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XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition Review: Powerfully Cool 1080p Card

By Joseph Bradford on February 06, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition Review: Powerfully Cool 1080p Card

When most people look at graphics cards to buy for their upcoming rigs, they are usually looking at the Titans of the world: the GTX 1080 ti or the Rx Vega 64...or well, a Titan XP. However, there is a section of the gaming populace who doesn’t exactly need, or indeed wants the cosmic power two of those aforementioned cards hold, but instead wants something they can play the latest titles are quality framerates and graphics options. Or we’re talking about the gamer who maybe can’t buy a 1080 ti but still wants to play their favorite games on PC. The XFX Rx 580 8GB GPU then is a good fit - but how does it stack up to the competitors - or indeed it’s bigger brother, the Rx 580 8GB variant? This is our XFX Rx 570 RS Black Edition 8GB review.

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First things first: the specs. What makes the XFX Rx 570 8GB Black Edition tick?

  • Bus Type: PCI-E 3.0
  • GPU Clock: 1328MHz
  • Stream Processors: 2048
  • Memory Bus: 256 bit
  • Memory Clock: 7.0GHz
  • Memory Size: 8GB
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Outputs: 3 Display Port, 1 HDMI, 1 DL-DVI-D
  • External Power - 8-pins: 1
  • Minimum Power Supply Requirement: 500 Watt

The XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition packs quite the punch, and it does so in a pretty streamlined form factor. This is in fact the first AMD card I’ve ever used (going back to my old 7950 HD days) that required only 1 8-pin connector for power. And yet that single 8-pin connector is enough to keep the two large fans on the GPU itself, which lends well to keeping the Rx 570 cool. And that’s a key thing in my mind, since the last few AMD cards I’ve used they’ve been heatsinks themselves, not keeping cool enough for me to feel comfortable overclocking. Yet using MSI Afterburner, the XFX provides enough headroom to comfortably overclock and yet still maintain great temperatures.

The benchmarks shown are at the stock clocks to give the purest results, but the card is capable of long stretches of gaming with a moderate increase (I pushed the clock beyond 1400MHz with no issues) to the clock speeds. It is interesting to see also the jumps in performance from the 570 to the 580 and even the Rx Vega 64 when comparing the three across the same test system. I also gave benchmarks for the GTX 1080 for a comparison with Nvidia’s offerings, and while it’s readily apparent that the 1080, out of the box is a more powerful card, it’s definitely interesting to see the performance difference and can help someone make the decision as to whether or not that extra cost justifies the performance leap for them.

Test System

  • CPU: i7-6700K @ 4.0GHz
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3
  • RAM: Viper 16GB GDDR4 @ 3200MHz
  • PSU: Corsair TX750W
  • Storage: Plextor M9P3 m.2 NVMe SSD

Test GPUs

  • XFX Rx570 RS 8GB Black Edition
  • MSI Rx 580 8GB Gaming X
  • AMD Rx Vega 64 Reference
  • Gigabyte GTX 1080 Mini

At first glance, the XFX card sits pretty well with games at 1920x1080. In these tests, all of the settings were pushed to their max with the exception of Anti-aliasing, we opted for FXAA in games that let us choose (Elder Scrolls Online simply has an AA toggle for instance, while World of Warcraft has a bevy of AA options to choose from going beyond even MSAA). The results are pretty straight forward. Overall we’re seeing the XFX sitting pretty competitively with the Rx 580. It is interesting to see that the results are relatively close too - with Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood being the only real dip when compared to the Rx 580 directly.

When playing games like PUBG, the 570 felt so much smoother at 1080p than it does on console, which would be one of the reasons why a gamer would be looking at this card. The Rx 570, in normal circumstances, is set at a reference MSRP of $169 USD. Obviously partner boards like XFX would cost more - and this card would cost much more thanks to the double GDDR5 RAM compared to the standard 570 card - but thanks to cryptomining, the price of GPUs are so out of hand it’s hard to tell what this card would have normally sold under ideal circumstances. XFX doesn’t list an MSRP on their website, but we’ve reached out to XFX for pricing details and will update this review once they reply.

Moving on to 1440p and it’s here you start to see the XFX card’s results wobble a bit. It’s not to say the benchmarks are bad - they really aren’t compared to the other cards it’s going up against, but it reminds me that the 570 isn’t really a card meant for 1440p or UHD gaming unless you’re ok with lesser framerates.

Like last time, we see our largest gap between the Rx 580 and the XFX 570 with FFXIV, a whopping 34 frames per second, but equally interesting is the large jump in PUBG with 1440p. The 580 keeps close to a 60FPS mark, coming within a frame-per-second of the Rx Vega 64, but the 570 jumps down to close to 30FPS on average - not ideal for a mouse shooter that does rely on reaction time. Ghost Recon Wildlands, with everything turned up, is unplayable at 20FPS, but with some tweaking of graphics options (setting everything to high seemed to do it) I was able to get something in the 40-45FPS average range - not ideal, but definitely more playable than 20fps.

It’s there that we need to be reminded of the flexibility that PC offers. While these benchmarks show the average results with the cards running these games at their extremes, it’s by no means fully representative of the experience you can tailor for yourself simply by tweaking options. Another example of this is toggling DX12 on Battlefield 1, turning the 1440p benchmark from sub-60fps to an average of 63fps. Turning down texture quality and some effects quality in Final Fantasy XIV brought the FPS up to around 50-55 - a marked improvement over the 40fps benchmark. Each situation and game is tweakable to find that setting combination that gives you the best experience you can.

The XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition is not a 4K gaming card, so I didn’t run exhausting benchmarks at 4K (most of the games I did test ran in the high to low 20s at full ultra) but even then, you could possibly tweak options to make 4K playable if you so desired. And with an overclock it might be even more feasible for the long term. But players looking for 4K capable cards aren’t likely going to be looking at the Rx 570 - and thanks to GPU scarcity due to miners (more on this in a second), PC may not even be where many lower-budgeted user look to 4K thanks to the Xbox One X being on the market now for only $499 (by comparison, a 4K capable card will run you close to a thousand dollars now thanks to mining scarcity).

And it’s here we find the biggest question: is the XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition worth your money right now? While XFX has not provided any MSRP information on their website, by looking at third-party sellers it’s easy to see why they may be hesitant to list a price on there. Miners have driven demand and prices through the roof - and the Rx 570 sports an on-board BIOS to optimize the GPU for Mining or Gaming, whichever you choose to use it for - making the cheapest I’ve seen this particular card, in stock,  list for around 454.58 GBP - or $634.85. Amazon does have a listing for $359.99, but it is out of stock and it’ll be hard-pressed to keep them on hand at that price when they do replenish.

By adding the Dual BIOS option for miners - XFX is servicing a section of the GPU market that is, by all accounts, directly and negatively impacting the PC gaming industry overall. I understand that XFX is looking at more than just gamers for their cards, but this does nothing to really help end scarcity and the insane price hikes we’ve seen over the last 12 months thanks to miners. If the XFX Rx 570 is a phenomenal mining card, gamers will be hard pressed to find one even at the $360 price point for months to come. 

It also asks - is the Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition worth even the $359.99 it’s listed for on Amazon? When you consider the cheapest price on the Rx 580 is almost 300 dollars more right now, it’s not a bad option. And for gamers looking for a phenomenal card for 1080p gaming, the Rx 570 delivers that with plenty of thermal room to spare. The XFX Rx 570 is the coolest AMD GPU I’ve ever used with the majority of the temperatures under load never reaching 80C. This leaves plenty of room to overclock, which makes the massive gulf in price between this and the next nearest GPU competitor a no-brainer - the XFX Rx 570 is enough in most cases.

The problem you might run into is future-proofing. As games continue to get more and more advanced, the Rx 570 might find itself unable to keep up at 1080p Ultra settings like it is right now. However, even then it’s a reminder that PCs are variable experiences, allowing you to tweak settings for optimal performance.

Pricing and future-proofing make it hard to recommend the card in earnest, but for gamers looking to get a better 1080p experience than consoles can offer, or just looking to play the latest MMOs or multiplayer games at 1080p or even some at 1440p, the XFX Rx 570 RS 8GB Black Edition is a great way to go - if you can get your hands on it at the $359.99 price listed on Amazon. However, if the market trends continue as they are, it’s one of those situations that if you’re going to have to spend close to $500-$600 on a card, the 580, Vega or the options from Nvidia’s Pascal line are worth the look at that point to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck in the end.

Pros

  • Overclockable
  • Great 1080p performance
  • Incredibly quiet under load

Cons

  • Pricing - it’s expensive compared to the original AMD MSRP of $169
  • Doesn’t really future proof your system for years to come