Cooling, Noise, and Power

The last bit of my testing was focused on the areas beyond gaming that set the different manufacturers apart like power usage, cooling, and noise. These are all aspects that depend on things like the cooling design and voltage and overclock profiles that they set. The first test was power usage. For this one, I used a kill a watt to monitor overall wattage and then put the 570 RS under load in 3DMark Fire Strike documenting the highest wattage pulled. The overclocked RX 570 pulled a little more than XFX’s overclocked RX 470 pulling it right up with the reference RX 480 in total power draw. This wasn’t too big of a surprise, the RX 400 series cards weren’t the most power efficient and cranking things up for the refresh had the 580’s pulling a lot as well but it is crazy to think that the RX 570 is pulling 20 watts more than a Founders Edition GTX 1070 though. So if power usage is a huge concern this might not be the direction you want to go, overall though the whole system was still under 300 watts so it’s not like you have to go crazy on the power supply.

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Next, I busted out the decibel meter to test noise levels with the meter 18 inches away from the open air test bench. You can find more details on the meter model in our procedures section. Anyhow idle noise wasn’t relevant as the fans were off but when I turned the fans up to 50% I saw 41.5 decibels and then at 100% 58.1 dB. This put the RX 570 RS in the middle of the range of the cards tested. This matched up well with the total fan speeds as well meaning it mostly had to do with how fast the fans the fans are set to run.

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The last tests were focused on temps. For these, I put the 570 RS under load using Valley Benchmark on loop and documented the peak temperature with the fan profile set to stock and after cooling down I did it again with the fans set to 100%. I do both to get a look at the out of the box performance and then to see what the cooler is capable of when noise isn’t a factor. At stock fan speeds the 570 RS got a little warm at 73 degrees, putting it up with the Sapphire RX 580 even and close to the reference RX 480’s even. The cooling performance was there though, when turned up it dropped 20 degrees. A little more tuning on the fan profile could help it run cooler day to day without adding much noise.

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