Overall and Final Verdict
So the RX500 series launch is an interesting one. For those of you who picked up RX480’s last year, this isn’t really the launch for you if that wasn’t obvious already. But for those who were still holding out, this is a nice jump up when coming from 300 series cards or 700 or 900 series from Nvidia. While I need to test other cards to really confirm, I’m expecting the Sapphire RX580 Nitro+ that I tested today to be at or near the top of the charts for performance just like they did with the RX480 Nitro+. They managed to squeeze out even more clock speed from the already big bump from AMD and they took the design from last year and improved on it. It looks a lot like the RX480 Nitro+ but with a new Gunmetal finish on an overall larger cooler. They really packed in the cooling this time where last time you could see big gaps.
I know the aesthetic is really dependent on preference but I dig it just like I did last time and that bright silver backplate doesn’t look as out of place on the gunmetal cooler as it was in the black finish. You get an RGB logo up top and a glow on the back of the card as well that is RGB. The fans are also replicable and with the Limited Edition model tested today you get a second set of fans that were blue in color to match their new Nitro+ blue look. They look great, I only wish I could get RGB on the fans as well to make the whole card match your build no matter what.
The performance was great compared to the RX480 launch partially due to the much higher clocks and improvements in the AMD drivers over the past year as well. This put the RX580 Nitro+ up ahead of last years Nitro+ in nearly every test but a good margin. The GTX 1060’s have improved as well in performance over the year and with that, they do still trade blows but overall the RX580 Nitro+ does win out. You pay for that with power draw that is more than the GTX 1080. Beyond that, the stock fan profile runs a little warm but in our other testing, the card proves that it has the cooling capabilities when pushed so an adjustment of the fan profile to match your tolerance for noise is all that is needed to keep it running cool.
Only time will tell if the Sapphire RX580 Nitro+ will become the best RX580 in the market, I’m planning on testing a few more RX580’s so we will know soon. But right now it is looking good. Sapphire improved on the RX480’s design while sticking with the high clock speeds. You do have to keep in mind the power draw, but unless you are planning a SFF build it shouldn’t be anything you can’t handle. Now is the Limited Edition model the one to pick up? If you are doing a blue build you get the blue fans and there is a little extra clock speed. If not I would be looking at the normal Nitro+ RX580 as it is $20 cheaper.
*Update* All of our testing was done at 1411MHz. The Limited Editon card is capable of 1450MHz with the BIOS switch flipped and we didn't know this prior to the launch. I hope to be able to circle back around and get updated numbers later with launch drivers.
Live Pricing: HERE
- << Prev