Sapphire Radeon RX 570 Pulse and RX 580 Pulse review: Solid gaming on a tight budget

While Sapphire's flagship Nitro+ series goes for broke, the Pulse lineup focuses on value.

At a Glance
  • Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Pulse

    PCWorld Rating
    $239.99 MSRP $229.99
    View
    on Newegg
  • Sapphire Radeon RX 570 Pulse

    PCWorld Rating
    $189.99 MSRP $179.99
    View
    on Newegg
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Power

We test power under load by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, running the intensive Division benchmark at 4K resolution, and noting the peak power draw. Idle power is measured after sitting on the Windows desktop for three minutes with no extra programs or processes running.

pulse power Brad Chacos/IDG

The Pulse cards use slightly less power than their Radeon rivals (though still far more than Nvidia’s comparable GeForce cards, which aren’t included here).

Heat

We test heat during the same intensive Division benchmark at a strenuous 4K resolution, by running SpeedFan in the background and noting the maximum GPU temperature once the run is over.

pulse gpu temps Brad Chacos/IDG

Here’s a more noticeable difference between the similar cards. Sapphire’s beefier Nitro+ cooler keeps that RX 580 4 degrees (Celsius) cooler than the Pulse model in this test, though the RX 580 Pulse’s temperature isn’t toasty whatsoever. The RX 580 Pulse is noticeably louder than the Nitro+ at load, but not by much; both cards run quiet inside a closed case.

As far as the RX 570 models go, Sapphire’s Pulse manages to run 4 degrees chillier than the Aorus despite both cards sporting similarly designed coolers with similarly thick heatsinks. One key difference between the two: The Aorus RX 570’s fans don’t shut down under light loads, while the Sapphire Pulse’s Dual-X cooler fans go idle. That makes the Pulse quieter when you aren’t actually gaming, though again, both cards are acceptably quiet inside a closed case.

Next page: Bottom line

At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating
    $239.99 MSRP $229.99
    View
    on Newegg
  • PCWorld Rating
    $189.99 MSRP $179.99
    View
    on Newegg
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