AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Review

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dragosmp

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Nov 13, 2014
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Great technical insight and investigative journalism. Looks like the big gripes can be corrected by AMD's partners with a better board design

Any thoughts though why the performance per watt is so much lower than the 1080/1070s? It seems being on a similar process node they should be closer; in stead AMD's card barely matches a card two full nodes behind in perf/W
 

Oranthal

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Not according to AMD themselves. They said the 470 is for 1080p and the 480 is 1440p and VR and its barely adequate for that. It is only reasonable to hope they deliver on their promises.
 

Sakkura

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Could be a combination of several factors. AMD's architecture is probably still just less efficient, even if they've made some improvements. Their driver may not be as optimized, which is something that may improve over the coming months. And as for the process node, Samsung/GloFo 14LPP may not respond as well to higher clocks as TSMC FF16+ did for Nvidia; those clocks were necessary for the performance AMD was aiming for though.
 

gondo

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Looks good. However NVidia now has time to put out an even more efficient version of the 1060. But, AMD now has time to beat the 1080 and put out a decent product on the high end. In the end it's still the same old, dollar for dollar you can't go wrong with either brand at equivalent price points.

The winner in my boat is Freesync and there are some beautiful less expensive Freesync monitors compared to GSync. That has me leaning towards AMD for my system, unless I already own a GSync monitor.
 


I do agree the performance / watt is not as good as nVidia and people is right to complain. GCN is *not* an efficient uArch, since it's a "jack of all trades" approach to computing and general geometry processing.

Until AMD gets rid of parts of GCN that don't add anything to the "geometry" part of the equation, you will still see them behind nVidia in a 1:1 metric in games. Computing it's up to par in most cases.

Now, all of that being said, IT IS BETTER than before. The TDP is ~150W, which is great for any owner of a 7970, 280X, 290. If you really care that much about using *more* than 180W, then stick to nVidia by all means.

Cheers!
 

LuxZg

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I've got to say I'm disappointed. Not by performance or price, that's all fine. But performance per watt is almost exactly as a GTX 970 which is 28nm card. I mean, you didn't have to beat GTX 10 series, but really, not even beating 970?! And don't call me a green troll, last NV card I bought was about 10 years ago. I was hopefull of RX 470 & 490 as well, but seeing these numbers makes me sad :(

Only thing that could be of some consolation, is that MAYBE the cards temperatures increase the leakage a bit too much, and that a well cooled partner cards keeping GPU around 60C could somehow make the power consumption better. But while that would be good, it would at the same time be a terrible news of Global Foundries process, and a huge dark shadow over the future AMD products (not just Vega, but Zen as well). I just have to think positive, but positive this does not look.

Conclusion: good price/perf product in current lineup, but a huge questionmark(s) hover over this and future products from AMD (IMHO).
 

Howkey6

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Jun 29, 2016
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Do not forget, that rx480 will be a lot better in dx12 than 970 and will result in simillar performance as 980 or better. It is primarily dx12 card, dx11 is obsolete. This is really gret for $200 ;-) just look to another dx12 tests on internet.
 

Sakkura

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The real competition for the 480 is not the 970, it's the 1060 and whatever else Nvidia has planned for the mainstream segment.

Just like the 1080 and 1070 can't fairly be compared to the Fury X etc.

If AMD had hit a power consumption figure just 15-20W lower for the 480, I'd have been unequivocally happy about the card. As is, I'm left with a "yes it's good, but" impression.
 

belegCZE

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so yea, if new gen GPU from AMD was directly aiming on the old one from Nvidia, no problem. somehow i was hoping for something more... challenging or breath-taking if you like.

just starting to wonder, how this gonna work out once Nvidia will release their 1060, this could end up pretty nasty.

And dont get me wrong, not going to buy any those cards anyway, my upgrade cicle is still about two years ahead. so no point to favour any of these cards really. just my 5 cents
 

Onus

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Performance is decent, especially for the price.
Power consumption isn't odious, but is a little disappointing.
Power distribution though, gets a big "Oops!" This card fails to adhere to the PCIe standards, which is a defect. Hopefully this is something a board partner can easily fix.
 

belegCZE

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maybe its different from country to country, i just checked prices of RX 480 (8GB) and new 970, RX 480 is slightly ( not even 15 bucks) cheaper than the 970s.
i dont see the 100 USD difference at shops all across Czech Republic.

(prices for the 4GB versions aint out yet)
 

cmi86

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Awesome a vanilla reference board is as fast if not faster than a lot of higher end 3rd party OC boards. I expect partners will sort out the TDP issues with a pair of 6 pins and well see what this thing can do when it plays by the same rules as its competition.
 

jimmysmitty

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To be fair we knew about this not too long ago. When Apple used the TSMC and Samsung process nodes in the iPhone 6s (same 16nm and 14nm) and the TSMC 16nm turned out to be slightly more efficient than the Samsung 14nm.
 

Math Geek

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seeing much different results elsewhere. fps seems to vary wildly from site to site and game to game. not sure how to take this review since the numbers are a lot higher than everywhere else. i'm used to a certain % higher from here but this time it seems a bit too high.
 

foolishone

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The card being reviewed here is not $200; it is $240 on newegg.
GTX 970 can be had on newegg for $240 w/ rebate.

The temps and pcie power draw are both concerning. A >$240 partner board with these resolved isn't being reviewed here, though. They're unfortunately giving nvidia the ability to overcharge for the 1060 with what was revealed in this review.
 

logainofhades

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Vega is what AMD will be pitting against Pascal. Polaris was never meant to be a Pascal competitor. It was meant to be a upper midrange competitor. The 4gb model will be priced closed to what many overclocked 4gb GTX 960's sit at, right now. For the money, this is overall a pretty nice card. Not something I would be looking at getting, at this time, though. I am waiting on the aftermarket GTX 1070's. I have no room to complain about the power consumption, as my 780ti uses more power than a 290x.
 

InvalidError

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To be fair, DX12 games currently account for less than 1% of games currently available. The rest are DX11 or lower, or OpenGL/Vulkan.
 

rayden54

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I'm disappointed. My only expectation for this thing is that I thought it should be the go to card for VR. I'm not sure where that puts it performance-wise, but making it just barely "through the door" isn't good enough for me.

Especially since (aside from my limited VRAM), I really don't gain much else from an upgrade right now.
 

DeshiPirate

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"So basically AMD caught up to nvidia's now obsolete 9xx series? So much for the hype, though not unusual for AMD."

Not realy obsolete yet, Nvidia has nothing new in the lower market segment. When 1060 comes out we can properly compare, but until then, AMD has supassed overall the 9xx series it actually competes with, as the 970/980 used to be higher end cards.
the 1060 is expected to have similar performance area, maybe slightly lower or slighlty higher, based on leaked hardware spec details.Even if slighly higher though, as far as future proofness the RX480 looks like a better buy, unless they price significantly lower, which knowing Nvidia, is unlikely.
 
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