When it comes to the gaming experience, it always boils down to three things: the player, the hardware, and the game itself. But of these three, the hardware component is the only thing you can easily manipulate and tailor, and with the gaming industry taking off in terms of pushing the physical limits of their technology, gamers themselves these days are required to take the initiative when it comes to picking and choosing their platform of choice.
For better or worse, this usually involves deciding on a graphics card that can handle the demands of the next-gen games hitting the market. We take a look at some of the hottest cards in AMD’s 570 line both in terms of sheer speed, cooling, and overclocking capabilities.
Power Color Red Dragon
- 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5
- Boost Clock 1250 MHz
|4096 x 2160 resolution, with extreme detail and stereoscopic vision|
|PowerPlay technology is adaptive and automatically adjusts clockspeed based on GPU|
|Super cool and strong fans means that even when you’re overclocking on a match your card and computer stays at an optimal temperature|
|A bit on the expensive side, but to be expected from a high caliber graphics card|
|Very few, if any|
Like what it’s named after, the Red Dragon is definitely in the mid to high level range when it comes to graphics cards, and there are few exceptions when it comes to reliability. Whatever your game of choice, whether it be a fast-paced 4K FPS or the newest MMORPG, you can be pretty well assured that the Red Dragon will be able to keep up with just about anything you’re likely to come across – thankfully we’ve experienced a slight ‘plateauing’ effect in terms of the newest games coming out and how well they adapt to PC consoles, meaning that you won’t have to worry too much about your card suddenly being unable to compete with games coming out a year or more from now.
Like other 570’s in the range, the Red Dragon is rated at 4 GB with 256-bit GDDR5 – this is pretty much what you’d expect from most top of the line graphics cards and this card specifically has 2048 Stream Processors that give you the option of overclocking to 1250Mhz (from a baseline clock of 1750MHz).
One cool feature of the Red Dragon is the fact that it doesn’t have a back plate, and so you’re much less likely to run into a situation where heat is trapped inside – overall, there’s a lot more air movement, and this probably contributes to the higher efficiency we’re seeing in this model over previous ones.
Gigabyte Radeon RX 570
- Core Clock (MHz): 1255 in OC Mode and 1244 in Gaming Mode.6+1 power phases on the card make the...
- WINDFORCE 2X with Blade Fan Design
|slick and reliable Polaris architecture lets you overclock (boost) to upwards of 1250MHz from a 1600MHz baseline|
|Extremely intuitive interface, adjusts clock speeds based on demands|
|Super high quality graphics for under $200 – hard to find a better deal if you’re a veteran gamer operating on a budget|
|Not quite as fast as some of the top of the line, but the tiny sacrifice in clock speed is complemented by the fact you’ll be using this baby for a long time to come|
|Still not as power efficient as some of the Nvidia line models|
Once in a while you come across a graphics card that just ‘gets you’, and there’s something almost intuitive about the Gigabyte Radeon. Also spawned from the same genetic pool of the Red Dragon, it demonstrates a blend of high powered graphics with the simplicity of knowing exactly what you’re getting without a bunch of bells and whistles. At the same time, the Gigabyte Radeon doesn’t pull any punches with its resolution potential – of all the cards we’ve looked at, it somehow manages an unprecedented 7680 x 4320.
That ought to be enough to work any graphics card into a fire hazard, but the extremely mobile and powerful multi-bladed fans ensure you won’t be running it to death outside of a game, and as a result you can expect to get even more years of life out it than some of the more conventional or ‘uni-functional’ graphics cards that always operate at the same speed.
Like other 570 graphics cards, one of the biggest changes (that does seem different from previous 470 cards) is the added focus on heat dissipation – always the bane of gamers, trying to keep your system cool while wreaking havoc on an alien army has never been easier, and you can expect a solid back plate with a much more dynamic configuration which allows for better airflow.
Best RX 570 For Aftermarket – Power Color Red Devil
- 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5
- Boost Clock 1320 MHz
|super quiet in comparison to other graphics cards|
|Very fast baseline clock speeds means you can run your favorite games or movies at their highest resolutions without overclocking|
|Efficient airflow translates to a longer lifespan|
|You’re paying a premium for a high boost clock speed|
|4 GB of VRAM|
While there is often a huge emphasis placed on the ability for a card to overclock, this can sometimes lead to the misperception that ‘overclocking’ somehow equates to how good a card is – the Red Devil in AMD’s 570 line contests this bias, and its 1750Mhz baseline is smooth and fast enough to run just about any game at its highest echelons (including the big demands of FPS staples like the Battlefield franchise and new Tomb Raider) without having to resort to overclocking.
That said, it can still crank out another 1350Mhz when needed, but one of the most surprising things about this card is how silent it is. Most often you’ll eventually encounter some issues with the fans, but the Red Devil remains remarkably quiet even with extended use – maybe because it has three high velocity-blade fans, each equipped with two ball bearings.
Like others in the 570 line there’s an added emphasis on cooling and you can expect about 20% more airflow through this model than some of its previous incarnations. Add this to the Radeon Chill feature that monitors clock speed and graphically speaking you’re set for whatever the gaming world throws at you.
Best RX 570 For Overclocking – Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ RX 570
|8Gb RAM for unparalleled processing|
|Controllable LED display|
|One of the few graphics cards available with specific VR capacity|
|definitely a pricier choice|
|No noticeable heat issues, but keep in mind the Sapphire line can sometimes be a bit finicky in this regard|
If you’re going to commit to something, the old adage goes ‘you might as well go the whole way’, and that’s sort of what it feels like to settle with the Sapphire Radeon Nitro. Unlike some of its cousins, this powerhouse of a graphics card features 8 Gb of RAM over the modest 4 Gb most 570’s come with. Like the Red Devil, you’re also getting on the highest baseline clock speeds on the market at around 1750Mhz.
So what does it look like? With a 3840 x 2160 resolution, whether you’re gaming or just sitting back to watch the new season of Game of Thrones, there’s not much more to say: you get what you pay for, and the Sapphire Radeon more or less embodies the word phenomenal. That said, it’s certainly not for everyone: it all boils down to how much you want to pay. It’s the difference between a good bottle of wine and a great bottle of wine – they both get you there in the end, but if you’re particular about your habit than the Sapphire is there to accommodate.
I particularly liked some of the nuances of this card, in particular, the Nitro Glow feature which sports some stylish LED displays that can be modified according to three parameters – additionally, if you plan on hitching up a VR headset, this is definitely the way to go, and it’s completely compatible with dual HDMI ports.
Gigabyte Aorus RX 570
- Core Clock (MHz): 1295 in OC Mode and 1280 in Gaming Mode
- WINDFORCE 2X with Blade Fan Design with Advanced Copper Back Plate Cooling
|smaller and more lightweight – and cheaper!|
|very high resolution over other cards|
|Decent 4Gb GDDR5 with 7Gbps effective|
|Intuitive automatic overclocking between modes|
|Same Polaris architecture, overclocking is nominal but not intensive|
|A bit more mainstream – don’t expect to be powering VR games/headsets|
Speaking of intuitive, the Aurous pretty much comes as close to ‘mind reading’ as is possible for a graphics card. Alright, it can’t actually read your mind, but with the AUORUS Graphics Engine your overclocking is handled automatically, with different speeds based on whether you’re in OC or Game Mode – and you’re bound to notice an immediate difference simply in terms of its ability to render (particularly if you’re into games with expansive landscapes or like to watch movies in high definition). And although it doesn’t incorporate some of the new Vega GPUs and sticks with the Polaris architecture, there’s nothing lacking in its ability to hold its ground.
In fact, relying on the previous GPU architecture might well be what puts this card in the lower price range (without compromising on some of the key features you would expect from a top-tier gaming card). Considered more of a mid-range card anyway, it was nice to encounter something that wasn’t as bulky, and it’s noticeably shorter than some of its competitors – if you’re after something mainstream, you won’t be disappointed.
Asus ROG STRIX RX 570
- 1310 MHz boost clock (OC Mode) for 7% performance improvement over reference. Engine Clock :...
- ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to...
|Automatically caps excessively high frame rates|
|Radeon Chill decreases power consumption and extends card life|
|Boost clock 1310Mhz|
|Not as fast as Nvidia cards in the same class|
|Still relies on old Polaris architecture, so might not seem like all that much of an upgrade for those familiar with the AMD 470 line|
In the realm of gaming GPUs the ROG STRIX is comparable to other mid to high range graphic cards, but as we’ve already point out, a number of these in the 570 line are more like ‘tweaks’ to the pre-existing 470 frame than totally discrete or separate graphic cards. Nevertheless, in terms of what they add to the finish product there are some notable differences, namely a 1310Mhz overclock potential and some funky RGB spectrum lighting which adds a certain look that’s hard to replicate.
But it’s not all pretty lights and show either: the power consumption has been upgraded to include a system idle and multi-monitor feature, and of course it comes with the new Radeon Chill which automatically adjusts frame rates based on activity (for example, if you’re AFK to get a snack it’ll tone down). This focus on efficiency is a bit step up, even though you’re unlikely to see any kind of memory upgrade in this series.
All in all, it wouldn’t be fair to call the ROG STRIX a rehash even though it conforms to a lot of similarities to its 470 forebears, and that mostly has to do with the fact you’re getting a slightly more intuitive graphics card that’ll last longer and give you consistently more reliable performance. At the same time, if you’re not in a hurry to upgrade, it might be prudent to wait and see if there’s any price difference in the concurrent Vega GPUs.
XFX RS Edition RX 570 8GB
|Mid-range price with mid-range results – likely to satisfy gamers and movie enthusiasts alike, and can be squeezed a bit to crank out some additional power if you’re careful|
|Easy BIOS mods|
|Very easy to OC and fluid respond|
|Not significantly different from 470 models|
|Requires some care when installing – plastic shroud is cheap, and card itself is a little bulky and takes up two slots|
Yet another graphics card that finds itself squarely in the center in terms of price brackets, the XFX right out of the box is visually appealing with its black shroud and red rotors. On a test run it operated smoothly at 1264Mhz on its core (7000Mhz on memory), but for all intents and purposes can be amped up to much higher if needed. Whatever tool you decide to use, we found that AMD’s own Wattman app was best for finagling out the nitty-gritty details on this card, and the easy to use interface means you’ll get all the information you need formatted clearly and precisely, and will allow you to temper your overclocking to your own specifications.
At a low load, it’s virtually silent, but depending on the little quirks of your own device you might notice some moderate noise under heavier loads, and especially over time. Again, for the price (just under or over $200 depending on where you buy it from), it manages to balance quality and affordability very decently, and is an excellent choice for any gamer looking to replace their card without breaking their wallet – and yet still manage to play all their games at their highest settings.
In terms of overall performance, don’t expect a miracle, though. Although it might be the next generation up from AMD’s 470, they operate at pretty much the same level. That said, if you were happy with your previous card this one will certainly deliver and has some useful upgrades like a solid backplate for heat dispersal.
Best RX 570 For Small Form Factor – Sapphire Radeon PULSE MINI
- 1 x HDMI; 1 x DVI-D; 1 x DP
- 256-bit Memory Bus
|Excellent choice if you’re looking to build an SFF or ITX system|
|Relatively fast overclocking speed for such a small card|
|no factory overclock – as a result, won’t get same performance from other 570 cards with factory overclocks like the ASUS STRIX|
|No dual-BIOS functionality|
|Potential thermal throttling issues given one fan if overclocking|
There’s something to be said for going compact, but it’s always a decision that comes down between wanting higher resolution and graphics potential versus taking up space/price. The Sapphire Radeon makes a noble attempt to bridge this gap – the 4096Mb memory is what you’d expect from something short and stalwart, and actually delivers a lot better than anticipated. There are some occasional speed-ups that are audible when the graphic demands are higher (for example when encoding, during resolution-heavy scenes in a game, etc.) but are pretty easy to forgive.
For a single fan card, the baseline GPU clock speed of 1168Mhz and overclock capacity to 1244Mhz is also super decent considering. Of course, the one fan does present some issues where heat is concerned – especially if you’re an avid gamer and expect to be pushing the boundaries of the hardware with some of the newest or next-gen games, be prepared for that burnt plastic smell. Or better yet, consider upgrading to a dual-fan card. Nevertheless, for what it is, the Sapphire Radeon
Best RX For Silence (Fan Noise) – MSI RX 570 Gaming X
|runs very silent, even when cranked to its highest capacity|
|Supports multi-GPU setups|
|Smooth graphics resolution even on high-demand 1080p games|
|Easy driver installation|
|not quite up to par if you’re looking at virtual reality compatibility|
|Occasional Video Scheduler Internal Error BSOD on some models|
|No backplate – potential heat issues|
Most people who make the switch to something like the MSI RX Gaming X are doing so for on specific reason: like the name suggests, they want to enhance their gaming experience, and by and large the reception around the Gaming X card has been positive. Even when tested on some of the more demanding games (graphic wise) like Witcher 3 the visuals are consistent and fluid.
Like many in this line, there’s also an adaptive clock speed depending on if you’re in OC mode, gaming mode, or silent mode, meaning you’re only putting pressure on it when you really need to. The double fans are definitely a must given this particular model doesn’t have a backplate, but it does make up for this with heat sink technology and some well-designed heat pipes.
Another great feature of MSI is their capacity to run in parallel with other cards if you’re planning on stacking graphics cards or using more than one. All in all, at default settings it’s quite similar to the 470 – a trend that we’ve seen again and again in the 570’s – but where the Gaming X picks up the slack is really in its overclocking; something to keep in mind if you’re swaying toward MSI. It pretty neatly sticks to the middle of the road and is on par with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1060 6Gb, which is pretty impressive given its baseline 4Gb GDDr5. And considering its extremely modest price (around $250 if you shop around) you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Best RX For Value (Best Overall?) – MSI RX 570 ARMOR OC
- Brand MSI, Model RX570ARMORMK2 8GOC
- Interface PCI Express x16, Chipset Manufacturer AMD, GPU Series AMD Radeon RX 500 Series, GPU...
|8GB of VRAM for long term gaming|
|Will easily run just about any game at ultra-1080p, no hassle|
|Compatible with additional GPUs|
|Cheap and affordable; high quality performance|
|May overheat, will need to do a warranty claim|
|Can get loud with overclock|
Following in the footsteps of the Gaming X, the Armor OC is a good complement. For all intents and purposes their specifications line up pretty neatly with a silent mode and boost clock rated at 1244Mhz and 1281Mhz respectively. Like the Gaming X, this is best suited to gaming and has excellent graphic detail up to and including a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Realistically you can push it farther than that, but you’ll start to notice the quality tapering off – that said, both MSI cards are probably the better pick of the litter out of the other 570’s in our list.
Also, another cool feature of the MSI boards is that the automatically turn the fans off when they’re at a nominal temperature, eliminating any excess noise. And again, if you’re wanting to install more than one GPU in your system, the MSI (both Armor and Gaming X) allow for easy multi-card integration.
With AMD’s release of 570 graphics cards, you’re getting a slightly mixed bag – on one hand, these are certainly not the new Vega cards and if you’re looking for the best of the best you probably won’t find it here. Most are still using old Polaris architecture, so depending on the specific card you might not notice a huge difference in terms of output. That said, the little tweaks that AMD has made – including factory overclock settings, new cooling technologies, and incorporation of different mods based on graphic demands – combined with the incredibly low price most of these are retailing for definitely warrants some praise.
For both gaming and watching high-def movies or television you’ll be hard pressed to find the same balance between quality and cost. The only caveat seems to be whether or not you’re looking into VR content, in which case you might want to consider looking for a slightly beefier line – everything else is fair game by the 570’s standards.