Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX Vegas put a big chill on spicy-hot chips


We've already seen custom Radeon RX Vega cards from AMD-exclusive board partners PowerColor and XFX, and now it's Sapphire's turn at the wheel. The company has announced its Nitro+ Radeon RX Vega 56 8G HBM2 and Nitro+ Radeon RX Vega 64 8G HBM2 graphics cards, and those rather long-winded names suggest extra-spicy clocks. Both models are dressed in a custom vapor-chamber cooler topped off with three of the blue jewel brand's Quick Connect dual-ball-bearing fans.

The Nitro+ Radeon Vega 56 hasa base clock of 1305 MHz, significantly up from AMD's reference spec of 1156 MHz. The boost clock has also been raised from the reference 1471 MHz all the way up to 1572 MHz. Those figures are actually higher than those of AMD's reference air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64. The 8 GB of HBM2 memory hums along at the same 800 MHz as the reference RX Vega 56.

The 8 GB of HBM2 memory in Sapphire's custom Vega 64 card also runs at the same 945 MHz speed as its reference equivalent. The GPU's 4096 SPs cruise along at a 1423 MHz base clock, boosting to at least 1611 MHz when conditions allow. For comparison, AMD's reference air-cooled Vega 64 has a base clocks of 1247 MHz and a boost clock of 1546 MHz. For those keeping score at home, the water-cooled reference board has 1406 MHz base and 1677 MHz boost clocks.

The two outer fans astride the Vapor-X cooler are encircled with RGB LEDs in case users want to add some color to the cards' otherwise subdued black-and-silver color scheme. The Quick Connect fans can be popped out and replaced easily if necessary in order to avoid annoying RMA shipments in case there's a problem. Sapphire's Trixx 3.0 software can keep track of fan operation and control the light show from the shroud's RGB lights. The board also has a pair of four-pin fan headers for connecting chassis fans to spin up and down in time with the spinny-whirlies on the card.

Builders will need to allow three expansions slots for these cards. Both versions measure 12.2" long, 5.2" wide, and a whopping 2.1" thick (31 cm x 13 cm x 5.4 cm). The accessory kit includes a bracket to support the end of the board and eliminate unsightly graphics card sag. The output section on either card has a pair of HDMI connectors and two DisplayPorts, a departure from the reference boards' three DisplayPorts and single HDMI jack.

Sapphire says the Nitro+ Radeon RX Vega56 8G HBM2 requires a 750 W power supply and the Nitro+ Radeon RX Vega64 8G HBM2 needs an even larger 850 W unit. By our reckoning, Sapphire's talking about quality PSUs, too, not figure-inflated cheap units. Either way, buyers will need to connect three eight-pin PCIe power connectors to get the Vega party started. We don't have pricing or availability information for the RX Vega 56 version, but Tom's Hardware says that the Nitro+ RX Vega 64 should have a $659 price tag.

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