AMD products are top-of-the-line and allow users to enjoy the latest industry-leading games. Still, in many cases, when there is a scarcity of ideas and advances in software, companies frequently relaunch old products as new ones. This can be confusing for gamers who are trying to improve their gaming rig.
As we will see in detail in this article, the RX 580 is a new version of the RX 480 with almost the same characteristics. Is it a buy? Before deciding on the RX 580, we recommend you look at the information we bring you today.
RX 580: Overview
The RX 580 was released in April 2017, with the price starting at $229. It is a refreshed version of the RX 480, with both designed using the Polaris architecture.
What is the difference between the two GPUs? Well, the only improvement to the RX 580 is a higher clock speed. All the other features are the same, including the building design.
The similar launch price is the only advantage we see in the RX 580. This overclocked GPU has a limited version known as Sapphire Nitro+, which includes a regular running mode and a silent mode.
Let’s take a closer look at the main reasons not to choose the RX 580, and then we’ll list some options that could be a better alternative.
AMD decided to renew the RX 480 line and other similar models that use the Polaris architecture. These new models use an enhanced version as their architecture design.
Basically, the new architecture takes the same components as the RX 480 and brings them to an overclocked state. The RX 580 comes with two coolers on top, an LED sign located on the side, and a dual cooling system.
The construction, though it appears to be of high quality, is actually plastic that manufacturers polish to resemble metal.
The Saphire Nitro+ edition of the RX 580 has an approximately 0.5cm piece of metal at the bottom of the GPU. While it provides an attractive appearance, it reduces compatibility with CPU coolers and mini-ITX-based form factors.
Unfortunately, the RX 580’s design causes ventilation issues. Apart from the coolers, on the sides, there is only a small gap where air can circulate. The rest of the space is occupied by the cooling tubes and the connection terminals.
2. Gaming Performance
Compared to the RX 480, we can see a slight performance improvement during benchmark tests. Still, the RX 580’s capabilities are not impressive at all compared to the performance of other GPUs in a similar price range.
In some top industry games, the RX 580 can barely sustain an average of 60 FPS. Also, the difference in the minimum frame rates is noticeable. In other, better-optimized titles, the performance improves considerably. Even so, the difference between the RX 580 and the RX 480 is not substantial in this category.
3. Power Consumption and Cooling
A series of measurements were made with the RX 580 in an idle state, using two monitors, playing high-resolution video, and running video games. The latter is a resource-consuming activity that leads to maximum GPU temperatures and more power consumption.
The maximum level of consumption reached is around 200 watts. Being an overclocked product, even in an idle state, there are power losses that don’t occur with similar GPUs and could be avoided to save energy.
4. Noise Generation
Although AMD promised to improve the performance of its coolers, and the cooling system in general, the tests performed on the RX 580 leave a lot to be desired.
When subjected to resource-demanding activities, coolers get to work hard, reaching speeds of up to 1700 RPM. As you can guess, this requires a lot of energy, and plenty of noise is generated which can be annoying.
The noises coming from the RX 580 are caused by the fan oscillation and other components vibrating. If you use an open cabinet, take these considerations into account.
Alternatives to AMD’s RX 580
Let’s take a look at some alternatives that compete with — or are better products than — the RX 580.
1. Radeon RX 480
As a first option, we consider it important to mention the RX 480. If you already own this graphics card and were thinking of upgrading it to an RX 580, stop right there.
After considering the benchmark tests and other parameters, such an upgrade is simply not worth it. The RX 480 is a GPU that already manages to achieve decent FPS values at a good resolution. By the way, we also recommend it for VR and 4K gaming at lower settings.
2. GTX 1060 6GB
The GTX 1060 6GB is our next choice since it’s a great card. Performance-wise, it is very similar to the RX 480. Designed using the Pascal architecture, this GPU allows you to run the latest games with decent graphics.
The only downside is that it doesn’t support 4K displays, so it’s not recommended for use in such resolutions.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
- 2X the FP32 throughput and improved power efficiency
- 2nd Generation RT Cores: 2X the throughput of 1st gen RT Cores
- A whole new level of ray-tracing performance
- Axial-tech fan design, 2-slot design for cooling efficiency
- PCIe 4.0, 8GB GDDR6 Memory
- HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, 2-Slot
If you don’t have a problem spending a little more money, the next alternative will give you great satisfaction and excellent performance.
In this case, we are referring to the RTX 3050. It is a great graphics card for gaming, with excellent features and good design. It includes ray tracing and DLSS, the signature technologies of Nvidia.
Almost any game reaches 60FPS at 1080p resolution using the RTX 3050. Furthermore, its cooling is optimized, generating very low temperatures.
As we can see, the RX 580 is simply an old graphics card with just a few updated parameters. It’s questionably advertised as a “next-gen” product. The analysis that we have made makes it clear that this is not the case.
The RX 480 and GTX 1060 6GB are good enough, or outright better, alternatives in the same price range. If you have a bit more of a budget, we recommend getting the RTX 3050.
The RX 580 is a good option for those who do not own a graphics unit. But if you already have a GPU in a similar range, it’s not worth investing in this product.
|1. Design||The RX 580’s design causes ventilation issues. The construction, though it appears to be of high quality, is actually plastic that manufacturers polish to resemble metal. The Saphire Nitro+ edition of the RX 580 has an approximately 0.5cm piece of metal at the bottom of the GPU which reduces compatibility with CPU coolers and mini-ITX-based form factors.|
|2. Gaming Performance||The RX 580âs capabilities are not impressive compared to the performance of other GPUs in a similar price range. In some top industry games, the RX 580 can barely sustain an average of 60 FPS.|
|3. Power Consumption and Cooling||The maximum level of consumption reached is around 200 watts. Being an overclocked product, even in an idle state, there are power losses that donât occur with similar GPUs and could be avoided to save energy.|
|4. Noise Generation||When subjected to resource-demanding activities, coolers get to work hard, reaching speeds of up to 1700 RPM. This requires a lot of energy, and plenty of noise is generated which can be annoying.|
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