Recently, AMD has updated its range of graphics solutions. In the middle segment, the Radeon RX 480/470 was replaced by the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570. We continue to get acquainted with different versions of these new products. Next in line is a special model from PowerColor, which belongs to the Red Devil product line. Such graphics cards occupy the top rung of the PowerColor hierarchy as they offer the best cooling with significant factory overclocking. And even among them there are special versions. The PowerColor Red Devil Golden Sample Radeon RX 580 (AXRX 580 8GBD5-3DHG/OC) is just such a graphics card, as it runs at an impressive 1425 MHz core clock and claims to be one of the fastest versions of the Radeon RX 580.
Let’s study the features of this «Red Devil», check the overclocking potential. Comparable to another Radeon RX 580 series card, as well as Radeon RX 480 and GeForce GTX 1060.
PowerColor Red Devil Golden Sample Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5
The video card is supplied in a medium-sized box. The specific name determines the special style of packaging design and the card itself. It is not completed with additional accessories, inside there is a disk with software and brief instructions. There is a coupon with a special code for registration in the PowerColor VIP Club. Participation in this community will provide some bonuses, additional game content, and possibly free games. But some specific gifts for this video card are not indicated.
The Red Devil immediately impresses with its size, as it occupies three slots. The massive cooling system looks very serious. The manufacturer not only took care of the maximum overclocking, but also provided the highest quality cooling.
The cooler is covered with a red casing framed by a black metal shell. The total length of the video card is 25.5 cm.
The reverse side is covered with a metal plate.
On the side there is a stylized illuminated Red Devil logo. Instead of one power connector, there are two — for 6 and 8 pins.
The side face of the textolite has two small switches. One allows you to select one of two BIOS versions with different core frequencies. The second switch is located at the power connectors, it turns off the backlight.
There are five interface connectors on the rear panel: three DisplayPort, one HDMI and one DVI.
The plate on the reverse side of the board performs a protective function; there is no direct contact to remove heat from the board or elements.
Under the casing is a massive heatsink with thick heat pipes.
Contact with the graphics chip is made through a nickel-plated copper plate. Also, the base is in contact with the memory chips. There is a contact pad for the power elements of the power unit.
The heat is dissipated by a massive plate radiator, which is pierced by heat pipes. Mounted on top are two 100mm fans.
Power Logic PLD10015B12H fans are used.
Board on black textolite.
The GPU power system is located on the left side of the board, closer to the video connectors. On the board and on two GDDR5 chips, the remnants of some kind of varnish are noticeable. This does not affect the performance in any way, but such untidiness looks somewhat unexpected against the background of the high status of this product.
The Polaris processor is powered by six phases under the control of the IR3567B controller.
The graphics chip is devoid of explicit identifiers and signatures. The crystal is surrounded by a large frame.
The total memory capacity of 8 GB is made up of eight Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25 chips.
The PowerColor Red Devil Golden Sample runs at a core clock of 1425 MHz, which is the maximum overclock of the recently tested Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 graphics card. Standard specs call for a boost clock of up to 1340 MHz with a base clock of 1257 MHz. The effective memory frequency is 8 GHz, there was no factory overclocking.
Starting frequencies correspond to the OC profile. When switching to the second BIOS, you can put the video card into Silent mode. This includes lowering the core frequency to 1411 MHz (which is also a lot) and a different fan control algorithm.
Testing was carried out on an open stand at an indoor temperature of 21–22 °C. In such conditions, at initial settings with a core frequency of 1425 MHz, the video card heated up to 63-64 ° C. Such low heating at an extremely high frequency is impressive. A seven-time continuous run of the Tom Clancy’s The Division benchmark with maximum graphics settings in DirectX 12 at Full HD resolution brought the fans to a maximum speed of up to 2000 rpm. However, the fan operation algorithm is such that this maximum was reached only for short periods of time, most of the time the fan speed was at the level of 1700–1800 rpm. Noise is moderate. We’ve previously noted strange behavior on the new Radeon RX 580s in For Honor. On PowerColor, I had to observe a familiar picture — the heating is small, and the speed is constantly growing. As a result, the temperature drops to 55 ° C, and the fans spin up to 2500 rpm. This is illustrated in the lower right screenshot. Most likely, the problem is software, as drivers are updated for new AMD solutions, we can expect stabilization of noise characteristics.
Switching to Silent mode has an immediate effect on performance. The frequency is set at 1411 MHz. The temperature in game mode rises slightly, but the fan speed is severely reduced. For example, in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the fans ran in the 1100-1400 rpm range, and when loaded with The Division benchmark, even the peak speed is below 1600 rpm. All this is illustrated in the screenshots below.
If the issue of noise is not particularly important to you, feel free to use the OC profile with a frequency of 1425 MHz. If you are a demanding user and you care about acoustic comfort, switch to the second BIOS with Silent settings.
Powerful cooling and high initial frequency inspire hope for good overclocking. And the PowerColor Red Devil really pleased, but without a serious difference from the Sapphire model. The situation is similar to overclocking on the latest GeForce GTX, when the GPU has a certain limit, all cards can approach it, and technical improvements in PCB and cooling provide a modest gain at the level of 10-20 MHz. If Sapphire RX 580 with a scratch overcame 1430 MHz, then PowerColor Red Devil approached the mark of 1450 MHz. However, it was possible to pass the tests only at 1445 MHz, and also with reservations — there were several failures. But I really wanted to appreciate the maximum potential of Polaris. The memory was overclocked to an effective 9100 MHz. Some tests were done with 2000 RPM fans (below is a screenshot from Deus Ex). When the failures began, the speed of the fans seriously increased.
Overclocking the core from 1425 MHz to 1445 MHz required a 24 mV increase in voltage to stabilize the video card. A more serious increase in voltage negatively affected the overall stability.