AMD's New Radeon RX 480: Built For VR, Half The Price Of Nvidia

At its Computex 2016 press conference, AMD has taken the wraps off its brand new Radeon RX 480 graphics card: a brand new 14-nanometre chip designed for 2016 and 2017's most demanding games and virtual reality graphics. It's a card designed to compete with Nvidia's mid-range GTX 1070 and previous-generation GTX 970/980, but at a fraction of the price. AMD says its new cards will be out by the end of June at a price of $US199.

Based on the brand new Polaris architecture designed on the 14-nanometre FinFET semiconductor production process, the RX 480 has over five teraflops of computing performance — not too far off the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070's 6.45 teraflops, but impressive given that the Radeon RX 480 is aimed at almost half the 1070's $US379 price point at $US199. AMD is being a bit shy with gaming performance benchmarks for now, but it looks good on paper.

We do know that the Radeon RX 480 will come in both 4GB and 8GB configurations, both using standard GDDR5 RAM rather than the faster GDDR5X or the faster and more expensive HBM used on R9 Fury cards — it's the 4GB version that'll hit than $US199 price point and challenge Nvidia's mid-range graphics ownership.

Importantly, the new architecture means AMD's new Radeon graphics cards will consume considerably less power than their predecessors, which equalled Nvidia performance at the cost of significantly more energy consumption and waste heat output. The Radeon RX 480 will have teh same 150-Watt TDP as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, but will use a single six-pin power connector rather than the 1070's eight-pin.

Being a new card, too, it supports all the new and next-generation video standards that you'll be using on your monitors and TVs in the coming years. HDR video is fully supported on AMD's new cards, as is FreeSync and DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0b, the latter of two enable 60fps gameplay and fast refresh rates at 3840x2160pixel Ultra HD resolutons.

Virtual reality was also name-checked in AMD's presentation — the company wants to push VR headsets to fall in price. While the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are both quite expensive, they're first-generation products, and we'll see them become cheaper especially as they meet strong competition. [AMD]


    With the 480 being 199 I'm excited to see what the 490 gets priced at. Or even a fury 2. Could we get a 1080 competitor at 700AUD? it's possible with the 480s price point

      Certainly possible but I suspect it'll be higher than that. Fanboy hype aside, the RX480 is a low-mid range card targeted against the 970 rather than the 1070. It'll probably be competitive with the 1050/1060 and almost certainly at a lower price point.

      USD$199 -> AUD$273 + 23% (based on 1080 markup) = around $336

        Leaked benchmarks, if true, already put it above 980 level of performance. So when the official benchs come in, it will be interesting!

          No, Those leaks are false. AMD themselves have said they are targeting the 970. what you probably saw was 2 in crossfire which only just beat the 980

            The 480s in Crossfire were being compared against the 1080, not the 980.

            Just in terms of compute performance, AMD are stating 5+ TFLOPs single precision. and leaks are pointing to 5.5. Either way, that would put it either around the R9 390 (5.1) or between the 390 and the 390X (5.9), and between the 980 (4.6) and the 980 Ti (5.6).

            Meanwhile the 1070 does 5.8 TFLOPs at base clocks and up to 6.4 at max boost clocks. Obviously that's just one metric (and AMD are notably yet to say anything about texture/ROP hardware), but you can see the ballpark that it's playing in: at least within striking distance of the 980 and a significant chunk of the 1070's performance for much less money.

        You can't assume a 23% Australia tax. Typically AMD gear has cost pretty close to parity. Something about supply chains or some shit.

          Not an assumption, an educated guess. The R9 Nano was reported by this website as US$669 at launch and sold in Australia for $1200 (Mwave). With the exchange rate at the time that came out at AU$950 and a 26% markup. Seems reasonably consistent.

            Is it reasonable to expect the same sort of markups in the mainstream price tier as in the very high end price tiers?

              No idea, I got lazy and couldn't be bothered finding price data for the mid range. It's just a guess after all =)

    I am interested in the 4gb variants performance compared to the GTX1070 which has 8gb of VRAM. I assume the 8gb RX480 price will be closer to the GTX1070's price.

      They haven't released full specs so far but both the 480 and 1070 will be using the new 8 Gbps GDDR5 on a 256 bit bus, so they'll have the same memory bandwidth, it just comes down to whether you need the larger 8GB frame buffer. If you do, of course there'll be the 8GB variant of the 480.

      The compute performance will be the interesting thing. The limited specs released so far are saying 5+ TFLOPs single precision, and some sources are pointing to 5.5, depending on final clocks. The 1070 does 5.8 TFLOPs at base clocks and 6.4 at max boost, so that's a very reasonable chunk of the 1070's performance for just over half the price (or less than half the price if you buy the 'Founders' edition).

    Clever of AMD. Best to go stick to what they've always done well - winning on the bang-for-buck front. Really excited to see where this goes.

    what if your not going for VR and just want a gpu upgrade.

    I have a new rig with an i6 but still using an old gpu, looking to spend $400 aud for an upgrade and not sure where to go.

    If this proves to be more powerful then the current gen of cards it could be a good go but wondering if its purposely for VR or just a good card.

      I have said just above, if benches are to be believed, it will be slightly more powerful than a 980.

      So your answer would be it should be more powerful, just only slightly.

        cool im pretty loyal to AMD so i will probably look at this rather than a nvidia card.

        Need abit of a boost for total warhammer etc, the r9270 is getting abit long in the tooth and i have the cpu power and mobo now to support a decent card.

      It performs in non VR scenarios around the same as a GTX 980 which was a very powerful card in the previous generation.

    Damn. That's exciting!

    Status quo hasn't changed at all though. For performance you get nvidia at an almost ridiculous price. For bang for buck you go AMD but then have to tolerate their drivers.

    I want to go back to nvidia but it's really hard to stomach the hundreds of extra dollars their products cost. I'm going to think on this for a few months and see what happens.

      To be fair, their drivers have gotten a helluva lot better with Crimson

    Good Luck to anyone buying them. Hope your string of luck with AMD is better than mine.
    Atleast it kinda looks pretty.

    Awesome news. I am long over due an upgrade, my 7850 can no longer do 60fps on newer games at 1080p even at lower settings, and this is what I needed without breaking the bank.

    Even with the markup it shouldn't cost more than AU350. This is essentially a R9 390 which uses way less power and much cheaper. Well done AMD.

    No, not leaks, actual benches. You must have misread. The 480 in crossfire beats the 1080 in Ashes of Singularity.

    GTX 1080 @ 58.7fps on ultra @1440p - 98% capacity
    RX 480 x2 @ 62.5fps on ultra @1440p - 52% capacity

    The 480 runs Doom 4 @+75fps on ultra @1440p ~ Fury Air/ Nano level...

    It's the same release price as the 2Gb R9 380, and they didn't take long to come down to @$280 AUD. Assuming supply is adequate, and the dollar doesn't tank (further), I think the 4GB cards should be available for under $300 in July.

      I think that's overly optimistic, but it blows the doors wide open for Steam boxes/mini-ITX rigs/living room PCs if that's the case.

    And lets hope it brings down the prices on Nvidia GPU's.

    Computer parts are always more expensive in Australia EVEN FACTORING IN EXCHANGE RATES. Please sign this petition to ensure that the Radeon RX 480 is the same price in Australia (+ exchange rates). This is also for Europe

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