AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB Review

Ashes, Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, and Doom

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (DX12)

Right out of the gate, AMD’s Radeon RX 580, represented by Sapphire’s overclocked Nitro+ Limited Edition card, demonstrates an ~8% advantage over our overclocked Radeon RX 480. That’s enough to draw even with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 6GB (also an overclocked model) in our average frame rate metric. All of our other measurements suggest the RX 580 and GTX 1060 6GB serve up a similarly smooth experience.

The stalemate continues at 2560x1440. This may come as a surprise to many, particularly if you remember our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Review from last July, where the 8GB Radeon RX 480 proved faster than the 1060 6GB. Earlier this year, though, Nvidia started talking about work it was doing to improve performance in DirectX 12-based games. Ashes of the Singularity­ was one of the beneficiaries, and Escalation clearly reflects the effort.

Battlefield 1 (DX12)

Radeon RX 580 extends the RX 480’s lead over GeForce GTX 1060 6GB in Battlefield 1, contributing an additional 9% or so to the average frame rate. In fact, the new Radeon RX 570 nearly pulls even to Nvidia’s card.

Despite a slow start that affects our minimum frame rate measurement, the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 is 15% faster than Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 6GB in Battlefield 1 using the Ultra quality preset at 2560x1440. Both cards are playable, sure, but it looks like Nvidia needs a price advantage to keep the GP106-based board competitive.

Of course, we’re being specific to the 6GB model. Trimming 128 CUDA cores, eight texture units, and 3GB of GDDR5 really hurts the lower-end 1060, which was playable at 1920x1080 but has no business at 2560x1440.

Civilization VI (DX12)

Civilization VI isn’t the most taxing title out there, but we can still dial in its most demanding settings and observe some semblance of scaling based on GPU performance.

Interestingly, the Radeon RX 580 and 570 both show up ahead of AMD’s RX 480 and 470 in our average FPS measurement. They also achieve markedly higher minimum frame rates. But they also trail a group of three Nvidia cards that we wouldn’t expect to find leading (especially that GTX 1060 3GB).

Although the Radeon RX 580 does pass Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 3GB in our average FPS measurement at 2560x1440, it continues trailing the 6GB version and GTX 970.

We gain little enlightenment from the frame rate over time, frame time, or variance charts, which reveal no sub-second smoothness issues that might explain why Civilization VI seems to favor GeForce cards. Fortunately for AMD, its loss is largely inconsequential. The frame rates we see at QHD are fine, particularly given this game’s genre.

Doom (Vulkan)

In a quick strike back, Radeon RX 580 adds almost 8% to the RX 480’s average frame rate to beat GeForce GTX 1060 6GB by 20%. And Doom is the kind of fast-paced game where a performance advantage really comes in useful.

Frame time variance isn’t a big issue for any card at 1920x1080. However, Nvidia’s attempt to compete with Radeon RX 480 4GB gets a little embarrassing when the GTX 1060 3GB underperforms GTX 1050 Ti 4GB. You could argue the 3GB model wasn’t designed for first-person shooters, but that’s little solace to anyone who buys one not knowing its limitations.

AMD’s Radeon RX 580 maintains a 20% lead over GeForce GTX 1060 6GB in Doom at 2560x1440 (the RX 480 was already 11% faster). Even its new Radeon RX 570 is plenty playable using this game’s Ultra preset.

Meanwhile, the 3GB GTX 1060, which should be competitive, continues suffering debilitating choppiness.

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