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

  • gopher1369 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    " I believe that the GTX 1070/Vega 56 ...should be considered as the minimum investment for a gamer in 2019"

    Meanwhile I'll continue to enjoy the vast majority of my games quite happily in 1080p / 60FPS on my perfectly good 1050Ti.
  • AMD#1 - Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - link

    No, those prices are still to high. Vega is that expensive deu to HBM, and 1070 because NVIDIA is asking to dam much. 1070/V56 are high end, compaired to next gen it will be mainstream. Navi will hit early 2019, my guess is prices will get lower Reply
  • del42sa - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    pathetic Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Agree, 12nm might have helped them to hit higher clocks, but it certainly has not helped much at all in regards to power consumption or temps IMO, all for the "low price" of an additional 50+$ when it hits the shelf (knowing the AIB likely will not be $299 will most likely be $339 (~445-448 CAD)

    for me, the 570 seems "the better pick" for an overall capable 1080p level card or 1440p at reduced settings, at lest the power use is not terribad and pricing is much more "palatable" on the shelf compared to the 580s and likely very much compared to this 590 and the V56 which is over $600 where I can get them up here in the great white north.
  • WithoutWeakness - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    There is no "reference" 590 card. They are all AIB cards. The XFX card featured in the article is on sale on Amazon right now for the $279 MSRP. Sure, there will be triple-fan OC cards for $300+ and some RGB LED monstrosity models pushing closer to $400 but this is available today for the advertised price.

    At the same time, go buy a 570 or 580 (or even a used 480 8GB if you can find one that wasn't mined on) and OC the thing if you want. Nearly the same card and keep money in your pocket.
  • dazz112 - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Seems like there's no reason to buy gtx1060 anymore (unless it's a lot less cheaper) Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Unless you're stuck with a tiny form factor or a 300W PSU. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Except for the significantly better performance per watt, and the fact you can put that in a SFF case. There are obvious benefits to Polaris 30 such as FreeSync compatibility and the larger frame buffer, but if you require a new PSU when you didn't with the 1060, that's an extra cost.

    With the power figures on show here, I'm immediately wondering about the benefits of undervolting, as well as where the actual frequency sweet spot is. 12nm hasn't exactly been a notable success story for AMD, and with 7nm on its way, I'm not sure what this experiment was supposed to show.
  • Cooe - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    This is a completely different 12nm process than what AMD used for Zen+ (TSMC vs GloFo; Nate's article is wrong), so any equivalencies between them are actually largely just coincidence. Though I SERIOUSLY don't really know in what world you wouldn't described Zen +/Ryzen 2nd Gen as a success story. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    I was talking about the process; I know the 2000 series has done well.

    I didn't even know TSMC had a 12nm process, but either it's not very well suited to this application or AMD have just clocked it far too highly, so it's not a successful product in that sense.

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