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AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Review

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Geekwad

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Nobody I know anywhere really cares are performance-to-watt ratios......only price-to-performance.
 

Bloob

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So it's basically a 970. Not sure about the US, but prices here are roughly the same (a little in favor of the 970 actually). Disappointed.
 

jimmysmitty

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True but it unfortunately got the short stick because it has to compete directly with Pascal since Vega wont be out till next year which might be a chance for nVidia to release a refresh on a more refined 16nm process.
 

neblogai

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While I root for Vulkan, it seems that DX12 is getting traction faster at this moment. I also think that because Vulkan/DX12 can use CPU/GPU more fully, they should be used in hardware testing more.
I also see that I did not notice AoTS being tested in DX12 - so I was wrong saying it is whole DX11 review.
 

logainofhades

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That remains to be seen, as some rumors have been saying that Vega will be out, come October.
 

bit_user

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Pascal is the name of the architecture, and applies to all Nvidia products of this generation. From the GP100 compute chip to the GP106, used in GTX 1060 and 1050, and everything in between. Possibly even the GPU in their next Tegra SoC.

So, yeah, Polaris was intended to be a Pascal competitor. What you mean is that it's not meant to compete with the GP104.

But the efficiency does imply things about Vega's performance, which will be constrained by its power consumption.

It might also suggest how much (or little) performance would be available through OC and the use of GDDR5X.

 
Not as dynamic a card as I was hoping for so I'm a little disappointed. I keep seeing post that "I think some of you are forgetting that this is a $200 card". Actually this is a $240 card they didn't test the 4GB $200 version in this article. Definitely beats the GTX 960 hands down and the AMD 280/380 so it hits the $200-$250 sweet spot. I'm a bit worried about the PIC-E slot power draw. Hopefully the AMD board partners have already corrected this issue. Would like to see what it's 4K numbers look like.
 

AS118

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I was looking into getting a 380x or a 970 or 390, but didn't want to pay $300, so the 480's a good step up for me and my 270x. Knowing AMD, driver improvements will probably eventually make the 480 perform close to the 390x and 980 over time.

That said, I'm waiting for the aftermarket custom boards. Those should be better than the reference stuff.
 

Primeletter

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ORANTHAL SAID:
Wow all the hype and it didn't deliver on any of it. Yes its an improvement but a marginal one and the supply is non existent. So its a paper launch as well. I was hoping this would be the solution to my 1440p 144hz freesync setup. Really disappointed, then again nothing lives up to online hype now. Nvidia's offerings hit the performance numbers we wanted but are insanely expensive. So I will keep waiting to see if drivers and oc's helps this card out or hope the 490 delivers.

1440p and 144hz for ~$200? You really believed that?
 

jeremymau

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I am glad I hung in there for official reviews. Tomshardware was pretty much right on the spot with other reviewers. Basically the RX 480 is just a small upgrade from what we have been using for the last several years. With that said, AMD will not be getting my money anytime soon. For now, it's going to be the 1070 for me. Vega will need to defeat all of these cards in order for me to even consider it. Nvidia is still the king today.
 

adiomari

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"Meanwhile, we’ll glad put the RX 480 on par with AMD’s Radeon R9 390X and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970, both of which are represented by overclocked partner boards."

You use overclocked 970 and 390x make it clear in the graphs. Otherwise your review will be misleading (it is right now).
 

cmi86

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I just don't like reading toms reviews of AMD products anymore. It's not that they are (always) being untrue or stacking the deck against AMD because they are not. Generally the reviews are accurate, however they lack the enthusiasm that seems to accompany Nvidia reviews. Just take a look at the 1080 review and it's all praise and compliments from the word go all the way though, reviewing every new feature however petty while somewhat glossing over considerable issues with the card such as charging a $100 premium for a stock cooler that throttles the GPU and renders boost clocks let alone ANY overclocking completely useless. Contrast this to the RX-480 review that immediately starts out by making a point of this $200 chips inferiority when compared to pascal costing 2-3 times as much. from there the article moves to chastise mainstream performance as being nothing special and again compares mid range Polaris to high end Pascal. The article then moves to it's first metric which is ... Well obviously to judge the RX-480 on it's predecessors and see if it can even hold it's clock speed, which it actually can (unlike NV''s FE cooelr) Even after this immediate call out is dispatched, the finding is quickly moved past with no praise on to another negative performance metric exposing performance loss in the back the back end of the GPU. The gaming metrics of the review are pretty straight forward reasonable minus the usual helping of titles that are known to favor one flavor of hardware over another. Past this we move to the power consumption testing that actually revealed a considerable issue with the power system pulling more power than quoted by AMD and possibly overloading the PCI-e slot. Compare the subsequent lack of OC ability to that of the 1080 and you find that an entire section of the Review is dedicated to the RX-480, where as barely a paragraph is dedicated to the failure of the "founders edition" cooler Nividia is actually charging customers EXTRA for.. In conclusion it simply seems that Nvidia reviews are approached with more enthusiasm and leniency on behalf of reviewers where as AMD reviews are generally more critical of minor issues while offering less praise and compliment.
 

Onus

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A board-partner card that fixes the out-of-spec power issue (and may or may not use a single 8-pin PCIe power cable) makes a lot of sense, vs. the costlier GTX970. Will the 1060 change that? We shall see, but I'm thinking yes.
The broader picture here is that AMD is really getting squeezed. At the low end, the GTX750Ti beats the R7 360 (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/radeon-r7-360-video-card-review/6/ ), and at the high end, the GTX1080 rules. With the right price on the GTX1060 (or discounts on the GTX970), this card also becomes irrelevant.
 

InvalidError

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If you were a tablet reviewer, would you be able to show the same enthusiasm for the 10" Galaxy Tab S2 as you would for the 7" Galaxy Tab A? The performance level of the RX-480 has been available for years and merely got $100-200 cheaper. Not as exciting as the 1070 which brings the former ~$1000 performance point down in the sub-$500 arena.
 

bramahon

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Excellent article, no one does a better job of summing up a new micro-architecture than Chris. Good find on the power-phase/VRM set-up too - hopefully further digging is in order.

Anyway, after reading my mind is taken aback to the HD68XX (Barts) series launch and I can't help the feeling of deja vu. Refined re-use of hardware resource in a smaller process geometry to boost efficiency and reduce production cost! However that didn't hide the limitation HD6870 vs. older HD5870 which had more physical resource on-board; I can see the same thing happening to RX480 when compared to 390X. But the problem is Barts was no longer a good proposition once the 560Ti arrived ;)
 

tormaid

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I'm really curious, and I can't find the answer to this anywhere. Does this card support 10-bit color over displayport to a true 10-bit monitor like an Eizo or NEC? If so, that's a BIG DEAL, as it would eliminate the need for pricy workstation cards for many users.
 

none12345

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For 200 this isnt a bad card, it beats anything else in the price range. I was hoping for a bit more tho. I dont really care about the power consumption, but its higher then i would have predicted. They definitly should have gone with an 8pin connector, doesnt make any sense that they didnt. But board partners can easily fix that, if they dont, they are stuipd as well.

All in all if you have anything less then a 960/380 and your budget is <=300, then this is the only card you should consider(well the 4 or 8gig version). If you have a 960/380, then this is an upgrade, but really id wait for now, those cards are good enough in todays games at 1080p, might as well just wait for sales, or the next cards. That is unless you have money to move into a much higher price bracket, then its the 1070, but going to a 1070 for 1080p would be a stupid waste.

This article should have really had a 380 in it. I know a 960 is basically a lil slower 380, but the old card this replaces should have been in the charts. Same complaint i had about about 1000 series nvidia reviews, they were missing the cards they are meant to replace.

I think its also a bit unfair to have the field stacked with overclocked cards, sure factory overclocks from board partners, but overclocks none the less. You didnt hide it, and really the 480 does well enough even against that disadvantage, but still doesnt seem right.
 

InvalidError

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The last time Chris used stock-clocked cards in a comparison, he got grilled by people saying that nobody runs their high-end GPUs at plain stock clocks. Use factory OC, then you have people complaining that it isn't a fair stock-to-stock comparison or that he should be comparing between factory overclocks or between manual overclocks.

There is just no pleasing everyone at the same time. At least not without including a hundred different GPUs and GPU variants. No matter which way you slice it, it becomes a nightmare.


 

Geekwad

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Reading tea leaves doesn't usually pan out, so I tend to avoid it. By what percentage it over-clocks though is actually inconsequential to the argument; at the end of the day, most will be looking to upfront capital outlay versus the average frames per second it will achieve (over-clocked or otherwise, depending on your preference).

For this reference card: As the overwhelming majority of people who play video games with their computer use a display resolution of 1080p or less with a refresh rate of 60hz or less, this particular GPU offers a current feature-set for a great price.
 

turkey3_scratch

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I'm starting to feel that in addition to money the only other real reason for the Titan X in the first place was so 1 year down the road people could say the 1070 competes with a $1000 GPU when in fact it should be compared to a 980Ti. If Nvidia sold the Titan X for $1500, would that make the 1070 any more impressive for matching the performance of a $1500 GPU? Not really when that $1500 (or $1000) GPU has horrid price/performance to begin with.

Overall, I think the RX 480 is somewhat underwhelming and also somewhat exciting at the same time. WHat we are seeing from Nvidia is their cards are reaching two levels up the chain. The GTX 1080 > 980Ti, the GTX 1070 = 980Ti. So at this rate, it seems like the GTX 1060 is going to = GTX 980, which would be bad news for the RX 480 since it seems to compete moreso with the GTX 970.

I am having a lot of difficulty trying to sum up what card the RX 480 matches in performance. In some games it beats the 390X and GTX 970, and in other games it is quite far below the GTX 970 and R9 390. Considering that those cards were somewhat overclocked, being aftermarket and all, I'll say the RX 480 falls to at least GTX 970 and R9 390 performance, but does not reach GTX 980 levels. Sort of like what InvalidError said, very inconsistent.

One thing I really like is the Catalyst Control center's new features. I dislike relying on third party apps, it is nice to have monitoring in first party apps, especially for those people on the forum who you ask for their temps and they don't have monitoring software installed; not you just tell them to go to Catalyst Control Center. Oh, and surely RX 480 aftermarket cards will have an 8-pin power connector and hopefully address the power problems.

Could somebody explain frame time and frame time variance to me? I do not understand those graphs.
 
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