Almost an RX 480 and That's a Good Thing
So you've seen how the Radeon RX 470 performs in ten of today's top PC games, but how does it stack up to the competition overall?
Compared to the Radeon RX 480, the RX 470 was just 10% slower at 1080p and 13% slower at 1440p. Keep in mind we are using the $240 8GB RX 480 which costs 33% more. For a 10-13% reduction in performance you save 25% off the price. That figure is reduced to 10% when compared to the 4GB RX 480.
Most notable, at 1080p the RX 470 averaged 70fps and 48fps at 1440p -- a great 1080p gaming solution, just as AMD suggested. Realistically, budget-conscious shoppers are best off purchasing the RX 470 versus the immediate alternatives. Though you might only save $20 over the RX 480 4GB, the extra performance won't be noticed at 1080p for those targeting 60fps.
* Please note that for practical reasons the performance figures above ignore OpenGL in Doom as well as the DX11 results for Total War: Warhammer and Ashes of the Singularity.
Although we'd usually expect mainstream Radeons to start at around $150, it appears we'll have to wait for the more affordable RX 460 to fill this slot.
Having that said, if you want to spend the least amount possible on a capable gaming graphics card, for now the RX 470 has no real competition. We'll have to wait for Nvidia's response before witnessing a real battle, in the meantime AMD should be able to enjoy the benefits of running unopposed in the sub-$200 GPU market.
The RX 470's release looks promising on the availability side. We are already testing with board partner cards which is an excellent sign. I have Asus and MSI RX 470 models on hand and I know there are also versions from Sapphire, XFX, PowerColor and Gigabyte available at this time.
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to fully test the factory overclock on the Asus RX 470 Strix, but from what I did see, performance out of the box looked similar to the AMD RX 480 reference card.
For now, the RX 470 stands as the cost per frame king and the best sub-$200 graphics card, assuming it actually hits shelves in volume at $180.
Pros: Cost per frame king as long as suggested pricing and availability is met. Asus Strix model runs very cool. Impressive 1080p performance -- not much slower than the RX 480.
Cons: Average efficiency next to Nvidia's Maxwell and Pascal. Overclocking headroom isn't huge.