AMD’s RX 580 reviewed: AMD takes the combat to the GTX 1060, with blended outcomes

As we speak, AMD is prepping a brand new GPU lineup based mostly on a refresh of its Polaris (aka GCN 1.four, aka 4th-generation GCN) structure. We’ll cowl the opposite bulletins, just like the RX 550, RX 560, and RX 570 in a separate submit. On this overview, we’re diving into the RX 580 and the way it performs relative to 2016’s RX 480 and the GTX 1060.

The RX 580 will probably be acquainted to anybody who adopted AMD’s GCN 1.four structure, aka Polaris. It’s constructed on the identical core because the RX 480, with precisely the identical options: 2304 GPU cores, 144 texture mapping models (TMUs), and 32 render outputs (ROPs). It’s a well-fed GPU, with 256GBps of reminiscence bandwidth, and a full 8GB of RAM (a 4GB choice will even be obtainable).


AMD says the one adjustment they made to the bottom design have been some silicon adjustments to allow increased clock speeds. On paper, the RX 580 is a modest enchancment over the RX 480, with a base clock of 1257MHz and a lift clock of 1340MHz, in contrast with 1120MHz and 1266MHz for the previous RX 480. That’s a rise of 1.12x on base clock and 1.08x on enhance clock, for these of you taking part in alongside at residence. With the RX 580, nevertheless, AMD has launched GPU core clocks that float above their official specs. That is nothing new — Nvidia does one thing comparable with its Pascal GPUs — nevertheless it’s the primary time we’ve seen Crew Pink take this tack. Our Gigabyte RX 580 runs at a rock-solid 1425MHz, which supplies it a 1.13x benefit over the RX 480. That’s sufficient to conceivably matter, so let’s check out what we’ve obtained.

Gigabyte RX 580 Aorus OC 8GB

Gigabyte’s RX 580 Aorus OC is greatest described with phrases like “beefy.”


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If you happen to recall the unique reference designs for RX 480, AMD bumped into some bother with regard to energy supply over the 12V rail. There will probably be no such issues right here — AMD’s authentic RX 480 shipped with a single 6-pin PCIe energy connector, whereas the RX 580 Aorus OC has an eight-pin and a 6-pin connector. No, the GPU doesn’t devour something like that a lot energy; that’s simply how overprovisioned this GPU is. The dual coolers preserve the GPU quiet, even below heavy load and the Aorus holds a gradual 1425MHz and not using a single fluctuation in any title we examined.

We’ve reviewed two Gigabyte Nvidia GPUs up to now yr, however that is the primary time in a number of years I’ve reviewed one in every of Gigabyte’s AMD playing cards, and I’ve obtained to say, I’m impressed. The coolers are quiet, clock speeds maintain regular, and we had no points in any respect with the GPU.

Check setup

All our GPU benchmarks have been run utilizing a Gigabyte X99-Extremely Gaming motherboard, 16GB of Corsair DDR4-2400 RAM, a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, and Nvidia’s 381.65 Sport Prepared driver. All AMD GPUs have been benchmarked on the discharge driver for the RX 580. Whereas we’ve included a GTX 1070 for reference functions, we received’t be saying a lot about its total efficiency. At $379, it’s too costly to be a direct competitor in opposition to GPUs meant to compete within the $200 to $270 worth bracket. Our benchmark outcomes are proven under; every graph will be clicked to open it in a brand new window.

Energy consumption

Right here’s the place we come to the proverbial fly within the ointment: The RX 580’s energy draw. Whereas the GPU is measurably sooner than something AMD has beforehand fielded, its energy consumption is considerably increased. We retested all the GPUs under for this overview, since we’ve shifted from the Core i7-5960X to the Core i7-6900Okay for our benchmarking. All measurements have been taken on the wall in the course of the third benchmark run of Metro Final Mild Redux (Very Excessive Element, SSAA enabled).


Oof. AMD’s RX 580 could also be roughly 10% sooner than the previous RX 480, nevertheless it’s paying for these clock will increase, large time. Bringing the GPU clock up by 1.13x will increase energy consumption by 1.3x in contrast with the RX 480. What about energy effectivity, as measured by what number of watts of energy are required per every body of animation?


This slide coloured in another way to establish AMD vs. NV playing cards.

The watts-per-frame metrics aren’t any higher. Nvidia’s GTX 1060 makes use of 64% of the electrical energy per body of animation than the RX 580 does. No AMD GPU at present matches Nvidia’s playing cards for energy effectivity, however the RX 580 makes use of 1.18x extra watts per body of animation rendered than the RX 480. AMD could have hit increased clocks with their re-tuned model of the RX 480, however they needed to give again most of its energy consumption enhancements to do it. The RX 580 remains to be extra energy environment friendly than the R9 390, however the hole between the 2 GPUs has slipped significantly and never in a constructive method.

What the RX 580 does show, past any shadow of a doubt, is that the GCN structure in its varied incarnations from – 1.four is tapped out. Polaris obtained a kick from a brand new course of node and higher clock scaling, however AMD is slamming into the identical downside that they had with GCN at 28nm: This GPU isn’t designed to hit excessive clock speeds, and it could possibly’t accomplish that with out blowing out the facility consumption enhancements that the RX 480 delivered nearly a yr in the past.

What about worth?

Theoretically, the Gigabyte RX 580 Aorus OC we reviewed in the present day will probably be priced at $259. An ordinary RX 580 Aorus (no OC) is $229, the RX 580 Gaming 8GB is $219, and the RX 580 Aorus 4GB is $199. For $20, the distinction between 4GB and 8GB of RAM is price paying for, however we aren’t making any statements on worth in the present day and worth isn’t weighed in our conclusions.

Our cause is easy: Final yr, Nvidia and AMD collectively launched a farcical product refresh cycle, the place went out to reviewers actually months earlier than it may very well be bought for something near the urged retail worth, if you could buy it in any respect. We didn’t hit the GTX 1080 Ti from this angle, since AMD doesn’t have something remotely aggressive and it’s a halo product with a restricted buyer base. However in areas the place the GPU firms are aggressive, we’re suspending all launch-day worth comparisons till GPUs are confirmed in-market at one thing near the costs each AMD and Nvidia state they need to promote for. If AMD and Nvidia discover that unpleasant, they’re cordially invited to have merchandise on retailer cabinets on launch day and constantly thereafter.


When AMD launched Polaris final yr, it was a significant improvement over the corporate’s earlier midrange , with a lot increased body charges and higher performance-per-watt. Whereas it didn’t at all times beat its large brother, the R9 390, it delivered a a lot better expertise in contrast with AMD’s R9 380. It’s common for these mid-cycle updates to ship comparatively meager efficiency enhancements; the hole between the GTX 680 and the GTX 770 was even smaller than the RX-480-versus-RX-580 hole. If you happen to’ve been holding on to a midrange AMD card from the GCN or 1.1 days, you may improve to a chip just like the RX 580 with out trying again, supplied your energy provide can deal with it.

Information from Steam’s Hardware Survey means that AMD is concentrating on its personal lower-end customers, because the HD 7700 sequence is listed as AMD’s hottest DX12 GPU, adopted by the HD 7900 household. When you have a GPU from both of those product traces, the RX 580 is an unlimited improve for you.

Sadly, higher-end AMD clients aren’t going to seek out loads to love right here. If you happen to didn’t take into account the RX 480 enough cause to improve from an R9 290/290X/390/390X, you in all probability received’t be offered on the RX 580, both. And the comparability in opposition to the GTX 1060 simply isn’t nice: The RX 580 is 96 % as quick because the GTX 1060 at 1080p and 98 % as quick at 1440p throughout each DX11, DX12, and Vulkan. In DX12/Vulkan, the state of affairs improves considerably. Right here, the RX 580 is 1.03x sooner at 1080p and simply 1.01x sooner at 1440p. It’s onerous to get too enthusiastic about AMD matching the GTX 1060 tit-for-tat when the latter is 9 months previous and the previous solely manages it at drastically elevated energy consumption.

If you happen to’re a devoted AMD gamer with a midrange GPU and no explicit concern about energy consumption, the RX 580 is a good card. If you happen to’ve been ready for both firm to subject a midrange card that particularly goes head-to-head with the GTX 1060, however gives an 8GB body buffer (and don’t care a lot about energy consumption), the RX 580 is a good card. If you happen to’re evaluating each uncooked efficiency and energy consumption, the RX 580’s energy curve makes it troublesome to suggest in opposition to what Crew Inexperienced has obtainable. 14nm GCN variants can maintain down cheaper price brackets for awhile longer, however AMD wants Vega in-market badly.