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.

Temperature

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

Noise

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
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  • frenchy_2001 - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Nvidia's Volta and Turing are fabbed on TSMC 12nm.
    So, it seems to work well for GPUs, but AMD's architecture is just not competitive in their perfs/watt.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    I completely forgot about them.

    It feels like Polaris is bottlenecked in some way, and increasing clock speeds is just a brute force way of alleviating the issue at the cost of significant power consumption. Perhaps the design is just broken to begin with.
    Reply
  • Manch - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Memory bandwidth is the bottleneck for Polaris. Reply
  • deksman2 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Power consumption - wise, its the process node from GLOFO that's limiting Polaris mainly from achieving high frequencies and low power consumption.
    GLOFO nodes are designed for low clocks and mobile parts... 12nmLP is designed for the same, and AMD used it for RX 590.
    That's why power consumption explodes on high frequencies.
    Reply
  • deksman2 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Polaris is bottlenecked by the GLOFO 12nmLP process that's being used here.
    It's designed for low clocks and mobile parts.
    There was NOTHING posted about AMD using TSCM 12nm node for Polaris refresh. TSMC 12nm was slated for Nvidia.

    AMD gets to use TSMC 7nm high performance process node for Zen 2, Vega Instinct and Navi.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    "Limited" is the word you want to use to describe Polaris. "Broken" would imply it doesn't work at all. Polaris was never meant to be a high end architecture. They have just been doing refreshes because they are likely reorganizing their GPU division and coming up with a new architecture to replace GCN. Doing something like that takes time, and AMD has to continue generating revenue. Also, the 590 is not a bad card at all, while I have a 1080ti in my machine, I would definitely consider a Polaris card in any new machine I build (for friends, family, etc.) Reply
  • deksman2 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Incorrect on AMD's architecture not being competitive because AMD is still using GLOFO 12nm LP process for RX 590 which is designed for low clocks and mobile parts.

    TSMC 16nm and 12nm processes are designed for high performance and efficiency... those nodes are superior to GLOFO (that's why AMD's GPU's end up sucking up A LOT of power at high frequencies - its because the process node from GLOFO cannot take it, and partly because the compute performance on Polaris is a lot bigger than on GTX 1060).
    Reply
  • porcupineLTD - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    I highly doubt that, any source? Reply
  • deksman2 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Actually 'Cooe', you are incorrect.
    AMD is using 12nmLP process from GLOFO for RX 590.

    You can read about that here:
    https://www.pcgamesn.com/amd-rx-590-overclocking-p...

    Furthermore, the power consumption on RX 590 should be a dead give-away, because this is exactly the same thing that happened for Ryzen+ too (not to mention the fact we had 0 indications that AMD would refresh Polaris on TSMC 12nm process. NV got access to 12nm TSMC process, not AMD... AMD got access to TSMC's 7nm high perf. process and they have reserved Zen 2, Vega Instinct and Navi for that).

    They increased the frequencies on 12nmLP, but as a result they also saw an increase in power consumption.

    Polaris is clocked WAY beyond the voltage comfort zone on GLOFO processes (which are designed for low clocks and mobile parts).
    If they wanted a refresh, they should have just dropped the frequencies down to 580 levels and call it a more power efficient rebrand.

    If AMD moved to TSMC 12nm for RX 590, power consumption on this GPU would actually be lower than on GTX 1060 with those frequencies.
    Reply
  • eva02langley - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Who the hell is using SFX?

    There is plenty of small form factor case using regular ATX standard.

    Unless you use Silverstone cases, SFX is not even a matter.
    Reply

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