AMD Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 Reviews
Reviews in English (Click to show)
Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+/ MSI RX 570 Gaming X review
Intro (Click to show)A little under a year since graphics processors moved to next-generation fabrication processes, the market has settled into a comfortable inertia at the important entry-level and mid-range price points. AMD's Polaris-powered Radeon RX 480 has delivered impressive performance at friendly prices for some time, and the Radeon RX 470 still handily outperforms the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for a few more bucks—and a lot more power from the wall—than the green team's high-end low-end card.
If there's one thing that system integrators, retailers, and PR departments hate, though, it's inertia. Today, AMD is shaking things up a bit differently than the green team has been doing of late. Instead of pairing higher-speed memory with existing GPUs and calling it good, as Nvidia has done with some of its Pascal cards in the wake of the GTX 1080 Ti launch, AMD has been working with GlobalFoundries to improve the 14-nm FinFET process that underpins most of its chips at the moment. AMD calls the result a "third-generation" 14-nm FinFET process, and it's fabricating two respun Polaris chips on this improved 14-nm node along with a new chip for entry-level discrete graphics cards.
Polaris 20 is the "big" Polaris of this generation, and it'll power the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570. The smaller Polaris 21 will soldier on in the Radeon RX 560. Finally, a new, even smaller, and as-yet-unnamed Polaris chip will end up in notebooks and the eminently entry-level Radeon RX 550. To distinguish these massaged Polaris chips from their predecessors, AMD is calling the lineup of graphics cards that bears them the Radeon RX 500 series.
width (bits) Estimated
(Millions) Die size
Polaris 21 16 64/32 1024 128 ??? ??? 14 nm
Tonga 32 128/64 2048 256 5000 355 28 nm
Polaris 20 32 144/72 2304 256 5600 232 14 nm
Hawaii 64 176/88 2816 512 6200 438 28 nm
GM206 32 64/64 1024 128 2940 227 28 nm
GM204 64 128/128 2048 256 5200 398 28 nm
GP104 64 160/160 2560 256 7200 314 16 nm
Despite the new code names, Polaris 20 is basically the same chip as Polaris 10 before it from a microarchitecture point of view. From ROP count to die size, Polaris 20 has practically identical resource complements to Polaris 10 before it. We don't know how Polaris 21 will look quite yet, but if it follows the template of Polaris 11, the chip will have 16 GCN compute units and 1,024 shader processors under its hood. Whether AMD will choose to sell a fully-enabled Polaris 21 part on a Radeon add-in board for gamers remains to be seen.
The as-yet-unnamed chip in the Radeon RX 550 is an interesting new addition to the Radeon lineup at the low end. AMD says it wants to get its 14-nm GPUs into more systems, and the RX 550 will offer e-sports and casual gamers who would typically rely on integrated graphics a cheap path to discrete-card bliss. The GPU in the RX 550 has eight GCN CUs enabled out of an unknown total, so it boasts 512 shader processors hooked up to 16 ROPs and a 128-bit memory bus. AMD board partners will have the freedom to pair 2GB or 4GB of memory with this chip (and most others in the RX 500 series). Most importantly, the RX 550 shouldn't require outboard power from the budget systems it's likely to find a home in, and it'll carry a lightweight expected price of just $80 or so.
In this incredibly competitive segment of the graphics market, it's perhaps not all that surprising that AMD chose to tap GloFo's process improvements by increasing boost clock speeds—and board power—in order to give its higher-end RX 500 cards a leg up against Nvidia's comparable GeForces. Both the RX 580 and RX 570 get solid clock speed bumps compared to their predecessors, but board power is also up 30W on each card. It seems that AMD didn't mind adding a few more watts to the bottom line of these cards' already laggardly power consumption figures to outgun the GTX 1060 and friends. Run-of-the-mill desktop builders are unlikely to mind the added watts (and heat) too much, but the change won't make Polaris 20 parts any friendlier to power bills, small-form-factor PCs, and folks whose climes aren't amenable to much waste heat.
Despite the improved performance on paper, AMD won't be increasing the suggested prices for Radeon RX 500-series cards. 8GB RX 580s will start at $229, while 4GB versions of that card will start at $199. The Radeon RX 570 4GB will maintain the RX 470's $169 suggested price, while 2GB RX 560s will start at $99. AMD says its board partners will be able to tweak memory configurations on all RX 500-series cards, so expect to see 2GB and 4GB RX 550s and RX 560s alongside 4GB and 8GB RX 570s and RX 580s.
Asus RX 580 Strix Review
Intro (Click to show)As we inch ever closer to the launch of Vega and, hopefully, a bit of high-end GPU competition, AMD is looking to tide people over with the launch of the RX 500 series, starting today with the RX 580 and RX 570, which will replace the RX 480 and RX 470 cards in the stack, respectively. For enthusiasts that like to stay on top of the latest graphics technology, there's little to be excited about; the two cards are simply higher-clocked versions of those that they replace. Mid-cycle refreshes like this are becoming the norm, so this isn't an especially surprising launch. The appeal of these cards is going to be for anyone seeking an upgrade from hardware that's two years older or more and may have limited or no support for modern APIs, VR, and features like variable refresh rate (FreeSync) or HDR.
Unlike with the RX 480, AMD is not producing a reference card for today's launch, so the focus is immediately going to be on third-party offerings. As such, while this review will briefly cover the specifications of both new cards, it will then shift its focus to the Asus RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC, the first partner RX 580 card we've received.
AMD Radeon RX 580 AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon RX 570 AMD Radeon RX 470
Architecture GCN 4th Gen GCN 4th Gen GCN 4th Gen GCN 4th Gen
Codename Polaris 20 Polaris 10 Polaris 20 Polaris 10
Boost Clock 1,340MHz 1,266MHz 1,244MHz 1,206MHz
Base Clock 1,257MHz 1,120MHz 1,168MHz 926MHz
Stream Processors 2,304 2,304 2,048 2,048
Layout 4 SEs, 36 CUs 4 SEs, 36 CUs 4 SEs, 32 CUs 4 SEs, 32 CUs
Texture Units 144 144 128 128
Rasterisers 4 4 4 4
Tesselation Units 4 4 4 4
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Transistors 5.7 billion 5.7 billion 5.7 billion 5.7 billion
Die Size 232mm2 232mm2 232mm2 232mm2
Process Node 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm
Amount 4GB or 8GB GDDR5 4GB or 8GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
Frequency 2GHz (8Gbps effective) 1.75GHz or 2GHz (7Gbps or 8Gbps effective) 1.75GHz (7Gbps effective) 1.65GHz (6.6Gbps effective)
Interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Bandwidth 256GB/sec 224GB/sec or 256GB/sec 224GB/sec 211.2GB/sec
Power Connectors 1 x 8-pin 1 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin
Stock Card Length N/A 243mm N/A N/A
TDP 185W 150W 150W 120W
If you're not familiar with the Polaris architecture that the RX 580 and RX 570 are built with, we'll refer you back or our original RX 480 review. As a reminder, both cards use the 5.7 billion-transistor, 14nm Polaris 10 GPU (now called Polaris 20, but there are no high-level physical changes). This nets you four Shader Engines, each sporting nine Compute Units that are all fully enabled in the RX 580 for a total of 36, which in turn gives you 2,304 streaming processors and 144 texture units. In the RX 570, four CUs are disabled, leaving us with 2,048 streaming processors and 128 texture units. At the back-end, there are 32 ROPs and eight 32-bit memory controllers for a 256-bit interface; this is the same for both cards.
As we said, the GPUs are unchanged, although as you would expect the 14nm FinFET process AMD uses has matured. AMD has been unspecific about the exact advantages it's now seeing, but this maturation coupled with some 'aggressive tuning' allows AMD to up the clock speeds. The boost clock is the most relevant one, since this is what the cards will run at provided thermal and power limits are in check, which they should almost always be with third-party designs. On the RX 580, this has increased from 1,266MHz to 1,340MHz, a six percent improvement, while the RX 570 has seen a more modest three percent jump from 1,206MHz to 1,244MHz. Naturally, partners will be offering cards with a range of different overclocks, and it remains to be seen what can be achieved with manual overclocking, although we're assuming that 'not much' is the answer there as it was before.
Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review
In terms of memory, we have an 8GB GDDR5 frame buffer running at 8Gbps for the RX 580, although 4GB SKUs will be available as with the RX 480. These may or may not come with a reduced memory speed of 7Gbps like before – we haven't been able to confirm, as AMD's primary focus is the 8GB SKU. The RX 570, meanwhile, increases the default memory frequency from 6.6Gbps to 7Gbps while the size remains at 4GB.
In pushing the cards faster, AMD seems to have increased power consumption. The RX 580 is now a 185W part compared to 150W before, while the RX 570 is rated at 150W compared to 120W for the RX 470. That said, AMD claims power consumption in specific situations has been improved thanks to a new, third memory clock state (in between idle and maximum) that reduces power consumption when two displays are connected and when watching multimedia content.
There are no new major features to discuss, but highlights of the cards include support for Radeon ReLive, AMD's solution for capturing, streaming, and sharing gameplay moments; Radeon Chill, a power-saving feature supported in League of Legends and Dota 2; FreeSync; and H.265 HEVC encode and decode
Powercolor RX 580 RedDevil Golden Sample Review
Intro (Click to show)Today marks the introduction of the new AMD Radeon RX 500 series of video cards. The AMD Radeon RX 500 series will succeed the AMD Radeon RX 400 series that was introduced only one year ago in the summer of 2016. The RX 400 series is now going EOL (End of Life) and will not longer be produced once inventories are sold off.
While the Radeon brand is getting a bump in series numbering from "400" to "500," this is in name only. The 500 GPU architecture is based on the same Polaris GCN architecture found in the Radeon RX 400 series lineup. To be clear, this is not the new "Vega" architecture we are all waiting for. You’ll probably hear the word "re-brand" or "re-badge" thrown around a lot today in reviews and discussions. In essence this is what AMD is delivering today, but there have been silicon changes that should improve GPU clock frequencies, and thus performance, and some changes in power draw. The RX 500 series represents a "re-spin" of RX 400 architecture assuredly.
AMD Radeon RX 500 Series
AMD is launching, or re-launching (however you want to look at it) a Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 560, and a Radeon RX 550. The official pricing is as such: Radeon RX 580 will be $229 with 8GB and $199 with 4GB, Radeon RX 570 will be $169 with 4GB, Radeon RX 560 will be starting at $99 with 2GB, and Radeon RX 550 will be starting at $79 with 2GB.
As we mentioned, the GPU engine is the same Polaris architecture found in the AMD Radeon RX 400 series, so the feature sets are exactly the same as well. AMD has made some transistor level changes to improve switching, to help improve GPU clock frequencies.
This means basically these GPUs are a newer revision of the Polaris chip on a more mature 14nm FinFET process. These factors combine to allow AMD to run the GPU at higher clock frequencies, with more stable voltage, and in turn gives more performance and higher overclocking potential. This is the gist and nature of the changes. AMD has also changed the reference heatsink/fan design and shroud.
In terms of marketing and where AMD is targeting these new video cards, it is clear these are not meant as upgrades from any AMD Radeon RX 400 series GPU. In fact, AMD is pointing its finger all the way back to GPUs of the Radeon R9 380X and GeForce GTX 970 generation of video cards. AMD is positioning the Radeon RX 500 series as a perfect upgrade choice from GPUs of those generations in the 2014-2015 timeframe.
AMD Radeon RX 580
We are only going to discuss the AMD Radeon RX 580 today because that is the video card we will be evaluating. We have a full retail video card from PowerColor lined up with an impressive factory overclock to show you. This was the card that AMD sent to us for review. It is literally named "Golden Sample" on the box and has a higher retail price than RX 580 MSRP, coming in at $270 MSRP. A non-Golden Sample version of the Red Devil RX 580 will carry an MSRP of $230.
The AMD Radeon RX 580 shares the same specifications in terms of Compute Units, Stream Processors, ROPs and TMUs as the AMD Radeon RX 480. That is 36 Compute Units, 2304 Stream Processors, 32 ROPs and 144 Texture Units. It also contains the same 8GB of GDDR5 RAM at 8GHz on a 256-bit bus. What sets it apart is the base and boost clock speeds.
The base/boost clock speed on the AMD Radeon RX 480 is 1120MHz/1266MHz. It’s supposed to run flat out at 1266MHz, but in our testing of pretty much every AMD Radeon RX 480 we have found the GPU clock speed cannot maintain that frequency consistently at default settings in most of our retail card reviews.
The new AMD Radeon RX 580 will now run at a base/boost clock of 1257MHz/1340MHz. That’s a 74MHz increase. We would hope that it runs closer to the 1340MHz mark and stays there, for if it dropped to 1266MHz while gaming then what would be the point of the new clock speed? The TDP of the video card is 185W. This is up from the AMD Radeon RX 480’s 150W. Yes, it does draw more power.
Beyond that, there is really nothing else except new add-in-board partner card designs and factory overclocked clock speeds on retail cards. The GPU and video card is the same in all other ways.
MSI RX 580 8 GB Gaming X Review
Intro (Click to show)Trust me on this one – AMD is aware that launching the RX 500-series of graphics cards, including the RX 580 we are reviewing today, is an uphill battle. Besides battling the sounds on the hills that whisper “reeebbrraannndd” AMD needs to work with its own board partners to offer up total solutions that compete well with NVIDIA’s stronghold on the majority of the market. Just putting out the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 cards with same coolers and specs as the RX 400-series would be a recipe for ridicule. AMD is aware and is being surprisingly proactive in its story telling the consumer and the media.
If you already own a Radeon RX 400-series card, the RX 500-series is not expected to be an upgrade path for you.
The Radeon RX 500-series is NOT based on Vega. Polaris here everyone.
Target users are those with Radeon R9 380 class cards and older – Polaris is still meant as an upgrade for that very large user base.
The story that is being told is compelling; more than you might expect. With more than 500 million gamers using graphics cards two years or older, based on Steam survey data, there is a HUGE audience that would benefit from an RX 580 graphics card upgrade. Older cards may lack support for FreeSync, HDR, higher refresh rate HDMI output and hardware encode/decode support for 4K resolution content. And while the GeForce GTX 1060 family would also meet that criteria, AMD wants to make the case that the Radeon family is the way to go.
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The Radeon RX 500-series is based on the same Polaris architecture as the RX 400-series, though AMD would tell us that the technology has been refined since initial launch. More time with the 14nm FinFET process technology has given the fab facility, and AMD, some opportunities to refine. This gives the new GPUs the ability to scale to higher clocks than they could before (though not without the cost of additional power draw). AMD has tweaked multi-monitor efficiency modes, allowing idle power consumption to drop a handful of watts thanks to a tweaked pixel clock.
Maybe the most substantial change with this RX 580 release is the unleashing of any kind of power consumption constraints for the board partners. The Radeon RX 480 launch was marred with issues surrounding the amount of power AMD claimed the boards would use compared to how much they DID use. This time around, all RX 580 graphics cards will ship with AT LEAST an 8-pin power connector, opening overclocked models to use as much as 225 watts. Some cards will have an 8+6-pin configuration to go even higher. Considering the RX 480 launched with a supposed 150 watt TDP (that it never lived up to), that’s quite an increase.
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AMD is hoping to convince gamers that Radeon Chill is a good solution to help some specific instances of excessive power draw. Recent drivers have added support for games like League of Legends and DOTA 2, adding to The Witcher 3, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided and more. I will freely admit that while the technology behind Chill sounds impressive, I don’t have the experience with it yet to claim or counterclaim its supposed advantages…without sacrificing user experience.
Continue reading our review of the Radeon RX 580 graphics card!
Finally, though we are focusing on the Radeon RX 580 8GB today, AMD is in fact launching an entire RX 500-series family. The Radeon RX 570, RX 560 and RX 550 will round out a collection of products that scales from $279 (overclocked RX 580 models) down to the $79 of the RX 550.
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While we plan to have a review of the RX 570 on the site soon, we’ll gauge user interest in the RX 560 and RX 550 before getting any hardware in. The RX 550 looks particularly interesting as it is the only new GPU in the mix – a smaller chip designed specifically for IGP replacement.
The Radeon RX 580
Let’s talk about the Radeon RX 580 under the microscope today. It will be available in both 8GB and 4GB models, with the 4GB models starting at $199 and the 8GB models starting at $229. To be frank, based on the limited availability of the RX 480 4GB options, I would expect the same limited coverage of the 4GB on the RX 580. This is basically built to make sure AMD can claim they have a $199 graphics solution.
It’s also worth noting that though AMD does have partners building reference-esque RX 580 8GB cards at the $229 price point, I do not expect those to be the most common option. Instead, companies like ASUS and MSI are going to speed their allocation on their own custom coolers, added power draw and higher clocks. The MSI RX 580 Gaming X 8GB that AMD sent us for testing will have an MSRP of $245 – more in line with where I expect the RX 580 family to sit.
That will be an important distinction as we go to talk about the competing NVIDIA cards in the GTX 1060 family.
Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ Asus RX 570 Strix Review
Intro (Click to show)AMD released its RX 400 series graphics cards last year, and while they couldn't match the performance of Nvidia’s high-end 10-series GPUs, they arguably offered more bang for the buck. AMD's new 500 series video cards are built on the same underlying Polaris microarchitecture, but they have been refined through a more mature 14nm manufacturing process that allows them to run a bit faster.
The RX 580 leads the charge in performance this time around and supplants AMD's RX 480, which the company released last year. Alongside that, the company sent us a RX 570 to test. This card replaces AMD's RX 470, which came out last August. Like the 400 series before it, the RX 580 and RX 570 still target mainstream users with starting prices at $199 and $169, respectively.
AMD asserts that the RX 580 is competitive with Nvidia's $299 GeForce GTX 1060 and that an overclocked RX 570 is on par with the company's $240 RX 480. We'll test those claims in our review.
MSI Radeon RX 580 / RX 570 Gaming X Review
Intro (Click to show)We’ve got the two premium cards in the lineup on hand for testing: the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570. In particular, we have the MSI Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 Gaming X in-house, both of which are customized and factory overclocked. In fact, virtually all of AMD’s board partners are at the ready with custom Radeon RX 500-series cards, so expect a varied array of RX 500-series cards to choose from once they hit store shelves.
AMD’s reference specifications are outlined below. Take a gander and then we’ll dig in a little deeper with the custom MSI cards we have on hand...
AMD Radeon RX 580 And Radeon RX 570
Specifications & Features
radeon rx 500 specs
Find The AMD Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570 @ Amazon
The AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 are built around AMD’s Polaris 20 GPU, which is an updated revision of Polaris 10. Although it is very similar to the Polaris 10 used on the RX 480, AMD tells us this is actually a new GPU that has been tweaked to achieve higher clocks.
amd radeon rx 580 rx 570 3
MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X (Bottom), Radeon RX 570 Gaming X (Top)
AMD's Polaris 20 GPU is comprised of approximately 5.7 billion transistors and has a die size of 232 mm2, just like Polaris 10. And the GPUs will also be manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process.
In comparison to AMD’s previous-generation architecture, Polaris has more powerful geometry processing capabilities, increased buffer sizes, more efficient delta color compression, tweaked memory controllers, asynchronous compute capabilities with prioritization, specialized temporal scheduling, and support for AMD technologies like Radeon Chill, FreeSync (and FreeSync 2), and HEVC and H.265 4K decoding. These updated models also have aggressive power tuning and support lower-power multi-monitor and idle power states. As such, AMD is positioning the Radeon RX 500 series as solid upgrades over cards that are 2-3 years old, for users that might not need the absolute highest-end graphics card, but want to take advantage of the more advanced features nonetheless.
Getting back to specifics, the Polaris 20 GPU at the heart of the Radeon RX 580 features 36 Compute Units, with a total of 2,304 shader processors. The reference specifications call for boost and base GPU clocks of 1340MHz and 1257MHz, respectively, with 8GB of GDDR5 memory (8Gb/s) linked to the GPU via a 256-bit interface. All told, the Radeon RX 580 offers up a total of 6.17 TFLOPs of compute performance with up to 256GB/s of peak memory bandwidth. And it can achieve this level of performance within a 185-watt typical board power that necessitates a single 8-pin supplemental PCI Express power feed. The older Radeon RX 480, which features a similar number of CUs and shader processors, and a similar memory interface, operates at lower clocks and offers up to 5.8TFLOPs of compute performance and 224GB/s of memory bandwidth. So, while the RX 580 is clearly an upgrade, it is not in a different league altogether.
Though it is based on the same chip, the Radeon RX 570 has four of the CUs disabled in the GPU (32 are active) and has 2048 active shader processors. Boost and base reference clocks are 1244MHz and 1168MHz, respectively, and cards will have 4GB of GDDR5 memory (7Gb/s) riding along on a 256-bit interface. At reference clocks, the peak compute performance of the Radeon RX 570 is 5.1TFLOPs with 224GB/s of memory bandwidth. Typical board power is 150W.
AMD Powercolor Radeon RX 580 RedDevil & Sapphire RX 570 Nitro Review
Intro (Click to show)Launching today is AMD’s new Radeon RX 500 series. As we’re covering in our companion launch article, the RX 500 series is a refresh of Polaris, bringing about newer, faster SKUs based on the existing Polaris 10 and 11 GPUs. Also joining the family is a newer, smaller GPU, Polaris 12, which will be the basis of the Radeon RX 550. AMD is using an updated revision of Polaris for all of these products, so there are some minor clockspeed improvements and a new memory state that have been baked into the RX 500 family that is not present in the RX 400 family, which makes the new RX 500 parts a bit more interesting.
The first Radeon RX 500 cards out of the gate are the Radeon RX 580 and the Radeon 570, which we’re reviewing today. These SKUs are pretty straightforward: take the new Polaris 10 GPU revision, plug it into more powerful boards, turn up the clockspeeds a bit, and you have a new SKU. AMD hasn’t done anything wild here – the configurations haven’t changed, and in fact TBPs have gone up – so relative to the RX 480 and RX 470, at the end of the day it’s a set of slightly more powerful cards for the same price as before.
Because these are just minor performance improvements over the existing RX 480 and RX 470 cards, these newer cards replace the RX 400 cards in AMD’s product stack, but they aren’t intended as upgrades for existing owners. Instead they’re meant to tempt owners of cards like the R9 280 and R9 380 series who didn’t already upgrade to Polaris. For those owners who did hold off, their reward is a slightly more powerful upgrade option in 2017 than they would have gotten in 2016.
Otherwise for AMD, this is a chance to partially clean the slate for 2017. The RX 500 series’ job isn’t to radically alter the competitive landscape – that’s Vega’s job – but rather it’s to push out a bit more performance and help close the gap in the midrange market with NVIDIA, while giving partners something new for 2017. NVIDIA has seemingly already made their move for 2017 in the midrange market with the optional 9Gbps factory overclocked GTX 1060 SKUs, so AMD would appear to be setting the stage for what should be much the rest of the year. When the dust settled from the launch of AMD’s Polaris and NVIDIA’s Pascal architectures in 2016, NVIDIA generally prevailed, so this is AMD’s chance to rethink their gameplan and continue trying to grab market share from NVIDIA.
AMD Radeon RX Series Specification Comparison
AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB) AMD Radeon RX 570 AMD Radeon RX 480 (8GB) AMD Radeon RX 470
Stream Processors 2304
(36 CUs) 2048
(32 CUs) 2304
(36 CUs) 2048
Texture Units 144 128 144 128
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Base Clock 1257MHz 1168MHz 1120MHz 926MHz
Boost Clock 1340MHz 1244MHz 1266MHz 1206MHz
Memory Clock 8 Gbps GDDR5 7Gbps GDDR5 8 Gbps GDDR5 6.6Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
VRAM 8GB 4GB 8GB 4GB
Transistor Count 5.7B 5.7B 5.7B 5.7B
Typical Board Power 185W 150W 150W 120W
Manufacturing Process GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm
Architecture GCN 4 GCN 4 GCN 4 GCN 4
GPU Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Polaris 10
Launch Date 04/18/2017 04/18/2017 06/29/2016 08/04/2016
Launch Price $229 $169 $239 $179
At the high end is AMD’s new midrange contender, the Radeon RX 580. Like the RX 480 before it, this is a fully enabled Polaris 10 GPU. Taking advantage of their manufacturing gains, AMD is bumping up the boost clock by 6%, from 1266MHz to 1340MHz. Meanwhile the base clock – which has proven somewhat arbitrary on RX 480 since it rarely throttles anywhere near that much – is increasing by 12%, from 1120MHz to 1257MHz. As we’ll see further in this review, expect the performance gains to closely mirror the boost clock changes.
Meanwhile the memory clock is not changing for the 8GB cards. AMD is holding fast at 8Gbps GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus. It should also be noted though that while the default configuration of the RX 580 is 8GB, like the RX 480, some 4GB cards are also expected to be produced.
Joining the RX 580 in today’s launch is the Radeon RX 570. Like its more powerful sibling, this is an enhanced version of its RX 400 series predecessor, the RX 470. We’re looking at the same cut-down Polaris 10 GPU with 32 of 36 CUs enabled, but again clockspeeds are increased. RX 570 goes from 1206Mhz to 1244MHz on the boost clock, a 3% gain, while the base clock is increased from 926MHz to 1168MHz, a gain of 26%.
One thing RX 570 gets that RX 580 does not is a memory speed bump. On RX 470 AMD set the SKU standard at the somewhat odd 6.6Gbps; for RX 570, this is now a full 7Gbps, for a 6% increase in memory bandwidth. Polaris 10 in general likes memory bandwidth, so as you can see in our companion RX 570 review, this works out well for the RX 570. The standard memory configuration here will be for 4GB of VRAM, however AMD has mentioned that we should expect to see some 8GB cards as well, though none of these are on the launch list they’ve provided.
Otherwise the big change here is on power consumption. RX 580 is a 185W card, while RX 570 starts at 150W. This is a 30-35W increase in TBPs over the RX 400 series, and given the expected prevalence of factory overclocked cards, the TBP of the average retail SKU is probably a bit higher still. Manufacturing improvements in the last year have allowed Polaris to clock higher and/or reduce power consumption slightly at a given clockspeed, however in AMD’s case they’ve opted to spend all of these gains (and then-some) on clockspeed improvements, hence the TBPs we’re seeing today.
While this is a natural consequence of cranking up Polaris’s clockspeeds, what’s not really being said by AMD is why. And while not putting word’s in AMD’s mouth, from an outside perspective it’s pretty easy to see what’s going on. Polaris greatly improved AMD’s energy efficiency, but then Pascal did much the same for NVIDIA. As a result while the RX 400 series cards delivered good performance, they weren’t very competitive with NVIDIA’s GTX 10 series in the realm of power consumption. Consequently AMD’s no longer trying to compete on power efficiency on the Polaris 10 series: they are going right to the bend in the power/performance curve (and quite possibly past it) to deliver the best performance per dollar that they can. Competing on price is ultimately how they can best grab more of NVIDIA’s market share.
Moving on, since these new SKUs are just higher clocked Polaris 10 configurations, this means that for retail cards partners are hitting the ground running with custom cards. In fact AMD isn’t even shipping a reference design. The cards we’ve been sampled for today and the cards you’ll see on retailer/e-tailer shelves today are all customized in some form or another. For many board partners, this means they can just take their existing factory overclocked RX 480 cards – which were built for higher TBP operation in the first place – and use them as the basis for their RX 580 and RX 570 cards. Meanwhile other vendors are pushing out new custom designs to handle the new TBPs and to balance board costs with AMD’s prices.
MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8GB Review
Intro (Click to show)In this review we take a look at the a new Rx 500 series product that AMD released. In this case the MSI Radeon RX 580 armed with 8GB graphics memory (there is a 4GB model as well). This TwinFrozr VI cooled mainstream graphics card series will allow you to play your games in both the Full HD 1080P range as well as gaming in WQHD (2560x1440) range. And all that at a rather reasonable price of roughly 269 USD. This review is all about Polaris 20, a code-name indicative of the mainstream Radeon RX 580 series, The new GPU is basically the same as the Radeon RX 480, it however is fabbed with a 3rd generation 14nm process which is a little more refined. That results into a GPU that can be clocked and boosted a notch faster. As such yes, AMD is refreshing their lineup. Actually four new models are released:
AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB and 8GB
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB and 8GB
AMD Radeon RX 560 2GB/4GB
AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB
We'll talk a little more on all differences later on in the article, but the primary focus will be Radeon RX 570 and 580. Both the The Radeon RX 570 and 580 graphics card will be made available in 4 and 8GB versions, you will also see both reference and tweaked SKUs from the board partners. The GPU used in the 580 is based on Polaris 20 (XTX), an Ellismere (codename) GPU based on 4th generation GCN architecture. For the RX 570 that would be a Polaris 21, which is based on the same GPU and is similar to the Polaris 10 based products last year. The GPUS are fabbed based on a 3rd generation 14nm FinFET+ process based. The Radeon RX 580 will push the product to just over 6 TFLOPS of peak performance, 5 TFLOPS for the Radeon RX 570. The fabrication process is more refined and this allows AMD to create better silicon with less leakage. As a result, the clock frequencies can go up.
Radeon RX 580
The Radeon RX 570 can now boost towards 1244 MHz whereas the RX 580 clocks in towards 1340 MHz on that boost frequency. More MHz means more power, coming from 150W the RX 580 now hovers at a 185W TDP with its 36 CUs (compute units aka shader clusters) x 64 shader processors per CU = 2304 shader processors). The cards will be available in both 4GB and 8GB versions and has 256-bit GDDR5 memory which offers an effective 8 Gbps / GHz.
Radeon RX 570
The Radeon RX 570 is able to boost towards 1244 MHz with a 1168 MHz base clock frequency. This SKU now is set at a 150W TDP with its 32 CUs (compute units aka shader clusters) x 64 shader processors per CU = 2048 shader processors). The cards will be available in predominantly 4GB but also 8GB versions and has 256-bit GDDR5 memory which offers an effective 7 Gbps / GHz.
The reference cards will use just one 6-pin power PEG (PCI Express Graphics) header to give the the card its power. The reference boards have a 6-phase VRM power supply design and display output wise includes DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and one HDMI 2.0b. AIB partners may release SKUs with a DVI connector as well, the reference PCB shows SMT traces for a DVI connector. Overall the specs show a very potent card to play the latest games with whilst offering a good memory size versus price in the 1920x1080 and even 2560x1440 monitor resolutions.
In this review we peek at the Radeon RX 580 GAMING X from MSI, the card is fitted with 8GB of graphics memory and has been factory tweaked for you at 1393 MHz with the memory at an effective data-rate of 8.1 Gbps. Being an X model it has been fitted with a proper back-plate and obviously the awesome TwinFrozr VI cooler. The card has six power phases for the GPU +1 for memory and is tied towards an 8-pin power connector. The card is a dual-slot, dual-fan solution and for something mainstream certainly looks high-end.
Let's start up this review, but not before you've had a peek ...
HW Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Review
Intro (Click to show)That's right: the Radeon RX 580 8GB isn't new by any meaningful measure. It's an updated version of last year's Radeon RX 480, based on the same Ellesmere GPU under AMD's Polaris umbrella. If your memory of last June's launch is a little hazy, our AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Review covers the architecture in detail. It predates Nvidia's response, though, so let's get caught up with the state of mainstream gaming in 2017.
A couple of weeks after AMD debuted its RX 480, Nvidia followed up with GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, which outperformed Polaris in most of our benchmark suite. But it was also more expensive. And as time went on, a wider selection of DirectX 12 games showed that Nvidia's advantage really only applied to DirectX 11. These days, Radeon RX 480 8GB and GeForce GTX 1060 6GB are priced fairly competitively to reflect the fact that they trade blows, depending on what you play.
AMD wants something a little more decisive, though. So it's turning up the core clock on Ellesmere, dialing its starting price to $230, and slapping a new name on the tweaked configuration: Radeon RX 580. This is a familiar move from AMD's playbook. Old favorites like the 2012-era Pitcairn GPU span as many as four generations of Radeon products, after all.
The question now is whether Radeon RX 580 changes the narrative in any way. Does the performance, pricing, and power of "Polaris, Enhanced" strike hard at Nvidia's GP106 processor, or does it only serve to obfuscate the mainstream market with a new name on something old?
AMD didn't bother with a new reference design this time around, and the old one wasn't suitable for RX 580 due to issues we exposed in our Radeon RX 480 launch story and follow-up coverage. Instead, AMD's partners were tasked with designing their own Radeon RX 580s and sending out overclocked versions for sampling ahead of launch. In response, we set aside our reference boards and sought out factory-overclocked models of competing products to compare.
Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition
The Tom's Hardware U.S. and German labs received Sapphire's Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition card. It boasts two BIOSes with different clock rates: one sets an ambitious 1450 MHz boost clock and 1411 MHz silent mode, while the other employs a 1411 MHz boost frequency and 1340 MHz silent mode. The latter configuration is in line with what you'll see from most other partner boards.
Consequently, our launch coverage of Radeon RX 580 is more a review of Sapphire's specific implementation than an evaluation of Ellesmere, revamped. But it should still address what AMD's "new" cards are capable of. Don't expect to find this board anywhere near AMD's $230 starting price. Rather, we're told the aggressively-overclocked model will sell for $275, making it the priciest RX 580 at launch time.
The diagram below illustrates Sapphire's design. It's quite a bit different than the Nitro+ Radeon RX 480 that precedes it.
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ review
Intro (Click to show)When AMD’s Radeon RX 480 launched just under a year ago, it redefined what was possible with a $200 graphics card, delivering uncompromising 1080p gaming, darn good 1440p performance, and even the ability to play VR games—none of which was ever available in a graphics card that affordable before.
But it wasn’t quite a flawless victory, and not just because Nvidia’s comparable (yet pricier) GeForce GTX 1060 launched shortly after. The Radeon RX 480 suffered from a power-draw controversy that AMD fixed with admirable speed. Stocks of the card were limited for months, which led to inflated pricing and endless anguish in enthusiast forums. The 4GB Radeon RX 480 was hands-down the best “sweet spot” graphics card you could buy, but it had some baggage in Google searches.
Enter the Radeon RX 580, announced today as part of AMD’s mild Radeon RX 500-series refresh.
[ Further reading: Best graphics cards for PC gaming ]
The Radeon RX 580 release sweeps away all of that controversy—and gives AMD new Radeon 500-series GPUs to sell alongside its new Ryzen 5 processors. But these “new” graphics cards aren’t really new at all, relying on the same underlying graphics processors as the RX 480, but with slightly boosted clock speeds granted by a year of process optimizations. With so little changed, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 likewise matured, is AMD’s offering still the mainstream graphics card champion?
Let’s find out.
Up Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition 8 GB Review
Intro (Click to show)AMD today launched the Radeon RX 580 leading the new RX 500 series of graphics cards. It's been a while since AMD's last enthusiast-segment graphics card. The Radeon R9 Fury X launched way back in June 2015, and it looks like you have to wait a little longer for AMD to launch its true successor. With AMD spending its R&D resources on getting the SoCs that power new-generation game consoles and the new Ryzen CPU family right, its discrete graphics lineup does not seem to be their highest priority.
Back in 2015, AMD had the R9 Fury X to compete with NVIDIA's enthusiast-segment GTX 980 Ti, and the R9 390 series to compete with the performance-segment GTX 980/970, with the R9 Fury offering an interesting in-between value proposition. The R9 380 took on the upper-mainstream GTX 960 to good effect. By 2016, AMD's lineup above this segment was wiped out. The Radeon RX 480 and RX 470 based on the new "Polaris" architecture could at best match the GTX 1060 6 GB and GTX 1060 3 GB, respectively, but got nowhere in the league of the high-end GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. With NVIDIA launching the GTX 1080 Ti and the new TITAN Xp, there's just that much more catching up for AMD to do. The company does have the "Vega" silicon in the pipeline, but it's not known if the ASIC competes with the GTX 1080, or the GTX 1080 Ti, which is 35% faster. In the meantime, AMD has been nurturing a kind of "alt-left" marketing strategy with its "BetterRed" campaign, which called for "VR for all" during the RX 480 launch and now calls for "performance for all" with the RX 580.
The RX 580 continues to be based on the 4th generation Graphics CoreNext architecture, aka "Polaris," but is not exactly a rebrand of the RX 480. The underlying ASIC is the same Ellesmere GPU as on the RX 480 as it comes with the same transistors, but boasts manufacturing improvements. This means that the core configuration of the two is identical, but the RX 580 is able to run at higher clock speeds. This chip is clocked at 1257 MHz, with 1340 MHz Boost, while the memory is untouched at 8.00 GHz (GDDR5 effective). Although they're available in both 4 GB and 8 GB variants, 8 GB is being purported as the more common memory amount for the RX 580, and 4 GB for the RX 570. AMD is also formally launching a suite of software features with the RX 580, which should also be available to the RX 480 through driver updates, such as FreeSync 2. With the RX 580, AMD hopes to extend its performance lead over the GTX 1060 6 GB and inch a little closer to the GTX 1070. Its launch is particularly opportune for the Summer upgrade season, right when AMD's Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors are grabbing some serious attention.
It seems the Radeon RX 580 will be launched mostly as custom-design cards through AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners, so you may not see many or any reference-design cards in the market. Leading the charge is Sapphire with its Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ 8 GB graphics card, the company's flagship RX 580 offering. The card features a brand new custom-design PCB with a stronger VRM setup that draws power from a combination of 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and a more elaborate Dual-X cooling solution than the ones the RX 480 Nitro+ comes with. The cooler features a dense aluminum fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a pair of user-replaceable fans. An additional pair of fans comes included in the box.
Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition 8GB Review
Intro (Click to show)Enthusiasts expecting to see a brand new graphics architecture (or product) may be disappointed since the RX 580 and 570 are, for all intents and purposes, lifted from the RX 400 series with only incremental tweaks. The RX 580, the focus of this review, is based on the 14nm Polaris RX 480 while the RX 570, also launching today, is based on the RX 470. Enthusiasts looking for something truly new will have to continue waiting for AMD Vega which is expected out at some point later this year.
This launch draws striking similarities to AMD’s release of the R9 390X and R9 390 back in 2015, which were based on the R9 290X and R9 290, respectively. AMD faced criticism at the time for the move since it had been very active in the process of rebranding and re-releasing existing GPUs as new products. AMD waved away criticism of the R9 390X and R9 390 stating the GPUs were new given the frequency increases, increased video memory and power management tweaks.
The RX 580, and RX 570, are new in so far as they are built from a refined 14nm FinFET process to achieve better typical clock speeds. AMD has also made some tweaks to the power management to reduce power consumption and increase power efficiency under a number of scenarios including multi-monitor, multimedia playback and system idle.
AMD has been able to achieve this by adding a third intermediate memory state to reduce power consumption, which sits alongside two existing memory states. To over-simplify, the current Polaris GPU effectively has two memory states, low and high, and most GPU activities (including having a second display) alter the memory state from low to high, increasing power consumption in the process. The new third intermediate memory stage now means the refined Polaris GPU has low, medium and high. In many cases a load activity can increase it to medium, before high, thus resulting in lower overall power draw.
AMD is using the RX 500 series launch as a platform to introduce a new feature it’s calling Radeon Chill, which effectively reduces the frame-rate when the user is in-game but idle or AFK (away from keyboard) and then increases the frame-rate again when the user becomes active. It also caps “excessively high” frame rates to further reduce power consumption.
AMD doesn’t specify how it achieves reductions in frame-rate, presumably it does this through a clock speed reduction, but the end result is still less power consumption. This new setting can be turned on or off from the AMD Settings included in the driver package and a long list of games is initially supported including Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2.
In this review we are assessing Sapphire’s take on the RX 580, the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ OC Limited Edition graphics card with 8GB of video memory. Any KitGuru readers feeling a sense of Déjà vu right now can refer back to our previous review on the Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ OC graphics cards to confirm their suspicions.
Sapphire has left its previous design mostly unchanged with the release of the RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition. Certainly, that is no bad thing for prospective customers since the Nitro+ cooler was already effective with good build quality and a sturdy backplate. Clock speeds on the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ are more aggressive out of the box to reflect the higher clocking capability of the RX 580 versus the RX 480 which will result in more performance.
Our sample ran out of the box at 1450MHz on the core, up from 1342MHz on the RX 480 Nitro+ OC 8GB graphics card. That’s a 108MHz increase in frequency, equating to 8%, while the memory remains unchanged at 2000MHz actual, 8000MHz effective.
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Review
Intro (Click to show)SAPPHIRE was the first company with a custom Radeon RX 580 at my door, and it enjoyed a few good days on a couple of my test beds. I've run the new SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ graphics card on my newly built Intel Core i7-7700K and GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard combo, as well as AMD's new Ryzen 5 1600X processor. This gives me a good feeling for both sides of the market. We'll talk about that in the later part of the review. The work that SAPPHIRE puts into its cooling technology is one of the main reasons the company is one of the biggest AIB partners for AMD and custom Radeon graphics cards, especially it's higher-end Tri-X and VAPOR-X cooling tech. We aren't seeing much of the high-end cooling tech from SAPPHIRE lately, but this isn't their fault - AMD has been stuck in the mid-range market for 18 months now, and will only crawl out of it with Radeon RX Vega. This is when SAPPHIRE's custom Radeon RX Vega will be my most anticipated RX Vega of them all, especially in VAPOR-X form. Right now, the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ is a mish-mash Frankenstein graphics card, with parts Polaris, a larger and questionably better cooler over the RX 480 - which is not only higher, but requires 6+8-pin PCIe power connectors. Why the hell does this card need another 6-pin power connector when its predecessor required a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and we're only seeing barely 10% performance increases across the board. SAPPHIRE nails a specific look with its upgraded Nitro+ branding, with their RX 580 Nitro+ looking great in our test bed, especially with the RGB LEDs at the top. I do wish the PCIe power connectors were on the end of the card again, as it looks sleek as hell in my system.
Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ / XFX RX 580 XXX Review
Intro (Click to show)There’s no denying in the year since its launch, AMD’s RX 480 and its positioning in the graphics card market has been a hotly debated subject. Some of that is due to the fact that its Polaris architecture effectively remains the only lifeline Radeon fans can cling to in the hopes that something more will eventually be around the corner. However, much of the consternation and hand wringing has been due to that card’s positioning against NVIDIA’s slightly newer GTX 1060. Well today AMD is hoping to put that debate behind us with the RX 580, a spiritual encore presentation to one of their most popular and best-received GPUs of the last few years.
In order to understand the RX 580’s path to inception you have to look back at the somewhat troubled but ultimately successful RX 480. When it was launched, I praised it for focusing on value; it was actually one of the first GPUs to cost less than $300 but provide excellent performance metrics in both 1080P and 1440P scenarios. Unfortunately there were some speed bumps placed along the way since we soon found the reference versions drew excessive power from the PCI-E slot and at least initially, availability was sketchy at best. Things quickly turned around with multiple driver releases and just a few months ago we discovered the RX 480 had become the card to buy, often beating out the GTX 1060 in key gaming benchmarks.
What the RX580 strives to do is further capitalize upon the wave of positive press its now-discontinued sibling received by providing more performance per dollar. To accomplish this AMD us utilizing the same Polaris 10 core we have all come to know and love but through the use of a more mature 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, they have been able to offer substantially increased core frequencies.
There is supposedly also more overclocking headroom for their board partners and end users to tap into. Not only could this positively impact overall value but it could also help AIBs expand their selections of pre-overclocked Polaris-based products.
The RX 580 isn’t the only GPU getting a brand new coat of paint either. Since it is based off of the same yet slightly cut down version of the Polaris 10 core, the RX 470 will be making way for the new RX 570. This review will focus on the RX580 since my RX 570 sample arrived a bit late and with the Easter weekend upon me, there just wasn’t the time to properly execute.
The only other area where the newer Polaris products differentiate themselves from the outgoing cards is within their power consumption algorithms. The older Polaris-based GPUs featured a simple 2-state power system for their memory clocks wherein one was set for idle situations or extremely light workloads whereas the second state was reserved for higher performance situations.
Unfortunately this setup led to the memory entering its high performance mode when two displays were plugged in or when the video decode engine was required for simple online video playback. As a result power consumption in those two scenarios was much higher than it should have otherwise been.
To bypass this issue, AMD has now added a third power state for their onboard memory which sits between the idle and high performance “gears”. The byproduct of this move is lower power needs (and heat production) than before. It should also be noted that reduced single display idle power consumption numbers have been achieved by using that refined 14nm manufacturing process. There’s some hope this will allow
Looking at these numbers should completely eliminate the term “rebrand” from anyone’s mind, even though some will likely be disappointed that we’re still stuck on the original Polaris 10 architecture. Let’s call this a refresh, a refurbishment or a refinement but let’s not come down like a ton of bricks on AMD for sticking with a good thing.
At the top of the current Radeon stack is the RX 580 a card that sticks with the exact same 2304 Stream Processor layout as its predecessor but its Base and Boost frequencies receive a shot of adrenalin. That 1340MHz Boost clock should be easily achievable by the majority of cards since this time around AMD isn’t launching a reference version per se. Rather, board partners will be free to use their own heatsinks so we won’t have to worry about a poor-performing blower style cooler messing with results.
On the memory front all remains the same. Even though there are higher GDDR5 speed bins available these days, AMD has chosen to largely avoid them in an effort to reduce overall board costs. Another thing that should be mentioned is the return of a 4GB card. While the RX 570 will be pulling double duty by competing against the GTX 1060 3GB and GTX 1050Ti, AMD’s intent for the 4GB version this time around is for it to bridge the gap between NVIDIA’s 3GB and 6GB SKUs.
Moving a bit lower in the chart and we come up against two points that will likely prove to be the most controversial. The first of these is power consumption. While there are the minor revisions to Polaris which reduce bottom-end efficiency, there’s no escaping the fact that higher frequencies lead to increased power needs. As a result, the RX 580’s typically board power hovers around the 185W mark while board partners’ versions could top 200W. Given the RX 480’s original 150W rating was hotly debated from day one, this shouldn’t come as any surprise.
Pricing is also something I need to discuss since the RX 480’s $240 MSRP hasn’t budged since its launch. This time around I went to the source –that being board partners- since they’re ultimately the ones who set retail pricing whereas AMD’s numbers are simply a “guidance”.
As it turns out come launch you should be able to find reference spec’d cards for anywhere between $230 and $240USD. Finding those few $ Meanwhile overclocked versions will range from $260 upwards to $280USD. Whether or not there will be many cards available at the $230 mark remains to be seen but I have my fingers crossed.
The RX 570 on the other hand is an interesting little card. Not only does it sport massively increased frequencies over the RX 470 but it also sports a boost to memory frequencies. This should allow AMD’s new $170 GPU to open up a huge lead against the GTX 1050Ti but it also costs about $20 more than the NVIDIA card. Also of note is that the 570 will also be available in 8GB form for about $190.
MSI RX 580 Gaming X Review
Intro (Click to show)AMD’s got a new strategy: Don’t give anyone time to blink between product launches. The company’s been firing off round after round of products for the past month, starting with Ryzen 7, then Ryzen 5, and now Polaris Refresh. The product cannon will eventually be reloaded with Vega, but that’s not for today.
The RX 500 series officially arrives to market today, primarily carried in on the backs of the RX 580 and RX 570 Polaris 10 GPUs. From an architectural perspective, there’s nothing new – if you know Polaris and the RX 400 series, you know the RX 500 series. This is not an exciting, bombastic launch that requires delving into some unexplored arch; in fact, our original RX 480 review heavily detailed Polaris architecture, and that’s all relevant information to today’s RX 580 launch. If you’re not up to speed on Polaris, our review from last year is a good place to start (though the numbers are now out of date, the information is still accurate).
Both the RX 580 and RX 570 will be available as of this article’s publication. The RX 580 we’re reviewing should be listed here once retailer embargo lifts, with our RX 570 model posting here. Our RX 570 review goes live tomorrow. We’re spacing them out to allow for better per-card depth, having just come off of a series of 1080 Ti reviews (Xtreme, Gaming X)
(Gigabyte) Aorus RX 580 XTR Review
Intro (Click to show)Today, AMD is prepping a new GPU lineup based on a refresh of its Polaris (aka GCN 1.4, aka 4th-generation GCN) architecture. We’ll cover the other announcements, like the RX 550, RX 560, and RX 570 in a separate post. In this review, we’re diving into the RX 580 and how it performs relative to 2016’s RX 480 and the GTX 1060.
The RX 580 will be familiar to anyone who followed AMD’s GCN 1.4 architecture, aka Polaris. It’s built on the same core as the RX 480, with exactly the same features: 2304 GPU cores, 144 texture mapping units (TMUs), and 32 render outputs (ROPs). It’s a well-fed GPU, with 256GBps of memory bandwidth, and a full 8GB of RAM (a 4GB option will also be available).
AMD says the only adjustment they made to the base design were some silicon changes to enable higher clock speeds. On paper, the RX 580 is a modest improvement over the RX 480, with a base clock of 1257MHz and a boost clock of 1340MHz, compared with 1120MHz and 1266MHz for the old RX 480. That’s an increase of 1.12x on base clock and 1.08x on boost clock, for those of you playing along at home. With the RX 580, however, AMD has introduced GPU core clocks that float above their official specifications. This is nothing new — Nvidia does something similar with its Pascal GPUs — but it’s the first time we’ve seen Team Red take this tack. Our Gigabyte RX 580 runs at a rock-solid 1425MHz, which gives it a 1.13x advantage over the RX 480. That’s enough to conceivably matter, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got.
Powercolor RX 580 RedDevil review
Intro (Click to show)PowerColor has a long history of creating high-performance AMD graphics cards, and their latest, the PowerColor Red Devil RX 580 promises to deliver faster performance than the 4xx series, better cooling, higher clock speeds, and offers up 8GB of GDDR5 memory. It is equipped with the latest AMD’s 4th generation GCN 4 architecture, which features asynchronous shaders. The PowerColor RX 580 is perfect for those who are gaming with the latest Direct X 12 and Vulcan APIs, and best of all, it’s competitively priced too.
The new card features 2304 stream processors with a 2000MHz memory clock speed and an improved 256-bit high-speed memory interface. The Red Devil RX580 is clocked at 1355Mhz on the GPU core and takes its power from 8+6-pin power connections, which run through the improved 6+1 multi-phases board design. This power delivery system means the card can run more efficiently and help the card maintain its factory overclocks with improved stability.
Cooling is delivered by their new cooler design, which features a 4-piece 8mm nickel-plated heat pipe configuration, with two 100mm fans, so we’re expecting it to perform pretty well in that regard. The card also uses the Mute Fan Technology, allowing it to turn the fans off completely for silent performance if the card is below 60c.
Packaging and Accessories
The box is cool, with a very funky Red Devil graphic on the front, as well as detailing some of the extra features the card provides; DirectX 12 and Vulkan support, Chill, FreeSync 2, and Relive Capture.
Around the back, a detailed technical breakdown of the card, which shows the new Ultra OS or Silent OC BIOS switching modes, the new cooling design, the improved MOS, TwoBall Bearing fan design, and so much more. Clearly, this card is a significant improvement over the reference design, so we’re eager to see some great results in our benchmarks.
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition Review
Other reviews (Click to show)Sapphire Nitro+ / Asus Strix Radeon RX 570 /580 review
Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix / Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ / MSI Radeon RX 570 Gaming X review
Asus MSI PowerColors Radeon RX 580 Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Review
nl AMD Radeon RX 570 en RX 580 review (incl. 4-way Crossfire)
RX 570 /RX 580 ASUS STRIX / Sapphire Nitro+
Edited by PontiacGTX - Today at 9:38 am '); }
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