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AMD Sapphire RX 590 Nitro+ SE 8GB Review

Before we talk turkey about performance, clock speeds, power and all that good stuff we have to cover the business side of things.

AMD is focusing on gamers who use a resolution of 1080p and want maximum value for money. Pricing is important as a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 8GB currently costs £230 while a £240 GTX 1060 6GB FE (Founders Edition) is a nearly identical £240.

Further up the product stack a GTX 1070 8GB FE will cost you £420 while an AMD Vega 56 is £450. That leaves a yawning chasm for the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590 8GB at £259.99 and we hear the PowerColor Radeon RX590 Red Devil 8GB will cost £269.99.

When you consider that ‘qualifying RX 590 graphics cards’ will come with a triple game bundle of Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5 and The Division 2 we have a sinking feeling about prices. We would love to think that RX 590 will go on sale at £250 but wouldn’t be surprised if the prices edge towards £300.

The reason we have so much uncertainty over pricing is that AMD has stated the recommended price of RX 590 8GB is US$279, and then suggested that partner cards would cost more. The peculiar thing here is that AMD is not releasing a reference design so we will only see cards from the likes of Asus, PowerColor, Sapphire and XFX.

The other area of graphics card design that often confuses matters is the choice of memory. This time round it seems that every RX 590 will ship with 8GB of GDDR5 and we do not expect to see any models with 4GB.

Clearly we need to see what prices are chosen by AMD’s partners but our starting point is that OCUK has the Sapphire RX 590 8GB Nitro+ Special Edition we are testing at £259.99. This begs the further question of what will happen to the Sapphire RX 580 8GB Nitro+ that currently costs £239.99 as a £20 differential seems far too small.

The best advice we can offer to anyone who is considering RX580 is that you keep your eyes open for deals on Black Friday.

Feeds and Speeds

Graphics card Radeon RX Vega 56 Sapphire Nitro+ RX590 Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 Nvidia GTX 1070 FE 8GB Nvidia GTX 1060 FE 8GB
Graphics driver Radeon 18.40 (25.20.14010.7) Radeon 18.40 (25.20.14010.7) Radeon 18.40 (25.20.14010.7) GeForce 416.81 GeForce 416.81
Note:   Zero rpm fans, hence high idle temps. Zero rpm fans, hence high idle temps.
Shader count 3,584 Unified Shaders 2,304 Stream Processors 2,304 Stream Processors 1,920 CUDA Cores 1,280 CUDA Cores
Fabrication Process 14nm FinFET LPP+ 12nm 14nm FinFET LPP+ TSMC 14nm TSMC 14nm
Base GPU Core Frequency MHz 1,138 1,469 1,340 1,506MHz 1,506MHz
Boost GPU Core Frequency MHz 1,474 1,560 Nitro+ (1,545 reference) 1,380 1,760 1,860
GPU Core Frequency MHz Overclocked 1,600 1,400 1,960 2,030
Memory 8GB HBM2 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5
Memory Controller 2,048-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit
Memory Stock speed 800MHz 8,400MHz 8,000MHz 8,008MHz 8,008MHz
Memory Overclocked speed 8,400MHz 9,000MHz 8,996MHz 8,996MHz

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