For some time now AMD has updated its line of Polaris cards, and almost two months ago, we tested the much talked about Radeon RX 570 and we were surprised by the results.
Now, in the throes of fierce sales, ASUS has sent us a Radeon RX 580 to see the full potential of this new generation that has become a fever among bitcoin miners.
It is important to note beforehand that the Radeon RX 580 is practically a refinement of the board launched last year, that is, it is like a RX 480 with fine adjustments to deliver even more performance to the player.
Due to such similarity to the board of the previous year, this piece focuses on players who already have a robust computer but who may have their video card somewhat outdated – with two or more years of use. The idea here is to renovate the architecture and extract the maximum it has to offer in every possible situation.
In theory, this new piece is what many call “rebranding,” the name used to refer to the name change strategy with minor part adjustments or specifications. Thus, the new RX 580 is a board very similar to the RX 480, but it presents occasional improvements that aim to deliver some performance differentials.
The somewhat limited innovation here, notable for the small leap in performance, is often a factor that bothers consumers, since there is no clear reason for an upgrade. However, this is not a problematic tactic, since we still have some improvements and it is also a product that will find a very specific audience.
In fact, interestingly, contrary to what could be imagined, the Radeon RX 580 has sold in an extraordinary way. However, the reason is the rise in bitcoins mining, an activity that requires high computing power, something quite extraordinary on this board – all the more so because of the attractive cost-benefit ratio.
Today, however, we’ll check out some of that improved Polaris in the games. ASUS lent us the Radeon RX 580 Strix OC Edition with 8 GB of memory. It comes with a new cooling technology, differentiated lighting system and factory overclocking for high performance. Could this be your new video card?
A huge and beautiful plaque
As expected, ASUS developed in this generation a board quite similar to the previous generation and also the versions of recently released in the series Strix. Of course, the Radeon RX 580 Strix has design differences, but many details are only noticeable on the inside of the board, and the casing still bears a lot of resemblance to the RX 480 Strix.
The Radeon RX 580 Strix is a very large board, which even exceeds the dimensions already presented in the last series. The measurements of width and height are identical to those of its predecessor, but the thickness is noticeably greater, something that is due to the system of reinforced dissipation. The weight is also somewhat exaggerated and can be somewhat disturbing.
The plastic housing has several elements already seen previously in the Strix series, mainly the friezes, reliefs, cross straights and arrangements that make the look very robust. Wing Blade fans fit perfectly in this design, even more that they totally cover the huge heatsinks.
As for lighting, ASUS again gives a show by presenting a complete and personalized light system. The top with the ROG icon, the side with the Republico f Gamers logo and the various arrangements next to the fans shine with different colors and effects, being possible to configure everything by the manufacturer’s software.
It is important to note that we are dealing here with a lighting setup with RGB technology, which means you can set your board to shine in the same color as other components in your case. In addition, you can synchronize the effects of the LEDs with other parts that are compatible with the AURA SYNC feature.
The backplate on top is a component that also deserves attention because it helps a lot in the protection of the components and can even serve to dissipate the heat better. The ROG RX 580 Strix comes with a DVI output, two HDMI ports and two DisplayPort connections, and is a card ready for almost any screen configuration.
Meet the Radeon RX 580
The Radeon RX 580 is the new top-of-the-line video card from the Polaris family. Relying again on the 14-nanometer manufacturing process, AMD was able to include 5.7 billion transistors in the processor, which are programmed to work with high clock rates (the reference plate rotates with a base frequency of 1,257 MHz and a turbo of up to 1,340 MHz ).
According to Radeon, just like its predecessor, the RX 580 is specially designed to work with low-level APIs, which give it direct access to hardware. It promises high performance with games that already use the new features of DirectX 12 and Vulkan.
The increases in the Polaris architecture allowed an increase in the overall performance of the board, which rises from 6.17 TFLOPS to 6.26 TFLOPS. This was made possible by the increase in the clock of the GPU, since other components were not changed in this update.
Despite being an evolution in performance, the RX 580 presents a setback in terms of energy consumption. The typical power of the board (the famous TDP) went up from 150 watts to 185 watts. This should not be a major inconvenience in electric bill, but it is something worth mentioning beforehand.
For some time, AMD has introduced FreeSync, which grants permission to the video card to control the monitor’s refresh rate, thereby increasing the flow of images. It is an increased synchronization system, which works to avoid inconveniences during the game.
Unlike G-Sync from NVIDIA, this system does not require proprietary hardware included in the monitor to work, as FreeSync leverages the specifications of the DisplayPort standard to do this. However, you need to have a monitor capable of offering this technology to enable it on your video card.
The Radeon RX 580 is a very robust card that supports this technology, so it is a good option for those who already intend to invest in a more robust display. It should achieve good performance and thus can take advantage of the high refresh rates of compatible monitors, perfectly matching monitors that run in the range of 30 to 75 Hz.
Radeon Chill: The Big RX500 Series
Although the Polaris series update is more focused on clock improvements, AMD has made an effort to bring new technology that promises many benefits to the player. The great news of the Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 is Radeon Chill technology, a software feature that aims to reduce GPU consumption without affecting the player experience.
Through an algorithm that monitors user activities during games, Radeon’s program can determine the speed of actions on the screen. Thus, if the player stands still, the software realizes that almost everything on the screen is motionless and automatically reduces the processing load to save energy.
When the user is on the battlefield and there are many elements on the screen, Radeon Chill responds immediately to increase frame rates and preserve maximum performance for the player. At these times, consumption may return close to normal, but it is possible that the algorithm may save some resources.
The benefits of Radeon Chill are even more evident in lightweight games. Typically, a video card could process a single game at over 100 or 200 fps, which is a waste of resources and energy, since the player will not take advantage of these frames. Thus, the software limits this exaggeration, saves energy and maintains cool temperatures.
Efficient cooling system
With a new cooling system, the ASUS RX 580 Strix runs at temperatures close to 65 degrees at the time of the games. The values are within acceptable, and even in more stressful tests we see peaks above 70 degrees. With the FurMark program, we saw the maximum peak of 66 degrees.
This incredible performance is made possible by new fans with Wing Blade technology, which increase air pressure by up to 105%. It is worth noting that all this advantage in ventilation can generate some annoyance, especially when the fan is in maximum power and can generate more noises.
Other benefits here are the dissipation area that has increased by about 40%, which really helps when cooling the graphics chip, and IP5X certification to prevent dust from accumulating in the fans.
In idle mode, the ASUS RX 580 Strix performs very well, maintaining temperatures around 30 degrees. It is worth noting that all tests were performed with the Corsair Carbide Series AIR 540, which is very spacious and has several fans. The testing environment is temperature controlled by air conditioning.
To check the performance of the video card in practical situations, we performed a series of tests that you could possibly do on your computer.
Video settings have been set to the highest level, including filters, but V-Sync has been kept disabled.
- System: Windows 10 Pro
- CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z170-X Gaming G1
- Memory: 16 GB RAM Corsair DDR4 2133
- SSD: Intel 540 Series 480 GB
- SSD 2: WD Blue 1 TB
- HD: WD Blue 4 TB
- Source: Corsair AX1500i
Batman: Arkham Knight
The latest installment of the Batman franchise abuses the power of the graphics chip, putting the video component under great stress and testing the machine with multiple filters and effects.
The Batman game worked perfectly on the ASUS RX 580 Strix, with an average over 90 frames per second. The results are a bit timid, especially when we realize that the RX 480 Strix was far superior in this case. The minimum rate presented above was the lowest observed value in the execution of the game, and falls are uncommon.
God Ex: Mankind Divided
The new Deus Ex series game has graphic novelties that promise to bring video components to the limit. The game is one of the heaviest we’ve ever seen, and even the most robust boards do not handle it with all the filters on. So we ran the tests at the maximum level (in the Ultra configuration), but we disabled the MSAA option.
The latest game in the Deus Ex series consumes a lot of board features and is a real challenge for the ASUS RX 580 Strix. Radeon’s graphics chip executed the graphics with good performance most of the time, but we had one or two crashes in the game benchmark, well close to 20 frames per second.
Despite this, the falls are not repeated very often in the game. The average is close to 46 fps, being the best card among those that were compared in this case. Note however, that the RX 480 Strix did not score such ugly drops, so performance seems a bit more consistent on the previous generation plate.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Another very heavy game is the new Ghost Recon, which has worked for the RX 580. With its wide-ranging set-ups, high definition textures and a multitude of particles, Ubisoft’s game consumes a lot of board features.
In Ultra quality, in Full HD resolution, the game marks minimums very close to the mark of 30 frames per second. The average on Ultra is acceptable for an intermediate board and performance until it is satisfactory. Anyway, sometimes it may be more interesting to run the game with a reduced quality, but more balanced performance.
Grand Theft Auto V
Still much loved by gamers, the game GTA V has an absurd amount of details that put many robust boards under great stress.
Unfortunately, the ASUS RX 580 Strix does not have enough firepower to face Ultra GTA V (with details set for maximum levels and filters on). The average of 30 fps is up to satisfactory, but the drops down to 20 fps are worrisome. Our tip is to disable the filters, situation in which the average can rise to the house of 70 fps.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The last title of the Tomb Raider series is already stamped in our benchmarks, so we decided to do some tests with boards that were already in our laboratory to compare them with the ASUS RX 580 Strix, since this game has stunning visuals and already uses Or DirectX 12.
The above result shows the average performance in the maximum quality of the game. In our tests, we realized that the minimums for such quality are almost 25 fps, which is even acceptable for a board of this level. Now, of course, if you disable the SSAA filter or change some settings, you can achieve much better performance.
Power and overclocking
Although it comes with additional factory overclocking, this board has only one eight-pin connector for circuit power. In practice, consumption really is consistent with the manufacturer’s promise, with values rarely reaching 170 watts.
As for overclocking, the Polaris series usually works at its performance limit, so it’s very difficult to make significant adjustments to the clocks. Anyway, we ran several tests to try and get the plate to its fullest.
In our tests, we were able to raise the clocks by about 20 or 30 MHz without having instability problems. Of course, this overclocking issue depends a lot on the board in question, so it may be that some drives can quietly run above 1.4 GHz.
Unlike what we saw on the Radeon RX 570, performance gains with the RX 580 are not as significant. Incidentally, it is important to realize that in some cases the increase in the clock did not have any benefit, as well as we witnessed situations in which the last generation board managed to maintain better results.
Despite this, there are situations where the ASUS RX 580 Strix outperforms competing models with mastery, showing that changes in chip and product design make a lot of sense. This imbalance that hangs to one side and sometimes to another is common on boards that follow this rebranding tactic, so nothing surprising at that point.
The point here is to think about the RX 500 series, which has come to win players who have not yet migrated to the new generations of video cards and are looking for increased models capable of performing more in the most crucial moments. In this sense, and considering that the RX 400 has been discontinued, this new board comes in handy.
Of course the rebranding tactic is not appreciated by many gamers, but it is undeniable that Radeon made some progress here by achieving higher clocks – and ASUS was even more proficient at going beyond the basics. The point improvements have cost an increase in the TDP of the product, but the energy consumption is not exaggerated.
The Radeon Chill algorithm helps a lot in this case, since it does not affect the game and can guarantee benefits to the player. So, on the whole, you can expect a very powerful and compelling board with the GTX 1060 6 GB.
Here we have another great ASUS design, with a robust design and good news. Perhaps, the big thing though is the large size, which makes it difficult to install on some machines. We were satisfied with the cooling system, which ensured the perfect operation and kept the temperatures very low, with room even for overclocking.
Despite all this, the RX 500 series has a pricing problem. In its launch, the values were already somewhat high, but now, with the history of bitcoins, the thing became even more complicated. Of course, this is not the time to buy a Radeon RX 580, since values close to 2 thousand reais are very far from reality.
However, when the plate returns to its standard price, with values ranging from 1,300 to 1,400 reais, it can certainly be a great option. In all, we like the design of this ASUS and we recommend the product for the excellent results.