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AMD Radeon RX 590 GME Benchmark Results Fail to Impress

XFX Radeon RX 590 GME 8GB Black Wolf

XFX Radeon RX 590 GME 8GB Black Wolf (Image credit: XFX)

Chinese publication Expreview has put AMD's China-exclusive Radeon RX 590 GME gaming GPU through its paces. The XFX Radeon RX 590 GME 8GB Black Wolf featured in the review is the fastest Radeon Rx 590 GME on the market right now.

The graphics card utilizes the same dual-fan cooling solution as the Black Wolf editions of the Radeon RX 590 and Radeon RX 580. What enthusiasts have really been waiting to see is what silicon is under the shroud. The popular theory is that the Radeon RX 590 GME would either be based on AMD's 12nm Polaris 30 or 14nm Polaris 20 silicon. After dismantling the Radeon RX 590 GME 8GB Black Wolf, Expreview discovered that the graphics card utilizes the Polaris 20 XTX die, the same silicon inside the Radeon RX 580. 

Radeon RX 590 GME Specifications

Radeon RX 590 Black WolfRadeon RX 590 GME Black WolfRadeon RX 580 Black Wolf
GPU ArchitectureGCN 4.0 (Polaris 30)GCN 4.0 (Polaris 20)GCN 4.0 (Polaris 20)
Shading Units2,3042,3042,304
Texture Units144144144
ROPs323232
Boost Clock Rate1,580 MHz1,460 MHz1,386 MHz
Memory Clock8 Gbps8 Gbps8 Gbps
Memory Capacity8GB GDDR68GB GDDR68GB GDDR6
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth256 GBps256 GBps256 GBps
L2 Cache2MB2MB2MB
TDP165W135W145W
Transistor Count5.7 billion5.7 billion5.7 billion
Die Size232 mm²232 mm²232 mm²

The Radeon RX 590 GME shares the same amount of shading units and memory configuration as the Radeon RX 590 and RX 580 with the boost clock speed being the key differentiator. In XFX's case, the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf carries a 1,460 MHz boost clock, which places it right between the Radeon RX 590 and RX 590 Black Wolf. 

When it comes to power connectors, the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf takes after the Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf. It employs a combination of a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors (the Radeon RX 580 Black Wolf only needs one 8-pin PCIe power connector). 

Curiously, XFX rates the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf with a 135W TDP (thermal design power), which is lower than both the Radeon RX 590 and RX 580 Black Wolf. We can't find a reason for the extra 6-pin PCIe power connector, so we suspect that XFX might be recycling Radeon RX 590 PCBs with some slight changes for the Radeon RX 590 GME.

In summary, it looks like the Radeon RX 590 GME is essentially an overclocked Radeon RX 580 or a gimped Radeon RX 590, depending on how you want to look at it.

Radeon RX 590 GME Benchmarks

Expreview tested the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf on a platform using an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor, Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Formula motherboard and 16GB of DDR4-3600 RAM with CAS latency timings of 16-16-16-36. 

The publication pitted the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf against the Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf, Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Black Wolf and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Super WindForce OC 4G. Unfortunately, Expreview didn't add the Radeon RX 580 Black Wolf to the comparison.

Expreview conducted the gaming tests at the 1080p resolution across eight different games on the highest quality preset except for Metro Exodus and Hitman 2, which were on ultra and high quality. Expreview used the games' corresponding in-game benchmarks. The results are shown in average frames per second (fps).

Radeon RX 590 Black WolfRadeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Black WolfGeForce GTX 1650 Super WindForce OC 4GRadeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf
Assassin's Creed Odyssey43394036
Total War: Three Kingdoms4040.236.137.9
Shadow of the Tomb Raider70626466
Metro Exodus38.2438.735.8436.42
Far Cry 578837773
Grand Theft Auto V114114.7114.62105.2
Borderlands 342.5444.7938.8240.62
Hitman 264.5961.2267.4663.35

According to these results, the Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf is 5-8% faster than the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf, depending on the game. In Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf delivered up to 19.4% better performance than the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf.

The Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf is typically slower than the Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Black Wolf, the benchmarks show. Out of the eight games that were tested, the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf only managed to beat the Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Black Wolf in two of them.

With these numbers, it's fair to say that the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf and the GeForce GTX 1650 Super WindForce OC 4G are in the same performance bracket. The graphics card tied at four games a piece.

Radeon RX 590 Black WolfRadeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Black WolfGeForce GTX 1650 Super WindForce OC 4GRadeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf
Idle14W - 17W8W - 13W8W - 23W14W - 18W
Load156W - 275W108W - 150W73W - 117W180W - 254W

For the power consumption test, Expreview turned to the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark and recorded the power draw during 1 minute and averaged the results.

The Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf and Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf on average drew around 15W at idle. Surprisingly, the latter pulled up to 225W on an average load, which is 10W more than the former. When it came to peak power consumption, the Radeon RX 590 Black Wolf and Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf sucked up to 275W and 254W, respectively.

Expreview also evaluated the Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf's overclocking potential. It's important to keep in mind that each sample is different,  so overclocking headroom still comes down to the silicon lottery.

AMD's Adrenalin automatic overclocking feature pushed Expreview's sample to 1,540 MHz. However, the reviewer noted that performance was actually worse when compared to the factory boost clock. He tried to increase the GPU voltage and TDP limit but to no avail. The reviewer concluded that the Radeon RX 590 GME is binned to a point where there is no headroom for manual overclocking.

Radeon RX 590 GME Pricing

The Radeon RX 590 GME is supposed to fill the gap between the Radeon RX 590 and RX 580. In China, the Radeon RX 590 GME is approximately 100 yuan (~$14) cheaper than the regular Radeon RX 590. Overall, you're sacrificing up to 8% of performance.

At the current price point, we don't expect the Radeon RX 590 GME to succeed in the Chinese market. The Radeon RX 590 GME Black Wolf, which is the cheapest, sells for 1,199 yuan (~$173). The Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB is faster and more power efficient but, more importantly, retails for below the 1,000-yuan (~$144) mark. Therefore, we see no reason to pick the Radeon RX 590 GME over the Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB.

  • King_V
    Kind of what was to be expected.

    Still, I want to know where the heck those TDP numbers came from - they have no relation to reality!
    Reply
  • Newtonius
    Yay another GPU nobody wanted to produce more waste.
    Reply
  • King_V
    I'm guessing it probably serves a market niche in the Asian market, where it's targeted.
    Reply
  • prisoner_223
    Who would buy this.. Vega 64s are available on the used market for around $200 or so. I got my second one for $220.
    Reply
  • King_V
    prisoner_223 said:
    Who would buy this.. Vega 64s are available on the used market for around $200 or so. I got my second one for $220.
    In SE Asia?
    Reply