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AMD Radeon RX 480 Gaming Performance Results Leaked – On Par With Overclocked GTX 970, Mediocre Overclocking Capabilities

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Jun 28, 2016
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The first gaming performance results of AMD’s Radeon RX 480 graphics card have been leaked by Videocardz. The performance results were originally posted by CD-Action (A Polish magazine) but have since been removed due to NDA. The performance results show us what to expect in terms of gaming performance from AMD’s 14 nm FinFET based Polaris 10 GPUs which will be launching tomorrow.

AMD Radeon RX 480 Gaming Performance compared to GM204 and Tonga. (Image Credits: Videocardz)

AMD Radeon RX 480 Gaming Performance Leaked – Faster Than Overclocked Tonga XT GPU, On Par With Overclocked GTX 970s

The Radeon RX 480 will be based on the full Polaris 10 GPU which features 2304 unified shaders based on the GCN 4.0 architecture. The Radeon RX 480 comes with 144 Texture Mapping Units and 32 ROPs which deliver a texture fill rate of 182.3 GTexel/s and Pixel Fillrate of 40.5 GPixel/s at a clock speed of 1266.0 MHz.

The RX 480 graphics card will be available in two variants, a 4 GB model with a price of $199 US and a 8 GB model with a price of $229 US. The GDDR5 memory on both variants will be clocked at 8 GB/s (2.0 GHz clock), effectively delivering a cumulative bandwidth of 256 GB/s along a 256-bit interface. Based on the 14nm Finfet technology, the graphics card features a 150W TDP and powered by a single 6-Pin connector. Display outputs for the RX 480 include three DP 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0b port.

With such specifications, we should expect performance somewhere between the Radeon R9 390 and GTX 980 graphics card. Well that seems to be the case as the stock Radeon RX 480 is able to beat an overclocked Radeon R9 380X in high resolution gaming in all three titles tested by the Polish website. The games that have were part of the testing included Witcher 3, World of Tanks and Metro Last Light Redux.

AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 GPU Lineup:

Graphics Card NameAMD Radeon RX 480AMD Radeon RX 470AMD Radeon RX 470 SE/DAMD Radeon RX 460
Graphics CorePolaris 10Polaris 10Polaris 10Polaris 11
Process Node14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET
Die Size232mm2232mm2232mm2123mm2
Transistors5.7 Billion5.7 Billion5.7 Billion3.0 Billion
Stream Processors2304 SPs2048 SPs1792-1536 SPs?896 SPs
Clock Frequency1266 MHz1206 MHz~1200 MHz1200 MHz
Compute Performance5.8 TFLOPs4.9 TFLOPs~4.3 TFLOPs?2.2 TFLOPs
VRAM4/8 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR52/4 GB GDDR5
Bus Interface256-bit256-bit256-bit128-bit
Memory Speed8 GHz6.6 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s211 GB/s224 GB/s112 GB/s
TDP150W120W110W<75W
Launch Date29th June4th AugustNovember?8th August
Launch Price$199 US (4 GB)
$239 US (8 GB)
$179 US (4 GB)$149 US$99 US (2 GB)
$119 US (4 GB)
New Price$199 US (4 GB)
$239 US (8 GB)
$169 US (4 GB)$149 US (4 GB)$99 US (4 GB)
$89 US (2 GB)
AMD Release Crimson Edition 16.6.1 For Mirror's Edge Catalyst

AMD Radeon RX 480 Gaming Performance Detailed

The cards being compared include an overclocked Radeon R9 380X and a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 OC (1.3 GHz). The GeForce GTX 970 has still a lot of headroom left for overclock while the Radeon RX 480 is said to cause lots of artifacts with a mere 5% overclock. A 7% overclock will cause the system to freeze entirely. This means that a average overclock of 1350 MHz is possible with the Radeon RX 480 while anything near the 1400 MHz will crash the card. It could be due to thermal instability due to the cheaper cooler design which we had discussed here.

AMD Radeon RX 480 Average Gaming Performance (1080P/1440P in Witcher 3, Division, Far Cry Primal, Rise of Tomb Raider, AOTS, Hitman, GTA V, Metro 2033, Shadow of Mordor, Tomb Raider, Thief and Sleeping Dogs)

AMD Radeon RX 480 Auto, Stock, OC Gaming Performance

In terms of gaming, the graphics card performed close to the GeForce GTX 970 with medium settings at 1080P but changing the settings to “Very High” and upping the resolution resulted in a bigger performance difference. In Metro Last Light Redux, the Radeon RX 480 was much faster than an overclocked Radeon R9 380X but turned out slow at stock clocks against an factory overclocked GTX 970. Witcher 3 is a game which is more optimized for NVIDIA cards hence we are looking at better performance on the GeForce card compared to RX 480.

AMD Radeon RX 480 Synthetic Performance compared to GM204 and Tonga. (Image Credits: Videocardz)

The RX 480 does beat the overclocked 380X in this performance test. Finally, the biggest performance difference was seen in World of Tanks where the RX 480 was slower than both 380X and 970 on 1080P but manged to beat the Tonga based part on higher resolution while the GeForce GTX 970 maintained its lead.

AMD Radeon RX 480, Radeon RX 470, Radeon RX 460 Custom Models Pictured - Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 With Non-Reference Coolers and PCBs

The 3DMark results are same the Radeon RX 480 managed to beat the Radeon R9 380X by a bigger margin but was beaten by an factory overclocked GTX 970 in Firestrike Extreme (2616 vs 2660) and Cloud Gate (4891 vs 4980). The RX 480 only manged to trounce the GTX 970 in Ise Storm test with a score of 9468 versus 9410 on the GTX 970.

AMD Radeon RX 480 3DMark Benchmarks. (Image Credits: Videocardz)

On average, the 3DMark results show that the gain from Radeon RX 480 overclocking is around 14% which is decent enough for a reference card. There’s no telling how much a non-reference card would overclock that features a better PCB compared to reference. There are also several Crossfire benchmarks which reveal up to near perfect (2x) increase in performance. Since this is a synthetic benchmark which has been tuned for multi gpu setups, we are looking at such good results however games don’t necessarily show the same level of GPU scaling.

We also talked about the Radeon Wattman overclocking utility a few days ago which is a neat new interface for Radeon users to overclock their graphics cards. The utility will be part of the Radeon drivers which will launch tomorrow alongside the Radeon RX 480 graphics card. You can see even more pictures of the utility below along with a few thermal and clock speed tests.

AMD Radeon Wattman Overclocking Utility:

AMD Radeon RX 480 Reference Clock Speeds and Temperatures:

Expect more information regarding the Radeon RX 480 along with reviews tomorrow as soon as the NDA lifts.

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