** 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. Higher boosts also mean higher voltages, and that on it's end makes the card utilize another 35~40 Watts. Make no mistake, I like the RX 480 hence I like the slightly faster 580. But overall looking back this product does not warrant you to upgrade unless you are still on say an 380 or something. As always the board partners will improve on everything the reference product does half-half. As such this gaming X model has a proper cooler. Something however was off with our sample and the noise level should have been a notch lower. With Easter and everything I have not had the time to root out the cause of this and I am still awaiting feedback from MSI on it. I'll consider this an isolated thing on our end. However should user run into noise issues and high RPM fan issues, let me know and I'll pick up it. Other then that I should not overreact either, 41~42 DBa is a very normal noise level, it just is not what I expected with a TwiNFrozr VI cooler. The card comes fitted with an 8-pin power connector, has a back-plate and is a notch tweaked out of the box as well. The end result is a once again a nice yet slightly faster product. What remains important though is that the price level will remain hovering at comfortable levels. Expect a 250 USD price-tag for this 8GB version, and yes MSI will release a 4 GB version as well.
The Gaming X series comes with that TwinFrozr VI cooler. The 2016/2017 update also comes with RGB LED lighting control as well as a LED array in the rear surrounding the fan. The top logo etc you can switch on/off or to any color and animation you prefer, the choice is yours. Cool dibs is that back-plate, with opening at the proper areas (GPU/VRM) for venting. As you can see, 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. 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. In the the end result is a nice looking product however a warning to MSI, the Twinfrozr series is slowly becoming a little repetitive with contentious similar black red design.
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 the 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 Gaming X version will be a 269 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 Gaming X model comes factory tweaked at a notch over 1390 MHz on its boost allowance. The temperature seems to hover at roughly 72 Degrees C under full stress. That's a good notch below the reference cooler. I'll refrain from making further comments on the 42 DBa noise levels as ours was unexpectedly high. We'll update once we know more what is/was going on.
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 is indeed roughly in that Wattage region (191W). Tweaked however that number goes up fast towards 225 Watts. Keep in mind that this figure is indicative as some games utilize a bit more, other a little less.
Overclocking wise you'll get the card at roughly at 1450~1500 MHz on the GPU. 1500 MHz seems to be pushing it 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.
So the Radeon RX 580 feels a bit like a deja-vu, it remains to be a slightly faster RX 480. But the reality is also, there's just nothing wrong with that as the Radeon RX 580 offers great value at the same price as last years RX 480. The 269 USD for a customized AIB version is merely a tenner 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. The fact remains though that up-to 2560x1440 you can game really well with this card, obviously that 8GB of memory hits a nice sweet-spot there. We do recommend you to look at 8GB models over 4GB if you want to game in the WQHD domain. While the RX 580 really is more of the same yet a notch faster, we'll still recommend the product as the Radeon RX 580 certainly deserves a that, as it is a great performing product in this price range.
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