XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+ Video Card Review

AMD is launching the new Radeon RX 590 GPU today, and we have a custom XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+ video card to evaluate. With a high factory overclock, and potential for overclocking, we will compare this video card with the EVGA GTX 1060 SSC overclocked and test at 1080p and 1440p gaming.


XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+

Article ImageArticle Image

The video card we have for testing today is a fully retail custom XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+ (xfx-rx-590p8D v1.0 fatboy oc+) video card. XFX states that this video card has an MSRP of $279.99, and street price today is the same, so it does not demand a price premium for its factory overclock and custom cooling. At the moment XFX will only have this one SKU of the RX 590 GPU.

Article ImageArticle Image

If you are wondering why "Fatboy" in the name? The answer is simple, XFX has increased the thickness of the heatsink for this new model with the Radeon RX 590. The heatsink is simply a lot thicker than the thermal solution on the Radeon RX 580 video cards. So, it is literally a "fat card." XFX’s 580 had a heatsink that was ~`17mm thick, this 590’s heatsink is ~26mm thick. This pushes the Fatboy over into a 3rd consecutive PCIe slot, so we will consider this a 3-slot card, but it does give you some breathing room in its design so it is not pushed up against a 4th PCIe slot. We like these types of designs from a cooling perspective.

XFX’s 580 was 209.4*81.6*16.96MM 51pcs with a Heatsink surface area: 244062mm2. The new 590 Fatboy is 209.4*81*25.96MM 45pcs with a Heatsink surface area: 368866mm2.

Article Image

Here is also where the video card separates itself, the clock speed. XFX has clocked this video card at 1580MHz out-of-the-box at default clock speeds. That is up from the reference spec of 1545MHz. The video card has 8GB of GDDR5 running at 8GHz.

Now technically, XFX has a "Software" overclock mode, which is referred to in the card name as "OC+" but this higher overclock frequency is only attainable by manually manipulating software, in this case AMD Radeon WattMan in the drivers. We all know how stable (not) WattMan can be. If you go through the process of enabling this higher state of clock speed in Radeon WattMan the GPU will actually run at 1600MHz, a 20MHz bump via software.

This kind of software overclocking is similar to methods like ASUS’s "OC Mode" or MSI’s "OC Mode" in proprietary software GPU Tweak II and MSI Afterburner. The only difference here is that XFX doesn’t have its own overclocking software, so it has to rely on AMD’s drivers with WattMan to enable the higher overclock state. However, similar to how we review all the other video cards with "Software" overclocks, we do not use them in our testing. We test all of our video cards in their default clock speed shipping state out-of-the-box as is. We do not manipulate the clock speed in software. We figure if you are going to do that, you might as well just go ahead and overclock the card by software as high as possible anyway.

Therefore, we are going to test the XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy just like we test cards like ASUS STRIX GAMING and MSI GAMING video cards, at the default shipping hardware set out-of-box frequency, in this case that is 1580MHz. Of course, we are going to overclock the video card anyway, so its maximum overclock will be tested. Just be aware, there is technically a software state bump you can make in software that will make it run at 1600MHz, but really why stop there, we got it so much higher in manual overclocking.

The XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+ employs a dual fan cooling solution, with robust custom heatsink and very visible copper heatpipes. We count 4 copper heatpipes with two of them being much bigger toward the rear of the card. The video card does require an 8-pin and a 6-pin power connector. There is a backplate on the card. The video card has three DisplayPorts, one HDMI port, and a DVI-D port.