The RX 480 Is AMD’s Mainstream Champ 

AMD took the opportunity during COMPUTEX’s first few days to release information about their new Polaris architecture based graphics card, the Radeon RX 480. Yes, you heard that right – as AMD ditches the Radeon R9 designation in favor of an easier model naming scheme for their next generation graphics. The RX 480 is VR capable according to the graphics giant, for around 200 USD.

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“The Radeon™ RX series efficiency is driven by major architectural improvements and the industry’s first 14nm FinFET process technology for discrete GPUs, and could mark an important inflection point in the growth of virtual reality,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. “By lowering the cost of ownership and increasing the VR TAM, Radeon RX Series has the potential to propel VR-ready systems into retail in higher volumes, drive new levels of VR content investment, and even drive down the cost of VR headsets.”

The card looks comparable to the likes of the R9 Fury Family, which is really a simple looking black rectangular thingy with a blower fan. It’s not a show stopper compared to the Founders Edition cards, but it is definitely what we can call a proper reference card. Physically, the card is rather small. ITX conforming to say at least if we’re going to remove the extended cooler, thus enabling compact AIB partner designs in the near future. Power efficiency is one of the main benefits of shrinking the die size at 14 nm, and AMD is serious about this one, making the RX 480 a 150W graphics with a single 6-pin power connector.

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Going over to the specifications, the RX 480 touts an expected 5+ TFLOPS of performance. We might be looking around 5.5 TFLOPS here if we are being optimistic. For comparison purposes, the GTX 1070 commands a 6.45 TFLOPS of performance at 380 -450 USD. TFLOPS is not an indication of a card’s gaming performance, but it is still an important number to look at when it comes to the theoretical speed of any GPU. The AMD Radeon RX 480 is a part of the Polaris 10 graphics family.

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The card features a GDDR5 interface, with 4GB and 8GB models. Suffice to say the lesser Polaris part, the Polaris 11 – will feature the same memory interface. One benchmark from Ashes of Singularity, points out that dual RX 480 can beat even the GTX 1080 for less. Both games are running on the same visual settings, using the DirectX 12 API.

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One benchmark from 3DMark shows that the AMD Radeon RX 480 features a cumulative score of 14, 461 Points, with a graphics score at 18, 060. Compared to the GTX 970 with an Intel Core i7-4770K on the same test, the score it got is a little less at 13, 159 Points cumulatively, with a graphics score at 15, 405. That’s an extra 2, 655 points in favor of the AMD card.

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The AMD Radeon RX 480 is a beast for 200 USD, and we are looking at R9 390 performance here for that price and power efficiency at 150W. AMD is aiming to bring Virtual Reality for the masses with this card, allowing more and more gamers to dive in at what VR Gaming could offer in the near future. The AMD Radeon RX 480 is set to be released this June 29, 2016.