AMD Radeon RX 480 Review: Performance for the masses

By Steve · 320 replies
Jun 29, 2016
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  1. Touted as the perfect VR solution for the masses, AMD is hoping to claw back a bit of market share with the new Radeon RX 480 which is aimed at the mainstream $200-250 segment, with other affordable Polaris GPUs expected to follow.

    Whether on purpose or forcefully so, AMD is flipping how they used to release new GPUs, starting with mainstream products this time and working up to the high-end stuff. This might make sense given the company's current market share predicament, though I personally feel the move to the 14nm process has almost forced AMD into this strategy. The process may need to mature before larger, more complex GPUs can be created in sufficient volumes.

    Then again, with over 80% of the PC gaming market dominated by $100 - $300 graphics cards, this is where the bulk of the market share is won and lost. AMD's first strike will be made at the $200 price range ($240 for the 8GB model) with the RX 480.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 864   +877

    Wow. Well, it's performance is right where AMD said it would be, but those power numbers just seem, wrong. So wrong. Near the same as a 1070 but performance lower then a 980? jeez thats not good.

    Add in the complete lack of OC headroom, and the 480 is looking like a repeat of the fury x, high power consumption and no headroom. At least this one is cheaper.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  3. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Maniac Posts: 466   +241

    At least AMD still has the added benefit of supporting Freesync.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,669   +1,953

    AMD business is like jumping from one leg to the other, standing in one place, with all that renaming and re-labeling they have been doing for years. When a company becomes so stagnant and noncompetitive, it is asking to get booted from the market.

    They have enough money to be creative, but their business approach evidently made it impossible to attract talented engineers.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 864   +877

    Thats like saying a yugo still support standard rim sizes, its still a yugo.

    If this is AMD's new arch, I cant imagine we will have any sort of competition in the next 12-18 months. Yay for higher prices.
    ddferrari likes this.
  6. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    I get that they made it cheaper and it doesn't perform quite as well as a 980 blah blah...

    What I am shocked about though, is the power consumption?! I was expecting quite a significant drop for AMD in this area since it's a new architecture and a drop in Nm. Don't get me wrong, it performs just under a 390 which ate 50 watts more, but compared to the competition, power vs performance, It's very disappointing.

    Looking forward to all the AMD fans standing up for the card though! As we tend to see here on Techspot :)
    dividebyzero and cliffordcooley like this.
  7. Questors

    Questors TS Member Posts: 18   +23

    Always with the negativity. Is it a good quality product? Does it perform well? Does it do what is should for it's type and place in the market? Does it do it within reasonable limits (high and/or low) with respect to the competition? After reading three reviews/previews today, it appears to me the RX 480 answers yes to all these questions. The big stick in, "walk softly and carry a..." is the price for the product, with all other questions answered, in line where it should be? Here the RX 480 gets another yes.

    It's a pretty good product based a few initial reviews. We shall see how well it works out in the real world, if people drop the fanboy attitudes and give it a chance. Competition is good for the market, the buyers, drives innovation and keeps prices honest (at least it should).
  8. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,337   +843

    The hype for this card was too strong. People were expecting this $200 card to compete with the flagships. It aims at 970 and it beats it regulary while costing less.
  9. meric

    meric TS Booster Posts: 110   +53

    No, AMD did not deliver and they disappointed us yet again. GTX 970 performance for the cost of GTX 1070 power consumption? Are you kidding me AMD? The previous generation's curse was the higher power consumption compared to Maxwell, it's still the same curse for AMD again it seems. We all know that the name of the game is performance per watt...
    Bigtruckseries likes this.
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Nvidia owns this market.

    Do the smart thing:

    Either use a CREDIT CARD or take out a loan for the Nvidia GTX card you want or sell your body till you can afford it.

    Leave these pathetic Radeons for entry-level Walmart gaming PC's.
    iABDOzz Mustafa and MonsterZero like this.
  11. Questors

    Questors TS Member Posts: 18   +23

    Stick to playing games; with that advice you are a failure at financial management.
    bea108 likes this.
  12. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    My computer's better than yours. Why would I even listen to what you are saying?
  13. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    For those of us running a gtx 970 @ 1080p this card offers no performance gains at all. I guess I will be looking to the 1070 for my next upgrade unless I get a higher res monitor this gpu isn't worth moving to.
    emmzo likes this.
  14. meanie

    meanie TS Rookie

    Wait I'm confused, we haven't even seen Nvidia's rival to these cards and you guys are complaining about how they won't have any competition for their current releases?

    What is confusing about this not being AMD's higher end card? Do you guys know something I don't? The Nvidia circle jerk is real.

    I planned on getting one of these and eventually upgrading to a GTX 1080Ti or something, so I'm in no way a fanboy of anything here but this is crazy lol.
  15. Comanche

    Comanche TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +32

    I just bought one myself this morning, dont care what people say
  16. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Yeah, on DX12 games. Also AMD has much more hardware on board and so AMD cards keep performance with new drivers also, unlike Nvidia's.

    My c*** is bigger than yours.
  17. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,108   +1,286

    Why is this card getting negative points for cooling when the GTX 1080 is thermally throttled and got a perfect score? This makes a bit more noise than the GTX 1080 but keeps the card cooler yet you are only docking AMD points. Same thing for overclocking, Nvidia reference cards couldn't even overclock due to heat issues.

    Steve, the author, stated the reason he gave the GTX 1080 a perfect score was because it was the best price/performance at the time. What about the RX 480? It is the best price/performance right now.
  18. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Exactly. Nvidia gets 100/100 although reference cooler sucks as third party coolers are better. AMD gets 85/100 because reference cooler sucks.

    Jesus what a logic.
  19. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,577   +718

    So AMD has decided they are competing with the 970... Which is 2 years old and has already been replaced by the 1070....

    Clearly, it will compete with the 1060, which will be released soon.... Let's see how it compares to that card before we go about declaring it the performance/dollar king...
    ddferrari likes this.
  20. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Good performance for the price. Like others though, I am really disappointed with the power consumption. Hopefully this will be fixed with driver optimizations/bios updates the future.

    I hope aftermarket coolers improve the overclocking abilities of the card also.
  21. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Not surprising that DirectX 12 features on hardware (like ACE's) mean higher power consumption. Still better choice than Nvidia's software async shaders. They promised drivers last august, still waiting :D
    NightAntilli, Jad Chaar and noc81 like this.
  22. Badelhas

    Badelhas TS Booster Posts: 74   +26

    Great review. The conclusion comparing performance and price with the Nvidia 1070 would be great... if it were true. I couldn't find a single Nvidia Gtx 1070 for less than 500 euros! Grrrr
    NightAntilli, noc81 and HardReset like this.
  23. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,577   +718

    The article does mention the availability issues.... Which is why prices are a bit askew right now...

    Still waiting for the 1060 to come out to see how valuable this card will really be
  24. meric

    meric TS Booster Posts: 110   +53

    LOL I was going to bring up the same point in my first message but I didnt want to begin a flame-war, the negative points would be for bad perf/watt (really the only down part of the Polaris so far as it seems) and not for cooling inefficiency
    NightAntilli, meanie and HardReset like this.
  25. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +187

    I have to say the amount t of people that thought AMD's $200 card was going compete against nvidia's $400 is amazing, get real. What amd did do was bring last gens $350-400 cards performance down to $200. They delivered there first card to clock over 1200mhz without massive cooling, and beat the performance of there last gen 275 watt card with a 150 watt card. Will be interesting to see what the board partners can cook up with better power delivery and cooling see if that 1.5ghz is within reach,only 150mhz off on reference with the limited power delivery they designed into it.

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