Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition Video Card Review

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AMD Radeon RX 580 Arrives – RX 480 Enhanced

The AMD Radeon RX 500 series was released this week and the new Polaris based graphics card series consists of the Radeon RX 580, RX 570, RX 560 and RX 550. These cards are mostly all based on the Polaris architecture found on the RX 400 series as they use the same cores. AMD tinkered under the hood of the Polaris GPU a bit and took advantage of improvements in the manufacturing process to get higher clock speeds than they could get last year when the RX 400 series was launched.

AMD Radeon Polaris Enhanced

When the AMD Radeon RX 480 was released last summer the boost clock was 1,266 MHz and now on the Radeon RX 580 that has been increased up to 1,342 MHz.  Not a huge increase, but it is still a 6% increase in the boost clock and that when you combine that with the 1,000MHz increase in the GDDR5 memory clock speeds you end up with a new series of cards that are slightly faster than the original models. AMD says that the Radeon RX 580/570 cards will be about 10% faster than the Radeon RX 480/470 cards, so if you own a Radeon RX 400 series card you’ll likely not be getting the upgrade itch just yet (that will be Vega).

AMD Radeon RX 500 Versus Radeon RX 400

Model
Radeon RX 580
Radeon RX 570
Radeon RX 480
Radeon RX 470
Launch Date
April 2017
April 2017
June 2016
August 2016
Codename
Polaris 20 XTX
Polaris 20 XT
Polaris 10 XT
Polaris 10 Pro
Architecture
GCN 4th
GCN 4th
GCN 4th
GCN 4th
Process (nm)
14
14
14
14
Transistors (mn)
5,700
5,700
5,700
5,700
Approx Die Size (mm²)
232
232
232
232
Full Implementation of Die
Yes
No
Yes
No
Processors
2,304
2,048
2,304
2,048
Texture Units
144
128
144
128
ROP Units
32
32
32
32
Peak GPU Clock (MHz)
1,340
1,244
1,266
1,206
Peak GFLOPS (SP)
6,175
5,095
5,834
4,940
Memory Type
GDDR5
GDDR5
GDDR5
GDDR5
Memory Size (MB)
4,096 / 8,192
4,096
4,096 / 8,192
4,096
Memory Bus (Bits)
256
256
256
256
Memory Clock (MHz)
8,000
7,000
7,000 / 8,000
6,600
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)
256
224
224 / 256
211
Power Connectors
6
6
6
6
TDP (Watts)
185
150
150
120
GFLOPS per Watt
33.37
33.97
38.89
41.17
Launch MSRP
$199+
$179+
$199+
$179+

AMD didn’t send over any reference models this time around, so we were given the Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition graphics card. This is a factory overclocked model and just happens to be the fastest Radeon RX 580 that you can buy today from Sapphire.

Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition

The NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 LE measures in at 10.25-inches in length and features a gun metal gray plastic fan shroud that looks pretty good. Sapphire went with two removable 95mm ball bearing fans on this model and thanks to Sapphire Intelligent Fan Control III they only start spinning when the GPU temperature reaches 52C. The GPU cooler has two 8mm and two 6mm heatpipes that help transfer heat away from the GPU to two large cooling fin arrays.

Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition GPU Cooler

The heatsink on this card is super thick and takes up most of the room available under the fan shroud on this dual-slot card.

Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition Backplate

Sapphire included a full coverage aluminum backplate that has a nifty design on it to help keep the back of the card protected, help add rigidity to keep the PCB from bending and helps increase heat dissipation. .

Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition Power Connectors

Along the top edge of the card you’ll find the BIOS DIP switch on the far left and then on the far right you’ll see an 8-pin and a 6-pin PCIe power connector configuration to ensure the Polaris GPU gets all the power that it ever should need. Sapphire lists this card as having a 225W TDP and recommends a 500 Watt or greater power supply for proper operation.

Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition Video Outputs

When you comes to video outputs for display connectivity you have two DisplayPort, two HDMI and one Dual-Link DVI connectors.

Let’s take a look at the test system and then run the benchmarks!

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  • Milford Dsouza

    Why not compare the 580 with a 480 also in the benchmarks?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      We’ll be adding it down the road! New test system that we are starting over with!

  • Terry Perry

    Nvidia already has a whole NEW card for Next year suppose to be here X-Mas but DDR6 is just starting Production. It WILL be something of a Power House.