PowerColor Radeon RX 580 Red Devil review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words and conclusion

It is always interesting to test something from Hell, The Red Devil certainly is that, interesting with it's massive cooler and high clock frequency. The card comes fitted with a properly nice but HUGE cooler. That cooler eats up three slots and has two fans. To feed the beast you get an 6- and 8-pin power connector. The card comes with a back-plate and is tweaked significant out of the box as well. 


The Red Devil Golden sample series come with the updated cooler. I like the dark demonic design and sure also understand that is not everybody's cup of tea alright. 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 back-plate are dark matte black which certainly gives the card a more premium feel. 




The RX 580 is most definitely a good notch faster compared to the reference 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 a good 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 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 red Devil comes factory tweaked at a notch over 1425 MHz on its boost allowance. The card sticks to that frequency all of the time hence that helps you a bit in performance. Prior to testing we received a new BIOS from PowerColor, the early sample reviews produced too much noise. That is fixed with the BIOS update we received as the card now has a normal noise level, nothing too extreme but neither is is totally silent. The temperature seems to hover at roughly 75 Degrees C under full stress. That's a small notch below the reference cooler. The cooler overall is not noisy. However the card did exhibit serious amounts of coil whine. PowerColor states this sometimes happens with some cards, if a user is experiencing this and uncomfortable with coil noise, they may RMA the card to replace it.

Power Consumption 

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 205 Watt region. This has everything to do with the 1425 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 increase.


Overclocking wise you'll get the card at roughly at 1475 MHz on the GPU. 1500 MHz was pushing it and became unstable though. The memory will reached 9.0 Gbps (for our 8GB model). Overall these are veru satisfying results. With a default temperature profile the card will remain to be silent and at the very same temperature levels as default.


Final Words

Polaris 20 is a binned GPU, it is the same series that is used in the RX 480, but yielded with lower leakage and thus offering higher clock frequencies. That does mean it's a tweaked product, and that also shows in increase power consumption. This card hovers at the 200W Watt marker while gaming. It's not per-se bad, but it is a 25% increase in power consumption for ~6% more performance. PowerColor felt the need to apply a three slot cooler with two fans onto this product and that was a good decision to make, even with this three slot design, the cooler manages to cool down the GPU at roughly 75 Degrees C under heavy load. That temperature is fine, we are fine with the noise levels (with the new BIOS) as well. Whatever you think of that fact, it works well though as the cooler is silent enough and the temperatures remain under control. Our one gripe with our sample was coil whine, we had significant amounts of it. That can be an isolated issue with our sample, if your card is having issues with it, please do contact PowerColor and they will replace the card for you. 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. The RX 580 really is a bit more of the same, but we'll still recommend the product series AMD does offer good value for money with these cards. It's a great performing card up-to that and including the WQHD domain and if you like to tweak it manually, you'll get close to that 1.5 GHz marker as well.  It's a bit of a fatty boy, but the card does looks very nice. If you dig that Dark Demonic Devil theme, heck why not?

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