Test Configuration & Overclocking

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i7-8700K (HyperThreading and Turbo boost are on to 4.7GHz for all cores; Coffee Lake DX11 CPU graphics).
  • EVGA Z370 FTW motherboard (Intel Z370 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x), supplied by EVGA
  • HyperX 16GB DDR4 (2x8GB, dual channel at 3333 MHz), supplied by HyperX
  • PowerColor Red Devil RX 590 8GB, at stock Red Devil clocks, supplied by PowerColor
  • Gigabyte RX 480 G1 8GB, overclocked to RX 580 stock speeds.
  • EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6GB, factory overclocked SC clocks, supplied by EVGA.
  • PowerColor Red Devil RX Vega 56 8GB, at Red Devil clocks, supplied by PowerColor
  • 480 GB Team Group SSD
  • 1.92 TB San Disk enterprise class SSD
  • 2 TB Micron 1100 SSD
  • Seasonic 850W Gold Focus power supply unit
  • EVGA CLC 280mm CPU water cooler, supplied by EVGA
  • Onboard Realtek Audio
  • Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius
  • EVGA DG-77, mid-tower case supplied by EVGA
  • Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K

Test Configuration – Software

  • GeForce 416.94 WHQL drivers are used for the EVGA GTX 1060 SC.
  • AMD’s Adrenalin Software 18.8.40 (Press Launch Drivers) are used for the RX 580. 18.10.2 is used for the RX 480 at 580 clocks, and 18.10.1 used for the RX Vega 56.
  • VSync is forced off.
  • AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified
  • Gaming results show average frame rates in bold including minimum frame rates shown on the chart next to the averages in a smaller italics font.
  • Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
  • Windows 10 64-bit Home edition latest version 1809. All DX11 titles were run under DX11 render paths.  DX12 titles are generally run under the DX12 render path unless performance is lower than with DX11.  Three games use the Vulkan API.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All 37 games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.
  • Wattman used for settings and for overclocking of the Radeons
  • MSI Afterburner, latest beta.
  • OCAT, latest version
  • Fraps, latest version

37 PC Game benchmark suite & 4 synthetic tests


  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • Time Spy DX12

DX11 Games

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Witcher 3
  • Fallout 4
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Just Cause 3
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Battlefield 1
  • Resident Evil 7
  • For Honor
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Prey
  • DiRT 4
  • Project CARS 2
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Destiny 2
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Far Cry 5
  • The Crew 2
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Hitman 2
  • Battlefield V

DX12 Games

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Hitman
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided
  • Gears of War 4
  • Civilization VI
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Total War: Warhammer II
  • Forza 7
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Vulkan Games

  • DOOM 
  • Wolfenstein: The New Colossus 
  • Strange Brigade

AMD Control Center Radeon Settings

All AMD settings are set so as to be apples-to-apples when compared to NVIDIA’s control panel settings – all optimizations are off, Vsync is forced off, Texture filtering is set to High, and Tessellation uses application settings.

We used Wattman to overclock the RX 480 to stock RX 580 speeds (1340 MHz), and power, temperature and fan limits are set to their maximums to prevent throttling for all Radeons.

NVIDIA Control Panel settings

Here are the NVIDIA Control Panel settings.

We used MSI’s Afterburner to set our GTX 1060’s highest Power and Temperature targets.  By setting the Power Limits and Temperature limits to maximum for each card, they do not throttle, but they can each reach and maintain their individual maximum clocks stock or overclocked.

Let’s check out Red Devil RX 590 overclocking, temperatures and noise next.

Overclocking, temperatures and noise

We didn’t spend a lot of time overclocking the Red Devil RX 590 for this review.  We used the Performance BIOS for this performance evaluation, but we will follow up in our next review by overclocking as far as we can go in an overclocking showdown with the GTX 1060 tomorrow morning.

Here are the PowerColor Red Devil RX 590 default settings.

The clocks are locked to 1576MHz but can peak up to 1625MHz when the frequency setting is set to “dynamic”.  The Red Devil’s temperatures stay low in the mid-60s C with the fan running under 1100 rpm.  The card will go completely silent in gaming which is welcome for those who prefer a very quiet system by using the Silent BIOS.

For those who want to see the performance settings and overclocking results, check back tomorrow for our Red Devil RX 590 overclocking showdown versus the GTX 1060 SC.  As a tease for our follow-up review, we achieved a 2.5% overclock on the core and the Red Devil’s memory clocks reached 2175MHz with complete stability!

Let’s head to the performance charts to see how the PowerColor RX 590 at reference Red Devil RX 590 speeds compares with the RX 480 overclocked to stock RX 580 clocks and versus its main competitor, the EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC – a rather highly factory overclocked card.  The SC which stands for “superclocked” is factory-clocked 102MHz over the reference GTX 1060 speeds and it can reach and maintain close to 2000MHz on its core at peak Boost.