Tag Archives: Fallout 4

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Review

AMD launched their Polaris GPU architecture to great fanfare with the introduction of the Radeon RX 480. It offered an affordable 1440p gaming alternative to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. The AMD Radeon RX 470 was released later, offering 1080p gaming performance at even lower cost and power consumption.

Today, we are going to take a look at the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition (RX-470P4LDB6) graphics card.  This is no ordinary Radeon RX 470 graphics card. It is factory-overclocked and boasts a really unique cooler. Check it out!

 

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Specification Comparison

How does the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition compare against a standard AMD Radeon RX 470 graphics card? Take a look!

SpecificationsStandard AMD Radeon RX 470XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black EditionDifference
Stream Processors20482048-
Texture Units128128-
ROPs3232-
GPU Clock Speed926 MHz base clock
1206 MHz boost clock
1256 MHz+ 4% to +35.6%
Texture Fill Rate118 to 154 GT/s160 GT/s+ 4% to +35.6%
Pixel Fill Rate30 to 39 GP/s40 GP/s+ 4% to +35.6%
Memory Bus Width256-bits256-bits-
Graphics Memory4 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR5-
Memory Clock Speed1650 MHz1750 MHz+ 6%
Memory Bandwidth211 GB/s224 GB/s+ 6%
TDP120 WNot stated (between 120 - 150 W)-
Cooling SolutionDual slot cooler with single fanXFX Ghost 4.0 coolerBetter cooling

For more specifications, please take a look at our Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide.

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Unboxing The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition

Here is our unboxing video of the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition graphics card. This is exactly what you can expect if you purchase one.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition graphics card comes in an overly large cardboard box. Inside, you will only find the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition graphics card, a combined installation guide and warranty card leaflet, a driver CD and a 4-pin to 6-pin power adaptor.

 

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Overview

In this video, we are going to take a quick look at the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition graphics card, and its unique Ghost 4.0 cooler.

Next Page > XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Up Close, Ghost 4.0 Cooler

 

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The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Up Close

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition is a large card – the same size as the AMD Radeon RX 480. The shroud of the XFX Ghost 4.0 cooler extends a little over the card itself, to accommodate the two large 85mm fans. The back is protected and stiffened by a solid aluminium backplate, which also serves as a secondary heatsink.

The XFX logo is etched into the backplate, with a white XFX logo on the top of the shroud. However, case modders should note that it does not have any LED lighting – the XFX logo will not light up when the card is powered up. The third XFX logo can be found as part of the exhaust vent, next to the DVI port.

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The XFX Ghost 4.0 Cooler

The XFX Ghost 4.0 cooler is, arguably, the highlight of this model. It features a unibody heatsink, with composite heatpipes. The unibody design improves its ability to cool the VRM and GDDR5 memory modules by 40%, while reducing fan noise by 5%.

The composite heatpipe design, on the other hand, combines the liquid and capillary action heatpipe in a single pipe. This increases the total heatpipe surface area by 30%, which greatly improves its ability to quickly transfer heat.

The other cool thing about the XFX Ghost 4.0 cooler are its two 85 mm fans, pun intended. With a power output of 4.2 W, two of these FirstD FDC10H12S9-C fans can push a considerable amount of air through the heatsink. But what’s really cool are its patented hard-swap design, and its load-sensing technology.

The hard swap design allows for easy detachment and installation of the two fans. They are locked in place by just two clips. You can swap them out for more powerful fans, or even fans with LED lights. It also allows you to easily remove them to clean the blades or even the heatsink fins underneath. Very useful!

The other cool feature is the fans’ auto load-sensing capability. They will automatically adjust their speed according to the workload. During light loads (watching videos, using office applications), the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition runs cool enough that both fans do not spin at all, giving you absolute silence. But when you start gaming, the fans start up and increase their speed to meet the demand automatically.

Next Page > Benchmarking Notes, Cooling Performance, Noise Level

 

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Benchmarking Notes

Our graphics benchmarking test bed has the following specifications :

Operating System : Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit

Processor : Intel Core i7 6700K processor running at 4.0 GHz

Motherboard : ASRock Z170 Extreme4

Memory : 8 GB DDR4-2133 memory (dual-channel)

Storage : 240 GB HyperX Savage SSD

Monitor : Dell P2415Q Ultra HD Monitor

We used the GeForce driver version 372.54 for all three NVIDIA graphics cards, and the Radeon Software 16.8.2 driver for the three AMD graphics cards used in our tests.

 

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Cooling Performance

The AMD Radeon RX 470 uses the AMD Polaris 10 GPU, which is fabricated on the 14 nm FinFET process. The smaller process technology allows AMD to run the Radeon RX 470 GPU at 1.2 GHz with a TDP of just 120 W. This allows for a much cooler card, and hopefully, better overclocking potential.

With its Ghost 4.0 cooler, the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition should deliver significantly better cooling performance than the stock Radeon RX 470 card. While we don’t have one at hand, we do have a number of other AMD and NVIDIA cards. Take a look at their peak exhaust temperature (as measured at their exhaust vents).

Note that these are not the recorded temperatures, but how much hotter the exhaust air is above ambient temperature.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition is a surprisingly cool-running card, producing much cooler exhaust air than the Radeon RX 480, or the GeForce GTX 1060. There is a reason for this though, which we will examine in the next section…

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The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition Noise Level

We recorded the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition as it was running the 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra benchmark for the third time.

As you can hear, the two fans do produce a considerable amount of noise. That is the secret (and downside) to its significantly better cooling performance. Of course, this is an open testbed, so the noise will be muted in an enclosed chassis.

Next Page > 3DMark DirectX 12 & Direct 11 Benchmark Results

 

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3DMark DirectX 12 Benchmark (2560 x 1440)

3DMark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark that supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition is about 35% faster than the Radeon R9 380 – amazing performance for a card that costs just US$ 219. In fact, it is just 8% slower than the AMD Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), and 12% slower than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060!

 

3DMark (1920 x 1080)

For Direct 11 performance, we started testing the graphics cards using 3DMark at the most common gaming resolution – 1920 x 1080.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition was 40% faster than the Radeon R9 380. That puts it just 7% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB).

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3DMark (2560 x 1440)

Then we took 3DMark up a notch to the resolution of 2560 x 1440. Let’s take a look!

At this resolution, the extra memory of the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB) starts to pay off. It was now 13% faster than the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition, which only has 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

 

3DMark (3840 x 2160)

This is torture, even for the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and the GeForce GTX 1070!

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition was now 16% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB). Not that it matters. The frame rates are completely unplayable for all cards at this resolution.

Next Page > Ashes of the Singularity & Warhammer Benchmark Results

 

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Ashes of the Singularity (1920 x 1080)

We tested Ashes of the Singularity in the DirectX 12 mode, which supports the new Asynchronous Compute feature. We started with the full HD resolution.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition did very well in this test, virtually tying with the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB) and GeForce GTX 1060!

 

Ashes of the Singularity (2560 x 1440)

We then took Ashes of the Singularity up a notch to the resolution of 2560 x 1440. Let’s see how the cards fare…

Again, the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition did very well. It tied the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB) and GeForce GTX 1060.

 

Ashes of the Singularity (3840 x 2160)

Finally, let’s see how the cards perform with Ashes of the Singularity running at the Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160.

Surprisingly, the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition continued to match the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB) and the GeForce GTX 1060 in performance. It was actually able to deliver playable frame rates even at such a high resolution.

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Warhammer (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, recorded by Total War : Warhammer‘s internal DirectX 12 benchmark.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition delivered frame rates in excess of 60 fps. It actually tied the GeForce GTX 1060 in performance, and came in just 7% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB).

 

Warhammer (2560 x 1440)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, recorded by Total War : Warhammer‘s internal DirectX 12 benchmark.

At this higher resolution, the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition slipped under 50 fps. Still pretty decent performance. It was now 4% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060, and 8% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB).

 

Warhammer (3840 x 2160)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, recorded by Total War : Warhammer‘s internal DirectX 12 benchmark.

The Ultra HD resolution proved too much for most cards. Only the GeForce GTX 1070 and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti delivered playable frame rates. The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition was now 9% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), and 11% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

Next Page > The Witcher 3 & Fallout 4 Benchmark Results

 

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The Witcher 3 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition performed well at this resolution, delivering an average frame rate of 60 fps. That made it 9% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), and 14% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

 

The Witcher 3 (2560 x 1440)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

When the resolution increased to 1440p, all cards took a massive hit in frame rate. Only the GeForce GTX 1070 and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti delivered average frame rates above 60 fps.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition had a playable average frame rate of 41 fps. It remained 9% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), and 14% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

 

The Witcher 3 (3840 x 2160)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

The Ultra HD resolution is a real torture, even humbling the GeForce GTX 1070 and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition remained 9% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), but was now 16% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

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Fallout 4 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

Fallout 4 is a relatively “easy” for most graphics cards at the resolution of 1920 x 1080. The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition had no problem delivering an average frame rate of 78 fps. That makes it just 4% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), but 17% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

 

Fallout 4 (2560 x 1440)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

When we took the resolution to the next level though, it really cut down on frame rates. The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition‘s average frame rate of 56 fps still very good, being 27% faster than the Radeon R9 380. However, it was now 8% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), but 19% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

 

Fallout 4 (3840 x 2160)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, that FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

The 4K resolution really taxed the cards. Even the GeForce GTX 1070 could not deliver an average frame rate of 60 fps.

The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition only managed an average frame rate of 31 fps. That made it 7% slower than the Radeon RX 480 (8 GB), but 18% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060.

Next Page > Our Verdict, Specifications & Lowest Price

 

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Our Verdict

The AMD Radeon RX 470 was always meant for 1080p gaming, but XFX managed to take it one step further with the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition. Thanks to the factory-overclocking of the GPU and the GDDR5 memory, it offers performance close to that of the AMD Radeon RX 480.

In our real world benchmarks, the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition was proven to be capable of delivering good frame rates even at 2560 x 1440. 1440p gaming is now possible with the Radeon RX 470!

Of course, the extra performance comes at a cost. The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition has a launch price of US$219. That’s a US$40 premium over a standard Radeon RX 470, and a US$20 premium over a 4GB Radeon RX 480.

What you get in return is a well-made, factory-overclocked Radeon RX 470 card, with a powerful load-sensing cooler and a solid aluminium backplate. The hard-swappable fans are also a nice touch, allowing for very easy upgrades, replacement and maintenance.

Of course, you may just decide to skip these niceties and top up another US$10 for an 8GB Radeon RX 480. That will buy you a slightly faster card, with more overclocking potential.

SpecificationsStandard AMD Radeon RX 470XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black EditionDifference
Stream Processors20482048-
Texture Units128128-
ROPs3232-
GPU Clock Speed926 MHz base clock
1206 MHz boost clock
1256 MHz+ 4% to +35.6%
Texture Fill Rate118 to 154 GT/s160 GT/s+ 4% to +35.6%
Pixel Fill Rate30 to 39 GP/s40 GP/s+ 4% to +35.6%
Memory Bus Width256-bits256-bits-
Graphics Memory4 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR5-
Memory Clock Speed1650 MHz1750 MHz+ 6%
Memory Bandwidth211 GB/s224 GB/s+ 6%
TDP120 WNot stated (between 120 - 150 W)-
Cooling SolutionDual slot cooler with single fanXFX Ghost 4.0 coolerBetter cooling

For more specifications, please take a look at our Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide.

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NVIDIA Releases Free Vault 1080 Mod For Fallout 4

You know a game is great if you’re inspired to create more content after you’ve finished playing. And that’s exactly what we’ve done for Bethesda’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic survival adventure, Fallout 4.

 

Vault 1080 Mod For Fallout 4

Vault 1080 is a free add-on level mod by NVIDIA’S LightSpeed Studios. It adds over an hour of gameplay in an expansive vault featuring key NVIDIA GameWorks technologies, such as volumetric lighting, god rays, HBAO+ and FleX-powered weapons debris.

The gameplay is set in the dark underground hallways of Vault 1080, the home of a mysterious congregation that embraced darkness and sickness to survive. You’ll search for the truth within the depths of the mysterious vault, and judge for yourself whether monsters deserve salvation.

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NVIDIA GameWorks Used For Unsettling Effects

The story behind the story: a team of NVIDIA Fallout 4 fans who couldn’t resist the opportunity to participate after Bethesda released its Fallout 4 Creation Kit. Led by veteran game modder Dane Johnston, with modding credits for Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2 and Homeworld our team of developers spent an afternoon brainstorming the mod’s storyline. They then poured in around seven man-months of work to create our mod.

The result is more than just a sprawling environment — which takes you to the ruins of an old church hidden in a foggy, murky marsh. It’s a tale of lost secrets and unknown horrors told with technology that perfectly complements Vault 1080’s unsettling tale.

NVIDIA used GameWorks technologies such as volumetric lighting to light the corridors and rooms to create a great deteriorating atmosphere for players. Shadows was enhanced by NVIDIA HBAO+. Weapons debris comes courtesy of NVIDIA FleX.

 

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True Performance Of The Radeon RX 480 Examined

True Performance Of The Radeon RX 480 Examined

After the Radeon RX 480 was found to draw excessive power from the PCI Express bus, AMD released the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver. This is a non-WHQL driver that was promises to reduce the Radeon RX 480‘s power draw from the PCI Express bus. It also promises to improve the Radeon RX 480‘s performance to correct for the expected drop in performance.

The reduction in power consumption is not enabled by default though, because it reduces performance. Instead, AMD will add a Compatibility Mode option in Radeon Settings, which you must manually toggle. Check out what the new Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver offers :

  • The Radeon RX 480’s power distribution has been improved for AMD reference boards, lowering the current drawn from the PCIe bus.
  • A new “compatibility mode” UI toggle has been made available in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This option is designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact if end users experience any further issues.  This toggle is “off” by default.
  • Performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

In this article, we will examine the drop in performance caused by the reduced power consumption. Then we will compare it to the boost in performance from the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver. Check it out!

 

3DMark (1920 x 1080)

We started testing the graphics cards using 3DMark at the most common gaming resolution – 1920 x 1080.

In the lower resolution of 1920 x 1080, the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] received a performance boost of 3% to 3.8%. That was sufficient to completely erase the 2.4% to 3% drop in performance due to the reduced power consumption.

 

3DMark (2560 x 1440)

Then we took 3DMark up a notch to the resolution of 2560 x 1440. According to AMD, this is the sweet spot for the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon]. Let’s take a look!

When we increased the resolution to 2560 x 1440 though, the performance boost from the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver dropped to just 2.3% to 2.9%. It just about erased the drop in performance from the reduced power consumption.

 

3DMark (3840 x 2160)

This is torture, even for the 8 GB version of the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon].

At the 4K resolution, the 2.3% to 2.85% boost in  from the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver was not enough to offset the 3.7% to 4% drop in performance from the lower TDP. The Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] ended up 1% to 1.8% slower.

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Next Page > Fallout 4, Witcher 3 & Warhammer Results, Conclusion

 

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Fallout 4 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

In Fallout 4, the new Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver boosted the average frame rate enough to make up for the drop in performance from the reduced power consumption.

 

The Witcher 3 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

In The Witcher 3, the performance boost was substantial enough to give the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] a small 1.3% boost in average frame rate, even with the Compatibility Mode triggered.

 

Total War : Warhammer (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, recorded by the Total War : Warhammer benchmark.

Surprisingly, the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver did even better in Total War : Warhammer. Even with the reduced power consumption, the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] received a nice 2.2% boost in the average frame rate!

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Conclusion

The Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver does two things – reprogram the Radeon RX 480‘s power controller so it will pull more current from the 6-pin PCI Express power cable, and less from the PCI Express bus. This fix does not reduce performance. However, it still means that the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] will exceed its rated 150 W TDP.

The higher TDP should not cause any concerns normally. However, those want their Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] to adhere to the rated 150 W TDP can enable the new Compatibility Mode switch in Radeon Settings. This reduces the Radeon RX 480‘s TDP to 150 W.

The reduction in power consumption reduces performance, of course. But for all of the furore over the Radeon RX 480 power draw controversy, it looks like the performance boost that the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] received from the higher-than-rated TDP was less than 4%.

We will be correcting our AMD Radeon RX 480 Review to reflect this change. Yes, 4% may be small, but it is still a significant change, and we have to be accurate.

The good news though is that the small drop in performance is virtually offset by performance optimisations for the AMD Polaris architecture in the new Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver. So if you are a Radeon RX 480 user, go get it now!

 

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Radeon Software 16.7.1 Performance Comparison

Radeon Software 16.7.1

Following the Radeon RX 480 power draw controversy, AMD released the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver. This is a non-WHQL driver that was pushed out quickly to fix the Radeon RX 480‘s excessive power draw from the PCI Express bus. However, it also comes with a 3% boost in performance for the Polaris architecture.

Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%1. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

So we decided to take a look at the performance improvements it delivers in the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon]. We also took a look at how it affects the AMD Radeon R9 380 graphics card, which is based on the previous-generation Fiji architecture. Check it out!

 

3DMark (1920 x 1080)

We started testing the graphics cards using 3DMark at the most common gaming resolution – 1920 x 1080.

The Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] received a 3.15% boost in the Overall Score, a 3.77% boost in the Graphics Score and a 3% boost in the Combined Score. Very nice! The Radeon R9 380, however, did not benefit from the newer Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver at all.

The frame rate breakdown shows the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] edging even further away from its predecessor, the Radeon R9 380. It is now 44-48% faster than the Radeon R9 380, thanks to the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver.

 

3DMark (2560 x 1440)

Then we took 3DMark up a notch to the resolution of 2560 x 1440. According to AMD, this is the sweet spot for the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon]. Let’s take a look!

At this higher resolution, the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] received a smaller performance boost of 2.6% in the Overall Score, 2.9% in the Graphics Score and 2.3% in the Combined Score. The Radeon R9 380‘s performance actually suffered slightly (by 1%) with the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver.

The small boost in performance from the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver only gave the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] a small 0.5-1 fps boost in frame rate. Coupled with the slight drop in the Radeon R9 380‘s performance, the Radeon RX 480 is now 40-50% faster than the Radeon R9 380.

 

3DMark (3840 x 2160)

This is torture, even for the 8 GB version of the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon]. The Radeon R9 380 would do even worse, with just 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

For some reason, the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver caused the benchmark to fail while running on the Radeon R9 380. However, we can see that it gives the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] is a small 2.4% boost in the Overall Score, a 2.3% boost in the Graphics Score and a 2.85% boost in the Combined Score.

Based on the Radeon R9 380 running on the earlier Radeon Software 16.6.2 driver, the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] is now 36-49% faster than the Radeon R9 380 at this resolution.

Next Page > Fallout 4, Witcher 3 & Warhammer, Conclusion & Downloads

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Fallout 4 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

The new Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver seems to greatly increase the frame rate range for the Radeon RX 480, and slightly in the Radeon R9 380. However, only the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] saw a small 1.9% boost in the average frame rate.

 

The Witcher 3 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

The Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver gave both the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] and the Radeon R9 380 a small boost in frame rate of 3% and 1% respectively.

 

Total War : Warhammer (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, recorded by the Total War : Warhammer benchmark.

Surprisingly, the Radeon R9 380 saw an appreciable boost in the frame rate range, although the average frame rate only creeped slightly higher. The Radeon RX 480 [Amazon], though, received a more substantial 2.8% boost in average frame rate.

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Conclusion & Downloads

If you are using the new AMD Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] graphics card, you should download and use the new Radeon Software 16.7.1, even if you don’t care about its excessive power draw from the PCI Express bus.

In the 3 games we tested, the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] enjoyed a small boost of 2-3% in frame rate. Not earth-shattering, to be sure, but still a nice boost. The performance boost alone is worth upgrading to Radeon Software 16.7.1, even though it’s not WHQL-certified. You can download them here :

However, if you are using a Fiji-based graphics card like the Radeon R9 380 we tested, you should not waste your time with the new Radeon Software 16.7.1. You will not see any improvement in performance. In fact, it may even deteriorate a little, or worse, fail to run properly when rendering in 4K.

We also investigated how much performance is lost when the Radeon RX 480 [Amazon] is set to its Compatibility Mode to comply with the PCI Express standard. Check it out in our article – True Performance of the Radeon RX 480 Examined!

 

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NVIDIA GameWorks SDK 3.1 Launched

March 15, 2016 — NVIDIA today announced worldwide availability of the NVIDIA GameWorks SDK (software development kit) 3.1, which introduces three groundbreaking graphics techniques for shadows and lighting as well as two new physical simulation algorithms released as betas.

“It’s our passion for gaming that drives us to tackle the technical problems presented by realtime rendering and simulation,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. “Our GameWorks technologies push the boundaries of what’s possible in real time, enabling developers to ship their games with state of the art special effects and simulations.”

 

The New GameWorks Rendering Techniques

  • NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting — an advanced lighting technique that simulates how light behaves as it scatters through the air and atmosphere. NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting was first introduced in the hit video game Fallout 4.
  • NVIDIA Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows (HFTS) — an algorithm for drawing high-fidelity shadows that transition smoothly from hard shadows near the occluding object, to proper soft shadows in regions farther away. HFTS debuted in the hit video game Tom Clancy’s The Division.
  • NVIDIA Voxel Accelerated Ambient Occlusion (VXAO) — NVIDIA’s highest quality algorithm for real-time ambient occlusion, VXAO is a shading technique that adds depth and realism to any scene. It surpasses older techniques by calculating shadows in worldspace using all scene geometry, as opposed to screen space techniques that can only NVIDIA Advances Real-Time Game Rendering, Simulation with NVIDIA GameWorks SDK 3.1
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The Extensions To The NVIDIA PhysX Library

  • NVIDIA PhysX-GRB — a new implementation of NVIDIA’s popular PhysX rigid body
    dynamics SDK, which has been used in hundreds of games. This hybrid CPU/GPU physics
    pipeline improves performance by a factor of up to 6X for moderate to heavy simulation
    loads.
  • NVIDIA Flow — a computational fluid dynamics algorithm that simulates and renders
    combustible fluids such as fire and smoke. Unlike previous methods, Flow isn’t limited
    to simulation of the fluids inside a bounding box.

NVIDIA makes source code for select GameWorks libraries available to developers via GitHub. Source code for NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting and NVIDIA’s FaceWorks demo is available today. Source code for NVIDIA HairWorks, NVIDIA HBAO+ and NVIDIA WaveWorks will be available soon.

 

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