To say that I am impressed with the power of ASUS’ AMD RX580 is an understatement. I’ve long been an NVIDIA-based PC gamer, but there was a time back in the AGP days where ATI (AMD) could do no wrong for me. On the verge of the Vega cards coming out this year, one would think the $279 RX580 wouldn’t perform so well, since it’s basically on par with NVIDIA’s 1060 line of cards. But that’s the rub…
For $100 cheaper, it competes with the 1070. For $200 cheaper, it does OK against the 1080 SC2 from EVGA which we compare it to in this review. In short, its specs speak “1060”, but its performance is remarkably stable for a cost-effective way to dip your toes into 4K gaming. Is it going to give you the best possible FPS in 4K? Not likely. But neither will the 1060 or 1070. As a stepping stone to top of the line 1080p settings and stable 4K framerates, this card’s no slouch.
I tested the 580 against all of the games, minus Revelation Online, that Chris tested the 1080 SC2 against. Note, this card needs a FULL ATX tower, or a roomy Mid. It basically made me either a.) remove my drive bay in my Cooler Master case, or b.) get a bigger tower. I opted at first to borrow a bigger tower, but eventually settled on removing the drive bay and finagling my SATA cables where I needed them to be.
With three big fans to keep the thing cool, I was worried it’d be loud as all get out. But ASUS’ quiet gaming 0db technology keeps the fans off as long as the card isn’t running super hot. If it’s below a set temperature, say when playing a less intensive game or just using your PC casually, the fans turn off completely. This wasn’t really useful in intense and longer gaming sessions, but even when the fans were on, the 580 was remarkable quiet compared to the Maxwell Titan I have in the system normally.
Let’s get the boring part out of the way. Even with all the cooling, the three fans, and the massive 40% larger heatsink (which increases the slot-width to 2.5), the card still hit some higher temperatures. The factory set 1380 MHz boost clock, which is enabled in the UI of the card’s software, is the likely culprit for this. Running out of boost mode, the temperatures hovered closer to the 65-degree range.
What’s really fascinating about this card is just how well it compares to the performance of the 1080 SC2 from EVGA. As I stated before, the specs put it much closer in line with the perfectly adequate 1060 or 1070, so I’m impressed that ASUS could eke out so much power from what’s generally a less powerful card. Black Desert still gave it the biggest run for its money, but most everything else on our list was more than adequate, with some games outperforming the 1080 SC2.
The real test though is – can it do 4K gaming? That’s where we’re headed, right? Well, to be perfectly honest, it all depends what quality of FPS you want in your 4K experience. If you’re not quite ready to shell out the $500+, this is a quality upgrade until the cost of 4K gaming comes down. If, on the other hand you just want a capable 1080p card for a decent price, the ASUS’ 580 is proving to be a very worthy contender.
What it lacks in pure horsepower, the ASUS ROG RX580 more than makes up for with impressive performance and stable framerates at high resolutions. It can be purchased for around $280 from most any outlet you think of, and stay tuned… because we’ll be hosting a Gleam.IO giveaway soon for the sample we were sent for review. Keep your eyes on our social media and news page!
The graphics card tested in this article was provided by ASUS for the purposes of review.
Test System: i7-4790k @ 4.4GHZ, 16GB DDR4 3200MHz GSkill RAM, ASUS Strix AMD 580 8GB, Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H MOBO, Cooler Master 750W PSU, and Cooler Master Mid-ATX Case