The AMD RX 580 8GB Performance Review



Overclocking Results – A Bucket of Frustration

With numerous voltage roadblocks and power walls being thrown up it seems like overclocking both graphics cards and CPUs has become a dead-end process as of late. No better example of this exists than the RX 580. With two samples in hand, I approached overclocking with a pretty open mind since I had double the chance of achieving something quite reasonable. As reality set in, so too did the frustration.

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So where do I start? First and foremost, every tool I used from Wattman to MSI’s Afterburner prevented the RX 580’s from pushing past a few MHz of overclock. And no, you aren’t reading this incorrectly….a few MHz. Since AMD offers a strict 50mV voltage increase and what seems like an extremely hard cap on input power, there wasn’t anything more I could do.

To add insult to injury, the system would hard lock without exhibiting any rendering errors first. Typically a graphics card will throw a few telltale signs that an overclock isn’t stable before crashing. Not so with either of these cards. Things went from perfectly stable to a hard driver crash within 2MHz. This points towards a vendor-based hard lock on these cards.

The end result overclocks were nothing short of embarrassing. That XFX card ended up hitting 1405MHz from its original 1366MHz while the Sapphire Nitro+ required its second 1450MHz BIOS to hit 1485MHz. Meanwhile, the memory did play along and I ended up hitting just over 8.7Gbps on both cards.

One word of warning to would-be overclockers though: even though the RX 580 may look stable at a given speed, it may not be. In the example below, I had boosted the XFX RX 580 to 1420MHz with an extra 50mV of voltage.

As you can see, while the system didn’t hard-lock but the overclock actually dialed itself even further back to 1399MHz. The only reason why I caught this was because of GPU-Z’s ability to poll the clock rates at extremely fast intervals. Meanwhile, AMD’s own Wattman was convinced the clock speed was sitting pretty at 1420MHz. With that in mind, make sure you test these cards with a proper tool to insure their stability at whatever overclock you believe is dialed in.

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