AMD RX 480 Review – The Cheapest VR-Ready GPU To-Date

The gaming community was surprised with the announcement of the AMD RX 480. It was announced at Computex which took place at the beginning of June. Further surprises include its price tag, in which it rivals some of Nvidia’s, which AMD’s known direct competitor, in hosting one of the most reasonably priced mid-range GPUs in today’s market. It even has the performance to match as well. It is serving up to be a proper game changer.

AMD RX 480 Review - The Cheapest VR-Ready GPU To-Date

The AMD RX 480 Goes Against Nvidia’s Mid-Range Graphics Cards

With the AMD RX 480, the tech firm moved from its Graphics Core Next (GCN) 3 architecture to GCN 4, which is codenamed Polaris. In terms of the chip’s physical design, it is quite the big shift. The 28-nanoemeter process is now gone, which was seen in the previous generation, and in comes a 14-nanometer process. With it, it allows for a greater number of transistors on any given piece of silicon. However, it does result in higher power consumption and heat.

It should be known that the 14-nanometer process is more dense than the 16-nanometer process which is found in Nvidia’s Pascal architecture. The latter process is found to be used in the Nvidia GTX 1070 and 1080 graphics cards. However, since AMD did not yet launch a GPU to rival its competitor’s cards, the direct comparisons pertaining to the effectiveness of the denser architecture remains to be seen (at the time of writing). Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that the RX 480 does not pack quite the punch, and it will even suit those with tighter budgets.

Still, even though this is practically the cheapest virtual reality-ready GPU to-date, it is still vital to place your expectations in a neutral zone. At its core, this is a mid-range graphics card. Therefore, any fancy new technologies won’t be found here. Instead, when it comes to performance and specs, it is made into a solid, all-around option.

The AMD RX 480 uses 36 compute units and 2,304 stream processors which are running at a base clock speed of 1,120MHz. The clock speed can be boosted further to a maximum of 1,266MHz. With all of this huge raw power that it can draw out, it is only rated at just 150-watts. For processing, it is capable of up to 5.8-trillion floating-point operations per second (TFLOPS), in which it does put it ahead of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, which is currently the RX 480’s closest rival in terms of price.


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