AMD Radeon RX 480 Video Card Review @ [H]

ssnyder28

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Although this is on the right track, this is a bit disappointing. I was really hoping it would go head to head with the 980 and shake up the market a bit.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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review said:
While we did not log a lot of data on the wattage while the RX480 was overclocked, we did witness it pushing 284W for extended periods of time while gaming. Remember we saw 249W under normal clocks while gaming. 14% more wattage got us a 6% overclock that was stable.
That is just AWEFUL even if it is OC readings. Wait for the 8 pin version at least!

Thank god I have a sabertooth board with extra thick copper traces and a AX850 power supply with good PCIe cables. People looking for budget buys on cheap motherboards could have issues.

And at stock it really struggles to meet even 390 levels in some games with the eye candy on.

Complete and total cluster F as predicted. If it wasn't for the pricing, this would be a disaster.
 

lazz

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Well, this falls in line with the middle of the pack rumours that have been circulating, although I really did think it would be better at higher than 1080p resolutions.

But, more importantly, the new review format is *excellent*. Much more concise gameplay review pages, highest playable front and centre and separated by resolution... really, a vastly improved layout and format that doesn't sacrifice good data. A big kudos to the [H] team, I certainly hope this is the standard format for GPU reviews going forward.
 

defaultluser

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970 performance.

Slightly higher than 970 power.

Just 32 ROPS, which should castrate MSAA performance and VSR compared to the 390 it's replacing. At least when Nvidia cut the ROPs, it upped the clocks to compensate!

Not massively smaller die size than GP104, which means AMD's been posturing about empty "cost savings." Nvidia has 35% more die area for a part that's 80% faster!

AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Review

Compare this to the GTX 960 and GTX 750 Ti: 55% larger die sie for 60% better performance, even on the same 128-bit bus. AMD should have a size around 200 if their promotions are anywhere near true.

I mean, if they can get it in-stock at $240 by next week it should sell well, but because there's nothing to challenge the 1070 it's a dead-end product with little hype, and little profit margin.

The 1060 will be released, and nobody will remember this ever existed.
 
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Quartz-1

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In your conclusion you write:

We are unsure if we will see any benefit to a 8GB RX 480 at 1080p, but we will be testing that.
but earlier on that page you write

Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3 are two very GPU intensive games, and both were playable at the highest settings. With the on board 8GB of VRAM Tomb Raider used over 6GB of it while gaming at maximum settings just at 1080p, so that capacity was welcomed.
So is the question not already answered?
 

J Macker

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I think [H] visitors are a minority. Of all the people I know who are gamers, nobody else (but myself) has a 1440p lcd.

My coworkers think my 1440p at work is great, but they're not willing to spend $200 to get one themselves. I don't understand people.
1440p is essential for office use. 1440p is GREAT for gaming.

But, the majority of people are playing 1080p and pay <$200 on a video card. I just told my coworker this morning about the new RX 480 and the $240 price. He said "that's about as high as I'd pay" (coming from his $75k salary).

He's also not an [H] reader, but definitely a gamer.

The RX480 looks like a "meh" for me, but for him it'd fit the bill. I hope AMD is profitable on these, because they really need the income to help fuel future generations.
 

Remon

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970 performance.

Just 32 ROPS, which should castrate MSAA performance and VSR compared to the 390 it's replacing

Not massively smaller die size than GP104, which means AMD's been posturing about "cost savings." Nvidia has 35% more die area for a part that's 80% faster!

AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Review

I mean, if they can get it in-stock at $240 by next week it should sell well, but because there's nothing to challenge the 1070 it's a dead-end product with little hype.

The 1060 will be released, and nobody will remember this ever existed.
Was it supposed to challenge the 1070?
 
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Deleted member 93354

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970 performance.

The 1060 will be released, and nobody will remember this ever existed.
Could be why Vega was upped to October.

I was thinking about release schedules.

October: RX490 = Little Vega with more CU/ROPs and DDR5x memory
Spring 2016: Return of Fury name Big Vega with HBM2
 

Quartz-1

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Can I also highlight an inconsistency? You're constantly switching between comparing the RX 480 with the GTX 960 and the GTX 970. I'd much rather all graphs contained both Nvidia GPUs.
 

SpeedyVV

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Well, I just pulled the trigger on 2 of these :)

Let's see if crossfire works ok on them.

Mind you one card is for me and one for my gf son.
 

raghu78

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Polaris is a massive perf/watt failure. Mid-range Pascal GP106 will run all over Polaris in efficiency. My apologies to Kyle for being rude towards his earlier statements on Polaris inefficiency. AMD has got into the habit of overhyping and underdelivering. Nvidia already had the architectural lead in efficiency with Maxwell. With Pascal Nvidia also has the TSMC process lead which has exacerbated the efficiency problem. I think GF 14LPP process is one of the major problems here as TSMC 16FF+ is a significantly superior process with much better electrical characteristics and yields for high performance GPUs. Basically AMD has chosen the wrong fab partner due to their WSA commitments. Anyway AMD has rolled their dice. Nvidia's domination of the GPU market will continue. AMD has to just shut up and go back to the drawing board and come up with something much more competitive in terms of perf/watt. Most importantly they should stop talking. period. They are now bordering on the ridiculous with their pre release hype (Fury X and Polaris). Its unfortunate that AMD has failed to compete and the Nvidia lead is only widening. The only saving grace is DX12 performance is still solid on Polaris.

The Radeon RX480 8GB Performance Review - Page 24
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Rise of the Tomb Raider
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Hitman (2016)
 

ThatsAgood1jay

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Wow, great to see such strong performance for such a great price. Bought a 970 last year for nearly double their asking price......oh well. Life goes on.
 

defaultluser

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Polaris is a massive perf/watt failure. Mid-range Pascal GP106 will run all over Polaris in efficiency. My apologies to Kyle for being rude towards his earlier statements on Polaris inefficiency. AMD has got into the habit of overhyping and underdelivering. Nvidia already had the architectural lead in efficiency with Maxwell. With Pascal Nvidia also has the TSMC process lead which has exacerbated the efficiency problem. I think GF 14LPP process is one of the major problems here as TSMC 16FF+ is a significantly superior process with much better electrical characteristics and yields for high performance GPUs. Basically AMD has chosen the wrong fab partner due to their WSA commitments. Anyway AMD has rolled their dice. Nvidia's domination of the GPU market will continue. AMD has to just shut up and go back to the drawing board and come up with something much more competitive in terms of perf/watt. Most importantly they should stop talking. period. They are now bordering on the ridiculous with their pre release hype (Fury X and Polaris). Its unfortunate that AMD has failed to compete and the Nvidia lead is only widening. The only saving grace is DX12 performance is still solid on Polaris.

The Radeon RX480 8GB Performance Review - Page 24
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Rise of the Tomb Raider
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Hitman (2016)
Yeah, they hyped the community with a tiny card, and as a result it's as loud as a 290x!
 

pcgeekesq

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With Tom's Hardware reporting that the RX 480 draws (substantailly) more than the 75W allowed from the motherboard (for example, the PCI Express high-power card spec allows a mazimum of 66W to be drawn from the 12V pins of the PCI Express slot, and the RX 480 averages 79W from the 12V lines alone) AMD seems to be violating the PCI Express(R) spec. Of course, I'd love to see HardOCP try to duplicate Tom's results.

According to the licensing contract for the spec, if they do not fix this within 3 months, AMD will NOT be able to call the card a PCI Express card. If they do, they face not only litigation, but if my understanding is correct an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the importation of the card as counterfeit goods. You might think the PCI-SIG will give AMD a pass, but if they do, they risk loosing the trademark entirely. An unforced trademark gets invalidated. The SIG won't let that happen.

So what does this mean to the consumer? I think there are two possibilities, if we assume AMD will not choose to remove the PCI Express logos from these cards: Either they will alter the boards to have an 8-pin socket and to pull more power from there, or they will neuter the card to ensure it doesn't draw more power than the PCI Express specification allows. I don't see any other options.

Disclaimer: I am an attorney, but I practice patent law, not trademark law. This post does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
 

Ieldra

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Polaris is a massive perf/watt failure. Mid-range Pascal GP106 will run all over Polaris in efficiency. My apologies to Kyle for being rude towards his earlier statements on Polaris inefficiency. AMD has got into the habit of overhyping and underdelivering. Nvidia already had the architectural lead in efficiency with Maxwell. With Pascal Nvidia also has the TSMC process lead which has exacerbated the efficiency problem. I think GF 14LPP process is one of the major problems here as TSMC 16FF+ is a significantly superior process with much better electrical characteristics and yields for high performance GPUs. Basically AMD has chosen the wrong fab partner due to their WSA commitments. Anyway AMD has rolled their dice. Nvidia's domination of the GPU market will continue. AMD has to just shut up and go back to the drawing board and come up with something much more competitive in terms of perf/watt. Most importantly they should stop talking. period. They are now bordering on the ridiculous with their pre release hype (Fury X and Polaris). Its unfortunate that AMD has failed to compete and the Nvidia lead is only widening. The only saving grace is DX12 performance is still solid on Polaris.

The Radeon RX480 8GB Performance Review - Page 24
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Rise of the Tomb Raider
The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise | Hitman (2016)
As of today the TDP on this card is rated for 110w from 150w

xD

Inb4 class action lawsuit, lying to consumers, yadda yadda yadda.

Plus on a serious note drawing 85w from PCI will be a problem for shitty motherboards
 

noko

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The new format is great and gives a much better feel for comparison when you have the same settings standard. Very nice.

I do see a lot of value for the money at this time and also no competition at this price point. While older hardware discounted would seem the logical competitor - the 970 lacks not only more ram, but DP 1.3/1.4, H.265, DX12 performance, HDMI 2.0b. The 390 pretty much the same. Plus for about the same performance - faster at least in one DX12 game, the RX 480 still draws less power than the 970. I do not see the 970 competing with the 8gb Rx 480 even if at $200. That is just me. Anything current that Nvidia has for that $240 is plain weak. So if AMD can get enough of these made they should sell well until Nvidia can compete with them at this level.

This also goes down the ladder as well, Rx 470 and Rx 460 which I hope is coming out soon.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I have to admit, I didn't expect the 480 to trade blows with the 970, I expected it to be slightly slower, somewhere midway between a 960 and a 970. Not a bad performance for the price.

Still, not for me though.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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According to the licensing contract for the spec, if they do not fix this within 3 months, AMD will NOT be able to call the card a PCI Express card. If they do, they face not only litigation, but if my understanding is correct an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the importation of the card as counterfeit goods. You might think the PCI-SIG will give AMD a pass, but if they do, they risk loosing the trademark entirely. An unforced trademark gets invalidated. The SIG won't let that happen.
To quote a famous cartoon character, "Holy Shitballs" if that is true.
 

Cmdrmonkey

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This is the card the masses have been waiting for. 85% of the market never spends more than $300, and the majority of those buy cards that are $200 or less. Resolutions above 1080p are extremely rare out in the real world. 95% of Steam Hardware Survey respondents are at 1080p or lower. I think 970 level performance for $200 is incredible bang for the buck and these should fly off the shelves. It might be disappointing for the hardcore crowd who buy $500+ cards. Maybe it doesn't overclock as well as you'd like, or have the performance per watt you were looking for, or the 4K or 1440p performance you wanted. Except the people who buy this kind of card don't care about any of those things. All they see is 970 level performance for a price they can actually afford.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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With Tom's Hardware reporting that the RX 480 draws (substantailly) more than the 75W allowed from the motherboard (for example, the PCI Express high-power card spec allows a mazimum of 66W to be drawn from the 12V pins of the PCI Express slot, and the RX 480 averages 79W from the 12V lines alone) AMD seems to be violating the PCI Express(R) spec. Of course, I'd love to see HardOCP try to duplicate Tom's results.

According to the licensing contract for the spec, if they do not fix this within 3 months, AMD will NOT be able to call the card a PCI Express card. If they do, they face not only litigation, but if my understanding is correct an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the importation of the card as counterfeit goods. You might think the PCI-SIG will give AMD a pass, but if they do, they risk loosing the trademark entirely. An unforced trademark gets invalidated. The SIG won't let that happen.

So what does this mean to the consumer? I think there are two possibilities, if we assume AMD will not choose to remove the PCI Express logos from these cards: Either they will alter the boards to have an 8-pin socket and to pull more power from there, or they will neuter the card to ensure it doesn't draw more power than the PCI Express specification allows. I don't see any other options.

Disclaimer: I am an attorney, but I practice patent law, not trademark law. This post does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
That's Tom's hardware though. Everything they say is to be taken with a pinch of salt. They aren't exactly the historically most reliable review site... They ahve done a remarkably good job of burying their pay-for-reviews scandal on google though. Almost impossible to find any references to it anymore.
 

Digital Viper-X-

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I am underwhelmed for the power / performance, considering generational change + the node change. Thanks for the review, the new methodology makes it a bit easier to compare :)
 

TheHig

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If the 1070 was under 400 and available readily most folks with jobs ,this guy, and or parental wallet access would pounce because its a great 1 card 2k+ res buy near list pricing.

BUT

If you need a new GPU right now or in the next few weeks and you have a $250 hard budget, this is your card. Used 980? 4gb vram and possible gamble being used. Personal thoughts there.

I'm sitting on a gtx 960 that I picked up open box at Microcenter for 153+ tax about a year ago so I'm definitely the buyer for this price bracket. :) Its a solid mid range budget card as most thought it would be. I also was hoping for gtx 980 perf out of the gate but its landing in gtx 970 territory so somewhat of a let down there. But more vram ,dx12 support is better as of today etc. However most of the marks set for this card have been hit here so its not really a disappointment. Its just not super exciting.

Score a win for AMD as of today for the Blue Collar gamer crowd though.

GTX 1060? Currently a phantom product. It should land ahead perf wise than the rx 480 and will definitely cost more it if the whole 10 series pricing bloat continues. We can always wait because the new thing that is so much more amazing than my current thing...
 

shspvr

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WoW base on all review I just look over the RX 480 will be a Pocket Rocket with performance gains 2x to 3x over my HD 7870 that petty sweet. even know the GTX 1070 is 35%+ faster, but it's also way more expensive as well and I sure the same will be with GTX 1060
After look over a few other review it look like two different memory capacities of the RX 480 4GB vs 8GB, for the moment I leaning strongly towards the 8GB card as it only cost $40 more even it has some performance gains even if I used 1080p anandtech showing a 1 to 5fps gain depend on the game
The let down is the reference onboard cooler
 

ebduncan

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the rx480 was supposed to be AMD's new 4870, compared to the 1070. AMD failed to get there. Despite this failure they have improved their efficiency quite a bit compared to last generation. I also have a tad bit of faith that AMD will be able to fix their voltage scaling issues with polaris and improve clock speeds and power consumption further.

Like pcgeekesq said, they could face issues with P10 if they cannot get the pci-e spec fixed.

Overall not a bad card, but not what many were expecting.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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That's Tom's hardware though. Everything they say is to be taken with a pinch of salt. They aren't exactly the historically most reliable review site... They ahve done a remarkably good job of burying their pay-for-reviews scandal on google though. Almost impossible to find any references to it anymore.
They post bad data intentionally, they get sued for liable. And TPU had the same readings (more or less)
 

FrgMstr

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Does high end custom mean air or water? I really can't see many people justifying a $100+ waterblock for a card that even with extra power circuitry will be about $250.
Air.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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It wasn't supposed to rival the 1070.

I asked you if it was supposed to challenge the 1070, you said "You tell me". It wasn't. Simple english. I didn't mean that it doesn't draw the power you said it draws.
It's not meant to compete on price. But if you look at the power consumption, it's not pretty. That means WHEN the 1060 comes down the pipe it will be considerably MORE efficient for the same power. This also means that AMD when it scales up to NVIDIA's level is going to have power issues AGAIN.
 

Napoleon

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I wonder how Nvidia's P100 'sky net' data cruncher is doing at collecting market research on the rx480 release to react in the short term...

They have all the cards and can squash this pesky rebellion IF they can find a way to supply adequate volumes at a similar price/performance point
 

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Quartz-1

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Looking at prices on OCUK, the 8 GB RX 480 is the same price as the 4 GB GTX 970, and 40% more than the 4 GB GTX 960.
 
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