There are plenty of reasons why you may be on the search for a new graphics card. Perhaps you want to try your hand at your very first PC build, or maybe you love gaming and want a graphics card that will be able to keep up with you.
More often than not, tied comparisons between Nvidia and Radeon seem to be few and far between. Nvidia is known for paving the way, particularly when it comes to graphics cards, and have become well-known for their speed, processing units, and performance efficiency.
Now, though the GTX 1070 is certainly no exception to this rule, does that mean that it trumps the AMD Radeon RX 580? When it comes to PC and gaming, the answer is not so clear-cut. There are plenty of important factors that come into play when choosing a graphics card, which is why we’ve created this comparison review.
Below, you’ll find an easy-to-follow guide that compares and contrasts the differences between the two, in order to help you decide which one offers the best value and performance for your needs. From architecture to VRAM – we’ve covered all bases.
To kick things off, we’re going to begin this comparison by taking a look at the architecture. An important part of any graphics card, the architecture refers to the hardware design that the card has been based on, and will help to indicate to us how well we can expect the overall performance of the card to be.
The AMD Radeon RX580 is based on AMD’s Polaris microarchitecture and has been made using a 14nm FinFET process technology. Though this is now widely considered to be an older architecture model, it does ensure that the 580 offers a lower power consumption level of 150mV over older-generation cards. Thanks to that, you can be sure that this card will offer a pretty decent performance, despite the slightly outdated architecture.
As for the Nvidia GeForce 1070, this card, as part of Nvidia’s 10-series, has been based on Pascal architecture, which is an award-winning microarchitecture. Just like the 580, it does feature a slightly dated architecture (by today’s standards) though it is still regarded as being one of the best microarchitectures for handling anything from VR to 1080p gaming.
Though architecture is a great way to gain an understanding of the graphics card, the resolution is the easiest way to discover what you can actually expect to get from the card. Out of the two cards, the GTX 1070 is far more adept at handling 1080p to 1440p gaming, though it may require a little tweaking from its default settings on the higher resolutions. On average, you can expect to gain a smooth 60fps across all resolutions, though you’ll likely find that it begins to show its age if you push it to anything more. In a similar fashion, the AMD Radeon RX 580 will also hit around 60fps across most games at a resolution of 1080p, although it will struggle to render anything higher.
The next specification we’re going to be taking a look at is the dimensions of both cards. Before making your purchase, it’s very important that you take this specification into account, as it will let you know whether or not the card will be compatible with your current set-up.
For starters, the Nvidia GeForce 1070 will connect to the rest of the system via a PCI-Express 3.0×16 interface and is 267mm x 112mm x 40mm. As for the AMD Radeon RX 580, it will connect using a PCI-Express 3.0×16 interface, and is 241mm in length with a dual-slot cooling solution.
Unlike older graphics cards in the RX line, the 580 features more efficient cooling features that are able to better regulate heat. It features an upgraded thermal system that will help to prevent the card from overheating, though it is known for running quite loudly. In contrast, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 features an aluminum casing that will help to keep the card from overheating, while a single-fan system will help to maintain a cool airflow throughout the card. Just like the RX 580, the 1070 is known for running loudly, which is something to keep in mind.
The next feature we’re going to be taking a look at is ray-tracing, which is the ability to emulate the way that light and shadow work in real life. This allows for a more immersive and realistic experience. Unfortunately, neither the GTX 1070 nor RX 580 feature the necessary hardware in order to support this technology, which is something to keep in mind if ray-tracing is important to you.
Now, for the technical bit! On paper, it’s easy to see that, out of the two, the 1070 is the more powerful card. It features a memory speed of 8000MHz, a core speed of 1443MHz, and a memory maximum of 8192MB. Paired with a video memory of GDDR5, this card will be able to offer optimal performance across many games, even the latest-generation. As for the RX 580, though it utilizes the same GDDR5, it’s slightly slower with a core speed of 1257MHz and features slightly older architecture than Pascal, which will affect the overall performance. The 580 also offers moderate overclocking capabilities (in contrast to 1070, which offers excellent overclocking ability) and means that you’ll have to keep the card below 85 degrees Celsius, so it’s not as well suited to the latest generation games.
All in all, both the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and the AMD Radeon RX 580 are great midrange options that offer a respectable performance for everyday PC needs and occasional gaming. The best part about these cards? Neither comes at a hefty price point, which makes them an ideal choice for those looking to save their cash.
Out of the two, we think that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 offers the best performance efficiency and value for money. Not only does it feature Pascal microarchitecture (which makes it more suitable for latest-gen games) but it’s slightly faster and better at keeping itself cool, not to mention the fact that RX 580’s Nvidia equivalent is the 1060, which is one step below the 1070.