Radeon RX 590: Price, performance, features compared

The RX 590 is an impressive refinement of the RX 580, capable of top-notch performance at 1080p and beyond.

Radeon RX 590 at a glance

How powerful is the RX 590? Capable of 1080p/60fps in most modern games with potential for 1440p/60fps in many cases.
When did the RX 590 come out? AMD launched the RX 590 on 15 November 2018.
How much does the RX 590 cost? The RX 590 retails for around $419 from most retailers.

What is the RX 590?

Released more than a year and a half after the RX 500 line debuted, the AMD RX 590 is a revamp of the RX 580 that previously held the crown of the most powerful graphics card in the RX 500 series.

While the RX 590 retains the same general infrastructure as its predecessor, it makes use of 12nm chips rather than the 14nm present in other RX 500 cards. This has allowed AMD to crank up the clock speed and deliver higher performance without needing to reinvent the wheel with a completely new architecture (the approach that Nvidia has taken with its GeForce RTX graphics card line).

By coupling these higher clock speeds with the RX 580's solid foundation, the RX 590 carves out a new space in the mid-tier graphics card market between Nvidia's GTX 1060 and GTX 1070. Not only does it outperform the GTX 1060 in most head-to-head benchmarks, it does so at a cheaper price, sporting a slightly lower RRP than the 6GB GTX 1060. This positions the RX 590 as the go-to graphics card for affordable 60fps performance at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, though hitting 60fps at 1440p in certain games may require turning down a few of the more-demanding graphical settings.

Unlike the rest of the RX 500 line, the RX 590 only comes in one memory configuration: 8GB. It's also more of a power hog than its siblings, drawing on average 225W from the power supply compared to the 185W of the RX 580. Despite that, most card manufacturers advise that a 500W PSU should be enough to handle the RX 590 along with the rest of a PC's components.

What features does the RX 590 support?

As a refinement rather than a reinvention of the RX 500 architecture, the RX 590 packs all the features you'd expect from an AMD graphics card. These include:

  • FreeSync2 HDR
  • Radeon Chill adaptive power-saving technology
  • Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • Virtual Super Resolution supersampling
  • Vulkan API support
  • Radeon ReLive recording software
  • Radeon WattMan overclocking software
  • LiquidVR
  • DirectX 12
  • HDCP 2.2
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • DisplayPort 1.4 HDR
  • TressFX hair physics

How powerful is the RX 590?

AMD's pitch for the RX 590 is "1080p gaming and beyond" and benchmark testing backs up this claim. At max settings and 1080p resolution in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5, the RX 590 has little trouble maintaining a solid 60fps. In some cases it can continue to deliver a smooth 60fps at 1440p, too. For the most graphically demanding games you may need to dial down a few settings to ensure a stable experience at 1440p.

The RX 590 also carries AMD's "Radeon VR Ready Premium" label, which means it exceeds the minimum requirements for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets. Since poor performance in VR can lead to physical discomfort, those requirements are fairly generous and in practice the RX 590 should have little trouble delivering a comfortably fluid experience in most modern virtual reality titles.

RX 590 availability and price

The Radeon RX 590 launched on 15 November April 2018. It's available in an 8GB version only, with a typical retail price of $419. As always, certain branded variants may cost more or less depending on their specific configurations.

RX 590 specs

Base clock speed
1469MHz
Boost clock speed
1545MHz
Memory
8GB GDDR5
Memory speed
8Gbps
Memory bus
256-bit
Card length
~240mm
Card width
Dual slot
Card height
~130mm
Power draw
225W
Recommended system power
500W
Power connectors
8-pin
No. HDMI ports
2
No. Display Ports
2
No. DVI ports
1
DirectX support
12

Compare Radeon RX 590 graphics cards

Updated December 13th, 2018
Name Product Brand Model Name Memory Provider in CTA
XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy 8GB
XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy 8GB
XFX
RX 590
8GB
ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 590 8GB
ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 590 8GB
ASUS
RX 590
8GB
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590 8GB
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 590 8GB
Sapphire
RX 590
8GB
PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 590 8GB
PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 590 8GB
PowerColor
RX 590
8GB

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Matt Sayer

Matt is a writer covering the latest tech, telco and video game news at finder.com.au. In his downtime from helping Aussies make informed decisions on their broadband, mobile phone, and streaming video plans, he likes exploring rich video game worlds and kicking back with a good book.

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