AMD Radeon RX 480 review


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Comments (27)
  1. Fasic says:

    480 –> 310e
    970 –> 290e
    So not so good right now…+ with all problems at launch (yea and 970…i know but…), this is not so good for AMD, with all the excitement on launch and nothing…

    this is bad for us! really bad!

  2. Domaldel says:

    @article author (do anyone know his disqus account name?) Regarding the 480 dx 11 vs dx 12 performance in ashes.
    What settings did you use?
    From what I’ve heared the 480 only pulls away in DX12 when you use the highest possible settings as that allows more utilization allowing it to beat itself (in dx11) handedly as well as the 970.
    At just “high” there’s little difference.

    1. Michael Passingham says:

      Hi Domadel, it was tested at High. I’m still exploring the possibilities of Ashes so I will be revisiting this and updating the review.

      1. Domaldel says:

        Good, I think you’ll be impressed by the 480 at higher settings.
        I’m also looking forward to AiB cards as the card seems to primarily be power limited with Temps only being a secondary bottleneck.
        Both of those should be fixed in AiBs and some (potentially unreliable) rumors put some of them at about 1400 mhz OC.

        Btw, would you mind letting me know if/when you make a change in the article with regards to Ashes?

  3. Zee Ali says:

    What were the clocks on the gtx 970? I swear if it was running stock in gonna kill someone. Fucking overclock the 970 past 1450mhz no one with a real gtx 970 don’t overclock. So its retarded to test stock

    1. Rabih Halik says:

      Unfortunately, not everyone has PSUs to sustain the wattage of overclocking their components. Besides, if the GTX 970 is overclocked then the RX 480 will be too. On top of that, they tested with a reference card. An aftermarket card would be a better comparison because better cooling and higher factory overclocks will push the RX 480 even further forward.

      1. Zee Ali says:

        Its all but confirmed rx 480s overclock like shit, so they arent going to be pushing beyond 1350mhz i can tell you that much. Its not happening, people are doing insane things like liquid nitrogen to get their reference models with max voltage to try to sustain past 1450mhz and it crashes… LOL so much for those 1600mhz “rumors”. And it gets rediculously hot at those clocks and voltages if it was running an air cooler. So its very safe to compare a 1300mhz 480 to a 1500mhz 970 at this point

        1. VertizoPL says:

          no its not confirmed that rx480 overclock like shit, because REFERENCE card has very cheap cooling. Its confirmed that after undervolting this card can get higher oc clock, wait for fking non-refs.

    2. Domaldel says:

      A friend of mine plays with a 970 at stock… ><

  4. Bharath says:

    i already have a gtx 970, its worthless to upgrade to this…so i will wait for Vega and also build a new rig by the time it comes out

    1. Paul says:

      That was always the case even before the RX480 was released, we knew it would be a bit faster than the 970 and likely will get faster with more matured drivers but it was never really going to be a big enough upgrade from the 970 angle, best bet is to wait till Vaga, AMD will have a few options and Nvidia might have a 1080TI but AMD seems to be going in the right direction to me.

  5. Ulrik Digerud says:

    “The RX 480 came remarkably close to overhauling the GTX 970 in this benchmark, managing an excellent 83.6fps at 1080p and a very playable 57.2fps at 1440p. This put it around 2% slower than the GTX 970 in both cases.”
    According to the graph the 970 had a lower fps and only gave 97,6% of the performance the 480 did. Why do you say the 480 was 2% slower?

    1. Michael Passingham says:

      Apologies Ulrik, you’re right. It was 2% slower at FHD and 2% faster at 1440p. I’ll correct that.

  6. archimedes says:

    I recently switched from AMD to Nvidia. I’m so unhappy now with the Nvidia in a lot of small ways which these reviews never cover.

    1) AMD has better 2D VSync, so ordinary web video looks better on AMD. With the Nvidia card, I get “tearing” (an ugly horizontal line break in the image) on Netflix and Youtube. And yes, I have the latest drivers and have tried every possible VSync mode and setting. There is no solution for this, Nvidia’s VSync is only for gaming.

    2) AMD’s drivers gave better resolution and display switching – with the AMD card, resolution changes and display switching could be done easily and reliably using hotkeys, you could also activate pre-set profiles from the taskbar icon. Nvidia drivers have no hotkeys, there is an add-on display manager which has hotkeys but it is not reliable (use it once and it can’t be used again).

    3) My PC started faster with AMD than with Nvidia.

    4) The actual Nvidia driver software is sucky, it’s bloated, with a slow and non-intuitive user interface.

    5) Older games – for example Minecraft which my kids play – look terrible on Nvidia, a lot of on-screen artifacts (visible lines between blocks).

    6) My PC feels less stable with Nvidia drivers, I have to restart it every couple of days. With AMD drivers it was rock solid stable, could run for 1 month or longer without restarts.

    1. Ulrik Digerud says:

      What’s the point in lying about a company you dislike, really hope this behaviour isn’t something you teach your kids to do

    2. Anatolian Hittite says:

      bloody fanboy you know AMD failed so you’re putting dirt on Nvidia but hey I only go with facts. What you pay what you get.

    3. Russel says:

      It’s funny you say that, because years ago I switched from AMD to nvidia because of AMD’s terrible drivers! My last AMD card was an X1950XTX, and I was fed up with the bloat and sluggishness of Catalyst Control Center. It slowed down my PC and made it less stable. On top of that it was unintuitive and ugly. I guess they’ve improved over the years. Ultimately, my experience with AMD’s software put me off AMD to such an extent that I’ve been an nvidia user for the last decade.

      1. Placebo says:

        Yep I switched from AMD to Nvidia for pretty much the same reasons, the terrible drivers and the lack of hardware Physx which was more important then that it turned out to be. Bought a GTX 770 4gb and was pretty happy with it until Nvidia moved onto newer generation cards and other than new drivers that didn’t affect performance did nothing for the older cards, added a second 770 and some games had terrific SLI performance (Far Cry Primal a recent example) but then something like The Division has terrible SLI performance and I’m better off using a single 770. So I see a single 480 as a good upgrade over my 770s as it’s about double performance 1 card v 1 card, in the future if Crossfire is well supported I’ll consider adding a second one.

        1. VertizoPL says:

          top lel

        2. Brian Thorp says:

          Funny I went the other way due to drivers.

  7. stefanakisgr says:

    How come no one tests VR capabilities ? It’s on par with or beats the GTX 980 in VR content. This card is marketed as a VR entry card, and should be tested as such imho.

    1. Michael Passingham says:

      I will be updating this review with VR performance. As Domaldel said there’s no useful benchmarking software available (aside from Steam VR benchmark) so it all has to be done on personal judgement, which takes a lot more time. I will be looking at this soon, though.

    2. Domaldel says:

      Because there’s a lack of suitable vr benchmarking software with the only one out there right now favoring the 970 over the 480.

  8. David Cole says:

    Not sure how you can give this card 4.5 out of 5. It is basically GTX 970 over-clocked. With the 8 Gig Model running $249 and you get GTX 970 ASUS Turbo for $259 not much of a difference. Except GTX 970 is 2 year old card and this is brand new. Think GTX 1070 is much better Value. It is built for the future and not just today.

    1. Michael Passingham says:

      This was an interesting one. I did make the point in my conclusion that a 970 could be better value now it’s reaching the end of its life, especially when you consider third-party overclocked versions.

      However, looking to the future the RX 480 will be a better bet with more memory and if DX12 lives up to its promise, the 480 will shine here too.

      But yes, right now it is very close between the two.

    2. Domaldel says:

      Depending on the benchmarks this one does at times quite a bit better then the 970 and it has a few neat new features that might play a part in the future.
      Also the 970 is likely to leave the market soon and the 1070 costs *a lot* more money.
      This card is a better buy then the 970 new and probably a old 970 too if they’re the same price although I’d probably go for a user 970 if it was cheaper and I trusted the seller (although losing the warranty is kind of scary)
      But the real question is how the 1060 will perform.

    3. truthify says:

      The future is DX12/Vulkan… so, need to keep that in mind as well.

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