Aorus Radeon RX 570 review: The best graphics card you can buy under $200, barely changed

This Polaris refresh is more of a side-grade than an upgrade, but it's still the best option in its price class.

At a Glance
  • Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 570

    PCWorld Rating
    $179.99 MSRP $179.99
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    on Newegg
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Bottom line

So there you have it: Even with a factory overclock and an impressive custom cooler, the Aorus Radeon RX 570 is still only slightly faster than an overclocked Radeon RX 470, and trades blows with the 3GB GTX 1060.

It’s a performance wash—but I’d universally recommend the Radeon RX 570 over the 3GB GTX 1060 (and the much weaker GTX 1050 Ti). Sure, the GeForce card offers much greater power efficiency, but a mere 3GB of memory capacity just doesn’t cut it for high-quality gaming these days. Some games already blow past that even at 1080p resolution, and having under 4GB of RAM can cause stuttering issues in some DirectX 12 games. The lower-cost Radeon RX 570 and its 4GB buffer is the better option, full stop.

It’s a solid option for 60-fps, 1080p gaming with few compromises, and the Aorus RX 580 can even handle some 1440p games if you don’t mind dialing back graphics details and tolerating frame rates that fall closer to 45 fps. An affordable FreeSync variable refresh rate monitor—a compelling part of Radeon’s value in non-high-end PC builds—would be a great accompaniment for this particular card, smoothing out gameplay when performance does dip below 60 fps.

aorus 7 Brad Chacos/IDG

The $180 customized Aorus model is a particularly nice graphics card for this price segment, especially since it carries only a $10 premium over AMD's suggested pricing despite its overclock and custom cooler. The $10 AMD dropped from the RX 570's suggested price gives the GPU a much better value proposition with this generation, too. At $180, the older RX 470 wasn't worthwhile when a 4GB RX 480 was only $20 more.

What a bummer of a refresh, though.

When AMD replaced the Radeon R200 series with the R300-series, those refreshed graphics cards boosted memory speeds and offered more memory capacity. The Radeon RX 500-series essentially only boosts the GPU card speeds, and it’s not enough to achieve any sort of meaningful performance gain in gaming scenarios. Yawn.

Like I said, it makes a lot of strategic sense for AMD to roll out this rebrand. It sets the stage for Radeon Vega’s eventual second-quarter launch, for one thing. But lots of folks are building new Ryzen PCs right now. Those people will have shiny “new” Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards to pair with their shiny new Ryzen 5 processors—and the Radeon RX 570 definitely outshines its GeForce competition, ironically due to that untouched 4GB memory capacity. It’d be a massive step-up over an older Radeon R7 370 or GeForce GTX 960.

aorus 9 Brad Chacos/IDG

But the Radeon RX 570 is a virtually imperceptible upgrade over the Radeon RX 470. A few frames per second and better power efficiency in some use cases isn’t compelling whatsoever for current owners of Polaris-based GPUs.

In fact, Radeon RX 470s have been selling for incredibly cheap prices in the ramp-up to this release. If you can find one of those on sale, pick it up instead and pocket the extra cash. You won’t notice the performance difference. And if you’re really lucky, you might even be able to find an RX 480 for roughly the same price (or less!) as a custom RX 570. Take that deal all day long.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating
    $179.99 MSRP $179.99
    View
    on Newegg

    The Gigabyte Aorus is a gorgeous, well-performing graphics card. The Radeon RX 570 is the best sub-$200 gaming option around—but it isn't much of a step up over the RX 470.

    Pros

    • 4GB of RAM
    • Superb 1080p gaming performance
    • Quiet, cool, and overclocked.
    • $10 cheaper than RX 470

    Cons

    • Refresh of existing RX 470
    • Lags behind Nvidia GPUs in power efficiency.
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