MSI RX 590 vs Gigabyte RX 590 on cMP 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by XNorth, May 6, 2019.

  1. XNorth, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019

    XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #1
    I thought I would post this comparison since there's very little info about the RX 590 in a classic MP 5,1.

    If you are considering the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 for the cMP 5,1, you might want to look into the RX 590 as a newer and faster Polaris card. As of this writing the 590 is $30 more on Amazon.

    I tested the MSI RX 590 ARMOR and the Gigabyte RX 590 Gaming cards. I kept the Gigabyte RX 590, and I will tell you why.

    The RX 590 replaced a Vega FE air-cooled in my cMP 5,1. Vega FE's raw performance was good, but I was not satisfied with its inefficient thermal to performance ratio and the unbearable fan noise. Some have said under 10.14.5, the Vega FE behaves better, but it's still a hog and I don't need that much bacon for a 5,1. I wanted a card that's recently fresh and can keep a good pace with the next 2-3 iterations of MacOS until the 5,1 is no loner supported.

    I sold the FE for enough to buy two RX 590 cards. I settled on testing the MSI RX 590 and Gigabyte RX 590 cards to find the best suited for my use. My criteria were:

    1. A more recent card than the highly recommended Sapphire Pulse RX 580, a 2 year-old card outperformed by the RX 590 by about 12%.
    2. Reasonably power efficient, around TDP 200W.
    3. 2-card slot wide. Of the 2-slot RX 590 cards, the MSI and Gigabyte were the most affordable and sold directly by Amazon. I didn't try the ASrock RX 590, another 2-slot card, which was sold by an Amazon seller and could be harder to return.
    4. Could be backward compatible with FCP legacy under Sierra. This eliminates the Vega 56/64 cards.

    RX 590 Performance benchmarks -- In synthetic benchmarks and real-world tests, they performed about the same. The Gigabyte has a slight edge on my machine.

    FCPX BruceX test:
    Gigabyte - 16.5 seconds. MSI - 17.5 seconds.

    Unigine Valley:
    Gigabyte - 1920x1080...

    Screen Shot 2019-05-30 at 8.12.12 PM.png

    Gigabyte - Preset Extreme HD...

    Screen Shot 2019-05-30 at 8.23.30 PM.png

    LuxMark v3.1 -- left Gigabyte, right MSI:

    Luxmark-Gigabyte.png Luxmark-MSI.png
    Unigine Heaven 4.0:

    Heaven-Gigabyte.png Heaven-MSI.png

    MacOS 10.14.5 Beta does not yet properly identify the RX 590 cards in System Info and About This Mac. They are listed as Radeon Polaris 8 GB. Both cards work OTB in Mojave 10.14.5 Beta.

    EDIT: 10.14.5 and later properly recognizes the RX 590 as "Radeon RX 590."

    Both cards fit into PCIe slot 1. The MSI is bulkier, 1 inch longer and .75 inch deeper. The Gigabyte is more compact but wider by several millimeters due to the external backplate heatsink. There is only about 3 mm of clearance between the Gigabyte and my Amfeltec Squid card in slot 2.

    IMG_5055.jpg

    The Gigabyte RGB logo cycles through different colors, and the "fan stop" LED indicates the fan status at 0 RPM. The MSI has no RGB.

    The MSI requires two 8-pin power cables. The Gigabyte requires one 8-pin.

    I kept the Gigabyte because it seems to handle power consumption and thermals better than the MSI. The Gigabyte semi-passive fans idle at 0 RPM. The MSI fans idle at 600 RPM yet still very quiet. In the BruceX tests, the Gigabyte fan speed was 843 RPM vs the MSI at 1090 RPM.
     
  2. XNorth thread starter macrumors regular

    XNorth

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #2
    I tested the RX 590 in Sierra. It's not promising. The card goes into full blast immediately and doesn't spin down. It seems Sierra updates didn't include drivers for the Polaris 5xx 8GB cards? I would have guessed that Sierra has drivers for the RX 580, and if so then the RX 590 would work.

    Can anyone confirm the 580 works in Sierra?
     
  3. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #3
    Thanks for this comparison.
    I just added a sapphire nitro+ rx 590 SE. I like the card but it does take up 3 PCI slots. I may look into exchanging it for a Gigabyte RX 590 as it seems it does take up only 2 slots.
     
  4. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #4
    By the way, just to clarify I am running it on Mojave 10.14.6
    [​IMG]
     
  5. XNorth thread starter macrumors regular

    XNorth

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    The Gigabyte discounted on Amazon, current prize $200.
     
  6. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #6
    Returned my sapphire nitro+ rx 590 SE to go for a card that only uses 2 slots. Gigabyte RX 590 fits well.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #7
    I have a small PCIe NVMe SSD adapter housing a WD_BLACK SN750 in slot 2. Slot 4 has a DAQ card from National Instruments. I like the different colors the Gigabyte cycles through. Too bad 1)case is always closed 2) No software to control colors.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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6 May 6, 2019