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AMD Radeon RX 480 Review – Polaris

AMD Radeon RX 480 Review – Polaris

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Review – The RX 480 Reference Card

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Review – Performance

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Review – Conclusion

Before we get to some thoughts on the performance of the RX 480, let’s talk about the reference card a little. In its styling, it is obviously quite similar to the Fury X we saw from AMD last year. Overall that means a pretty nice looking card, however, the one disappointment is the cooler used. It is great to see a compact PCB used here but the longer cooler is disappointing. AMD will say it is only for the reference card however manufacturers often follow their lead. A more compact cooling solution would have helped make a better product range. That said, we look forward to seeing what some of AMDs partners do, we’re sure at least some of them will look to deliver a compact version of the card.

That larger cooler does allow AMD to deliver a reference card which runs quiet, we rarely heard any noise from the fan. They are clearly balancing fan speed and thermals though, over 80c is quite hot by recent standards (average historically). We can, of course, tweak the fan speed and therefore temperatures to our needs. What remains low regardless is the power draw. The RX 480 runs on significantly fewer watts than the direct competition, in our testing roughly 50w less.

The card features are also good. DirectX 12, Async compute, support for VR, support for the latest video codecs, HDR, 4K, etc. All good and of course support for all the key game streaming/recording applications is a big thing for many gamers.

So that brings us to gaming performance and pricing where the RX 480 is competitive. The 8Gb version of the card which we tested today sits right at the GTX 970 OC price point and that is the performance we see from the card. We did note that there were a few games where the GTX 970 had a significant win however both cards offered playable performance in every game at 2560×1440 with max detail. The RX 480 edged ahead in our Warhammer DX12 test which could give an indication of future performance and it was worth noting that the two offesimilarmiar 3D Mark performance with the RX 480 edging ahead of the GTX 970 when both are overclocked.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
AMD Radeon RX 480 Review
Author Rating
4

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.

2 Comments

  1. It rivals a 970? Wow, that’s a bit of a damp squib.

    • damp squib? I’m thoroughly confuse by all the comments that basically are the same thing…. what did people expect…. honestly? With the cards specs… power usage and what amd advertised was nothing more than a direct competitor to the 970 and finally a proper replacement for the 390 without a rebranding. It’s still significantly cheaper.. at least up here.. than the 970’s… and isn’t much out of line with the 960 even…. but again something else that is being complained about all over the place is that in various countries have taxes and duties and whatever…. making the $199/239 pricetag obviously appropriately larger… just that some retailers are trying to get an extra buck out of it.

      It’s not advertised as a 490… a 490 would be a competition with the 1070 reaslistically.. and whatever the next fury card would be to compete with the 1080 and whatever the 1080ti happens to be…. no the rx 480 just like the r9 380 is to compete with whatever the 1060 is to be.