AMD's latest GPU: Radeon RX 590 vs GTX 1070, RX 580 and GTX 1060

Given the naming scheme of AMD’s prior series with their R9 290 and R9 390 the release of a new Radeon graphics card with the 90 suffix had to happen at some point. Still, given that AMD already moved on to Vega and that the old Polaris architecture seemed to reach its limit with the RX 580 the release of a RX 590 was a surprise. The RX 590 features:

  • A turbo clock of 1545 MHz, vs the 1340 MHz of the RX 580
  • 12nm vs 14nm node size
  • A TDP of 225W, not 185W, despite the smaller node size

With those specs the RX 590 is bound to be a faster alternative to the RX 580 in our benchmark. And that it is:


To see exactly which benchmarks were used, check the comparison page.

But the card is also only faster than a RX 580. The RX 590 is not faster than the next Nvidia graphics card that is faster than the RX 580, which is the GTX 1070, and of course that also means it doesn’t come close to a Vega card. How big the difference is depends a lot on the game, but the FPS difference is always big enough to make the GTX 1070 a clearly better choice.

AMD will have to place the RX 590 in a price category firmly below the GTX 1070. In Germany that does not work too well yet, the Sapphire Nitro for example is with 290€ still too expensive. In the US the current price of $279 looks better, as long as the game bundle is still included. But even then a cheaper RX 580 like the XFX GTS remains an attractive alternative.

I would recommend to consider the RX 590 only if you originally wanted a RX 580, but decided to get one of the better models with a good cooler. Since those are often expensive the RX 590 might be in the same price range, and at that point it’s the better choice. For everyone else a GTX 1070 or a cheaper RX 580 is still the way to go, at least with current prices.