Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ review: AMD battles for PC gaming's sweet spot, again

Polaris refined and repurposed still kicks ass.

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Synthetics, VR, power, and heat

We also tested the Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ and its rivals using 3DMark’s highly respected DX11 Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra synthetic benchmarks, as well as 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, which tests DirectX 12 performance at 2560x1440 resolution.

fire strike Brad Chacos/IDG
time spy Brad Chacos/IDG

Everything falls about where you’d expect based on prior performance results.

SteamVR

Valve’s SteamVR performance test considers all competitors ready for use with the HTC Vive, with the 6GB GeForce card head-and-shoulders above the rest. The Radeon RX 580 can still deliver solid VR at a solid price—though I’d be nervous about the 3GB GTX 1060’s 3GB memory buffer, no matter what Valve’s test says about its VR capabilities.

steamvr Brad Chacos/IDG

These cards should do just fine with the Oculus Rift as well, thanks in part to Oculus’ amazing Asynchronous Spacewarp technology.

Next page: Power and heat

At a Glance
  • The Radeon RX 580 is basically the Radeon RX 480 with a new name, but that still makes it the best mainstream graphics card around. Sapphire's custom Nitro+ design is stellar.

    Pros

    • Great 1080p, good 1440p, and solid VR gameplay
    • Compelling price to performance
    • Sapphire's Nitro+ customizations look and work great

    Cons

    • Lags far behind GTX 1060 in power efficiency
    • Basically a rebrand of the RX 480 with slightly higher clock speeds
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