10

Yup, that’s my experience with vega 64 as well.

With the core, out of the box Vega seems to be right on the edge of the max clock rate for the core in terms of power efficiency - you can get higher clock if you can keep it cool but its at the point where going further needs more power and lots of it (which brings heat which hurts the HBM clock). If you were on water i suspect you’d have success but especially with the blower cooler it just isn’t worth it.

Obviously different apps might be different, but even at 945 hbm out of the box i see performance gains from faster HBM clock.

To be honest, after messing with them a bit (i have crossfire reference 64s) i just leave them both on “power save” or “balanced” and performance is only a little bit off what i’d get with messing with them. Without better cooling, clocking core higher on vega just hurts your HBM clock which means you don’t make the gains you’d hope for.


#11

I made my changes with MSI Afterburner instead of Wattman, which seemed appropriate since I have an MSI card. I may reset to defaults and try the Wattman “Turbo” button just for fun - it’s curently set to “Balanced.” It’ll be interesting to see what kind of fan noise and performance I get out of it.

Would undervolting further help reduce the artifacting I was seeing with the HBM2 at 925MHz, or just make it worse?


#12

Not sure. Vega is wierd; last i played with overclocking, especially with wattman with the way memory voltage is displayed. Buildzoid (Actually Hardcore Overclocking) did a video on it, but essentially it isn’t clear what controls HBM voltage. It doesn’t work the way you think it works. Highly recommend you watch his vega content.

You may help things with more HBM voltage, but i have no guidance on that and be careful not to blow it up :smiley:

Vega 64 does have higher binned HBM on it than Vega 56 (different manufacturer too from memory, samsung instead of hynix?).

Turbo at least on vega 64 is entirely pointless. like 50-80 watts more for 2 percent performance and a heap of noise. I wouldn’t bother unless you’re on custom loop water.


#13

Monitoring the changes with MSI Afterburner told me that all Wattman’s “Turbo” does is assign a +15% power limit.

Yes, I’ve got Samsung memory according to GPU-Z. Funny, I thought Samsung was considered superior memory in most instances.

So now for the bonus question: how can I overclock this sucker in Linux? I’ve found a few notes about changing values in /sys/class/drm/card0/device/hwmon/hwmon0/power1_cap but everytime I try to increase the wattage above 165w I get “permission denied”, even as root. I also tried changing power1_cap_max but got the same error. Even if I could increase the power limit, I’d also need a way to change the fan speed, because with the default fan curve I’m already getting close to 70C.


#14

Holy bat guano, Batman! I just hit 1580Mhz by dropping voltage to -100mV and increasing the power limit to +50%. Final score in Superposition @ 1080p Extreme was a little over 4400. Fire Strike graphics score is 22957 (17142 overall) and Time Spy graphics score is 7072 (7203 overall.)

Thanks for all the advice. I wish there was some way to help with the fan noise. From what I understand, the MSI Air Boost has a reference PCB but a custom blower. Perhaps I could get an after-market cooler designed for a reference board…


#15

This guide is all about that.
Undervolting, Flash Vega 64 bios, Up HBM speed, and as such get more sustained clockspeed.

My card would stay around 1320mhz aswell before my tweaks as listed above.


#16

By increasing the power limit to +50% you will just thermally throttle in any game. Because the card will not stay cool for more than a couple minutes.

What I posted above is about it maintaining those clockspeeds for long gaming sessions, so that your performance doesn’t drop back down after that “burst” is over.


#17

I decided to test this by setting the power limit to +50% and voltage to -100mV then running the Valley benchmark in a loop for 30 minutes. Core temperature maxed out at 72C and the HBM temperature hit 76C, but clock speeds stayed consistent at 1560-1570Mhz, except during scene transitions. No throttling was apparent at all. The blower did get quite loud, though I don’t think it hit 100% speed.

Thus I think +50% power is sustainable in long gaming sessions, if you can tolerate the noise.


#18

Just like in the other thread regarding the Vega 56/64 cards:

If you want to get better results in terms of cooling and noise:

Raijintek Morpheus II

I haven’t modded one of my 3 Stock Vega56, but I will mod at least one of them to see how much changes.


#19

Please report your findings. I’m not willing to be a guinea pig, but if you’re going to do it anyway, I’d like to know how it turns out. Though I now have an RX 580 to experiment with.


#20

here you can see the difference between the stock cooling parts and the morpheus II cooler.

if one doesn’t screw up the mod, its way better than the stock cooler.

will report with the mod installed, soon™