• GPU: AMD RX 480
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Ports: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
  • Slot Size: Dual-Slot
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Price – performance ratio
  • VR-ready
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3D Mark
  • Fire Strike: 10,906 points
  • Fire Strike Extreme: 5,355 points
  • Fire Strike Ultra: 2,755 points
  • Time Spy: 4,214 points

The New Budget King?

With VR gaming just around the horizon, AMD is already prepared to give gamers the VR experience we need. With the release of AMD’s Polaris graphic cards and graphic cards yet to come, the future of VR seems to be in good hands when it comes to hardware. With the AMD RX480 you can have mid-range graphic performance whilst enjoying VR at reasonable prices. Without further ado, let’s get into AMD’s latest graphic card for the masses.

The AMD RX 480 is based on the new Polaris architecture that combines the latest 14nm FinFET process and AMD’s advanced power, gating and clocking technologies. With the smaller architecture we can expect there to be better cooling and lower power consumption while enjoying high performance without compromise. The RX 480 is also HDR (High Dynamic Range) ready, although only TV’s have the privilege of enjoying this technology, AMD has said they were working with monitor manufacturers on this and we may see HDR monitors in the near future.

The new Polaris architecture supports HDMI 2.0b along with DisplayPort 1.3 for greater compatibility with new generation monitors. When it comes to gaming performance, the RX 480 performs like a high-end card from the previous generation but at the price point of a mid-range card. The current generation of games on 1080p shouldn’t have any issues playing smoothly on this graphic card. Even if you’re just a casual or competitive MOBA gamer, in the future newer games should still be playable if you choose to pick up this card. Before we forget, the core clock of the RX 480 is 1120MHz but when going into heavier loads, the RX 480 is capable of boosting up to 1266MHz for its boost clock.

When it comes to cooling and noise we didn’t expect too much since it’s a reference blower-style cooler. But due to the reduced heat from the Polaris architecture we did notice that card ran a lot quieter than other blower-style coolers. Unfortunately, we did not have any VR gears on us so we weren’t able to test VR games, which we may revisit on future graphic card reviews.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you’re out to buy a card that’ll be ready for the future and don’t have much to spend too much, AMD’s RX 480 is hands down the best choice other than aiming for a second-hand card.

(previously published in issue August 2016)

AMD Radeon RX 480