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PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 590 review: Trying to keep things fresh

By Koh Wanzi - 15 Jan 2019


The Radeon RX 590 can be thought of as an overclocked Radeon RX 580.

Making a play in the biggest GPU market

The Radeon RX 590 is a tricky card to parse. AMD clearly put in minimal effort to make it, and it seems more like a bid to get people talking than anything. At US$279, it's attractively priced for sure, so the card is well-positioned to appeal to bargain hunters looking to game at 1080p. 

However, while the card may have seemed like a wily move on the part of AMD when it was first announced in November, it's not as clear where it stands now. Back then, NVIDIA's mainstream offering was still the US$249 GeForce GTX 1060 (or its GDDR5X variants), as it had been for the longest time. AMD then released a faster card, which looked like it might have a good chance at grabbing a slice of the mainstream pie away from the GeForce GTX 1060. 

But with the release of the US$349 GeForce RTX 2060, it's not immediately clear why anyone would pick the Radeon RX 590 over it. The GeForce RTX 2060 is significantly faster, consumes less power, and isn't actually that much more expensive. The US$70 price premium it asks for doesn't seem too steep for a card that features the latest ray-tracing tech and can run nearly any game at 1080p and max settings. 

The Radeon RX 590 isn't a bad card. However, if we're talking strictly about gaming, there are just better alternatives out there. And honestly, a card that's based on an aging two-year-old architecture doesn't do a lot to get you excited about it. At the moment, I'm just looking forward to see what Navi will bring to the table. Meanwhile, there's also the just-announced Radeon VII that's coming in a month's time.

  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Attractive price
Decent performance at 1080p
The Bad
High power consumption
Still based on aging Polaris architecture
Is basically an overclocked Radeon RX 580