SAPPHIRE was the first company with a custom Radeon RX 580 at my door, and it enjoyed a few good days on a couple of my test beds. I've run the new SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ graphics card on my newly built Intel Core i7-7700K and GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard combo, as well as AMD's new Ryzen 5 1600X processor. This gives me a good feeling for both sides of the market. We'll talk about that in the later part of the review.
The work that SAPPHIRE puts into its cooling technology is one of the main reasons the company is one of the biggest AIB partners for AMD and custom Radeon graphics cards, especially it's higher-end Tri-X and VAPOR-X cooling tech. We aren't seeing much of the high-end cooling tech from SAPPHIRE lately, but this isn't their fault - AMD has been stuck in the mid-range market for 18 months now, and will only crawl out of it with Radeon RX Vega. This is when SAPPHIRE's custom Radeon RX Vega will be my most anticipated RX Vega of them all, especially in VAPOR-X form.
Right now, the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ is a mish-mash Frankenstein graphics card, with parts Polaris, a larger and questionably better cooler over the RX 480 - which is not only higher, but requires 6+8-pin PCIe power connectors. Why the hell does this card need another 6-pin power connector when its predecessor required a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and we're only seeing barely 10% performance increases across the board.
SAPPHIRE nails a specific look with its upgraded Nitro+ branding, with their RX 580 Nitro+ looking great in our test bed, especially with the RGB LEDs at the top. I do wish the PCIe power connectors were on the end of the card again, as it looks sleek as hell in my system.
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