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XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition Review

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XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB GTS Black Edition Testing:

Temperature Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1080 using 8x AA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.

 

Settings

  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920x1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Power Consumption:

Power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and loaded states, taking into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine Heaven Benchmark version 4.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A fifteen-minute load test will be used to heat up the GPU, with the highest power usage recorded as the final result. The idle results will be measured after fifteen minutes of inactivity on the system with the lowest recorded power usage as the final result.

Settings

  • Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark
  • 1920x1080 resolution
  • 8x AA
  • 15-minute load test
  • 15-minute idle test
  • Measurement is in watts

 

 

 
 

 

 

Power consumption has been one of AMD's achilles heels over the past few generations. For this refresh of Polaris, we see the same concerns that we have in the past. The elevated core clock speeds do not come from just a well binned enhanced process, but it takes a little current to run the numbers. XFX's Radeon RX 580 8GB Black Edition comes with a robust 1405MHz clock speed right from the factory. Comparing the power consumption between the XFX RX 580 and the XFX RX 480 shows that the RX 580 is using 18 watts more power in the stock testing. When overclocked, the difference is minimized and the difference shrinks to two watts, or essentially nothing. When compared to the GTX 1060 OC, the variance in power consumption rises to between 55 watts (stock) and 61 watts (overclocked). AMD still has a way to go to equal the power efficiency of NVIDIA's Pascal chips. Hopefully when Vega rolls out we see that kind of efficiency come to fruition. If you compare Polaris to an earlier gen card like the R9 Fury, it is headed in the right direction.

To help in the short term AMD has introduced Chill technology as one of the features for this revision of Polaris. What this setting does, when activated in the Global Wattman tool and in the supported game, is to reduce the frame rate and power consumption in high FPS situations when there is no action detected on the screen or when there is a lack of hardware input, such as standing still. It took some tweaking and reducing the visual quality to get the FPS level high enoungh for it to work. The FPS range is configurable so that you can set the minimum and maximum ranges for application of the algorithms. In my quick testing, it did reduce power consumption in those situations where I was stationary to validate that it does work. AMD stated that the switches between low and high power are imperceptible, and in my quick test I did not see enough to make or break the technology, as I normally am running visual quality settings at a point where the GPU is the limiting factor for my FPS levels. I like the eye candy over twitchy high FPS levels!




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