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Vega Frontier Edition - what is the switch on the side for?

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I just got a Vega Frontier Edition to test against my 1080TI. Since the Nvidia drivers have been problematic and Vega is natively supported in 10.3.4 I thought it might be good to switch if I could get similar performance. So far that's not the case, but I'm still working on some things.

Anyway, I noticed this little switch sticking out of the side of the card. I can't find any mention of it anywhere. Does anyone know what it's for?

 

pastrychef

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I believe it switches to different versions of firmware. Slide to the PCI-e plate side for normal operation and other side for reduced performance.
 
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@pastrychef is correct.

220W is the graphics port side and 200W is the inner side of the BIOS switch. So "high power" and "normal power" switch. Only the "high power" BIOS is flashable, fyi.

I run at 200W since it runs so hot. However, I noticed at 220W things are more fluid when I have lots of apps and windows open.

Also @flmmkr the Vega Frontier Edition (same as Vega 64 but with 8GB more HBM2 RAM) is more like the 1080. The 1080Ti is much faster in raw performance and beats any top end AMD card in every benchmark.

AMD just works better under macOS...I'm pretty happy. I might Crossfire a 2nd Vega FE soon.
 
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Thanks for the explanation of the switch. I don't understand why it's not documented anywhere at all.

I was hoping to get at least similar performance along with it being better overall for MacOS, but performance in DaVinci Resolve is half what I was getting with the 1080TI. I tested with 4 different kinds of media, graded and with noise reduction. With the 1080TI I get 10-14fps depending on the media, but with the Vega FE I get 2-10fps depending on the media and whether I'm using OpenCL or Metal. Similar results in Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro seems to be better with OpenCL than Metal, and Resolve seems to be better with Metal than OpenCL. I haven't tested Adobe Media Encoder, FCPX, or Compressor yet. I was hoping that OpenCL and Metal with the Vega FE would be much closer in performance to the CUDA of the 1080TI. I could accept a frame or 2 difference, but not half to third of the speed. Quite disappointing.

Is there a way to flash the BIOS for overclocking or underclocking? I did buy used from a miner. Wondering if it had been flashed to underclock it. How would I know and how would I flash it back to stock if it was flashed?
 
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Thanks for the explanation of the switch. I don't understand why it's not documented anywhere at all.

I was hoping to get at least similar performance along with it being better overall for MacOS, but performance in DaVinci Resolve is half what I was getting with the 1080TI. I tested with 4 different kinds of media, graded and with noise reduction. With the 1080TI I get 10-14fps depending on the media, but with the Vega FE I get 2-10fps depending on the media and whether I'm using OpenCL or Metal. Similar results in Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro seems to be better with OpenCL than Metal, and Resolve seems to be better with Metal than OpenCL. I haven't tested Adobe Media Encoder, FCPX, or Compressor yet. I was hoping that OpenCL and Metal with the Vega FE would be much closer in performance to the CUDA of the 1080TI. I could accept a frame or 2 difference, but not half to third of the speed. Quite disappointing.

Is there a way to flash the BIOS for overclocking or underclocking? I did buy used from a miner. Wondering if it had been flashed to underclock it. How would I know and how would I flash it back to stock if it was flashed?

AMD support sucks in general.

This was my headache I had to live with when I moved from nVidia.

If you truly want and really need CUDA I recommend you go back to Sierra 10.12.6 and keep your 1080Ti and use proper WebDrivers.

OpenCL is miles behind CUDA and Metal is nowhere near either one for anything besides FCPX.

Resolve should get better overtime that is if they start using Metal instead of OpenCL which is more low level and closer to CUDA if properly implemented.

For me, I was happy with Sierra but once I built a iMac Pro clone I had to kind of move to High Sierra so I moved over to AMD.

Vega FE is a very capable card in terms of compute power, it's just the applications you're using don't take advantage of it's OpenCL capabilities to the maximum and Metal 2 support is pretty much non existent in those applications.

If you want to truly see what Vega FE can do fire up FCPX and you'll see how fast it is.

If you truly are in Resolve a lot I recommend you get a second Vega FE. Afaik it supports dual GPUs so that should get you better performance than a single 1080Ti via CUDA. Don't quote me on this but I think that's what will happen.

Also Metal in Premiere is trash, just stick to OpenCL. It will get better overtime.

It's just sad that they won't allow us to use CUDA or OpenCL based cards from different brands on an OS that advertises itself as a productivity center. It just sucks. I like CUDA a lot and was using it everywhere including 3d render engines like Octane (which only supports CUDA).
 
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Thanks for your response. Yes, I do still need to test it with FCPX. I've been rendering a project in Premiere Pro all night last night and all day today, so I haven't had a chance to do my full benchmarking test to completely compare to the 1080TI.

My initial test when I first popped the Vega FE in did show that Metal was better than OpenCL in DaVinci Resolve. But OpenCL was better than Metal in Premiere Pro when working with 4K ProRes files and R3D files, but they were dead even on GH5 footage and 2K ProRes files. I found that interesting.

Part of the reason I decided to give the Vega FE a shot was because of a YouTube video I watched that benchmarked a Vega 64 against a 1080TI in Resolve, and the Vega 64 sort of won. However, his testing I think was unrealistic because all he did was add dozens of nodes. No one grades like that. My test was done with actual grades and noise reduction as would be done realistically in a real world scenario.

The thing is, DaVinci Resolve is significantly more important for me right now and realtime playback is very important whenever I can get it. I know noise reduction can make that difficult/impossible with a lot of high resolution footage, but I need the Resolve performance to be as high as I can get it. I felt performance in Premiere Pro and FCPX was adequate with the 1080TI for my needs right now, but if the Vega FE gave me similar performance in Resolve and Premiere Pro, but better in FCPX I'd take it. I will do more testing though.

If anyone has any feedback on Vega FE vs Vega 64 I'd love to hear it. I'm wondering if one performs better than the other in MacOS (if they use different drivers like in Windows). Thanks!
 
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I did some further benchmarking. In certain scenarios I find the OpenCL and Metal performance to be on par with CUDA in Premiere Pro and FCPX, but never better. Performance in Resolve is always a lot worse with the Vega FE. I was a little surprised that FCPX performance was mostly the same or just slightly worse with the Vega FE than the 1080TI. Therefore the 1080TI stays for now. I need the better performance in Resolve. If Blackmagic Design can do something to accelerate the OpenCL or Metal processing like they do CUDA then I can revisit later.
 
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If anyone has any feedback on Vega FE vs Vega 64 I'd love to hear it. I'm wondering if one performs better than the other in MacOS (if they use different drivers like in Windows). Thanks!

Im also curious about this, Vega FE and Vega 64 are being sold in the used market for the same price and im wondering if the extra 8GB of the FE gives any real-world advantage, specifically in FCP.
 
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I did some further benchmarking. In certain scenarios I find the OpenCL and Metal performance to be on par with CUDA in Premiere Pro and FCPX, but never better. Performance in Resolve is always a lot worse with the Vega FE. I was a little surprised that FCPX performance was mostly the same or just slightly worse with the Vega FE than the 1080TI. Therefore the 1080TI stays for now. I need the better performance in Resolve. If Blackmagic Design can do something to accelerate the OpenCL or Metal processing like they do CUDA then I can revisit later.

Hi, im about to build my first hack for editing in FCPX and photo editing in adobe etc... i have a 1080ti sat in a box and cant decide if i should send it back to get the vega 64... any advice is hugely appreciated!!! How is the 1080 ti at scrubbing through video and applying transitions in final cut? How is it in Adobe stuff? Thanks!!!
 
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Hi, im about to build my first hack for editing in FCPX and photo editing in adobe etc... i have a 1080ti sat in a box and cant decide if i should send it back to get the vega 64... any advice is hugely appreciated!!! How is the 1080 ti at scrubbing through video and applying transitions in final cut? How is it in Adobe stuff? Thanks!!!

If you want to run Mojave, then get the Vega 64. Otherwise it depends on the software you’re using and the media you’re editing. Plenty of benchmarks out there (try barefeats). I think if I was building a new hack I’d go with AMD. Right now I’m kinda stuck with my 1080TI and stuck with High Sierra. Not an issue right now, but I’ll switch to AMD eventually. I think I’m just waiting for them to release their next gen cards.
 
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