AMD Radeon RX 570 review: An all-round 1080p card

AMD RX 570

Back during the Great Mining Drought of a couple of months ago-ish, the RX 570 looked like the saving grace of AMD’s ludicrously price-inflated Radeon lineup. Admittedly, this was mainly due to the 8GB RX 580 being hurled violently though the £300 barrier, but even with fewer ‘stream processors’ (i.e. cores) and just 4GB of memory, the RX 570 was offering another FreeSync-enabled, 1080p/1440p alternative at a much, much lower price.

Now that the whole cryptocurrency thing has (mostly) died down, however, the RX 580 is in a much better position to not just resume its jostling with Nvidia’s GTX 1060 for mid-range supremacy, but also to relegate the RX 570 back to the status of an awkward middle child: not powerful enough to consider over these other two cards (4K, for instance, is beyond it), and too expensive to consider over budget alternatives like the RX 560 and GTX 1050 Ti. Can the RX 570 still justify itself?

To find out, we’ve got an Asus ROG Strix RX 570 OC Edition, which sells for £259. This is a little pricier than most other partner cards, which seem to average out around £230, but it ups the maximum clock speed from 1168Mhz to 1300Mhz in the default Gaming mode and 1310MHz in OC mode, which is enabled via Asus’ GPU Tweak software.

Frankly, though, you’re unlikely to see a visible difference, so we kept benchmark testing on Gaming mode, starting with Doom. Here, the RX 570 is more than good enough for 1080p; it held together well in fights and there were no specific problems with high anti-aliasing or fancy lighting effects. We had one slight hiccup during a locale transition, but this was a one-off and passed quickly. At 1440p, performance was also perfectly acceptable, albeit with some more noticeable frame drops when the corridors open up into wider areas.

The RX 570 also did well in Hitman, despite of a lot of variance in detail and conditions. It was almost surprisingly adept during some of the busiest scenes in the game, and even when it did droop slightly, it never fully stumbled. 1440p was also an impressive showing, barely displaying any performance loss compared to Full HD.

AMD RX 570 ports

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, I ignored the warnings that Ultra settings would use twice the memory we had, and ran it anyway. This act of middle-class anarchism was not rewarded, though – the only reason the frames kept up was because of the dynamic resolution smearing Vaseline over everything. On the game’s recommended mix of High and Medium settings, it still looks pretty enough, and ran much better – very nicely, in fact – but this was still the first sign that the RX 570 won’t handle every game at its best. 1440p can also get by with the same High/Medium blend, which is more encouraging, but it’s not beautifully slick either.

Unlike Shadow of War, Rise of the Tomb Raider stays reasonably silky with the RX 570’s 4GB of VRAM, even with Very High settings (the best available). At 1440p, it runs decently, but maybe pushes the AMD card a little too hard in the more richly-detailed areas. I ended up switching to the High preset to get a more consistent quality.

Total War: Warhammer II, sadly, was where the wheels came off. At 1080p, it can be made to run well, but certainly not with Ultra settings, and High only suffices when anti-aliasing is switched off. Merely adding 2x AA puts it almost back to square one. The sharper resolution of 1440p means you can make do without AA, but the RX 570 still has a rough old time even on High. The campaign map is hit particularly hard, though it also seems to run smoother in certain places than the battle map does in general.

Wolfenstein II: The New Order is much more like it: speedy and smooth at 1080p with everything turned up, to even better degrees than Doom managed. Unlike Doom, however, upgrading to 1440p results in a much starker loss of frames. Luckily it’s not so bad as to render things ugly or unplayable, but it’s still a bit of a shame, as Wolf II usually scales really well.

AMD RX 570

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a funny one: at 1080p, it sometimes runs like a dream and sometimes wobbles and stutters. Going down a couple of steps from Ultra High to High rectifies the wobbling and even a great deal of the stuttering, but you’d need to drop even lower for 1440p, which is more stable only in the sense that never reaches comparable performance highs to 1080p. Faring slightly better is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which can just about cope with maxed-out quality at 1080p. 1440p is also mostly good, even on Ultra, save for a tiny bit of here-and-there stuttering.

Overall, I reckon there’s still a place for the RX 570: it sits broadly in-between budget cards and mid-range all-rounders, perhaps leaning slightly towards the latter in price, but it could make sense to 1080p monitor owners looking for more horsepower than what the GTX 1050 Ti provides.

Still, it’s also fair to say that 4GB isn’t quite enough for quality 1440p. In a way, that’s fine – like I said, this works best in a Full HD setup – but when you get into the mid-£200s, you really ought to start thinking about the RX 580 and the GTX 1060. Heck, even if you are stuck on 1080p, you can get either of those cards – which do better at all resolutions and can even dip their toes in 4K – for about the same price as this Asus model, and only a few tenners more than the cheaper partner-made RX 570s.

12 Comments

  1. Sakkura says:

    It’s a bit funny that you’re talking about the specific MSAA settings etc. but leave out any mention of framerates in case it gets too technical. :D

    But oh well. The RX 570 is a really good option when it’s available at MSRP; it’s a better card than the 1050 Ti and only for a tad more money, and it isn’t crippled by 3GB of VRAM like the 1060 3GB.

  2. mukuste says:

    I’m not convinced; it seems to be not quite fast enough to max out even current titles at 1080p, much less future ones. Spending a bit more for say, a GTX 1060 seems more forward looking.

    • Sakkura says:

      The 1060 3GB will fare much worse as it’s crippled by lack of VRAM.

      The 1060 6GB is obviously better, but costs significantly more than the 570 (when it’s at MSRP). And the 580 competes well with the 1060 6GB.

  3. dangermouse76 says:

    Lordy my Aorus RX 580 8GB cost about £230-240 when I bought it a few months back.

  4. phenom_x8 says:

    My plan are getting this card for my 75Hz Freesync LG 24MP59-G monitor 3 months ago. Sadly, the one available from MSI in my country were at the same price as Zotac GTX 1060 AMP 6GB (thats insane of course, damn crypto miner), so i took the former and quite impressed by its capability to play most of the latest game I bought ~75 FPS at 1080p in highest setting.
    I wish someday Nvidia stopped being stubborn and start to support freesync so my monitor wont be wasted when games start to get more heavy in the future.

  5. Highlandcoo says:

    Hrm times like these I miss the little benchmark tables where I can see how it performs versus other cards in the similar price bracket.

    Question – does anyone know how much of an upgrade this would be from a GTX 970?

  6. caerphoto says:

    I feel like I must have got lucky with my RX 470, which I got for £185 in December last year.

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