- Excellent Full HD performance
- Wide range of designs available
- Quiet cooler on this model
- Blurred lines between RX 580 and GTX 1060 pricing
- Power hog when overclocked
- Model tested: Sapphire Nitro+
- 1244MHz standard boost clock, 1340MHz overclock
- 8GB (tested) or 4GB GDDR5 memory
- 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, DVI
- Cheapest RX 570: £165/$170
- Manufacturer: AMD
- Review Price: £214.00/$321.00
WHAT IS THE AMD RADEON RX 570?
AMD has refreshed its mid-range graphics card line with the RX 570, a direct replacement for the RX 470. It’s designed for Full HD gaming at High settings, with pricing starting at £165/$170.
In terms of rivalries, it sits neatly between Nvidia’s GTX 1060, which starts at around £190 for a 3GB model, and the GTX 1050 Ti, which starts at around £140/$135. Much like the RX 470 before it, the RX 570 is a decent mid-range choice, although high power consumption and wild price variations means it isn’t a no-brainer.
AMD RADEON RX 570 – SPECS AND TECHNOLOGY
The RX 570 uses the same Polaris technology used in the RX 470. It’s been tweaked and refined over the past year to produce slightly better performance and greater power efficiency. AMD is targeting those running mid-range graphics cards that are two or more years old. This means that if you already have an RX 470 or 480, you definitely won’t need (or want) to upgrade.
The model on test here is produced by Sapphire. A bog-standard RX 570 comes with a 1244MHz boost clock, while the model here is overclocked to 1340MHz. It’s also equipped with 8GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 7GHz. 8GB is arguably overkill for a card that will spend most of its life playing games in Full HD; you could save a fair few pounds by opting for a 4GB model instead.
This Sapphire model has an 8+6 power supply configuration, so it can reliably handle that meaty overclock. Make sure you have those ATX power connectors free on your PC’s power supply, though if you’re running an older mid-range card, you probably already have them. There are two DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, two HDMI 2.0s and a DVI connector as well.
Design-wise, Sapphire has pushed the boat out here. The RX 570 has a gigantic cooler design with two fans, a metal backplate, light-up Sapphire logo and attractive fan shroud. Despite being a mid-range piece of kit, it certainly catches the eye.
AMD RADEON RX 570 – BENCHMARKS VERSUS RX 470, 1050 TI AND 1060
I’ve tested the RX 570 in our standard test rig, and pitted it against the RX 470, the cheaper GTX 1050 Ti and the more expensive GTX 1060 6GB. All cards were tested on the same day with the latest drivers for each installed.
The specs of our test rig is as follows:
- Motherboard: Asus Z170-Deluxe
- Processor: Intel Core i5-6600K (Overclocked to 4.8GHz)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz, 16GB DDR4
- Cooler: Corsair H60 liquid cooler
- PSU: Corsair CX750M
- SSD: Samsung 850 EVO
- OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
- MSI GTX 1050 Ti OC (4GB)
- PowerColor Radeon RX 470 Red Devil (4GB)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition (6GB)
- Sapphire Radeon RX 570 Nitro+ (8GB)
Note that the GTX 1060 on test is a Founders Edition model. This means it doesn’t feature the overclocking of other third-party GTX 1060s, so is probably underperforming a little in this set of benchmarks relative to the cards people actually buy. That said, it’s a 6GB model and so likely to gain a few fps (between 3 and 10 depending on the game and settings) over the competition compared to the cheaper, 3GB version that’s priced closer to the RX 570.
RX 570 PERFORMANCE (AVERAGE FPS)
In Hitman, which tends to favour AMD cards, the RX 570 put in an excellent performance at a combination of High settings and FXAA anti-aliasing. At 1080p resolution, it put in an average frame rate of 79.5fps, easing out a tiny 2fps lead over the 4GB RX 470. It was substantially faster than the 1050 Ti, which isn’t surprising given the game’s AMD optimisation. The GTX 1060, meanwhile, just scraped ahead with 80fps.
RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
I ran the challenging Tomb Raider benchmark on the Very High preset at Full HD resolution. The RX 570 put in an average frame rate of 68fps across the three environments, 3fps ahead of the RX 470 and 20fps ahead of the 1050 Ti. The GTX 1060 ran away here, with over 81fps.
Finally, the RX 570 put in a great performance at High settings in Battlefield 1, managing an average 97fps. This was some way ahead of the RX 470’s 88.8fps, and the biggest difference in any of the tests. Perhaps the 570 benefited from that extra 4GB of memory versus its predecessor. The GTX 1060 was neck-and-neck here, again showing how close the competition has become.
POWER CONSUMPTION AND NOISE
The hefty overclock applied to the RX 570 on test meant it was a thirsty beast, with our entire test rig drawing a peak of 321W from the mains during the Hitman benchmark. The RX 470 drew only 272W, while the ultra-efficient 1050 Ti consumed just 157W at most. The GTX 1060 undercut both of AMD’s cards, drawing 245W.
The Sapphire RX 570 model on test here was at least extremely quiet; even under load, I could barely hear its two fans in my open test bench. It’s worth buying a slightly more expensive cooler for the benefits of lower fan noise.
SHOULD I BUY THE RX 570?
At its suggested retail price of £165, the 4GB RX 570 is a great card. At the time of writing, however, you’ll struggle to find one that’s shipped to your door at that price – although there are some available on pre-order.
The 8GB Nitro+ model on test here costs a whopping £214/$220, which is more than you’ll pay for some 4GB RX 580s, which use the same underlying GPU. But the nice big overclock is certainly a selling point, although really rather confusing. Keep a close eye on clock speeds between RX 570s and 580s.
Meanwhile, GTX 1060 3GB models aren’t far off £200/$205, and for the most part will provide equal performance. If you allow for the extra overclocking offered by third-party GTX 1060s, it does look like a very attractive package, although with 1GB (or 5GB) less memory, more challenging games may suffer in the future. It’s really close at this part of the market now – and that doesn’t even take into consideration the RX 580, which I’ve yet to test.
All of this means that if you can pick up an RX 570 for under £190/$190, it’s a great buy. However, as pricing lines between the RX 570, RX 580 and GTX 1060 begin to blur, you’re effectively making choices related to your own personal needs. Do you have a FreeSync monitor? AMD it is, then. G-Sync? Nvidia is what you’re after. What about compact cards with low power consumption for smaller builds? Again, Nvidia is a runaway winner in this regard, with the 1050 Ti and 1060 both proving ultra-efficient.
A real brute of a mid-range GPU, the RX 570 is a great addition to the AMD lineup. But watch the competition’s pricing closely.