AMD RX 480 Rivals R9 Nano, GTX 980 – Runs At 1266Mhz

Khalid Moammer
Posted Jun 14, 2016
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AMD RX 480 4GB & 8GB Polaris 10 performance benchmarks, power consumption, base and boost clocks as well as temperatures. That’s right folks we have a bunch of goodies to share with you today about AMD’s RX 480 graphics card. So let’s get straight to the juicy bits!

Let’s start off with pricing. AMD’s RX 480 4GB will sell for as low as $199 and the 8GB version for around $29-$39 more. Custom versions from AMD’s add-in-board partners with unique cooling solutions, over-engineered power delivery circuitry and custom PCBs will naturally sell for more than that.

We’re told that AMD’s partners are preparing a huge array of graphics card options. Including some serious “beast mode” 8GB cards that will sell for up to $299 and overclock to the moon. We’ll tell you more about those custom cards in due time, but today we’re going to be talking strictly about AMD’s reference designed 4GB and 8GB RX 480 graphics cards which will officially retail on the 29th of June.

AMD RX 480 Competes With R9 Nano & GTX 980 – Polaris 10 XT Runs At 1266Mhz

Both the 4GB and 8GB versions are based on the exact same Polaris 10 XT GPU & both of them will give the R9 Nano and GTX 980 a real run for their money in terms of performance per dollar. The RX 480 cards feature a boost clock speed of 1266Mhz out of the box. The cards will always run at the boost clock while gaming except in synthetic stress tests like Furmark.

The reference design is slightly over 9 inches long and features an Aluminum fin array heatsink. Naturally as this is a blower style cooling design all of the card’s heat is exhausted out the back of the card. As standard the card features 3 DisplayPort and one HDMI connections. However, some custom designs will also feature DVI-D ports.

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AMD RX 480 & 470 PCBAMD Radeon RX 480 & RX 470 PCB – Printed Circuit Board —

The reference design’s maximum power delivery through the 6-pin PCIe connector and the PCIe slot is 150W. Some custom variants will feature single 8-pin PCIe connectors while others will feature dual 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The “beast mode” AIB cards that we mentioned earlier will feature a single six pin and a single eight pin design.

RX 480 Thermal TestsRX 480 Temperature Probe Reading 62.7c At Load

AMD’s Radeon RX 480 Gives The R9 Nano & GTX 980 A Run For Their Money

Now, let’s look at the performance numbers. Our source has provided us with performance figures for both the RX 480 4GB version and the RX 480 8GB version.  The benchmark in question is 3DMark Firestrike Ultra 1.1. We have added our own GTX Titan X, GTX 980 OC, R9 390 OC & R9 Nano results for comparison. Our own Keith May conducted the testing with our newly acquired Intel i7 6800K six core Broadwell-E CPU. The RX 480 4GB & RX 480 8GB were benchmarked with an Intel Core i7 4960X six core Ivy Bridge-E CPU by the source.

Our slightly better CPU & overclocked graphics cards skew the results marginally in favor of our graphics card lineup vs the RX 480. Regardless of this handicap, the RX 480 managed to edge out our overclocked GTX 980 & R9 390 samples in addition to our R9 Nano sample.

AMD RX 480 Benchmark, GTX Titan X, R9 Fury X, R9 Nano, GTX 980 & R9 390
At $199 AMD’s RX 480 Is Like A Ferrari For The Price Of A Honda

So there you have it folks. A $199 graphics card that gives our $500 arsenal of heavy hitters a run for its money. In 3DMark Firestrike Ultra 1.1 at least. There’s a lot more independent testing that needs to be done before the bell is rung and a victor is declared.
Although very excitingly, according to what we’ve learned, AMD’s RX 480 and even the RX 470 put on a better show in actual games vs what we’re seeing in 3DMark. Especially in DirectX 12 games.  So if the cards end up showing better gaming performance come June 29th than what’s indicated by the 3DMark scores we’ve seen, do not be surprised.

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Regardless, the mere thought that gamers will be able to get R9 Nano & GTX 980 performance for $199 — that’s less than half of what we would’ve had to pay just a couple of weeks ago — at the end of the month is simply astounding.

WCCFAMD Radeon RX 480AMD Radeon R9 390XNvidia GeForce GTX 980
GPUPolaris 10 XTGrenada XTGM204-400
Process Node14nm FinFET28nm28nm
Compute Units 3644NA
CUDA CoresNANA2048
ArchitectureGCN 4.0GCN 2.0Maxwell 2.0
Boost Clock1266Mhz1050Mhz1216Mhz
Peak Single Precision Compute5.8 TFLOPS5.9 TFLOPS5.0+ TFLOPS
Memory Bus256-bit512-bit256-bit
Memory4/8GB GDDR58GB GDDR54GB GDDR5
VRAM Speed8Gbps6Gbps7GBps
Bandwidth256GB/s384GB/s224GB/s
TDP150W275W165W
Typical Power~100W~250W~165W
Launch Price$199$429$549

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