First of all, congratulations to ASRock on its first graphics card. The company took advantage of a long product cycle, started with a decidedly mainstream GPU, and went conservative on its design. A Radeon RX Vega-based board would have been a completely different animal. We have to respect the desire to start small and build from there.
ASRock's Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX580 8G OC is a solid entry in a mainstream market that remains under pressure from cryptocurrency miners. With no availability yet in the U.S., it's hard to judge the card one way or another against its competition. As a result, we can only really say where the Phantom Gaming X should land with regard to other Radeon RX 580s: it needs to be at the lowest end of the pricing scale.
Clearly, manufacturing cost was a primary factor in this card's implementation. The heat sink could have been a bit beefier, which would have taken some pressure off of the fans to spin so quickly, reducing noise. Still, the thermal solution does its job well enough to not impede AMD's Ellesmere graphics processor, even in artificially taxing workloads. Moreover, the 6mm heat pipe between the GPU base plate and VRM heat sink was ill-conceived. We do, however, like that ASRock avoided highly-integrated voltage regulation circuitry, instead spreading discrete components around to avoid creating hot-spots.
In the end, ASRock's Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX580 8G OC delivers all of the performance you'd expect from a capable Radeon RX 580. That means smooth performance in the latest games at 1920x1080, and acceptable frame rates at 2560x1440, even with detail settings cranked all the way up.
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