Power Consumption & Temperatures
As I mentioned earlier the AMD reference card comes fitted with an itty bitty heatsink and to be honest it struggles at cooling the RX 480. When idling the card sits around 40 degrees in a room with an ambient air temperature of just 21 degrees. Under load it quickly heats up over 70 degrees and maxes out at around 81 degrees. So similar temps to what we saw from the Founder Edition cards, which is largely what we've come to expect from AMD and Nvidia reference cards.
The Radeon RX 480 features a TDP rating of 150 watts, which is pretty low compared to the R9 390, for example. However, the GTX 1070 also has a 150 watt TDP rating and the GTX 960 is rated at 120 watts, so I was keen to see what kind of consumption we would see from our test system when running the RX 480.
So here we see when playing The Witcher 3 that the RX 480 consumed the same amount of power as the GTX 970 and only slightly less than the GTX 1070. It also used slightly more than the R9 380 and quite a bit more than the GTX 960. I'm not sure how I feel about this result.
This time when testing with Black Ops III we see that the RX 480 consumes a similar amount of power as the GTX 1070 and slightly more than the R9 380.
Interestingly, in Just Cause 3 the RX 480 consumed more power than the GTX 1070 and slightly less than the GTX 970. Given that it was on average 34% slower than the GTX 1070, the fact that it uses a similar level of power is disappointing.