Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review

April 18, 2017 // 1:59 p.m.

Tags: #amd #asus #polaris #radeon #rx-480 #rx-580

The Card

Asus has long been considered a premium GPU brand, and its Strix family is a clear reflection of that, often loaded with features and making very few sacrifices when it comes to performance and cooling. We won't know the full range of SKUs on the market until you do, but the card we have here, the RX 580 Strix Top OC, is the company's flagship model, and if the RX 480 is anything to go by, it's likely to sit at the very top in terms of pricing.

This is a tricky proposition for a product like the RX 580, costing a wallet-stripping £320 in this instance, where price-performance enters into the buying decision much more than it does for something like a GTX 1080, for instance, but there's no denying Asus's continued success and weight as a brand, and there'll always be those that want the best. Without further ado, let's see what's on offer.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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We'll start with clock speeds, and Asus runs this card out-of-the-box at a boost clock of 1,411MHz, a 71MHz (just over five percent) improvement over stock, although the memory is left at the default 8Gbps.

The Strix design is familiar by now, so the all-black, angular shroud is an unsurprising choice. We think it looks pretty great ourselves – aggressive without getting silly or excessive. The colour scheme is also sensible given that RGB LEDs adorn both the front fascia and the backplate. These are controlled through the Asus Aura software, and Aura Sync allows you to match them to compatible Asus motherboard lighting.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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The card is a real whopper, with the depth extending it to the point where it will occupy three expansion slots, and the height and length are both meaty, as well. The huge cooler makes things very weighty, so that thick metal backplate is a necessity for rigidity, and you might also want to consider a motherboard with a reinforced PCI-E slot.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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Asus continues to use its VR-friendly I/O ports, dropping one DisplayPort connector in favour of a second HDMI port. It also includes a dual-link DVI-D port for legacy monitors.

A single 8-pin PCI-E connection is needed to power the card, giving it a maximum available power of up to 225W.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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The RX 580 Strix Top supports Asus FanConnect II, a nifty little feature that has a couple of side-facing, four-pin fan headers on the PCB. These can be connected to standard case fans, which will then have their speed modulated based on the GPU temperature, just like the fans on the card itself – potentially useful if you have fans that specifically target the graphics card.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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Asus isn't just copying its RX 480 Strix design here and has switched to a new, larger cooler – not a bad choice given the higher power requirements of the RX 580. The big change is a move from DirectCU cooling, where the heat pipes made direct contact with the GPU, to what the company has termed MaxContact, whereby a massive, nickel-plated copper contact plate is used instead for up to twice the amount of contact with the GPU. You also have a separate PCB contact plate which draws heat away from each of the memory chips (though some are only partially covered) and MOSFETs, transferring heat to the main heatsink via more thermal padding.

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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The heatsink is cooled by a trio of Asus's patented Wing-Blade fans, which have IP5X certification, indicating a solid degree of protection against dust ingress. The vertical-fin arrangement means that air will be guided towards your motherboard and back into your case, with only a little likely to make it directly out of the rear I/O panel. The fans are semi-passive, so they'll only turn on when things get too hot and switch back off for silent operation when the card is cool enough (i.e. during idle and low load situations).

Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix Gaming Top OC Review - The Card
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The PCB appears unchanged from the Strix 480, which makes sense and is likely to be common across partners. This being an Asus Strix part, we see that the 7+1-phase power configuration uses the company's Super Alloy components for cleaner, more efficient power than 'standard' parts. The PCB is also manufactured on a fully automated process (Asus Auto-Extreme), which explains just how neat it looks.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor AMD Radeon RX 580, 1,411MHz boost
  • Pipeline 2,304 stream processors, 144 texture units, 32 ROPs
  • Memory 8GB GDDR5, 8Gbps effective
  • Bandwidth 256GB/sec, 256-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, 2 x HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size Triple-slot
  • Warranty Three years

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