AMD Radeon RX 580 - Performance

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AMD Radeon RX 580 – Performance and benchmarks vs GTX 1060

As usual, I’ve tested the RX 580 in TrustedReviews’ standard test rig. The specifications are as follows, and represent a decent mid-range PC build.

Tested cards

In order to understand where the RX 580 fits into the GPU market in 2017, I’ve tested it alongside one rival and its predecessor.

  • Aorus Radeon RX 580 XTR (8GB) – Outlined above
  • Overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)  – This is the Founders Edition card, but for this test I’ve overclocked it up to 1860MHz, which is the same speed as the best pre-overclocked models you can buy today. This is a handy comparison because 1860MHz GTX 1060s cost around the same as the Aorus RX 580 XTR on review.  
  • XFX Radeon RX 480 XXX Edition (8GB) – This model can be found for around £240, and represents a mid-range RX 480 with a maximum boost speed of 1288MHz. As you can see from the stats below, the identical chips inside the RX 480 and 580 perform very similarly in most circumstances; often cooler desin and luck of the silicon lottery will decide which is faster.

Benchmark results (average fps)

RX 580 performance

The results were closer than I expected, and the back-and forth of these benchmark tests made this a bit of a nail-biter. I tested all the cards at Full HD, Very High settings and 1440p at a mix of  Very High and High.

Battlefield 1

battlefield 1

EA and Dice’s World War One shooter provided the RX 580 with its biggest victory. It was consistently 10fps or more faster than the overclocked GTX 1060 in my tests, which involved the on-rails single-player mission Through the Mud and Blood. If you’re a Battlefield fan, the RX 580 looks to be a great bet.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

In the newest game on my benchmarking roster, the GTX 1060 managed a handy victory over the RX 580 at both Full HD/Very High and 1440p/High, just edging ahead in both tests with frame rates of 59.5fps and 49fps respectively. Within a reasonable margin of error, this is very close to a tie.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

Another exceptionally close race between the GTX 1060 and RX 580 was in the demanding Rise of the Tomb Raider game. In both tests, at two different resolutions, the two cards were neck-and-neck. The RX 580 was 0.2fps faster at 1440p, while the GTX 1060 pulled ahead in Full HD by 4fps. Again, these are such minor differences, we can call this one a draw.

Hitman

hitman

Hitman was always going to hand the advantage to AMD, since the assassination franchise is better optimised for Radeon hardware. Still, the gaps weren’t huge. The RX 580 pulled out a 7.5fps lead at Full HD, but was only 3.4fps ahead at 1440p. Another tie? I reckon so.

Power Consumption and Noise

There’s no competition here. The GTX 1060 offers up a masterclass in GPU efficiency, with our entire test system drawing 242W at most during the Hitman benchmark. The RX 580 was well behind, pulling 374W from the mains.

Related: Best graphics cards

In compact PC builds, or cases with limited airflow, this will be a big deciding factor; the GTX 1060 will generate substantially less heat than the RX 580, which is why there are plenty more compact GTX 1060s on the market than there are RX 580s.

It should be said that the RX 580 on test is very quiet, even under load, so that extra power doesn’t result in a cacophony.

Should I buy the RX 580?

The RX 580 is a great GPU for Full HD – and a bit of 1440p gaming. Its price varies considerably, and the model I tested here will be arguably too expensive for most people. The base-model 8GB options that cost around £220 offer fantastic value, however. The GTX 1060’s cheapest 6GB models cost around £230 – more depending on spec – and have 2GB less memory.

RX 580

But the pendulum still swings towards Nvidia in the power efficiency stakes; AMD’s method of chucking electricity at a GPU is undoubtedly effective, but it harms its small-PC credentials. If you have a mid-sized ATX PC case, though, you needn’t worry.

You can save even more money if you plump for a 4GB RX 580 – although if you can afford it, the small jump up to 8GB is a safe bit of future-proofing. However, I wouldn’t recommend the 3GB GTX 1060, since some newer games are bumping right up against the 3GB limit; Ghost Recon gets very close at 1440p/High settings.

And what of the RX 480? It’s still a very attractive card with very similar performance. It sells for around the same price as the RX 580, so what you buy really depends on the special offers on any given day.

The battle is incredibly close – AMD and Nvidia have a much bigger rivalry in the mid-range than they do elsewhere, and this is great for consumers. These £200-£250 graphics cards are some of the best-value offerings out there, so I’ve not doubt that whichever you go for, you’ll be very happy indeed.

Verdict

A brilliant-value GPU for £220.

Score


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