AMD's Radeon RX 480 Benchmarked: Par For The Course

The amount of hype behind AMD's Polaris-based line of graphics cards has been nothing short of monumental. It's not hard to see why: when you promise a VR-ready card that only costs a few hundred dollars versus the thousand-plus of the competition, people are bound to get excited.

But when you put the card through its paces, does it live up to the hype? That depends on your expectations.

Image: Supplied

The jump from AMD's previous generation of graphics cards has been a long time coming. And there's good reason to be excited: if you're an owner of the R9 200 or 300 series cards, Polaris offers an immense jump in power efficiency, performance per watt, more headroom for clocking, quieter GPUs and, most importantly, faster GPUs.

But precisely how faster are we talking? That will be the sticking point for a lot of gamers. Those expecting the RX 480 to compete on any sort of platform with NVIDIA's GTX 1080 or even the 1070 -- don't bother, because that's not what the card is built for.

Straight out of the box -- or bubble wrap, as it was sent to us -- the RX 480 is more of a natural replacement for the R9 390 series in performance. It's also a serious competitor to NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980: the cheapest 980 at the time of writing is $628, and once stock of those run out you'll have to fork out $700 or more.

In comparison, 8GB models of the RX 480 are going for as low as $379. If you're looking for a card that can handle virtual reality without breaking the bank, and you're not expecting stratospheric levels of performance, the RX 480 is a good place to start.

Base Specifications

Built on the 14 nanometer FinFET semiconductor process, the RX 480 has a die of 232 mm2 and comes in two reference versions: a 4GB card with 7Gbps GDDR5 memory, a 256-bit memory interface, a core clock speed of 1120 MHz with a boost speed of 1266 MHz, and peak performance of up to 5.8 teraflops. There's support for DirectX 12, the Vulkan API, DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4, as well as 36 compute units and 2304 stream processors.

The 8GB reference model has largely the same statistics, but with 8Gbps of GDDR5 memory instead of 7Gbps, and a memory bandwidth speed of 256GB/s instead of the 4GB's 224GB/s.

For the RX 480 specifically, here's a full list of the card's specs straight from the free-to-use GPU-Z utility.

Image: Supplied

All tests were conducted on the beta Crimson 16.6.2 drivers which were supplied by AMD. It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect some improvement in performance as AMD continues to iterate on their drivers.

Testing Machine

Here's the specifications for our benchmarking machine:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.0GHz RAM: 16GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-RAM @ 1600 Mhz GPU: MSI R9 390X Gaming 8GB PSU: Corsair HX850i 850W HDD: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD Motherboard: ASUS Z97I-PLUS Mini-ITX (Intel Z97) Keyboard: Cherry MX 3.0 Mechanical Keyboard Mouse: ZOWIE FK2 Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50x

All figures shown are averaged out over three runs.

3D Mark Fire Strike

Image: Supplied

A staple as far as synthetic benchmarks go, 3D Mark's Fire Strike demo pushes computers and their graphics cards to the limit. They're often the first benchmarks you'll see whenever a new GPU is released. It's not wholly indicative of what a card's real-world performance will be like, but it does provide a reliable indicator of the performance between cards.

Image: Supplied

The RX 480 was never expected to be anywhere near the GTX 1080 when it came to single-card performance, but it's an interesting comparison point for those considering running two RX 480's in Crossfire. The much more helpful reference point here is against the MSI R9 390X.

In the base level Fire Strike test, the 390X is just over 11% faster than the Polaris-based RX 480. That gap widens to more than 12% in Fire Strike Extreme, and when the rendering resolution is upped to 4K for the Fire Strike Ultra test, the 390X is around 13.6% quicker.

On the surface, that seems a touch disappointing. But it's actually reasonable when you consider the RX 480's starting price, and the additional headroom it has for overclocking. People should also consider the fact that partner boards are likely to have even better performance, and it wouldn't be unheard of for AMD to squeeze a bit more real-world performance out of the card down the road.

Image: Supplied

The Talos Principle

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The settings for all resolutions: Ultra for CPU, GPU, GPU Memory, and Level Caching; Fullscreen, 2.4x 3D Rendering MPIX, and 4x MSAA. All figures have been averaged out over three runs, with the average fps displayed below.

Image: Supplied

It's here where the gap between the RX 480 and the 390X starts to become more prominent, but the RX 480 still manages to achieve an admirable frame rate of 76.1fps in 4K.

The distance at all resolutions is noticeably higher than the 3D Mark results, with the 390X around 28 to 29% faster at all resolutions. That said, it's an area where AMD can affect the most going forward with future driver updates. And it's also worth remembering that The Talos Principle was tested using DirectX 11. Its Vulkan support is still pretty rudimentary, and the value of the RX 480 -- and the Polaris line in general -- supposedly shines the brightest in DirectX 12.

So let's see how that plays out.

Ashes of the Singularity

Image: Supplied

A better benchmark than a game, Ashes of the Singularity has been one of the most comprehensive DX12 benchmarks since even before its launch in Early Access. AMD cards have also been known to punch well above their weight in Ashes, as can be seen with the RX 480's performance against the more powerful GTX 1080.

The Extreme preset with 4X MSAA was used for all resolutions, and the average fps is displayed below.

Image: Supplied

The distance between the RX 480 and the GTX 1080 certainly isn't several hundred dollars. The gap between the RX 480 and the R9 390X is pretty minor too.

It's not unfair to say that the RX 480 is more or less a direct replacement in performance for the R9 390, but with all the trimmings of less heat, less noise and more headroom for overclocking.


Image: Supplied

Vulkan support for DOOM still hasn't arrived, and doesn't look like it's likely to over the next week. But no matter: the game's performance in OpenGL is pretty stellar nonetheless. The RX 480's performance is pretty respectable as well, hovering just a few percent underneath the R9 390X and only fractionally off the magical 60fps mark in 1440p.

Average frame rates are shown below, with the Ultra preset, FXAA (1x) and chromatic abberation enabled. All runs were conducted by running through the game's third mission, Foundry, on the Ultra Violence difficulty for two minutes. No enemies were killed to ensure consistency with the amount of bodies being rendered and encountered, although slight differences occurred from run to run (such as the enemies opt to beat the snot out of each other).

Image: Supplied

With no adjustment to the stock speeds, the RX 480 more or less mirrors the R9 390X's performance here across all resolutions. It blows out to around 12% at 2K, being able to hit 60fps at Ultra (and more on the lower presets) will make a lot of gamers pretty happy.


Image: Supplied

As part of the Polaris launch, AMD has bundled a new set of overclocking tools into the Catalyst driver suite. It's called WattMan, and it's accessible through the Gaming tab of the AMD Radeon Settings control panel. All 400 series cards will support the new overclocking software, but it's not currently known whether support will also be extended to the 200 or 300 series.

The suite allows users to track peak and average fan speeds, GPU and memory speeds, temperature, and the GPU's level of activity. WattMan also provides a histogram for tracking, and users can set individual overclocking profiles for specific games.

To overclock, users can either the GPU clock frequency slider in 0.5% increments, or they can set individual MHz targets across various stages. The GPU's voltage control can also be adjusted manually if desired. It's worth noting that the power limit feature for the temperature control, which can increase or lower the amount of power sent to the card, is specific to cards with the Polaris 10 XT core (so only the RX 480 for now).

I upped the core clock speed to 1330 MHz, the memory speed to 2050 MHz and allowed for an extra power to be sent to the GPU. I then ran the 3D Mark Fire Strike again, and the RX 480 maintained all the set limits without taking off like a jet engine (the drop downs are the loading times in between Fire Strike's graphics/physics/combined tests).

From the testing I was able to do prior to embargo, there's no reason why most users can't at least squeeze an additional 100 MHz out of the GPU clock. But it's worth noting that you don't have a great deal of headroom in the temperatures. At stock settings the card idled at around 48oC, but under heavier loads (like when running 3D Mark, or something at 4K) temperatures will hover in the 70oC to 80oC range.

That'll be a bit of a disappointment to users who were hoping to push the RX 480 further. But then again, we're only dealing with the reference card here. Custom versions, particularly watercooled ones, could really eek out some value from AMD's new Polaris GPU, although we won't see those for months.

So that's how the 14nm Radeon RX 480 from AMD, the card that so many have been so excited about, stacks up in the real world. It's a solid performer at 1080p and 1440p. Hell, to have a card that can competently play titles at 1440p with the visual fidelity of DOOM while maintaining 60 FPS is an impressive achievement.

And if you can snag a RX 480 for under $400, that's not an unreasonable deal.

But. As a reference board, the RX 480 doesn't have a great deal of room for improvement. It runs pretty hot. And out of the box, it doesn't surpass the R9 390 or 390X like some fans were hoping.

So we get back to expectations. The main line AMD promoted was that the RX 480 would be a VR ready card for $US199, although the slightly more expensive 8GB model is really what most people are interested in. And if you're only looking to play at 1080p or 1440p, the RX 480 will get you there.

The thing is, the R9 390X is in the same territory -- and if it's possible to snag one up for cheap, it might be hard to pass up a deal. But the RX 480 doesn't use anywhere near as much power, is quieter and doesn't run quite as hot. It'll really get interesting for a month or two until we see custom designs from AMD's partners, designs that can cool the RX 480 a little better.

So is the RX 480 a good deal? That depends on what you were expecting. For some: definitely. But the RX 480 most certainly isn't a giant killer. It's more like the new par for the course, which isn't so bad when you think about it.


    So I'm lookin at a new build for around $1600 odd, I'd be best going with the R9 or the 1070 yeah??


        Except thats another $300 for a card, which could go to CPU\Mobo\RAM\HDD's. At $1600, a 1070 would leave only $850 for a build, which is fuck all if they aren't scavaging parts.

        Its this price range that the RX 480 shines, and that would give another $300 in parts. That's a decent ssd, a good chunk of RAM, a 6600\6700k, etc.

        (Full disclosure; I own a 1080. I think it screams, but don't be an idiot).

          Not to be difficult, so you would say not skimping on those parts would be more important than the best overall card? (out of the options I may), just that I would have hoped things outside the CPU and GPU would be not too hard to upgrade later, well more so SSD, RAM and peripherals.

          In saying that it seems people are really suggesting going better on case and PSU anyways, so I think overall it's sounding more like to leave the 1070 for now and really make sure those other parts are reasonable as the other cards will be fine.

            The only thing that you will likely upgrade in a system by replacing is the video card. Everything else should last you multiple upgrade cycles as long as you have a good base of a system.


            Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Mini ITX - $109
            Silverstone Strider Gold 750W ST75F-GS - $149 (this might be too high, but gives guarunteed headroom and the price differences wasn't much)
            ASUS Z170I-Pro Gaming Motherboard - $279
            Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 - $135
            Intel Core i7 6700K - $499

            That's roughly $1100 all up, leaving you $500 for you card and storage.

            There's option there to save up to $200 by going down CPU's (6700, 6600k, 6600) to varying degrees as well.

            Last edited 30/06/16 7:04 pm

              Yeah dude I think you're right overall and I've decided to go that route, seeing that i'll probs only be doing 1080 for a good while. This is where I'm sittin now:
              PCPartPicker part list:
              Price breakdown by merchant:

              CPU: Intel Core i5-6600 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($306.00 @ Umart)
              Motherboard: MSI B150M MORTAR Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($139.00 @ CPL Online)
              Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($98.00 @ IJK)
              Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($189.00 @ PLE Computers)
              Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($68.00 @ CPL Online)
              Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 390X 8GB Video Card ($459.00 @ Mwave Australia)
              Case: Corsair 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($138.00 @ CPL Online)
              Power Supply: EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($159.00 @ CPL Online)
              Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($137.00 @ Umart)
              Keyboard: Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator Gaming Bundle Wired Gaming Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($44.00 @ CPL Online)
              Total: $1737.00
              Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
              Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-30 20:26 AEST+1000

        Depends what type of gaming he's looking at, and what res screen he's hoping to drive. High end fast twitch shooters he should probably go for the 1070. Slower paced games, stuff like WoW and RPGs will easily be fine with the 480. Heavy CPU use games like RTS will obviously benefit from more CPU grunt too.

      well that depends, the 1070 is $739 to $800ish and is probably a great future proof card for 1440p.. if your using 1080p monitor and have on plansto upgrade that any time soon then a cheap 390x/970/980 would do. If your keen on the rx480 then i'd wait on aib partners to release non-reference designs.
      if you do go the 1070 though it may mean you will have to go for cheaper/lower end parts for the other parts of your build.

        Thanks again :P Yeah that's the crossroads I need to decide on, because while it's easy to be underwhelmed it seems that the rx480/the others you mention do just fine for 1080p and I won't be going above that for a decent while (I'll be using my tv as a monitor to save money). In saying that though I can see being able to cut back a good amount on my build in order to make room for the 1070:
        CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $279.00
        Motherboard MSI B150M BAZOOKA Micro ATX LGA1151 $119.00
        Memory Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 $98.00
        Storage Sandisk X400 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $130.00
        Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $93.00
        Video Card RX480 $450 (aftermarket when they become available)
        Case Deepcool TESSERACT SW ATX Mid Tower Case $55.00
        Power Supply Silverstone Strider Platinum 550W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular $155.00

        That's how it stands now, so I hope I haven't missed anything major other then peripherals, but I'm gonna factor those once the major components are pretty well set. I'd still like to up the CPU a bit as that's only about another $40 to the next up.

        Last edited 30/06/16 12:35 am

          looks like a pretty sweet build, personally i'd put that $40 that your considering for the 6600 i assume, toward a 500GB ssd, 256GB can be quite limited for a boot+games drive. The difference between the 6500 & 6600 seems negligble and could be overcome with an overclock... Eurogamer got a 6500 to 4.5ghz

            Yeah I think i'll go for the increase SSD (and higher PSU) as opposed to the jump to 6600, because from what I can tell I'd need to jump on cooling for the 6600, while 6500 has that included.

            However I'd imagine an SSD would be easier to add in later, so maybe it would be better to try for the 6600, as I'm not sure I'd even save that much to the SSD. It's so hard to tell when I've never owned one of these, so it may be better to assume i'll underuse such things and go for getting the crucial parts as high as I can to start.

            Sooooooo seeing that I've made two countering points it will likely come down to what I can get more of a money's worth on.

          If you plan on playing game with the SSD and you can afford it I would try and get a 512GB. Between FO4, All of Blizzards games, & 1 or 2 other games which I all play regularly I quickly have no room on my 256GB.

            Totally, had that hunch but it may well come down to where the rest of the build is sitting spec-wise, haha.

          If you plan on waiting for a bit I wouldn't spend 450 dollars on an RX 480. The price will likely go down in a few weeks when the GTX 1060 is launched.

          We are currently in a phase where everything costs more than it should due to how new it all is and how rare stock is.

          Also in the long run I think you would be better served with an EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750W PSU for $159 as the extra 200W can mean all the difference if you ever decide to upgrade your card or go for SLI/Xfire. You also get a 10 year warranty vs the Silverstone 5 years.

            Good call! I'll probs have to wait up to a month anyways, so we'll see how prices shift and seems to be the consensus on PSU ;) thanks man!

              I would just like to add that when people say that you don't necessarily need the extra wattage keep in mind that some manufacturers put the minimum PSU they support at 600-750 Watts for the high end video cards and if you ever have a problem they can say things like "We cant help you diagnose the issue until you have a PSU that meets spec."

              Here are some examples
              Requires 750w minimum according to manufacturer

              Requires 600w minimum according to manufacturer.

              I know you said you would most likely go for the bigger PSU anyway but I just thought you should have all the info.

              Best of luck!

                Thank you very much for this detail! another thing I would never have realised until calling for repairs or something and being told just that xD I'll have to keep a good eye on that then for sure.

          I'd ditch the platinum psu. You've a non oc board and CPU so you won't really benefit from the power cleanness, also remember due to Australia power, bronze is silver, silver is gold, gold is platinum. Because 240v instead of 110 is more power effective. And ignore the naysayers who say you need more 550 is heaps even if you get 2x480. I'm running 2x970 on 600 with a beastly oc and I barely pull 470w from the wall with my ancient power hungry 3770k at 4.5ghz

          Last edited 30/06/16 9:39 am

            Thanks for the heads up here! Don't think I would have figured that out otherwise :)

          Pretty solid build overall, just a couple of things I picked up on.

          - You have a mATX motherboard but an ATX case. Is this just because they were the cheapest options? If not, either (a) keep the motherboard and get a nice mATX case and you'll have a super compact gaming PC, or (b) keep the case and get an ATX motherboard for the extra flexibility.

          - Do you plan on saving games to your SSD? If yes, put the $40 to a larger SSD. If no, put it towards the 6600 (next CPU up).

          - As others have mentioned, a bigger PSU can't hurt. Even if you never SLI/Crossfire it's always a good idea to leave headroom. Even a 650W, since both Polaris and Pascal are much more power efficient than previous gen GPUs.

            In terms of case I think that one came on a suggestion, so I just didn't note that point, but I've been aiming for the cheaps anyways, which way I go will likely depend on pricing I suppose, but still things to think about!

            Dunno if i'll save much to the SSD, so the CPU might be the way to try improve, only thing is I'm not sure how the (apparent) need in cooling might be as I don't think the 6600 includes that.

            Yeah seems to be the way on PSU, my hunch is that i'll be best sorting PSU, CPU and maybe SSD before pushing for the 1070, it seems like the other cards will be able to do what I want them to :)

            But again we'll see how funds go!

            I'd definitely recommend looking at the 500G Samsung 850 EVO SSDs. Super performance and you can pick them up around $200. Also worth looking for specials I jagged 2 from Kogan! at $179 each a few weeks back. They're $195 (plus shipping) there at the moment or $209 from MSY.

            That said, there's not a huge *noticeable* performance difference between say Sandisk, Crucial, Kingston and Samsung SSDs. Sure it's measurable but the reality is you won't notice it.

            If you get a board that supports it, I'd also suggest swapping to an M.2 drive instead of SSD. The Samsung 500G M.2 drive is exactly the same price as the SSD version. Smaller, slightly faster and plugs straight onto the mobo - no need for a sata cable or power cable, no screwing it into the chassis.

            As for PSU, bigger isn't always better. Make sure you go quality of pure wattage. I'd much prefer a quality 600W PSU than a cheapo 850W one. And on the actual requirements side, I bought a Corsair AX760i and it was a revelation. It includes power monitoring so you can see exactly what your system uses. Sitting in windows typing this my system is using about 110W. I just fired up Grim Dawn and my usage spiked at about 330W.

            Last edited 01/07/16 2:17 pm

    Don't forget the GTX 1060 is coming early July, which was brought forward a month as a direct response to the RX 480.

    Current expectations put it at OC'd GTX 980 levels of performance for not much more than the RX 480, something to keep an eye on maybe for people who were considering the RX 480, especially when you consider driver performance and stability, AMD hasn't been the greatest of late.

      I agree with this. If you're not hardcore in the red camp, it's best to wait for the 1060 to see benchmark and price comparisons. It's only a few weeks away.

    I don't understand why the RX480 is compared to the RX390 when there is going to be a RX490? Wouldn't the RX480 be rightly compared to the RX380?

    Massively over hyped. It's currently about the same price as the R9 390 and GTX 970, performs about the same, but overclocks much, much worse. Barely manages the typical generational shift of performing at the level of the card above (R9 390) from the previous generation, and hasn't dropped prices significantly.

      Well over $100 less than the GTX970, outperforms the 970, even the heavily overclocked models, and doesn't have the 3.5GB slowdown problem.

      Faster card, far cheaper, sounds good to me,

        That might be the case in the US, but not the rest of the world. Local prices for the 8Gb RX 480 seem to start at $380 (no 4GB cards available that I've seen), which barely makes it an improvement over cards like the 8Gb Gigabyte G1 Gaming R9 390 ($390 AUD), which has better cooling and overclocking. It doesn't really seem to be out performing the heavily overclocked GTX 970s either, outperforming the reference version by only 4% overall while swapping the lead across 26 popular modern titles (Hardware Unboxed). Pretty underwhelming from a die shrink, considering the performance and efficiency improvements Nvidia saw with Pascal.

    next you will do 480 vs 970, you know what it was ment yo be compared to?

      Short answer going on other site benchmarks, the 480 is faster than even the aggresively overclocked 970 cards and pretty much on par with a 980.

        can you provide some links, because based on the above it is only as powerful as an R9 and I use passmark as my benchmark basis....and R9 isn't looking too good compared to 1070/1080

        I read/watched most of yesterdays reviews, and NONE of them had the RX 480 "pretty much on par with a 980".

    If you're 1080p gamer this a great GPU.
    I wouldn't recommend it for 1440p if you want high to max settings. My GTX980Ti struggles with max settings in most games at 3440x1440, and thats with it overclocked to 1424Mhz.

    Also this could be a problem for the reference cards

    Last edited 30/06/16 8:48 am

      If wanting to overclock, I'd wait for the custom cards.

      My 970 does great at 1440p with 2x msaa, with each resolution jump you need less and less aa as aa harden lines but also spoilsthem.
      Then again I used to use a single 7970 for 3x1080p and played that comfortably. Albeit it was better after I got the second card.

        Good point, I run a Gigabyte G1 Gaming 970 driving my 4k monitor and I don't use AA at all because it's just not necessary. The PPI has got high enough that I just can't see the jaggies. It's actually sufficient for most of the games I play though I just picked up the new Doom and I need a bit more grunt for that.

          Exactly what I got, pocked it up on special for 419 last year. Overclocks like a beast and sips power so lightly. Planning to get it a brother as I've 2 more 1440p monitors on the way and I miss surround gaming.

            Nice. That's not a bad alternative. I was hoping the 1070 would be cheaper, but at $700+ SLI is a reasonable option.

    I bought a r9 390 two weeks ago for $450

    I knew the rx480 was coming out but didn't want to wait.

    No regrets, the rx480 looks good but the R9 390 should last me just as long

      I was thinking the same thing. But the driver maturity on the 390 and the 390X has to be considered. AMD managed to squeeze out more performance from those cards quite recently with newer drivers.

      Given the same opportunity today, I think I would still go for the RX 480. What I would have loved the most would be a comparison with the GTX 1070, instead of the GTX 1080. Does half the price mean half the performance? sort of thing.

      If you actually calculate Performance/Price alone, the best cards are the RX 480 followed by the GTX 1070.

      Last edited 30/06/16 10:21 am

        To me the 1070 is in no-mans land, expensive card, but still not stellar performance once you get into 4K.
        At 1080P the framerates are fast enough on the 480 that the faster rates on the 1070 are pretty irrelevant, at greater than 1080P both cards get a bit patchy.

        I'd be looking at a 480 or a 1080 with the prices the way they are. (I currently have a TitanX, looking for something in the second PC to replace the old GTX-480)

          In my experience, the top tier card from nVidia, are a huge risk. It's not like games are going to be made around that card, owned by so few. The extra power will be there if I wanted to tap in, but is irrelevant in most circumstances.

          The GTX 1070 however, is considerably cheaper than the 1080 and carries less risk of me overspending on unnecessary performance, until the next round of cards come out.

          The RX 480 is a nice buy, because it virtually guarantees, exemplary performance to last me through the immediate generation following this one.

          I have a 4K TV, but that's hooked up to the consoles. More concerned about VR at the current fidelity and may be the next year.

          How much value, has your TitanX lost over the time you initially purchased it?

    I am sincerely underwhelmed by AMD's GPU's. I have not seen a truly competitive GPU in years, and was realllllly hoping this would allow me to jump back on the AMD bandwagon...but alas it is for naught. I will be saving up for a 1070, maybe in another 4-5 years AMD will come out with something that's actually competitive on more than a price point. Cheap <> Better. Cheap + Power == Better

    Had the 480 been nearly as powerful as a 1070, they could have won this release, as it stands....
    Note that the 1070 is only "slightly" less powerful than the 1080 based on passmark records. There are not enough RX 480's listed to compare AMD to it directly. However, the above says it performs about as well (if a little less) than the R9...which is still 63% as powerful as a 1070....hell, the R9 is only 75% as powerful as a 980 and only 84% as powerful as a 970...seriously, if you are going to get a GPU upgrade and you want it on the cheap, just go for a GTX 970....

    I imagine if you are upgrading from a GTX 470 or a HD6970 this would be a "good" upgrade....but there are better options on the market that are more powerful and at a similar price point.

      Bear in mind they were deliberately releasing mid-range products it's us (and the media) who got caught up in hype expecting it to be a Titan killer.

      Their high end cards aren't that far away, the Vega chips will (probably) launch this year (last I saw they said October). So fingers crossed they give the 1080s and 1070s a run for the money.

      edit: "THEY" doesn't mean AMD, it's still just rumours doing the rounds.

      Last edited 01/07/16 3:00 pm

    If you get a chance Alex, could you look into how this card sits in comparison to the other "VR ready" cards? As someone who is happy plodding along with my 770 currently but also has a Rift sitting in the box it came in, I'm real keen to find the right card that isn't insanely expensive to get that up and running :)

    Okay I am building my step son a computer. I have decided on all parts except the GPU. I told him to wait for the new cards to come out and I would decide then. That time has come and gone and I am still up in the air about what to purchase. He is going to be gaming in 1080p as he has no care for 4k gaming. Should I wait for the board partner cards for the GTX 1070 to come out or should I get a Radeon 480 and be done with it? My price point for this was going to be around 600$ but that's really pushing it and I don't see prices of any of the GTX cards dropping to that price point any time soon.

    Last edited 30/06/16 4:31 pm

      You'll not be getting a GTX1070 for $600 any time soon. Well, sort of. Newegg does have some of the Founders Edition cards for $649. But in terms of the partner boards, if $600 flat is already pushing it I'd sadly not go for a 1070 at this point in time. For reference, I paid $779 for mine, though admittedly mine has an aftermarket cooler and I opted to purchase from an Australian retailer because I'm impatient.

      I'd recommend waiting just a couple more weeks for the GTX1060 launch, and see what the price/performance is like. It might be more in line with your budget, and based on the current NVIDIA range, I imagine it would be perfectly suited for 1080p gaming

      Last edited 30/06/16 6:49 pm

        Thanks mate, I will definitely wait a few more weeks and see what the 1060 has in store. Hopefully that is more suited for me :)

          Shouldn't be a long wait, they're supposed to be announced 7 July. So we should see reviews within a week. Availability might be a problem though.

          From the leaks I'd expect it to be a touch slower than the 480, though it might depend on the benchmark. So I'd expect Nvidia to price it accordingly (ie: cheaper than the 480).

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