Power, Temperature, and Noise

As always, we'll take a look at power, temperature, and noise of the Radeon RX 590. As a custom-only specification, this means that we will be looking at solely AIB vendor designs. With the RX 590, we already know what to expect with existing RX 580 boards and coolers.

As this is a new GPU, we will quickly review stock voltages and clockspeeds as well.

AMD RX Series Video Card Voltages
  Boost Idle
Radeon RX 590 1.1563V 0.8000V
Radeon RX 580 1.1625v 0.7625v
Radeon RX 480 1.0625v


Power Consumption

For all the gaming performance gains that the RX 590 has made, it came with the higher clockspeeds, and to bring those higher clockspeeds came more power. Already, TBPs have notably increased from the RX 480's 150W to the RX 580's 185W, and now to the RX 590's 225W. Which is already past RX Vega 56's 210W reference board power spec.

Idle power consumption doesn't show anything out of the ordinary.

Idle Power Consumption

The RX 590's load power consumption is a slightly different story. For the RX 580 launch, we mused that this is where AMD paid the piper. For the RX Vega launch, I commented that the piper had then taken AMD to the cleaners. For the RX 590 today, I thought there wasn't any more the piper wanted to take, but there was.

Load Power Consumption - Battlefield 1

Load Power Consumption - FurMark

From the wall, the RX 590 now pulls 30 to 45W more than the RX 580 in Battlefield 1. The difference in FurMark is even starker, with the RX 590 now drawing 45 to 80W more. Naturally, the power delta gets higher when comparing to the RX 480, let alone the GTX 1060 6GB FE. In Battlefield 1, that's 110W or more system consumption than the GTX 1060 6GB FE for what is panning out to be around 10% faster performance. It's clear that the RX 590 is not in the same league - or anywhere close - to the GTX 1060 in terms of power efficiency.


With all that power, heat and temperature can easily become an issue. But as both a non-reference launch and a product refresh, the featured open air axial fan designs are tried-and-true, and already configured to dissapate similar thermals.

Idle GPU TemperatureLoad GPU Temperature - Battlefield 1

Load GPU Temperature - FurMark


Likewise with noise, the RX 590 can benefit from zero dB functionality, where fans turn off under certain temperatures.

Idle Noise Levels

Load Noise Levels - Battlefield 1

Load Noise Levels - FurMark

Additionally, a quick glance at RX 590 power consumption at -25% and -50% power limits show that like the RX Vega, RX 480, and RX 580, Polaris 30 is well past the optimal point on the voltage curve with the clocks at hand.

Compute & Synthetics Closing Thoughts


View All Comments

  • spdfreak - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    Seems like a used RX 480 8GB is probably the best value out there for 1080 gaming. Plenty of them for about 100.00 on ebay. I keep looking for the price of 1060 6GB cards to come down now that there is a glut of them, but they stay stubbornly high. Reply
  • neblogai - Sunday, November 18, 2018 - link

    RX570s are about as fast as RX480, but start at ~$150. They are new, come with warranty, and with 2 AAA games which can be considered to be worth ~$120 if you want them, or ~$60 for reselling. RX570 is a better deal. Reply
  • AMD#1 - Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - link

    Well, they released a card this year for the consumer market. My hopes are that Navi will be a better option against NVIDIA RTX, good that Radeon will not support RT. Let NVIDIA first support DX12 with hardware shader units, instead of hanging on to DYING DX11. Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - link

    A couple of reviews seem to be showing the Fatboy at similar power consumption (or slightly higher) levels to the 580 Nitro+ (presumably the 1450MHz version) and Red Devil Golden Sample. That's not so bad when you factor in the significantly increased clocks, but the two 580s hardly sipped power to begin with, and basic 580s don't really perform much worse for what would be much lower power consumption. AMD has a product that kind of bridges the gap between the 1060 and the 1070, but uses more power than a 1080... hardly envious, really. The Fatboy has rather poor thermals as well if you don't ramp the fan speed up.

    The 590s we're getting are clocked aggressively on core but not on memory; what would really be interesting is a 590 clocked at 580 levels, even factory overclocked 580 levels. Would it be worth getting a 590 just to undervolt and underclock the core, make use of the extra game in the bundle (once they launch, that is), and essentially be running a more efficient 580? I'd be tempted to overclock the memory at the same time as that appears to be where the 580 is being held back, not core speed.
  • silverblue - Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - link

    I'll be fair to the Fatboy; it does have a zero RPM mode which would explain the thermals. Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, December 2, 2018 - link

    I just bought a Fatboy...to run in X-fire with my year-old 8GB RX-480 (1.305GHz stock)...! As I am now gaming at 3840x2160, it seemed a worthwhile alternative to dropping $500+ on a single GPU. Paid $297 @ NewEgg & got the 3-game bundle. I read one review by a guy who X-fired a 580 with a 480 without difficulty--and the performance scaled from 70%-90% better when X-Fire is supported. Wouldn't recommend buying two 590's at one time, of course, but for people who already own a 480/580, the X-Fire alternative is the most cost-effective route at present. Gaming sites seem to have forgotten about X-Fire these days, for some reason. Of course, the nVidia 1060 doesn't allow for SLI--so that might be one reason, I suppose. Still, it's kind of baffling as the X-Fire mode seems like such a no brainer. And for those titles that will not X-fire, I'll just run them all @ 1.6GHz on the 590...Until next year when AMD's next < $300 GPU launches...! Then, I may have to think again! Reply
  • quadibloc - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    Oh, so Global Foundries does now have a 12 nm process? I'm glad they're doing something a little better than 14 nm at least. Reply

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