AMD RX580 PowerColor Red Devil Review

PowerColor RX580 Red Devil Review

Introduction

With the recent release of the Ryzen CPUs on the Zen architecture it is clear that AMD has very much returned to the fray when it comes to their motherboard and CPU range. Given where they were just even as recently as last year it must have taken an enormous amount of research and development time and money to make such a huge leap forwards. If there is one thing we know about the PC Hardware world it is that most improvements are gradual, incremental enhancements made over years, rather than a giant leap for all silicon kind.

For what has felt like years the only thing propping AMD up has been their range of Radeon graphics cards. Whilst the 380X didn’t quite set the world on fire, their 4th Generation GCN hardware, in the form of the RX 480 and Fury GPUs, was a serious option for anyone looking to game on a tight budget.

When you take into account the already successful RX 480 and the enormous amount of resources ploughed into the development of their Zen architecture, it is perhaps not surprising that this latest entrant into the Radeon pantheon is more of a refinement of an existing card than a massive leap forwards.

As you can see from the comparison table the RX 580 is a slightly faster GPU with some slightly better memory bandwidth, largely gained from an increase in TDP headroom. Very much a case of evolution rather than revolution. Given that Ryzen has probably saved the company though it is understandable that you can’t reinvent everything in one go without crippling development cost.

One trick that the RX 580 does have up its sleeve though is AMD Chill technology, which works with a handful of titles to help keep your card cool and the power draw down when there isn’t much action on screen. It’s probably best thought of as a gaming version of a video codec. Rather than use tons of power to keep rendering something that hasn’t changed, the algorithm powers down the card and frame rate when little is happening, and seamlessly returns to full power when the gaming gets heavy. Now the titles currently supported – Counter Strike, DOTA2, League of Legends, Overwatch – aren’t part of our benchmark suite so we only have AMDs figures to go on, but they claim 30% power consumption reduction and 12°C average temperature reduction when the Chill technology is activated compared to regular running. Perfect if the eSports world is your main gaming pleasure.

  Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 480
GCN Architecture 4th Generation 4th Generation
Manufacturing Process 14nm FinFET 14nm FinFET
Compute Units 36 36
Stream Processors 2304 2304
Clock Speed 1340MHz Boost, 1257MHz Base 1266MHz Boost, 1120MHz Base
Memory Size 8 GB 8 GB
Memory Bandwidth 256 GB/s 224 GB/s
Memory Interface 256 bit 256 bit
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5
TDP 185W 150W
Freesync Support Yes Yes
DirectX 12 Support Yes Yes
Vulkan Support Yes Yes
DisplayPort Version 1.3 HBR/1.4 HDR 1.3 HBR/1.4 HDR

 

   RX 580 RX 480 RX 570  RX 470 
GPU Cores  2304 2304  2048  2048 
Base Clock 1257MHz 1120MHz  1168MHz  926MHz 
Boost Clock 1340MHz  1266MHz  1244MHz  1206MHz