Games PC & Laptops

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 Special Edition Review

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We’re lastly in a post-mining world, with secure pricing and provide for graphics playing cards. The state of affairs isn’t precisely splendid but in India, however it’s getting there. The hope that we had of low costs on account of oversupply hasn’t actually panned out – as an alternative, each AMD and Nvidia are utilizing recreation bundles so as to add worth to the gross sales of latest models.

Nvidia’s current GeForce RTX collection launch has additionally pushed costs upwards, and even the model new GeForce RTX 2060 doesn’t actually serve the value-conscious gamer who simply needs a clean expertise at excessive settings. The mid-range phase, sometimes with costs between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 30,000 continues to be dominated by the GeForce GTX 1060, and to a lesser extent, AMD’s Radeon RX 580.

Each are comparatively previous merchandise now, and towards that backdrop, AMD lately launched a brand new GPU mannequin — the Radeon RX 590. This can be a comparatively minor refresh of the Radeon RX 580, utilizing a brand new manufacturing course of to extract greater speeds from the identical chip design.

We’ve obtained a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 Particular Version graphics card that includes this new chip in for evaluation. Let’s see how a lot of an improve it’s, and whether or not it poses a problem to Nvidia’s previous however nonetheless widespread GeForce GTX 1060.

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AMD Radeon RX 590 GPU structure and specs

AMD’s massive information with the Radeon RX 590 is the shift from a 14nm manufacturing course of to 12nm, which has allowed it to boost clock speeds to squeeze out a bit extra efficiency. In any other case, that is primarily the identical GPU because the Radeon RX 580, codenamed Polaris (which itself is actually the identical GPU because the Radeon RX 480). Apparently, it’s been properly over a yr and a half because the Radeon RX 580 was launched.

The main target is squarely on gaming at 1920×1080, which based on AMD and the often up to date Steam Hardware Survey, is what the overwhelming majority of players goal. AMD guarantees at the very least 60fps in at the moment’s largest video games and over 120fps in well-liked esports titles. There’s additionally an enormous hole in costs between Radeon RX 580 graphics playing cards (roughly Rs. 19,000) and Radeon RX Vega 56 playing cards (roughly Rs. 45,000) that AMD needed to fill.

The Radeon RX 590 GPU ought to ship 12 % higher efficiency than the Radeon RX 580 on common, slotting in above quite than changing it. So far as competitors from Nvidia goes, it ought to go up towards the GeForce GTX 1060 and the model new GeForce RTX 2060. If you wish to improve from a graphics card that’s two years previous or extra, and usually are not essentially planning to maneuver as much as a 1440p or 4K monitor, you is perhaps within the Radeon RX 590.

This GPU has precisely the identical configuration because the Radeon RX 580 (and the Radeon RX 480), with 2,304 stream processors in 36 clusters that AMD calls compute models, matched with 144 texture models. Meaning little or no has modified since mid-2016. Clock speeds are larger although, at 1469MHz for the bottom and 1545MHz for the increase velocity. Regardless of the method shrink, TDP has gone up from 185W to 225W, which exhibits that each one positive aspects in effectivity have been sacrificed for velocity.

Radeon RX 590 graphics playing cards could have 8GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 256-bit bus. That is considerably slower and fewer trendy than GDDR6 RAM which we might have appreciated to see, however having 8GB will give AMD a advertising benefit over Nvidia’s present choices at this worth degree.

Apart from the hardware itself, AMD boasts of a number of software program and driver-level options for its GPUs, together with in fact FreeSync help for variable refresh charges on reasonably priced screens, automated optimisation of recreation settings, gameplay recording and streaming with Radeon ReLive, energy optimisation with Radeon Chill, and granular overclocking with Wattman. New with the lately launched Radeon Software program Adrenalin 2019 Version is the power to stream video games to a smartphone, pill, or VR headset and make changes to settings remotely utilizing the AMD Hyperlink app.

Lastly, AMD is providing consumers fairly a little bit of worth within the type of three AAA video games free with all Radeon RX 590 purchases: Satan Might Cry 5, Resident Evil 2, and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. These video games are all releasing between January 25 and March 15 so whereas the profit is barely delayed, you’re getting model new top-tier video games. You’d be saving roughly Rs. 9,000, going by at present obtainable Indian pre-order MRPs, however you must redeem the supply earlier than February 9, 2019.

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Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 Particular Version graphics card

AMD hasn’t put out a reference card for this GPU, so there isn’t a choice with a inventory cooler. Board companions together with Sapphire, Asus, PowerColor, and XFX all have their very own coolers and design thrives. We’ve got Sapphire’s Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 Particular Version in for evaluate. Not solely does it have a particular design of its personal, nevertheless it’s additionally manufacturing unit overclocked. The GPU has been tweaked to run at a most increase velocity of 1560MHz, and the reminiscence has additionally been pushed as much as Eight.4Gbps.

To start with, this card is gigantic, and its shroud is a really vibrant and weird child blue shade. It’s actually going to be noticeable, and there’s little or no probability of it matching something in your PC case. The 2 big 95mm followers are lit with mild blue LEDs, and there’s no solution to change the color, dim them, or flip them off. This might be fairly a distraction in a windowed PC case at night time. We’ve by no means seen PC elements this garish, a lot much less enthusiast-grade gaming hardware.

That is fairly jarring in an age when graphics playing cards are often designed to look stealthy, and black or at the least darkish gray is just about the usual. The one method to change the fan color is to purchase Sapphire’s purple or white alternative followers, which could be swapped in, although these don’t look like obtainable in India but. For those who’re on the lookout for RGB LEDs, the one factor you’ll be able to management is the Sapphire emblem on the highest. You possibly can select any static color or certainly one of a number of results. The brand lighting may even be turned off, however that is of little consolation.

Talking of the followers, Sapphire says it has provide you with a brand new superior airflow design to enhance efficiency and scale back noise. Every fan could be lifted out after undoing a single screw, in order that all the card doesn’t have to be shipped to Sapphire if a fan must be changed. When the cardboard is idle, each followers can spin down utterly so there’s no sound in any respect.

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The entrance face has a sample of dimples spreading throughout its floor, and a silver backplate with a latticed sample for warmth dissipation. Just like the followers, Sapphire sells alternative shrouds in darkish blue and pink. It’s a pleasant concept for customisation, however these aren’t out there in India both, and the thought of paying additional for them isn’t very interesting.

The 2 silver heatpipes on the highest might be very noticeable in any windowed PC case. The huge heatsink’s fins are seen behind the followers and on the again. This graphics card just isn’t solely taller than normal PCIe playing cards, nevertheless it’s additionally a bit of thicker than ordinary for a dual-slot card. You’ll additionally undoubtedly need to hold the neighbouring slot free for airflow.

You get one DVI (digital solely) port, two DisplayPort 1.four ports, and two HDMI 2.0b ports on the rear. You’ll want one Eight-pin and one 6-pin PCIe energy connector, and a 500W energy provide is really helpful. When you take an in depth take a look at the higher proper nook of the backplate, you’ll discover a small cavity the place a tiny change could be accessed. This allows you to flip between gaming-optimised compute-optimised (learn: cryptocurrency mining) BIOSes. A tiny slip of paper within the retail field warns customers that their PCs may grow to be unstable in the event that they attempt to run video games when the compute BIOS is enabled, and that it’s essential reinstall drivers after each change.

Sapphire says it has used high-quality capacitors and energy circuitry, and has ensured sufficient cooling for them as properly. Overclocking and diagnostics are supported by means of the downloadable Trixx utility.

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Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 Particular Version efficiency

Our check bench for the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 consisted of the next elements. You’ll be able to take a look at our evaluations of the Radeon RX 580 and GeForce GTX 1060 GPUs on the occasions of their respective launches to match efficiency outcomes. There are some variations within the check hardware and video games used then and now, however most check outcomes ought to be roughly comparable. We used the newest model of Home windows 10, and AMD’s Adrenalin Version 2019 driver, model 19.1.1 for this evaluate.


As all the time, we started our exams with the business normal 3DMark suite. The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 scored 5,182 factors within the DX12 Time Spy check, three,743 in Hearth Strike Extremely, and 13,969 in Hearth Strike. For reference, the Radeon RX 580 scored four,492 in Time Spy, three,132 in Hearth Strike Extremely, and 11,823 in Hearth Strike. Our highest performing GeForce GTX 1060 pattern scored four,273, three,168, and 11,421 factors respectively when reviewed on the time of launch.

The Star Swarm simulation check on the Radeon RX 590 gave us a mean body price of 43.04fps in comparison with 40.22fps with the Radeon RX 580. Unigine Valley, at 1920×1080 utilizing its Extremely preset, returned a mean of precisely 60fps with a minimal of 30.5fps and a most of 113.9fps. That’s a bit greater than the 53.9fps that this GPU’s predecessor managed.

We started our collection of in-game benchmarks with Far Cry 5 utilizing the Extremely preset. Operating on the goal 1920×1080 decision, the typical body fee was a really clean 78fps. We additionally tried this check at 2560×1440 and obtained 57fps on common, which was nonetheless completely playable. Out of curiosity, we raised the decision to 4K, and received solely 29fps with visibly uneven visuals on display.

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Shifting on to the very current Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we examined with DirectX 12 and TAA enabled. At 1920×1080 utilizing the Highest high quality preset, our common body fee was an honest 66fps. Shifting as much as 2560×1440 made that drop to 44fps, which exhibits that there’s some headroom for future upgrades with this GPU.

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Metro: Final Mild Redux is certainly one of our extra demanding titles. Utilizing the Very Excessive preset and SSAA enabled and AF set to 4X, we recorded a mean of 58.3fps at 1920×1080. On this instance, we wouldn’t attempt enjoying at 2560×1440 as a result of efficiency got here in at solely 32fps.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided can also be fairly heavy on hardware necessities, and it has a reasonably demanding built-in benchmark run. Utilizing the Extremely preset, we acquired 56.7fps at 1920×1080 and 38.5fps at 2560×1440.

We then turned to guide gameplay in The Witcher three: Wild Hunt. Our common body fee was 62fps, utilizing the Extremely graphics preset and Excessive post-processing at 1920×1080. The ever-forgiving Doom advantages from the low-level Vulkan API on AMD GPUs, and ran completely properly at over 150fps at 1920×1080, and over 90fps at 2560×1440.

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Sapphire’s Trixx software program helps overclocking the GPU and reminiscence in addition to tweaking the voltage. You’ll be able to create as much as 5 profiles, and there are additionally fast toggles for Stealth and Energy Modes, which lower or improve the utmost energy draw by 5 % respectively. You possibly can set the followers to automated or fastened velocity, or outline a customized ramp. Should you choose, you need to use the WattMan software inside the AMD Radeon Software program management panel for overclocking.

There’s additionally a useful energy consumption monitor that confirmed us that energy consumption was between 120W and 140W when operating the Unigine Valley benchmark, and that it spiked as excessive as 177W whereas we have been enjoying Far Cry 5. It additionally confirmed energy consumption as excessive as 25W when idling with the followers not even spinning. These figures are fairly excessive, and present that AMD has gone for efficiency over effectivity.

A minimum of the big cooler serves to maintain this card operating quiet. Even in our heaviest video games, we barely heard greater than a uninteresting hum from our open-air check bench. The followers by no means reached the type of roar that they will when operating the self-test within the Trixx utility.

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It appears that evidently the Radeon RX 590 GPU exists as a result of AMD felt that it might tackle a niche out there, and since Nvidia is presently getting a whole lot of consideration for its new GeForce RTX collection. The actual struggle will hopefully come later this yr when AMD is able to launch its subsequent era.

The selection between the Radeon RX 590 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 comes down to 2 elements — energy consumption and price. Most individuals don’t actually issue energy consumption into their shopping for selections, but when it’s one thing you’re acutely aware of you’ll undoubtedly want Nvidia’s choices which run much more effectively and are subsequently additionally more likely to be smaller and quieter. AMD has chosen to brute-force the sort of efficiency you get with this GPU, nevertheless it does repay when it comes to efficiency.

As for value, AMD has traditionally had hassle managing to get graphics playing cards out at respectable costs in India. The $279 (roughly Rs. 19,570) that Radeon RX 590-based playing cards ought to value has become Rs. 27,000 (common road worth) which utterly ideas the stability that this GPU ought to have with its rival from Nvidia. GeForce GTX 1060 playing cards with 6GB of RAM can now be had for round Rs. 22,000 and the GeForce RTX 2060 now on sale at Rs. 31,000 ought to simply outperform this card. Even the Radeon RX 580 isn’t all that totally different, and 8GB playing cards value lower than Rs. 22,000 now.

If AMD and its board companions can type out costs in India, Radeon RX 590 graphics playing cards together with the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 might discover themselves in a candy spot for consumers. It ought to have the ability to deal with video games at 1920×1080 for a few years to return and gained’t disappoint, particularly if AMD continues to launch helpful software program updates prefer it has been doing. For now although, it’s slightly troublesome to advocate just because you will get efficiency that’s virtually at this degree however for a lot much less cash elsewhere.

Worth (MOP): Rs. 27,000


  • Nice efficiency at 1920×1080
  • Wonderful development high quality
  • Runs quietly even underneath load
  • Followers are detachable and straightforward to wash


  • Excessive energy consumption
  • Non-controllable fan LEDs
  • Garish styling

Scores (out of 5)
Efficiency: four
Worth for Cash: four
General: four

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