Personally, I wouldn't consider buying an RX Vega card until I can get one with a good cooler on it.
Actually, the Vega reference cooler is very good; Proper vapor chamber design with a full-coverage baseplate and a quality fan motor that you cannot hear over the air noise. As a GTX founders edition user, I think it's easily comparable to the Nvidia reference coolers. It's quieter (the way I run it) than the GTX 1080 and not much louder to my (rare) reference-cooled 970 which has a very low TDP for the class of cooler attached to it.
The problem with Vega is that the Vega 64 uses way too much power for air cooling
and doesn't provide much more performance. It is NOT
a GTX 1080 competitor no matter how hard AMD push the voltage and fan speeds to try an predend it is.
The RX Vega 56 on the other hand is excellent
. It consistently outperforms a GTX 1070 with the stock BIOS and balanced driver profile and the tested power usage of 222W is well within what the reference cooler can handle quietly. AMD claim 210W but actual usage will vary from sample to sample and THG (who, surprisingly have the most in-depth and thorough GPU power testing on the net right now) measured 222W on their sample.
I actually use the second bios which has a lower power limit so if THG's sample is representative of mine, I'm getting 95% of the stock RX Vega 56 performance for about 40W lower power draw at 185W (tested here
). 95% of the performance is still enough to beat a GTX 1070, over which the stock Vega 56 commands about a 12% lead.
I got lucky and pre-ordered my Vega 56 at MSRP - The GTX 1070 costs more than Vega 56 over here and is often out of stock or on pre-order. I wouldn't pay more for it than that though, because if you can afford more than that, you should probably spend your money on a GTX 1080 instead. It's better, quieter and more efficient than Vega, and the high-latency GDDR5X means that the Cryptocurrency miners aren't pushing the prices of them up. You can find them for $520 and they offer better peformance/$ than either the Vega 56 or 1070 once you go beyond about $430.
If a 185W, $399 GTX 1070 beater with Freesync sounds appealing, the Vega 56 at MSRP is a great buy. I'm particularly interested in swapping out my current monitor for that AOC Agon that TR reported on