Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X Video Card Review

The first custom retail video card based on AMD’s new Radeon RX 570 GPU is our test bench, the MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X is poised to offer incredible performance and overclocking potential out of the Radeon RX 570. We’ll compare it to the competition, plus the Radeon RX 470 and see what advantage it offers.

Introduction

Let’s go back to April 18th, 2017 and talk about AMD’s Radeon RX 500 series launch. In that launch AMD re-introduced, re-branded, re-launched (whatever you want to call it), its Polaris Radeon RX 400 series of GPUs. The Radeon RX 480 became the Radeon RX 580 with a higher clock speed, the Radeon RX 470 became the Radeon RX 570 with a higher clock speed, and so on.

The primary difference with the Radeon RX 500 series is a more mature manufacturing process, allowing higher clock speeds. However, the GPUs did not change in terms of features or architecture. Take what you know of the Radeon RX 400 series, bump up the core and memory speeds in some cases, and you have the new Radeon RX 500 series. Add-in-board partners took this opportunity to beef up or change up designs of video cards based around these GPUs. You will find new designs sporting custom hardware, better cooling, quieter operation, and what seems to be in vogue today, lots of RGB lighting.

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In our launch evaluation we took a look at the Radeon RX 580 GPU with a custom video card. Now it is time to do the same with the Radeon RX 570 GPU. We have a custom retail video card from MSI today with the MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X 4G video card. This video card has an MSRP of $219-$229 according to MSI, though online street prices have varied wildly and availability has been difficult to find in stock recently. You can track the pricing of the video card at PC Hound and you will see pricing started out well above normal, and only recently leveled off, but availability is scarce.


MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X

The AMD Radeon RX 570 takes the place of the Radeon RX 470. It has the same CUs, stream processors, ROPs and texture units as the RX 470. That is 32 CUs, 32 ROPs, 128 texture units, and 2048 stream processors. What separates it from the Radeon RX 470 is a boosted GPU clock speed and memory speed. The GPU runs at 1244MHz, and memory at 7GHz on the Radeon RX 570. In comparison the Radeon RX 470 ran at 1206MHz GPU and 6.6GHz memory.

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MSI’s Radeon RX 570 GAMING X takes the clock speed even further offering a factory overclock. In its default "Gaming" factory overclock the GPU runs at 1281MHz, and memory at the reference 7GHz. In a software selectable "OC" mode the GPU runs at 1293MHz and memory at 7.1GHz. Of course we opt for manual overclocking to push it to the max beyond the default clock speeds.

If you rummage through MSI’s global webpage you’ll see MSI offers several other flavors of graphics card in the Radeon RX 570 lineup. There is a an Armor version, and the GAMING version, and the GAMING X version. The GAMING X version is the fastest clock speed MSI offers, and that’s the version we have to review today. There are 4GB and 8GB versions of the Radeon RX 570 as well. Ours is the 4GB version of the GAMING X series.

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The MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X uses MSI’s Military Class 4 hardware components Hi-C CAPs, Super Ferrite Chokes, and Japanese Solid Capacitors and a custom tailored PCB. MSI has also added an 8-pin power connector in place of the standard 6-pin for ample power delivery for overclocking. This is a 10 phase setup versus 6 phase default.

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MSI is using its Twin FROZR VI thermal cooling solution and TORX 2.0 fans. The PCB and heatsink are enlarged compared to the reference card design for added heat dissipation. MSI’s Close Quarters Cooling is in place which is a PWM heatsink to ensure cool temperatures to those components. The fans support ZeroFrozr technology so that they stop running under 60c. There is no backplate however. The MSI logo on top is RGB.

In terms of I/O connections you’ll find two DisplayPort, two HDMI, and a DVI port. The length of the video card is 10.8 inches. The recommended PSU is 450W.


Video Card Comparisons

In this evaluation we are including several different GPUs for several different reasons to make comparisons. On one hand we are going to compare by the closest competition to the MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X. On the other hand we are also going to compare performance to the previous Radeon RX 470 to see how much greater the MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X has improved performance.

When it comes down to the competition compared to the MSI Radeon RX 570 GAMING X a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB seems to match the closest from NVIDIA in performance and will make a good comparison. As you will see in this evaluation this is a good solid comparison for this video card.

We are most interested to find out if overclocking the Radeon RX 570 will exceed GeForce GTX 1060 performance. In terms of 3GB or 6GB GTX 1060 the only difference is the RAM size. We are testing at 1080p with these video cards. We are going to use a reference GTX 1060 6GB for comparison which means it is running at reference clock speeds.

This should give a very wide and all-encompassing view of how the Radeon RX 570 performs up and down the scale of video cards at 1080p.