Radeon RX 580: The Best-value Graphics Cards For Gaming PCs

In Short:

  • The best-value gaming GPU is the RX 580 8GB.
  • It’s faster than the GTX 1060 and somewhat slower than the new RX 590, but much cheaper.
  • The GTX 1660 Ti outperforms its gaming performance but costs more.

Today, the AMD RX 580 is the wise senior statesman of the Radeon series, but its minimally refreshed Polaris GPU was disappointing when it initially came. We hoped the 500-series cards would usher in a new age of Vega-based graphics cards, but they were just as underwhelming as the RX 480 from a year earlier.

Radeon RX 580 Specs

The RX 580

Specification Details
GPU Architecture Polaris
Stream Processors 2304
Base Clock Speed 1257 MHz
Boost Clock Speed 1340 MHz
Ype GDDR5
Capacity 4GB or 8GB (model dependent)
Memory Bus 256-bit
Dimensions Standard dual-slot design
Power Connectors 1 x 8-pin
Recommended PSU 500 watts

Benchmarks

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, one of last year’s most visually demanding games, is first. 1080p, the RX 580 can achieve over 60 fps with the medium-quality preset and over 70 with the lowest. The high preset balances looks and performance, averaging 52 fps, which most players consider adequate for a single-player game. If you want 1440p gaming, choose medium or lowest quality settings as high averages 38 fps. I didn’t try the high and extra high presets because they won’t work with the RX 580. You can play this game with an RX 580 since it looks fantastic even at medium quality.

For competitive gameplay in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, the RX 580 can deliver above 100 fps at 1440p, utilizing the high-quality option. For individuals with a high refresh rate of 1080p displays, the middle preset averaged 200 fps with a 1% low of 159. As most Rainbow Six Siege players use medium to low settings, the RX 580 is more than strong enough. The most recent game I’ve tested, Biomutant, was stunning in appearance and performance on the RX 580, achieving over 60 fps at 1080p with the high-quality preset. The only higher choice is ‘ max,’ but the game looks nice on high, so I don’t see the need, especially with a ‘ make-do’ GPU like the RX 580.

From medium to high, performance may be increased by 34%, and gaming was smooth at 91 fps at 1080p or 58 fps at 1440p. I liked how nicely the RX 580 handled this new game.

Design, cooling

The RX 580

But the card?! Sapphire’s Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ is exquisite.  The double dissipation, twin fan architecture has always been good for noise reduction and cooling, as seen by the rise of the 580’s base clocks.

Black and white back plates enhance any build. Sapphire nailed this one with a single blue LED .  It’s hefty, though. By touch, we mean, “Good lord is it big!” It’s a two-slot card, but this AIB configuration is ridiculously large compared to the competition. That heavy base clock overclock is remarkable, especially as Gigabyte releases more minor variants. This is a big deal at 1,340 MHz, and it’s clear to understand how they leveraged the 10% performance boost over the prior iteration RX 480.

Radeon RX 580 GPU

We know the GPU’s design is the same, but AMD had improved the manufacturing process to get better performance per chip than when the RX 480 was released. The “latest generation” 14nm process is what the firm calls it. AMD “stream processors” have 2,304 programmable cores in 36 clusters for 5.7 billion transistors. AMD increased the RX 480’s base frequency to 1257MHz and boosted the maximum to 1340MHz. and other board partners can adjust speeds if they have enough cooling. The memory bus is still 256 bits wide, but the memory speed is now 8Gbps for 256GBps. Radeon RX 580 GPUs will have 4GB or 8GB GDDR5 RAM. AMD claims that higher clock rates are due to enhanced power efficiency. However, the GPU’s power usage has grown from 150W to 185W, which is significant.

Asus ROG Strix RX 580 8GB OC Setup

Installing the card in our open-air test bench was easy, but a standard ATX PC cabinet may be rugged. No warning or instructions are provided for removing the backplate’s plastic sheet before installation. Asus’s plastic dust blockers on all ports are always appreciated. You won’t need the box’s display or power adapters. Asus includes two Velcro cable ties, which may be helpful. It was soon apparent that Asus’s claims that this card operates practically quietly are false. Although fans and tiny vents may not be present, the card continually generated a high-pitched electronic whine. When activity increased, and the fans spun, it made buzzing, grating, and harsh chirps. This may have been a peculiarity of our testing device, and future firmware upgrades may assist, but our initial impressions of the card were negative.

If this issue is related to the Strix cooler’s components or design rather than a one-off flaw, your level of aggravation will depend on your PC cabinet type and placement. On the positive side, our card always stayed energized and operated long before the fans needed to spin up. The Aura lighting software functioned as expected, letting us pick a static hue or breathing, strobing, and cycle colors. Although no zones exist, you may program the lights to pulse to music or the card’s temperature.

Pros Cons
Excellent Performance in 1080p Gaming Higher Power Consumption compared to competitors
Good Value for Money Older Architecture (Polaris)
Broad Software Support
8GB GDDR5 VRAM
AMD FreeSync Support

Should I Get It?

The RX 580 is a card for upgrading to play the newest AAA games at 1080p.  It’s a modest improvement over last generation’s RX 480, competing for value per dollar.  Although it’s not the best value, it’s a reasonable price for its performance.  High-end seekers? We can only hope this implies Vega is closer than expected. AMD’s re-release plan needs to make nomenclature sense.

FAQs

Radeon RX 580 performance?

The Radeon RX 580 performs well in 1080p gaming. It handles recent games at high settings and balances performance and pricing. Users may need more powerful GPUs for 1440p or 4K gaming.

Does Radeon RX 580 support Ray Tracing?

The Radeon RX 580 lacks real-time ray tracing hardware. The Polaris-based RX 580 lacks ray tracing, which is typical in recent GPU designs. For ray tracing, users may require newer graphics hardware.

Radeon RX 580 power requirements?

Radeon RX 580 power consumption varies by model and manufacturer. It usually needs a good PSU with 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connections. Check the RX 580 model’s specs and make sure your PSU can handle the power.