Asus Strix RX 580 Gaming Top OC review: Proof that size matters

Watch what happens when you put an enthusiast-class cooler on a mainstream graphics card.

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Power

We test power under load by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, running the intensive Division benchmark at 4K resolution, and noting the peak power draw. Idle power is measured after sitting on the Windows desktop for three minutes with no extra programs or processes running.

The Sapphire 580 Nitro+ delivers lower idle temperatures than even the GTX 1060, but it’s only a few watts less than the Strix, and both cards pull the same amount of power under load.

Heat

Things finally get interesting here!

We test heat during the same intensive Division benchmark at a strenuous 4K resolution after warming up the card, by running SpeedFan in the background and noting the maximum GPU temperature once the run is over.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

Here we see the Strix 580 Top OC’s massive cooler and beefy heatsink shine. The Sapphire Nitro+’s 68 degrees Celsius temperature (rightfully) impressed us in our original review, but the Strix manages to run 12 degrees cooler than that in our test, peaking at a mere 56 degrees. That’s downright frigid, in a real-world test, and the card’s zero-decibel fans don’t even activate until GPU temperatures hit 53 degrees Celsius. Of course, Asus is throwing an enthusiast-class cooler at a mainstream graphics card, so it’s not entirely unexpected, and temperatures could be higher in other scenarios.

Neither card throttles under load. That said, there isn’t a noticeable real-world difference in acoustics between the two under load, either. Both Radeon RX 580s—as well as EVGA’s customized GTX 1060—are quiet in a closed case. Damned quiet.

Next page: Bottom line

At a Glance
  • The Strix RX 580 Gaming Top OC delivers great performance in a gorgeous, cool, and quiet package. Unfortunately, it's also giant and expensive.

    Pros

    • Great 1080p, good 1440p, and solid VR gameplay
    • Very cool and quiet
    • Gorgeous design
    • Premium features

    Cons

    • Very expensive compared to other midrange graphics cards
    • Gigantic in both length and thickness
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