The RTX 2070 FE vs. the Liquid-cooled RX Vega 64  Overclocking Showdown with 39 Games

This overclocking showdown is a follow-up to the RTX 2070 8GB Founders Edition (FE) review where we are now focusing on the performance of the liquid-cooled RX Vega 64, AMD’s current flagship.  Today, we have optimized and maxed-out our RTX 2070 FE and RX Vega 64 overclocks with all performance options set to their highest limits to get the maximum performance from each card.

At stock, the RTX 2070 FE won the majority of the games we tested over the GTX 1080 and Red Devil RX Vega 56, but now we want to see how its performance compares with AMD’s flagship liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 card.  We will overclock both cards manually each as far as they will go to see where they stand in relation to each other when stock and also fully overclocked.

The RTX 2070 OC

In our original overclocking showdown of the RTX 2070 FE we were able achieve a +135 MHz manual core offset plus the 90 MHz factory overclock equaling a +225 MHz core offset over stock, and a +600MHz memory offset.

However, unfortunately some electromigration or other issue has occurred and we now only get a very disappointing +60MHz core overclock (+195MHz over stock RTX 2070 core clocks), and we had to scale back our memory overclock to +550MHz.  The overclocked Boost for our tests averaged around the 2000MHz range now instead of around 2050MHz as before.

The Gigabyte Liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 OC

AMD’s premium liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 is clocked-up and much faster than the reference version which easily throttles and it is also faster than some aftermarket Vega 64s.  We saw our overall stock-clocked Boost average around 1678MHz.

We set the power limit to +50% which pushes the power draw way up, but it achieves maximum overclocked performance above any kind of undervolting or fine-tuning since this premium Vega 64 is already maximized and pre-tuned from the factory, and it does not throttle.  Our particular sample achieves best performance with brute force maximized voltage.  Under normal gaming, we take a very slight performance hit and undervolt, but for this overclocking showdown we wanted maximum performance at any cost.

We settled on a 2.0% overclock to the core for an overall average 1716MHz boost, and with memory clocks overclocked from the reference 945MHz to 1055MHz.  After over 18 months of gaming, it could no longer maintain the 1080MHz memory clocks that we once achieved.

The liquid-cooled edition of the RX Vega 64 has traded blows with the GTX 1080 both stock and also overclocked, and we will also include GTX 1080 results in our Big Picture although we want to focus on the showdown with the RTX 2070.  We will also show the stock and overclocked Red Devil RX Vega 56 and stock and overclocked RTX 2060 FE results as a comparison.

Testing Platform

We test 39 games and 4 synthetic benchmarks at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1440.  In addition, Strange Brigade is benchmarked on the Vulkan and DX12 APIs, and Total War: Warhammer II is benchmarked on DX11 and on DX12.  We now use the brand new Miami built-in benchmark of Hitman 2 which just got patched into the game earlier this week.

Our testing platform is a recent install of Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition, and we are using an i7-8700K which turbos all 6 cores to 4.7GHz, an EVGA Z370 FTW motherboard, and 16GB of HyperX DDR4 3333MHz. The games, settings, and hardware are identical except for the cards being compared.

Before we run our overclocked benchmarks, let’s check out the test configuration.