Today (or last night, if like us you live in Asia) we can finally dispense with the rumors and hearsay and enjoy some solid, actual reviews and articles regarding the AMD RX 480 graphics card. AMD’s new Polaris GPU architecture is here, on store shelves and already some pretty hard opinions are being traded on the web. The general consensus from most reviewers is that the card actually does what AMD said it would do, but probably not too much more.
In a nutshell the RX 480 is a mainstream DX12 capable graphics card that has performance similar to that of an Nvidia GTX 970 card. Not overwhelming perhaps, but considering that the Polaris chip uses less power overall (good news for AMD who have traditionally struggled in terms of power efficiency) and the fact that 4GB version can be picked up for around $199 USD, it’s actually good news for AMD and most PC enthusiasts.
In terms of reviews, there is a solid (5,000 word!) ‘preview’ article from Ryan Smith on Anandtech which is pretty comprehensive, plus you can also find this video from our buddy derbauer who finds the card does not actually justify the hype. Last but not least we have a great article from the Alva ‘Lucky_n00b’ Jonathan writing for Jagat OC who removed the somewhat underwhelming cooling solution of the reference design and replaced it with his own customized solution. Alva outlines his reasons for switching the cooler (other than the fact that he just likes having fun of course):
“The default VGA Cooler has a target thermal temperature at 80C, and sometimes when overclocking we can reach a temperature of 85-90C. Although many parties estimate that the temperature of 90C still enter operational limits, sometimes these high temperatures could interfere with overclocking. To that end, we replace the [refrence] cooler with PCCooler K120E (+ Thermal paste T-Grizzly Kryonaut)” – Google Translated.
Using the newly bundled OC software utility, dubbed ‘Wattman’ Alva was able to crank up the GPU clock to 1,425MHz (+31.94%) with memory cranked up a notch to 2,200MHz (+10.00%). Accompanied by a Haswell-E i7 5960X at 4,000MHz (+33.33%) the system managed to record a score of 12,668 marks in 3DMark Fire Strike.