** Right, if you ran into some spelling errors, my apologies. All cards pretty much arrived late last week and with Good Friday and Easter in-between the launch window, I had very little time available.
AMD has a tendency to refresh their GPUs every other year. Sometimes that works out well, and sometimes you get to observe what you see today. AMD used the very same Polaris GPU, Polaris 20 is the very same thing yet thanks for improved 14nm fabrication nodes is a bit more refined in the sense it can clock a notch higher. So basically you are looking at an RX 480 with a higher boost frequency. The card comes fitted with a properly nice but HUGE cooler. That cooler eats up three slots and has three fans. To feed the beast you get an 8-pin power connector. The card comes with a back-plate and is tweaked fairly significant out of the box as well.
The STRIX series come with the updated cooler (new IP5X fans) and sure, also comes with RGB LED lighting control. I like the dark design and sure, the LEDs. Switch it on/off or to any color and animation you prefer, the choice is yours. Cool dibs is that backplate, with some openings at the proper areas. As always, I remain skeptical about backplates, they potentially can trap heat and thus warm up the PCB. But the flip-side is that they do look better and can protect your PCB and components from damage adn well, it can look nice so it has an aesthetic appeal as well. Consumer demand is always decisive, and you guys clearly like graphics cards with backplates. Both the front IO plate and backplate are dark matte black which certainly gives the card that premium feel.
The RX 580 was a notch faster compared to the RX 480, but really a bit all over the place; fast in fill-rate limited games, a little less with GPU stringent ones but overall you are looking at a product that still competes with the GeForce GTX 1060, 970 and Radeon 380 series. Our 8GB model is often in performance bracket of the Radeon R9 390 series as well. Overall though any RX580 8GB is an excellent choice for 1080p and even 1440p gaming.
Value wise the Radeon RX 580 is making sense, a lot of it actually when compared to anything the market currently offers. I think anyone will agree with me on that. Nvidia has been driving the prices upwards, and, being a bit of an underdog, AMD traditionally always tries to offer that little extra value wise. The Radeon RX 580 as tested today in the STRIX version will be a 269~279 USD / € 269,- product with roughly similar prices throughout the EU. That price is spot on with the 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 which I do think is a lesser product.
Cooling and Noise levels
The STRIX comes factory tweaked at a notch over 1411 MHz on its boost allowance. The card sticks to that frequency most of the time hence that helps you a bit in performance. The temperature seems to hover at roughly 65 Degrees C under full stress. That's a good notch below the reference cooler. The cooler overall is very silent. However the STRIX does exhibit serious amounts of coil whine, we hope this was isolated to our sample but we'll check some other reviews to see what others are writing before I can make a definite comment on that.
The board is rated at roughly 185 Watts TDP, that means when you completely stress it, that's the power consumption. Our measurements showed that the board TDP was higher, in the 220 Watt region. This has everything to do with the 1414 MHz clock frequency and the fact it dind't throttle that much. Keep in mind that this figure is indicative as some games utilize a bit more, others a little less. But coming from the RX 480 at a 150 Watt TDP, it's a substantial number.
Overclocking wise you'll get the card at roughly at 1450~1475 MHz on the GPU. 1500 MHz was pushing it and became unstable though. The memory will reach anywhere from 8.8~9.0 Gbps (for the 8 GB model). Overall these are satisfying results. With a default temperature profile the card will remain to be silent and at the very same temperature levels as default.
It is a little crazy to see a product that sits in this performance range with a 30cm cooler. It is indicative of the fact that the new RX 580 cards require more voltage, produce more heat and thus have higher power consumption. Apparently ASUS felt the need to apply a three slot cooler with three fans onto this product. Whatever you think of that fact, it works well though as the cooler is silent and the temperatures remain under control. Our one gripe with our sample was coil whine, we had significant amounts of it. As stated we'll have to check up some other reviews and/or user experiences and do hope this was an isolated issue on our sample. The card performance nicely and with the 8GB of graphics memory you can game at 2560x1440 really well for a fair amount of money. There's just nothing wrong with the Radeon RX 580 as it offers great value at the same price as last years RX 480. The 269 ~ 279 USD for a customized AIB version is merely a tenner or two over reference and that makes this an attractive 1080p and even 1440p graphics card. However if you already own a R9 390 / Fury / Rx 470 or 480 then you're already good to go as there is no need or necessity to upgrade as we need bigger performance improvements to make that happen. While it is more of the same we'll still recommend the product as the Radeon RX 580 certainly deserves a that. Remember though, it has three fans, eats three slots and is 30 cm in length! But yes, it's a great performing card up-to that and including the WQHD domain.
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