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AMD Radeon RX 590 Review: The Refresh Of A Refresh Is Here (Page 1)

AMD Radeon RX 590 Review: The Refresh Of A Refresh Is Here

AMD refreshes again with the Radeon RX 590, which has been molded into a better GTX 1060 competitor.

By Anthony Garreffa from Nov 15, 2018 @ 8:00 CST
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction

It has been so long since AMD released a new Radeon graphics card, with the Radeon RX Vega 56 and 64 cards launching in August 2017, it has been over a year since RTG has released anything new.

amd-radeon-rx-590-review-refresh-here_21

That doesn't change today with the release of the Radeon RX 590, which is a refresh of a refresh. Radeon Technologies Group announced the Polaris GPU architecture during their very first RTG Tech Summit in Sonoma, California in December 2015.

This was followed by the release of the first Polaris-based graphics card in the Radeon RX 480, which was targeting the sub $300 market and released in June 2016. It was followed up by the Radeon RX 580 in April 2017 (our review here).

Radeon RX releases:

  • Radeon RX 480: June 2016
  • Radeon RX 580: April 2017
  • Radeon RX Vega: August 2017
  • Radeon RX 590: November 2018

As you can see, there's a 14-month gap between the Radeon RX 480 and RX 580, but a huge 19-month gap between the Radeon RX 580 and RX 590. Radeon RX Vega 56/64 were released in August 2017, just months after the RX 580... but since then, RTG has been dead quiet with Radeon RX graphics card releases.

Big Changes At RTG

In the weeks leading into, during, and after the release of Vega... one could say Radeon Technologies Group changed a little. First, they lost their lead GPU architect with Raja Koduri leaving for Intel. Then in the weeks after that, RTG lost its Radeon marketing boss Chris Hook to Intel as well. Since then, it has bled most of talent from the Radeon team to Intel's newly-formed discrete graphics team.

I have been reporting since the release of Vega that Navi would be, according to my industry sources "just as bad" as Vega. More sources told me that Sony has worked directly with RTG engineers on Navi for its next-gen PlayStation 5 console. I doubt we'll see GeForce RTX 2080 Ti levels of performance out of a next-gen console, but 4K 60FPS could be achievable on a tweaked console design of Navi.

This means Navi will provide GeForce GTX 1080/Radeon RX Vega 64 levels of performance but more efficiently when it comes to power consumption and heat, something that will be helped by the 7nm process node. This is all happening at RTG right now, while the Radeon RX 590 is a refresh. This is a quick refresher course on where we are, where RTG has been, and what to expect over the next 12-18 months.

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