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Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 580 XTR 8G Video Card Review

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Introduction

AMD’s newest generation Polaris architecture is here and Gigabyte has responded by releasing the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G graphics card. Based on AMD’s latest GCN 4 14nm FinFET architecture, the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G is the highest performing graphics card in Gigabyte’s RX 580 line-up. It’s designed to deliver VR capability, increased level of performance, smooth VR, seamless support for next-gen gaming monitors, and CPU-free game streaming or recording. Furthermore, the model also supports AMD’s newest technologies such as Direct 12® and Vulkan™, FreeSync™, and Liquid VR.

Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G utilizes 8GB of GDDR5 memory with 2304 stream processors and 36 compute units. It ships with 1439MHz core clock speed, and has 2000MHz memory clock speed which is connected to a high speed 256-bit memory interface. The 6+2 multi-phases board design enhances the power efficiency and stability over the reference design. Dual alternate spinning 100mm fans and four direct touch pure copper composite heat-pipes deliver a heat dissipation capacity of triple fan cooler in a much shorter design.

The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G has a quite angular design dressed in black with dark silver and orange accents. The unique “X” design between the fans and the Aorus logo on the side feature user adjustable RGB LED with 16.8M customizable color options and numerous lighting effects. An all metal backplate features a copper heatsink to help draw heat away from the GPU socket. Three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 20.b, and one Dual-link DVI-D monitor ports deliver plenty of connection options. 8-pin and 6-pin connectors design instead to ensure maximum power delivery.

Gigabyte’s Take on the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G

AORUS graphics cards are crafted for perfection in pursuit of the ultimate graphics experience for gaming enthusiasts. Based on the revolutionary AMD Polaris architecture, AORUS graphics card brings you incredible gaming experience.

– GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting

– Polaris-powered graphics card give you superior performance and power efficiency

– Support up to 8K display @30Hz (DisplayPort™ 1.3)

– Outstanding performance for Virtual Reality gaming

AORUS ALL-AROUND COOLING SOLUTION

AORUS provides the all-around cooling solution for all key components of the graphics card. We take care not only GPU but also VRAM and MOSFET, to ensure a stable overclock operation and longer life. On the front side, the GPU direct touch heat-pipes to dissipate the most heat from the GPU and VRAM. On the back side, the copper back plate dissipates the heat from the GPU back side. All other key components are taken care of very well by the WINDFORCE cooling module. AORUS ensures the customer a better cooling solution in many ways.

HEAT PIPES DIRECT TOUCH

The pure copper heat pipes are shaped to maximize the direct contact area to the GPU for enhanced thermal transfer. The heat pipes also touch a large metal base plate covering the VRAM module via thermal pads to ensure the critical cores are properly cooled.

ADVANCED COPPER BACK PLATE COOLING

Excessive heat from GPU not only gets dissipated utilizing the massive cooling module in the front but also through the back side with a copper plate, providing a well-rounded thermal solution for the GPU.

WINDFORCE 2X COOLING SYSTEM

Equipped with 2x 100mm unique blade fans, 4 pure copper composite heat-pipes, and heat-pipe direct touch GPU, the WINDFORCE 2X cooling system delivers an effective heat dissipation capacity.

ALTERNATE SPINNING

Optimize air flow by the alternate spinning fans that reduce air turbulence and effectively dissipate the heat.

3D ACTIVE FAN

The AORUS graphics cards are equipped with 3D-Active Fan. The fans will remain off when the GPU is under a set loading or temperature for low power gaming. The LED fan indicator on the top of the graphics card provides an instant display of the fan status.

COMPOSITE HEAT-PIPES

The composite heat-pipes combines both thermal conductivity and phase transition for efficiently managing the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces which increases 29% of cooling capacity.

UNIQUE BLADE FAN

The airflow is spilt by the triangle fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the airflow by 23% over the traditional fans.

RGB FUSION

With 16.8M customizable color options and numerous lighting effects, you could now choose the right scheme for your gaming rig through AORUS graphics engine.

STYLISH METAL BACK PLATE

The metal back plate offers rigidity and protection to the structure, while adding a sleek, clean look to the product.

SMART POWER LED INDICATORS

Be alert when PCI-E voltage is unstable with the smart power LED indicator.

BUILT FOR OVERCLOCKING WITH 6+2 POWER PHASES

Compared to reference design (6+1), the 6+2 power phases on the card make the MOSFET working at a lower temperature and provide more stable voltage output.

Ultra Durable Materials

Engineered with the highest-grade chokes and capacitors, this graphic card delivers outstanding performance and durable system lifespan.

AORUS GRAPHICS ENGINE

Clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, power target can be monitored and tuned in real-time according to your own preference through this intuitive interface.

Features and Specifications

Graphics Processing

  • Radeon RX580 XTR

Core Clock

  • OC mode: 1439 MHz
  • Gaming mode: 1425 MHz
  • (Reference card : 1340 MHz)
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Process Technology

  • 14 nm

Memory Clock

  • 8000 MHz

Memory Size

  • 8 GB

Memory Type

  • GDDR5

Memory Bus

  • 256 bit

Digital max resolution

  • 7680×4320

Multi-view

  • 5

Card size

  • H=54.64 L=275.5 W=133.28 mm

PCB Form

  • ATX

DirectX

  • 12

OpenGL

  • 4.5

Recommended PSU

  • 500W

Power Connectors

  • 8-pin and 6-pin

I/O

  • Dual-link DVI-D
  • HDMI
  • Display Port

Package Content

  • Graphics card quick guide
  • AORUS metal sticker
  • Driver CD

Packaging and Unboxing

The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G comes in a large semi-matte black box with the Aorus Peregrine logo featured predominately in the front. The box is dark, but still quite eye catching.

On the back is some highlights of the new card’s features. The box is very colorful and easy to read.

There is another box inside the outer box.

Once the inside box is opened we are greeted with another box of sorts. Under that resides the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G.

The other box contains all the accessories.

The accessories are limited to a quick start guide, a drive/utility disk, and a case badge.

Once out of the protective ESD bag we find the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G is protected with various covers/plugs for the slot fingers and graphics ports.

A Closer Look

The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G has a distinctively angular look about it. The backplate features a copper heatsink to help draw heat away from the GPU socket.

It is primarily black with dark silver and orange accents.

Both the “X” between the fans and the Aorus logo on the side feature user adjustable RGB LED lighting.

There is at least one of each of the most common monitor connections, so there are plenty of connections options.

With a 185 watt TDP, the Radeon RX 580 only needs power from one 8-pin connector. Aorus has chosen to go with an 8-pin and 6-pin connectors design instead to ensure maximum power delivery.

System Configuration, Testing Environment, and Software

Testing Setup

Testing Hardware

  • Aorus Z270X-Gaming 8 Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7 7700K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory
  • Patriot Ignite 960GB Solid State Drive
  • Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige AIO
  • Spotswood Small Tech Bench
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply

Software

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Geeks3D – Furmark
  • TechPowerUp – GPU-Z
  • CPUID – HWMonitor

Synthetic BenchMarks

  • Futuremark – 3DMark (DX11)
  • Maxon – Cinebench R15 (OpenGL)
  • Unigine – Heaven (DX11)

Game BenchMarks

  • 2K Games – Bioshock: Infinite (DX11)
  • Codemasters – DiRT Rally (DX11)
  • Rockstar – Grand Theft Auto: V (DX11)
  • IO Interactive – Hitman (DX12)
  • Deep Silver – Metro: Last Light(DX11)
  • SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Thief (DX11)
  • SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive – Tomb Raider(DX11)

Drivers

  • Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.3

Testing Environment

Performance testing consists two sets of tests, synthetic benchmarks and actual game benchmarks. Between the two synthetic benchmarks and five game benchmarks; we are able to test OpenGL, DirectX 9.0C, DirectX 11, and Mantle application programming interface (API) environments. Synthetic benchmarks are run at their default settings. For gaming benchmarks; 1920×1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 resolutions are used with more demanding detail settings. This is the test where higher price range cards will typically perform well.

Games are chosen using four criteria: 1) Each game must be a well-known title. 2) Each game must have its own built-in benchmark. 3) Each game must be on a game engine that is different from the other games or utilize its game engine in a way that is unique from the other games used. 4) Each game must be free of continuous patch updates, to ensure a consistent environment for future graphics card testing.

Mechanical drives are eliminated in the test system, to alleviate any I/O-related bottlenecks. All testing was done with an Intel i7 7700K processor clocked at 4.5 GHz.

Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit is chosen as the operating system, due to it being the most common operating system currently in use. Only the most current non-beta release drivers are used for testing, unless specifically stated otherwise.

Software

Aorus Graphics Engine is included with the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G. It features an overlocking utility with hardware monitory and a fan configuration utility. There is also a utility to control the RGB lighting with several patterns and full hex/decimal control. If the user has a Gigabyte compatible product it can also control the lighting for that as well, like out Aorus Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboard we used for this review.

3DMark, Cinebench, Heaven, Steam VR, Bioshock: Infinite

3DMark – Fire Strike

“The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it’s not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.

Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

3DMark – Time Spy

“The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it’s not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.

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Time Spy is a showcase DirectX 12 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

Cinebench R15

“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

Heaven

“Heaven Benchmark immerses a user into a magical steampunk world of shiny brass, wood and gears. Nested on flying islands, a tiny village with its cozy, sun-heated cobblestone streets, an elaborately crafted dirigible above the expanse of fluffy clouds, and a majestic dragon on the central square gives a true sense of adventure. An interactive experience with fly-by and walk-through modes allows for exploring all corners of this world powered by the cutting-edge UNIGINE Engine that leverages the most advanced capabilities of graphics APIs and turns this benchmark into a visual masterpiece.”

SteamVR

“The SteamVR Performance Test measures your system’s rendering power using a 2-minute sequence from Valves Aperture Robot Repair VR demo. After collecting the data it determines whether your system is capable of running VR content at 90fps and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. For machines that are not VR Ready the tool can help determine whether capabilities are bound by Graphics Card, CPU, or both.”

Bioshock: Infinite

“Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia.”

Bioshock: Infinite, developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, is the third iteration of the Bioshock franchise. It uses the extremely popular Unreal 3 game engine and is one of the best looking games of 2013.

DiRT Rally, Grand Theft Auto: V, Hitman

DiRT Rally

“DiRT Rally is the most authentic and thrilling rally game ever made, road-tested over 80 million miles by the DiRT community. It perfectly captures that white knuckle feeling of racing on the edge as you hurtle along dangerous roads at breakneck speed, knowing that one crash could irreparably harm your stage time.

DiRT Rally also includes officially licensed World Rallycross content, allowing you to experience the breathless, high-speed thrills of some of the world’s fastest off-road cars as you trade paint with other drivers at some of the series’ best-loved circuits, in both singleplayer and high-intensity multiplayer races.”

Codemasters’ 2011 Dirt 3 is possibly the most popular rally racing game ever created. Dirt Rally is sure to continue that trend. It uses an updated version of the EGO game engine, which is also used has also been used in previous version of the Dirt series.

Grand Theft Auto: V

“When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.

Grand Theft Auto V for PC offers players the option to explore the award-winning world of Los Santos and Blaine County in resolutions of up to 4k and beyond, as well as the chance to experience the game running at 60 frames per second.”

Grand Theft Auto: V is the newest game in our benchmark suite. The game offers players a huge range of PC-specific customization options, including over 25 separate configurable settings for texture quality, shaders, tessellation, anti-aliasing and more. It has the highest recommended system requirements in our game benchmark suite.

Hitman (2016)

“Hitman is a third-person stealth video game in which players take control of Agent 47, a genetically enhanced, superhuman assassin, travelling to international locations and eliminating contracted targets. As in other games in the Hitman series, players are given a large amount of room for creativity in approaching their assassinations

Developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix, Hitman is our first DirectX 12 benchmark.

Metro: Last Light, Thief, Tomb Raider

Metro: Last Light

“It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above.”

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Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At its highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.

Thief

“Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.”

Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD’s Mantle API, as well as Microsoft’s common DirectX 11 API.

Tomb Raider

“Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.”

Tomb Raider was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. It features a modified version of the Crystal game engine and was the first game to integrate AMD’s TressFX 2.0, which adds hair, fur and grass physics.

Temperatures, Noise and Overclocking

Temperatures

The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G ran quite cool. The large triple fan design allows for a profile that is less than aggressive side. I found no reason to adjust the fan profile further, even when the card was aggressively overclocked.

Noise

Noise is a very subjective thing. While measuring dB level of noise can tell you how loud something is, it does not tell you the quality of the noise. Human hearing is the most sensitive in the 4000Hz range. This is roughly the same pitch as a crying newborn baby or the old adage, nails on a chalkboard. The human brain is wired to react to this frequency range and when we are unable to stop the noise, we become agitated.

For this test, the best case scenario is absolute silence. For the worst case scenario, I use the most annoying sounding and loudest video card I have at my disposal, the Nvidia 7600GT. The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G was almost silent most of the time. Even under full load, I rarely noticed any fan noise or coil whine coming from the card.

Overclocking

Currently, Wattman is the only overclocking utility I have located that support the RX 580. I adjusted the power target and voltage to the maximum. I tweaked the core speed first and then moved onto the memory speed. After bit of fine tuning, I ended up with +55MHz (1480Mhz) Boost on the core and +620MHz (8620MHz) on the memory. This was an increase of 4% for the core and 8% on the memory. On an average, we saw an increase of around 5% percent increase in frame rates in our suite of benchmarks.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G looks and feels premium from every angle. Whether it’s the backplate with its copper insert or the cosmetically aggressive designed shroud it’s obvious that no detail was skipped. The RGB lighting is stunning and features several patterns and full hex/decimal control.

Throughout our testing it traded blows with the Radeon R9 390 and GeForce GTX 980. It also outran the previous RX 480 due to the additional clock speed and the extra 4 compute units. It’s quite capable of playing almost any game at maximum settings at 1080. For those games it cannot play at maximum setting, usually one only needs to turn down the AA slightly. 1440 gameplay is also within reach. I found 1440 gaming to be quite pleasant and how I used it with my limited time to get some personal gameplay in.

Overclocking the core was a bit limited, delivering only an extra 4% increase in clock speed. This should not be too surprising, given the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G’s already high core base clock. I was a bit surprised that the memory only overclocked up to 8620MHz. Most RX 480’s and RX 580’s have been hitting 9000Mhz. Still some real performance was gained with the added clocks. No matter the conditions, the card stayed cool and quiet the whole time, thanks to the dual alternating rotation 100mm fans and stop fan feature.

Gigabyte has priced the Aorus RX 580 XTR 8G for $279 which you can find at Newegg at the time of this writing. . While this isn’t the most expensive RX 580 on the market, it’s close. There are a lot of features packed into it versus an average RX 580 though and it certainly deserves a look.

Likes

  • Premium Cosmetics
  • Quiet
  • Distinctive RGB Lighting

Dislikes

  • Limited Overclocking Capability

 

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