AMD Radeon RX 470 Review: Almost an RX 480 and that's a good thing

By Steve ยท 43 replies
Aug 4, 2016
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  1. The Radeon RX 470 should be an exciting product for a few reasons. First, this is an affordable sub-$200 GPU within the reach of most gamers. Coming from the first Polaris 10 board, we expect this to be an extremely capable 1080p gamer while 1440p should also be playable. The RX 470 also only comes in a 4GB version, which I personally feel is the right choice here.

    I was a bit letdown with the RX 480 after we were promised a $200 GPU and then ended up with a $240 GPU (for the 8GB model instead of 4GB). Granted $40 isn't a lot, but at this price point it simply isn't worth paying 20% more for double the memory when it won't yeild a single extra frame for gamers targeting 60fps. Don't try to tell me the 8GB model is more "futureproof" either, though I'll be happy to revisit the topic in a year's time.

    Anyway, there's no need to argue over which RX 470 version you should buy, because there is just a single option and I feel it offers the most sensible memory capacity for a GPU of its caliber. With that said, let's move on to check out the RX 470 in greater detail...

    Read the complete review.

  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 712   +382

    Sign me up.
    I'm all for paying the utility company less when I game.
  3. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    No doubt a nice card. I think I'd still recommend the RX 480 over it since it's only $20 more. Newegg even has quite a few RX 480s at $199 as well, which puts them at the same price point, making it dumb to grab a RX 470. Although since everyone is grabbing the RX 470, prices could be a bit inflated compared to a month from now.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    You haven't been able to buy a single RX 480 of any variety on Newegg or any other retailer for $200 for a month now. The cheapest is a $240 Sapphire reference card, the rest are out of stock. A custom overclocked XFX RX 470 can be purchased for $210 right now which isn't a great deal but I would rather buy this than a loud/hot RX 480 reference card.
  5. VersPrime

    VersPrime TS Rookie

    Long time lurker here, finally got around to registering. Always appreciate the time and effort put into these reviews!

    A couple minor nitpicks:
    On the system spec sheet, it lists "16GB (4x8GB) DDR4-3000" - is that supposed to be either 32 GB or 2x8GB?

    At the bottom of the power consumption page for Just Cause 3, you mention "...again the RX 470 consumed just five watts less than the reference RX 480." The chart, however, shows a 12 W difference. (Here I think you looked at the numbers for the 380 and 470.)

    Nothing to change any of the conclusions, but I'm a sucker for the details. :)

    I'm rather excited to see what competition Nvidia can bring to the table in this price bracket and if/when they can improve their cards' DX12/async compute performance before I really start looking at buying a new card around Nov/Dec.

    Thanks again for the reviews over the years!
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    We were massively rushed on this one, AMD didn't make it easy for us.

    Anyway thank you for the feedback and bug report ;)
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,286

    Nice addition of Warhammer to the benchmarks. The price is inflated right now but when it does go down the price / performance will be amazing. AMD might have put the RX 470 too close to the RX 480.
  8. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    Good point. I'll bet then the 470s will be out of stock totally soon as well, and will run into the same stocking problems over there.
  9. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 864   +880

    If you wanted to do that, the 1060 would be a better choice, being it performs better and pulls less power then a 470.

    The only reason to go with AMD's parts is the price tag, unless you can find a 4GB 480 somewhere and are OK with the heat. Hopefully the 460 does better, since nvidia doesnt seem interested in a low profile 1050 anytime soon.
  10. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    Real world price to performance, the RX 480 (4 or 8GB) wipes the floor with any 1060 you're going to find. I can buy an RX480 for $240. I have to spend $300+ on a 1060 and there doesn't seem to be any changing that, any time soon...
  11. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Really? Where are you looking for these real world prices? 480&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=30 1060&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=30
  12. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +373

    Nice find Steve. The GTX 1060 are selling for $249.99. Better go to gtx1060 for 50 dollars more and the benchmarks proves why.
  13. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    DirectX 12 proves why not.
  14. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +373

    Are you sure you are talking about DX12? You might reconsider reading again.

    Vulcan? there is only a game available. yeah play doom 24 hrs all year.
  15. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Yes, benchmarks show something today, DX12 and Vulcan are future. Also benchmarks are totally useless unless understanding how results are obtained.

    Wise people buy graphic card for tomorrow. Not so wise people look at benchmarks today and buy new card tomorrow.
  16. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +373

    Can you share your own analysis and why benchmarks are useless.
  17. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Very easy. Take any benchmark, like and Doom 2560x1440.

    Now, who can offer in depth analysis that answer question WHY RX 480 is slower than R9 390 under Vulcan? Or alternatively WHY GTX 1060 is slower than GTX 970? Answers like "R9 390 is faster" or "R9 390 gets bigger number of frames per second" do not answer question. That's the problem. Unless understanding HOW results are obtained or WHY results are what they are, those results have not much use.

    Similar case was seen with car emissions

    Emissions were tested in standard laboratory conditions. I wasn't only one who criticized that laboratory testing does not reflect to real world testing. I wasn't surprised when this came into public. That so called "test" had same problems that benchmarks usually have. 1. test didn't answer HOW results were obtained or 2. WHY results were what they were.

    And so results were useless.

    Another great example is PCMark 05. It took about three years to answer why Intel is much faster than AMD on certain test within PCMark 05.

    Because that "not favouring any party" software favours Intel CPU's. Better late than never, but still, three years...
  18. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    Ah, the AMD troll resurfaces... Hardreset, must we remind you that only a fool buys a mid-tier video card looking for the future.... And this is closer to low-tier!!

    The only reason for buying this card is MONEY and for 1080p gaming NOW!

    It won't be able to 1440p game for more than a few months (it doesn't even get 60fps now!) and to expect AAA titles to play well at 1080p in 2 years in this card is already stretching expectations to the limit.

    So blather on about dx12 all you want, by the time dx12 runs on the majority of new titles, this card will be obsolete.

    Again, this isn't bashing AMD - all budget cards will be obsolete by the time dx12 is mainstream.... You want future proof, you got to pay 1070 prices....
  19. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    With Vulkan or DirectX 12 I expect this card is good even after 2 years. Remember that AAA titles are usually limited by consoles.

    Even 4 year old Radeon R9 280 (renamed HD 7950) is far from obsolete. And considering price, R9 280 was much more "low tier" that this one. So I expect that this card is quite good for 1080p gaming even when DX12 is mainstream.

    It's funny you are calling me troll although you don't have PROOF for anything you speculate.
  20. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    Really? So where's YOUR proof of this? I'm glad you expect this...

    The Radeon 280 was released in March of 2014.... 4 years old? Really?? And it retailed for $250....

    The Radeon 7950 WAS released 4 years ago.... but it retailed for $450....

    The Radeon 7750 retailed 4 years ago and cost sub $200.... and it can't play anything nowadays - so OBSOLETE!

    In order to prove something, your "proof" has to be accurate :)
  21. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    That AAA titles are limited by consoles? I have enough experience to claim that. For 2 years and stuff, I'm using assumptions based on previous two years.

    R9 280 retailed for $250? Funny, I paid less than $200 for it on june 2014 :D So R9 280 was more lower end than R9 470 is now.

    So R9 280 is renamed HD 7950 that is 4 year old card. Right? So 4 year old card is still quite OK. I didn't say anything about HD 7950 price, I said about R9 280 price.
  22. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    So we're supposed to just take your word because you have "enough experience"? Thanks for the "proof"... but no thanks...

    Guess you got a deal.... cause that's what the price was when it retailed...

    Just because it's a rebranded 7950 does NOT make it 4 years old... there are still some changes to it... It's the 7950 that is 4 years old, NOT the 280.. and the 7950 was $450 when it was released... A 4 year old EXPENSIVE card can still hold SOME value - the card we are talking about is going to retail for under $200.... asking it to last 4 years is insane - but I'm beginning to believe that's exactly what you are...
  23. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +373

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious analysis! Hope you would have more followers.
  24. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Everyone who has been following AAA games and console development can share this opinion. Feel free to disagree.

    AMD RX 480 and GTX10x0 are all selling much higher price than MSRP says.

    So launch price or MSRP is not necessarily retail price.

    R9 280 is HD 7950 boost with very small (8 MHz) clock speed difference, so it can be considered to be just renamed card. Feel free to tell what other changes there are (excluding small differences in clock speeds). And so R9 280 is technically 4 year old card.

    4 year old card that was 2 years later sub $200 card is still OK for gaming. As everyone knows, hardware is developing much faster than software so today's $200 card will last much longer than did $200 card 2 years ago.

  25. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    So you blast me for not providing proof - yet now that you've been proven wrong, you decide that your own opinion is more valid than proof... Great argument!

    Once again - try reading my argument.... Your reply is nonsensical... The 280 cannot be compared in any way to the 470... And now you make a blanket statement that today's $200 will last longer than 4 years ago's card (with no proof other than your opinion)!! Is this your way of tacitly admitting you were wrong?

    Go do a bit of research and provide some hard proof for your insanely inaccurate opinions before you expect anyone to believe them.

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