Amd radeon rx 480 8gb
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB To Cost $229 US, No Launch Custom Models
The pricing of the reference 8 GB Radeon RX 480 models has been confirmed to be set at $229 US. Just like the 4 GB variant which is priced at $199 US, the second variant of the Radeon RX 480 would be priced at sweet spot of under $249 US. Based on the Polaris 10 architecture, the Radeon RX 480 is designed to deliver great VR and AAA gaming experiences to the mainstream audience.
The AMD Radeon RX 480 will be hitting the sweet spot of sub-250 USD later this month.
The sub $250 US pricing of the Radeon RX series is very important for AMD as a vast majority of PC gamers fall in this market. The Radeon RX series would include graphics cards that range between the $100 US and $300 US price range. AMD’s 2016 lineup of Polaris graphics cards includes the Radeon RX 480 (Polaris 10 XT), Radeon RX 470 (Polaris 10 Pro) and Radeon RX 460 (Polaris 11 XT).
AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card will be available in both 4 GB and 8 GB variants at launch. The 4 GB models would cost $199 US and the 8 GB models would cost $229 US plus a little extra for factory overclocked variants. Even if you get a reference model, the Radeon RX 480 is promised to deliver good overclocking support as AMD has designed a new overclocking tool which would allow users to boost the graphics card beyond its reference clock speeds. The specifications of the Radeon RX 480 graphics card can be read below in detail:
AMD Radeon RX 480 Specifications at a glance:
Talking about specifications, the Radeon RX 480 will feature the Polaris 10 GPU core. AMD has used the full P10 configuration on the Radeon 480 and the cut down design will be featured on the Radeon 470. The cards will be based on the new 14nm GCN 4.0 architecture which will compete in the mainstream market with better efficiency figures than all previous GCN products.
A picture of Radeon RX 480 graphics cards running in crossfire. (Image Credits: Extreme PC)
As stated before, the AMD Radeon RX 480 will have two variants, a 4 GB model and a 8 GB model. AMD will stick with GDDR5 memory as they want to optimize the cost of their solutions hence they will be using 8 GB/s memory chips which provide a total of 256 GB/s bandwidth on the graphics board along a 256-bit wide bus interface.
The card comes with a sweet 150W TDP while delivering high performance which is all due to the FinFET node. This allows the card to be powered by a single 6-Pin connector that keeps the card running cool and quiet. The new cooler design is same as the Radeon R9 380 along with some minor updates such as the glossy label while the logo itself is the latest Radeon version that AMD RTG has started using. Display connectors include three DP 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0 port. Each AIB has their own stickers on the blower fan but most of the design has been retained from the reference models. The new cooler delivers great temperatures and low noise output.
AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 GPU Lineup:
|Graphics Core||Polaris 10||Polaris 10||Polaris 10||Polaris 11||Polaris 11|
|Process Node||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET|
|Transistors||5.7 Billion||5.7 Billion||5.7 Billion||3.0 Billion||3.0 Billion|
|Stream Processors||2304 SPs||2048 SPs||1792 SPs||1024 SPs||896 SPs|
|Clock Frequency||1266 MHz||1206 MHz||1206 MHz||1200 MHz||1200 MHz|
|Compute Performance||5.8 TFLOPs||4.9 TFLOPs||4.3 TFLOPs||2.56 TFLOPs||2.2 TFLOPs|
|VRAM||4/8 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5||2/4 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Speed||8 GHz||6.6 GHz||6.6 GHz||7 GHz||7 GHz|
|Memory Bandwidth||256 GB/s||211 GB/s||211 GB/s||112 GB/s||112 GB/s|
|Launch Date||29th June||4th August||20th October||TBD||8th August|
|Launch Price||$199 US (4 GB) $239 US (8 GB)||$179 US (4 GB)||$149 US (4 GB)||TBD||$99 US (2 GB) $119 US (4 GB)|
|New Price||$199 US (4 GB) $239 US (8 GB)||$169 US (4 GB)||$149 US (4 GB)||TBD||$99 US (4 GB) $89 US (2 GB)|
AMD Radeon 480 and Radeon 460 Polaris Day Game Demos:
AMD Radeon 480 Tested at 5K in Dirt Rally, Radeon RX 460 Tested in Dota 2 at 1080P (144 Hz) With Vulkan API and Radeon 480 Crossfire tested against a single GTX 1080. (Image Credits: Extreme PC)
AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 Rumored Block Diagram
A few days ago, we found a listing of an XFX Radeon RX 480 graphics card on a Chinese retail site. The site posted pictures and slides related to the Radeon RX 480 and one of the slides caught our eye. What we are looking at is probably the first look at the Polaris block diagram. You could see the block diagram for yourself in the picture below:
AMD Radeon 480 Only in Reference Flavors on Launch, Custom PCB and Custom Cooled Cards Later
Gibbo from OCUK revealed that AIBs will stick to offering reference variants on 29th June launch. This means that buyers who are out in the market to purchase a Radeon RX 480 on launch day will only get the reference variants which is similar to the GeForce GTX 1080’s reference offering on launch. But this doesn’t mean that we won’t get to see any custom variant after launch, Sapphire’s Radeon 480 was leaked a while back with a new dual-fan cooling design.
OCUK reveals that only reference models would be available at launch of the Radeon 480.
The custom variants will be available later next month and would be available at prices starting for $249 US depending on the clock speeds and the amount of effort went into designing improved PCBs compared to the reference variants. Expect more information on the Radeon RX 480 and the rest of the RX series in the coming weeks.
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Polaris 10 Verdict
AMD says it’s going after that chunk of the market buying $100 to $300 graphics cards—84% of gamers, according to its internal data. The company wants a big install base of VR-capable PCs so that as HMDs become more affordable, enthusiasts have the hardware needed to enjoy virtual reality comfortably.
At this very moment, that means the Radeon RX 480 needs to be as fast as or faster than the Radeon R9 290 and GeForce GTX 970. Both HTC and Oculus use those as baseline recommendations for powering their headsets. Although the 480 isn’t always as fast as both cards, it seems to always beat at least one, and in many cases it outperforms even faster boards like the Radeon R9 390 and 390X. We think it’s safe to say that Radeon RX 480 satisfies AMD’s aim in this one regard.
But don’t let aggressive marketing overwhelm reason. The HTC/Oculus recommendations are a reasonable floor for enjoying VR. Just like conventional PC gaming, when you’re down at that level, you make quality compromises to keep the experience smooth. Though AMD claims the 480 enables a premium VR experience, we say it’ll get you in the door. Let’s put our muted enthusiasm into numerical terms. The Radeon R9 390 scores a 7.4 in Steam’s VR Performance Test. Radeon RX 480 achieves a 6.6. An old Radeon R9 290 isn’t far off at 6.5.
How about on a desktop monitor? What can you expect the RX 480 to do in a more traditional environment? Max out 1920x1080, by all means. Crank your resolution to 2560x1440, even. In almost every case, the Radeon RX 480 is faster than the old R9 290. In most, it beats the R9 390. And in some tests, the 480 even passes our current recommendation for 2560x1440, the R9 390X. Just don’t be surprised if you need to dial back quality in certain titles to yield better performance.
AMD is extremely proud of the efficiency gains it’s seeing from Polaris, too. To be sure, matching the performance of a 250W Radeon R9 290 or 275W R9 390 with a 150W GPU is nothing short of stellar. But, uh, Nvidia just launched its GeForce GTX 1070 at a similar 150W TDP, and that card is faster than a 250W Titan X. The rising tide of FinFET lifts all boats, in this case. Company representatives made it a point to mention Polaris’ gains aren’t solely attributable to 14nm manufacturing. Rather, architectural improvements facilitate up to 15% more performance per Compute Unit versus the Radeon R9 290’s implementation of GCN. No doubt, that plays a role in 480’s ability to keep up with more complex GPUs using fewer resources.
In the end, we get performance somewhere between a Radeon R9 290 and 390 at dramatically lower power and a $240 price tag. Compare that to GeForce GTX 970 with half as much memory for ~$280 and Radeon R9 390 8GB in the same neighborhood. It’s hardly what we’d call the cusp of a revolution, particularly since you still have to pay $600 for a Rift or $800 for the Vive. But we certainly appreciate the combination of smaller, faster, cooler and quieter, all for less money. Moreover, AMD says the 4GB version’s performance isn’t far off, and that card should start at $200. Expect the cost-conscious crowd to veer in that direction instead.
MORE: Best Deals
MORE: Hot Bargains @PurchDeals
Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.
AMD Radeon RX 480 Review
- Excellent 1080p performance
- Decent 1440p performance
- Cheapest VR-ready GPU
- Slightly noisy under load
- Not that much faster than a GTX 970
- Review Price: £215.00
- GCN 4 “Polaris” architecture
- 8GB GDDR5 memory
- 2,304 stream processors
- 1,120MHz base clock speed
- 4GB models available for £180
The RX 480 represented a massive shift in the world of VR gaming, managing to become the cheapest graphics card that reaches the Recommended specification for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
However, since our original review, the market has changed somewhat. We’ve seen the arrival of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and the AMD Radeon RX 470, which closely match the RX 480 in terms of performance and price.
What hasn’t changed is its performance: this is a stonking Full HD and 1440p card for around £215.
Below is our original review:
AMD Radeon RX 480 – specs and technology explained
AMD has moved from its GCN (Graphics Core Next) 3 architecture to GCN 4, codenamed Polaris. It’s a fairly big shift in terms of the chip’s physical design. Gone is the 28-nanometer process used in the previous generation, to be replaced by a 14nm process. This allows for a greater number of transistors on any given piece of silicon, but without resulting in an increase in power consumption and heat.
The 14nm process is more dense than the 16nm process of Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, used in the GTX 1070 and 1080, but since AMD hasn’t yet launched a GPU to rival either of these cards, direct comparisons on the effectiveness of this denser arrangement remains to be seen.
Video: AMD Radeon RX 480 review
Still, it means AMD has been able to pack a huge amount of power into a GPU that will suit many smaller budgets.
It’s important to temper your expectations, though. This is firmly a mid-range graphics card, so any fancy new technologies are unlikely to be found here. Instead, specs-wise, the RX 480 is merely solid; not extraordinary. There are 36 compute units and 2,304 stream processors running at a base clock speed of 1,120MHz and a boost speed of 1,266MHz.
All this without a huge power draw; the RX 480 is rated at just 150W.
It’s capable of up to 5.8TFLOPs (trillion floating-point operations per second), which puts it very much ahead of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, its closest rival at this price. However, TFLOPs figures don’t reveal the whole story and, as you’ll see from the benchmarks, a greater number of TFLOPs doesn’t equal superior performance.
Related: Best Graphics Card 2016
The RX 480 is supported by GDDR5 memory, with some cards including 4GB and others getting 8GB. 4GB models cost £185, while 8GB units will be £215. The differences don’t end here: 4GB units will have memory capable of 7Gbps (gigabits per second) speeds, while 8GB will have up to 8Gbps.
Third-party manufacturers might choose a different GDDR5 specification in order to save money, but AMD guarantees that no card will ship with a throughput that’s less than 7Gbps. It’s perhaps a little confusing, but isn’t a cause of worry; pricing and specs sheets will make it fairly clear what you’re buying.
We were supplied with an 8GB, 8Gbps card, and as a result can’t comment on the performance of the lower-specification models with any firm numbers.
The RX 480 also features asynchronous computing, meaning developers can assign tasks to the GPU with differing levels of priority, but have them all undertaken at the same time. This results in less stutter in games running in the latest DirectX 12 framework.
Watch: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 video review
AMD Radeon RX 480 – Design and Ports
There isn’t anything particularly notable about the RX 480’s design, but it’s a cut above the cheapest graphics cards around. There’s matte-black plastic around the sides and a dotted plastic finish along the bottom of the cooler. There’s no fancy backplate, but I wouldn’t expect that from a card at this price.
The cooling system consists of a single fan, which spins up to a decent whirr when under load. You’ll probably want a fairly well-insulated case to keep noise at bay, but it’s far from the loudest I’ve heard.
The RX 480 gets its juice from a single six-pin PCI Express power connector. There are three DisplayPorts and an HDMI port at the rear. The DisplayPorts are of the 1.4 specification, meaning that they’re ready for HDR gaming when titles and monitors begin to support the standard.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB review: the first-gen Polaris GPU still stands up a year later
Update April 28, 2017: The AMD RX 480 is getting on for a year old now, with a new half generation card appearing, in the shape of the catchily titled RX 580, to operate as its direct replacement. So, is there any point in looking at this aging card. Turns out, yes there is.
The old man of the Polaris generation has still got it, topping our list of the best graphics cards to buy right now.
The Radeon RX 480 was the first of the AMD Polaris generation and was built from the ground up for DirectX 12. It was also the first ground-up reworking of their Graphics Core Next (GCN) design in years. Key to AMD’s fresh design was the production shrink of the smallest transistors in their GPUs down to a rather miniscule 14nm lithography.
For the last five years graphics lithography had effectively stalled, stuck on the 28nm process. That made increasing performance while also improving efficiency a major stumbling block for GPU designers. As you jam ever more complex silicon into a graphics card and run it at ever higher clockspeeds the amount of energy needed to power them rises massively.
That’s something you can see in the new Radeon 500-series of cards. Both the RX 580 and AMD Radeon RX 570are sporting increased TDPs as a result of them both sporting higher clockspeeds than the first-gen Polaris cards.
If you’re an impatient sort, click below to be taken directly to architecture info, our benchmark data, and that all-important out-of-10 score:
AMD Radeon RX 480 specs
The industry expected a shift to 20nm a few years back. But thanks to difficulties in producing stable circuitry at that level, at a price point that was even vaguely affordable, we were stuck with the increasingly geriatric 28nm node for far too long.
AMD were relying entirely on the arrival of the 20nm process to reduce the power draw of their GCN chips; with it missing-in-action their GPUs started to look like power-hungry dinosaurs compared with the lithe Maxwell architecture Nvidia produced in lieu of a shrink in the production process. The green team had seemingly seen the tiny 20nm writing on the wall and put all their design efforts into maximising Maxwell’s efficiency, to great effect.
Thank the silicon gods then Samsung and Global Foundries perfected their 14nm FinFET production process and allowed the GPU race to get going again. FinFET? That’s essentially the same technology Intel has been using for years in its Tri-Gate 3D transistors, a micro-engineered miracle enabling the industry to circumvent the electrical leakage you get with teeny-tiny componentry.
But all we really need to know is that with the switch to an itty-bitty transistor lithography you can either jam loads more transistors into a chip to make beefy graphics processors or stick to previous levels and bask in the increased efficiency you’ve just created.
Which route did AMD take with the Radeon RX 480? It was all about efficiency.
AMD decided to switch things up with Polaris, going instead for the mainstream jugular rather than straight for the high-end with its new launch. That’s almost the completely opposite approach Nvidia took with their Pascal GPUs, where they went big straight away with the ridiculously-expensive GTX 1080.
The reasoning? AMD have said they’re specifically looking to lower the entry point of VR gaming by releasing a brand new mainstream card at an affordable $229 price point. As well as “making the next millions of gamers PC gamers,” or so claimed AMD’s Evan Groenke, Senior Product Manager at AMD.
There is also the fact that this is where the big volume of graphics card sales reside, so it’s not a purely altruistic stance. AMD claim 84% of PC gamers only buy $100-$300 graphics cards, so if AMD can get the jump on Nvidia in this segment then they could shift a whole lot of GPUs.
But this specifically mainstream approach is not without its pitfalls either.
Historically you release your new GPU architecture with a big, speedy graphics card right from the off so you can immediately deliver unprecedented levels of graphics performance and cross your fingers the trickle down effect will have everyone salivating over what your more affordable versions will offer.
When you go in at the mainstream, however, you’re pretty much just trading on pricing. The gaming performance your new GPU offers is likely to already exist in last generation’s higher-tier cards, only for more cash.
So then, it’s almost a question of which gets your blood running faster: whole new levels of graphics performance or cheaper, more efficient GPUs?
In these questionable economic times, and with Nvidia demanding a fortune, one kidney and your second-born child (not your first…c’mon, they’re not monsters) in return for a GTX 1080 Founders’ Edition, AMD’s choice was a pretty sensible one.
Though with both the 6GB and 3GB versions of Nvidia’s GTX 1060 cards able to generally outpunch it the competition is tough.
AMD Radeon RX 480 architecture
The RX 480 was the first of the new Polaris cards and comes complete with the full Polaris 10 GPU at its heart. There’s no chopped-off shaders here, the RX 480 has the full monty of 36 Compute Units (CUs), rocking 2,304 shaders and running either a 4GB or 8GB GDDR5 memory capacity across its 256-bit memory bus.
As is their wont AMD released another Polaris 10 card, the Radeon RX 470, which offers a cut-down version of the RX 480’s chip. That comes with 32 CUs and 2,048 shaders, and stuck with a 4GB memory capacity on the same bus.
AMD claimed that thanks to new memory and colour compression algorithms they were able to get the same level of performance out of a 256-bit memory bus as it did from the 512-bit buses of old.
That spec places it between the last-gen Radeon R9 380X and R9 390, but because of the production process shrink the GPU itself is much smaller and yet still packs in 5.7 billion transistors into its 232mm2 package.
It’s also able to run at peak levels using much less power than either of those last-gen cards too; sporting a TDP of just 150W. There’s only a single 6-pin PCIe power connection on the 8GB Radeon RX 480 card I’ve been testing.
AMD Radeon RX 480 benchmarks
AMD Radeon RX 480 performance
During the testing of the RX 580 we’ve rested both the RX 480 and competing 6GB GTX 1060 cards. Times change and so does the driver software and the gaming performance it can deliver to different GPUs.
For the most part the GTX 1060 in 6GB trim outperforms the RX 480 across our benchmarking suite. There are the odd exceptions which, importantly, lie around the modern, low-level graphics APIs. Both the DirectX 12 and Vulkan performance of the AMD card are generally above the GeForce GPU’s pace.
It shows how prepared AMD were for this low-level API future and conversely how little Nvidia really considered it. That’s perhaps not surprising given that Vulkan is more or less a direct descendent of their Mantle API and that AMD have got their hardware already sitting inside both the major consoles of the current generation. Low-level APIs have long been used in console development, so that transition to the PC world sees AMD in a favourable position.
On the whole the RX 480 is a pretty impressive 1440p graphics card, capable of batting around the all-important 60fps level at even the highest graphics settings in-game. That also means it’s a brilliant 1080p GPU and capable of delivering a certain amount of future-proofing with that unprecedented mainstream frame buffer.
The difficulty for the RX 480 now though is the amount of competition out there right now. The Sapphire version of the RX 570 we’ve been playing with is often mighty close in terms of gaming performance with the RX 480. Even the 3GB GTX 1060 manages to post some impressively competitive benchmark numbers at the 1080p level. The extra video memory of the RX 480 though does show in the more demanding titles and the higher resolutions too.
There’s also the RX 580 which is set to replace it. That, however, is more likely to be seen in overpriced, factory-overclocked SKUs given the mature Polaris 20 chip’s ability to be clocked higher than this last-gen GPU.
With all that said, however, the RX 480 can still be found for a lot less than either the GTX 1060 or the RX 580 and that gives it some hope.
The subsequent RX 480 we’ve tested is the Asus STRIX version, sporting their impressive cooling array. We were able to pit both RX 480, RX 580 and GTX 1060 against each other using that same cooling and power design, allowing us to make a really tight comparison between them.
It shows that with the right cooling both the Polaris and Pascal GPUs can be clocked highly and with whisper-quiet cooling too.
But the best bit? None of that hideous electrical chip-whining that can set your teeth on edge. Score.
In terms of overclocking though it’s a little less interesting. The reference Polaris 10 GPU was running close to its limits at its 1,266MHz Boost clockspeed, and we barely got anything extra out of our reference card. I’ve spoken to other GPU testers and they managed less than a 10% clockspeed bump, which hardly translates into any extra performance – there’s precious little headroom to play with here. Even the overclocked Asus card is barely much over the standard clockspeed, offering a top speed of 1,330MHz in OC mode.
The power draw of the relative Nvidia and AMD cards though shows that the Radeon engineers have still got some work to do in getting their GPU efficiency improved. The Pascal cards demand far less power, and that’s most starkly shown by the significantly quicker GTX 1070, in overclocked Galax EXOC trim, still chewing through a lot less juice than either the first or second generation Polaris GPUs.
AMD Radeon RX 480 verdict
AMD took a calculated risk with the RX 480, releasing it as their inaugural GCN 4.0 graphics card, rather than opting for the more traditional stance of releasing their fastest GPU first. The cynic may say that’s because theydon’t yet have the single GPU performanceto best Nvidia’s GTX 1080, but even so it was still worth AMD getting in early and hitting the volume, sub-$300 market before the competition.
The high-end arena has been long vacated by AMD, but fingers crossed the upcoming AMD RX Vega cards will fix that.
If I was just basing this review purely on the RX 480’s current DirectX 11 performance though I could have simply filled this page with a GIF featuring a gentle shrug of my shoulders. The RX 480 delivers about what you’d expect from a generational GPU update, yet brings little new to the DX11 table in terms of performance.
Thankfully that’s not all this older AMD card, with its 4th Generation GCN architecture, has to offer. AMD’s background work with their low-level Mantle API has set them up perfectly for a future in which DirectX 12 has been so heavily influenced by their own original approach.
So, who should consider the new RX 480 for their next GPU upgrade? If you’re eyeing up the $200-ish price point then the RX 480 is a great option. It’s still cheaper than the competing GTX 1060, making it a great-value GPU, especially if you’re really into Doom and Hitman or just want to play Vulkan or DX12-based games at high frame rates. While the the RX 480 costs less than a GTX 1060 then we’re sorely tempted to opt for the Radeon instead because of its future-proofing for next-gen APIs.
There’s a lot of competition out there right now, but while there is still cheap RX 480s in the channel then it’s the mainstream GPU we recommend you jam into your PC. But those days are likely to be numbered…
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Temperature & Noise Results
We measured temperatures and clock rates under real-world conditions, inside a Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 chassis, just as we did for our GeForce GTX 1080 launch article.
The temperatures during the gaming loop and stress test were similar, which is hardly surprising. There’s only a 4W power consumption difference between the two, and the fan does its best to keep the card’s temperatures from climbing too high.
After adding frequencies to the mix, we find that the Radeon RX 480 is more stable than Nvidia’s Pascal-based cards. Clock rate still changes based on scene being rendered, but PowerTune doesn’t react as quickly as GPU Boost 3.0. AMD’s approach is different.
For more information, check out Measurement Science: Taking Accurate IR Thermal Readings.
In spite of the AMD's crowded PCA, the voltage converters are far enough away from the GPU and its package that they don't have a thermal impact on the processor. One of the memory modules is directly between the voltage converters and GPU, though. It does hit 88 degrees Celsius, which is slightly above its ceiling according to Samsung's technical specifications.
We’ve documented how the card heats up in a time-lapse video. The first 10 minutes are compressed into just two:
AMD Radeon RX 480 - Heating Up - Metro Last Light 4K
The picture barely changes during our stress test. This isn’t surprising due to the very similar power consumption numbers. The voltage converters do gain approximately 1 degree Celsius, but that's hardly worth mentioning.
We have a time-lapse video that’s played back at five times the original speed for this workload, too.
AMD Radeon RX 480 - Heating Up - Furmark
Fan RPM and Noise
Fan speed is directly related to the amount of waste heat that needs to be, literally, blown away. The faster the fan spins, the noisier the graphics card will be.
So, how does the Radeon RX 480 fare? As usual, we measured the noise level in our noise-dampened test chamber using a water-cooled system constructed for just this purpose.
The lower measurement limit is 22 dB(A) due to the near-silent system's hardware. Then again, we’ll never see (or hear) less than 22 dB(A) with an actively cooled graphics card like this one.
|NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)|
|Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)|
|Graphics Card Test System with Optimized Water Cooling - Intel Core i7-5930K @ 4.2GHz, Water-Cooled - Crucial Ballistix Sport, 4x 4GB DDR4-2400 - MSI X99S XPower AC - 1x Crucial MX200, 500GB SSD (System) - 1x Corsair Force LS, 960GB SSD (Applications, Data)|
- be quiet! Dark Power Pro, 850W Power Supply Unit (PSU)
|- Alphacool VPP655 Pump (Undervolted) - Alphacool NexXxos CPU Cooler - Phobya Balancer - Alphacool 24cm Radiator|
- 2x 12cm Noiseblocker eLoop Fan @ 400 RPM
|Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (LxDxH)|
|Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm|
|- Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA) - Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise|
We take our first noise readings during the gaming loop, after the card reaches its maximum temperature.
At idle, we measure 31.0 dB(A). Seeing that this is only slightly above a typical living room's noise level, the result is pretty good. Unfortunately, the radial fan is a bit grumpy when it spins slowly, presenting a noise profile that emphasizes low frequencies.
Even though the 480's acoustic performance at idle sounds good based on our benchmark numbers, there's a risk that the card will turn your PC into a resonance chamber. This means that the Radeon RX 480 has the potential to be louder in a case than on an open test bench. This isn’t a huge problem, but a solid chassis is definitely the way to go. Cheap tin cans need not apply.
The Radeon RX 480 does really well under load. During our gaming loop, it’s no louder than Nvidia's reference GeForce GTX 1070. This is in spite of its higher power consumption, simpler cooling solution and more mainstream construction.
Finally, AMD gives us a reference card that doesn't sound like a hair dryer under heavy load. Well-done!
MORE: Best Motherboards
MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Review
450 Fan Noise » Moving from the 28 nanometer process to 14 nm FinFET provides significant power improvements; AMD also reports that they have implemented additional efficiency improvements in their new architecture. Gaming power draw is definitely improved over the last generation, even though the RX 480 uses GDDR5 memory which is not nearly as power efficient as HBM. Polaris can't beat NVIDIA's current Pascal lineup in efficiency, but we see numbers similar to NVIDIA's last generation (GTX 970, GTX 980); performance is similar too, and so is performance per watt. The picture is completely different in non-gaming states, though; here, it looks as though AMD still hasn't learned its lesson. Single-monitor, idle-power draw with 15 W is just ok I guess, but multi-monitor and Blu-ray using more than 5x as much power as NVIDIA's counterparts is simply unacceptable, especially since this has not been addressed for several years. Furmark maximum power caps out at 166 W, which is higher than the board's power input configuration (150 W). Normal gaming is higher than that limit, too. While nearly all motherboards and power supplies should be able to handle that, it still exceeds specifications, especially if you crank the power limit up while overclocking. Two 6-pin or one 8-pin would have maybe been the better power configuration.
Next Page »Fan Noise Page: 1- Introduction & Specifications 2- Architecture 3- The Card 4- A Closer Look 5- Test Setup 6- Anno 2205 7- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate 8- Battlefield 3 9- Battlefield 4 10- Batman: Arkham Knight 11- COD: Black Ops 3 12- Crysis 3 13- Fallout 4 14- Far Cry Primal 15- Grand Theft Auto V 16- Hitman 17- Just Cause 3 18- Rainbow Six: Siege 19- Rise of the Tomb Raider 20- The Witcher 3 21- World of Warcraft: WoD 22- Power Consumption 23- Fan Noise 24- Performance Summary 25- Performance per Watt 26- Performance per Dollar 27- Overclocking 28- Temperatures & Clock Profiles 29- Value & Conclusion 30- (450 User Comments)