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XFX RX 590 Fatboy Review

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XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing:

Finding out just how much gaming FPS performance the latest graphics cards from the Red camp and XFX can deliver will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 3840x2160 will be used. The latest AMD launch driver version 18.11 will be used for the RX 590 and the following drivers are used for the comparison cards (399.24 for the Pascal Cards, 411.51 for the Turing cards, and the 18.9.1 drivers for the AMD cards) are used for the testing.

The OCC testing system is a higher end mid-range PC that gives better performance compared to a broader market segment. A higher-end system would deliver better results in some tests but the user base for comparison is smaller.

 

Testing Setup:

  • Processor: Intel 8th Generation Core i7 8700K
  • CPU Cooling: Custom water cooling from EK
  • Motherboard: MSI Z370 Pro Carbon Gaming AC
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3600MHz
  • Video Cards: XFX RX 590 Fatboy
  • Power Supply: Corsair Rx 1000i
  • Hard Drive: OCZ Trion 150 Primary, OCZ Vector 128GB x4 RAID 0
  • Case: Corsair 780T
  • OS: Windows 10 Professional

 

Comparison Video Cards:

Overclocking:

  • XFX RX 590 Fatboy  1679MHz Core, 2250MHz Memory

Overclocking the latest iteration of Polaris is just as easy as previous versions of the architecture, but at least based on this sample I finally get to see some much more impressive overclocking results. The overclocking tool of choice for my tests in most cases is MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility. It's easy to use and just works.

Seeing that previous versions of AMD's Polaris architecture have had limited results, my expectations were somewhat tempered to start. I started pushing increasing the power limit to the max spec and the clock speed, and was pleasantly surprised to see the clock speeds almost hit 1700MHz. Unfortunately, anything over 1700MHz did not want to play nice when the memory speeds started creeping up. I did not use any additional voltage to get the final core clock speed result as all that did was add additional heat to the card that the dual composite heat pipe-based cooling solution would have to deal with. My final clock speed in all of the tests was 1679MHz. This speed proved rock stable throughout all of the benchmarks.

On previous AMD cards, memory overclocking margins have been pretty rigid, but on this 12nm Polaris 30-based card from XFX all I had to do was max out the slider in MSI Afterburner and apply the setting of 2240MHz once I found the most stable core clock speed.

All in all, it was not a challenge to get the most out of this card. The applied core clock speed was rock stable without throttling under sustained load and did not require the balancing act of power limit voltage and cooling seen on some of the Polaris cards I have looked at. The base True Clock OC of 1580MHz puts this card at a truly legendary status when compared to the Polaris 20 cards that maxed out in the 1450MHz to 1525MHz range in my testing. I was able to push another 100MHz of overclocking margin out of the card without impacting the power consumption with higher voltages. The memory speed screamed past the  2106MHz I was able to get on the last gen XFX RX 580 GTS.

Both the core clock speed and memory overclocks are a much-needed improvement that significantly boosts performance over the prior gen parts.  

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Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 
  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  4. Far Cry 5
  5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  6. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  7. 3DMark
  8. VRMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption
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  1. XFX RX 590 Fatboy: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. XFX RX 590 Fatboy: Specifications & Features
  3. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield 1
  5. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: Ghost Recon Wildlands, Far Cry 5
  6. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: The Witcher III, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  7. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: 3DMark, VRMark
  8. XFX RX 590 Fatboy Testing: Temperature and Power Consumption
  9. XFX RX 590 Fatboy: Conclusion
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