Tag Archives: Polaris 10

The 27 New AMD Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards Revealed!

The 27 New AMD Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards Revealed!

AMD just announced the new Radeon RX 500 Series graphics cards. Dubbed Polaris Refined, they run the same Polaris GPUs as the Radeon RX 480 graphics card. They basically offer higher clock speeds and/or additional Compute Units. There was one new model though – the entry-level Radeon RX 550.

In this article, we will share with you the first 27 Radeon RX 500 graphics cards to be introduced into the market. Check them out!

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The AORUS Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (4 Models)
– AORUS Radeon RX580 XTR 8G
– AORUS Radeon RX580 8GB
– AORUS Radeon RX580 4GB
– AORUS Radeon RX570

The ASUS Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (3 Models)
– ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 OC Edition
– ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 OC Edition
– ASUS Radeon RX 550

The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (5 Models)
– GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8G
– GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 4G
– GIGABYTE Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G
– GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550 Gaming OC 2G
– GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550

The MSI Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (4 Models)
– MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X+ 8G
– MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8G
– MSI Radeon RX 570 Gaming X 4G
– MSI Radeon RX 550 Aero ITX OC Edition

The PowerColor Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (4 Models)
– PowerColor Radeon Red Devil Golden Sample RX 580
– PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 580
– PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 570
– PowerColor Radeon Red Dragon RX 550

The Sapphire Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards (6 Models)
– Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition
– Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580
– Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 8GB
– Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB
– Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 550 4GB
– Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 550 2GB

Be sure to also check out The AMD Radeon RX 500 Series Tech Report.

 

 

The AORUS Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

AORUS Radeon RX580 XTR 8G

The AORUS Radeon RX580 XTR 8G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 100 mm blade fan design
  • Advanced copper back plate cooling
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1425 MHz (gaming mode), 1439 MHz (overclock mode)

 

AORUS Radeon RX 580 8G

The AORUS Radeon RX580 8G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • Advanced copper back plate cooling
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1365 MHz (gaming mode), 1380 MHz (overclock mode)

 

AORUS Radeon RX 580 4GB

The AORUS Radeon RX580 4G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • Advanced copper back plate cooling
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1365 MHz (gaming mode), 1380 MHz (overclock mode)

 

AORUS Radeon RX 570

The AORUS Radeon RX570 boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • Advanced copper back plate cooling
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1280 MHz (gaming mode), 1295 MHz (overclock mode)

Next Page > The ASUS & GIGABYTE RX 500 Graphics Cards

 

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The ASUS Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 OC Edition

The ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 OC Edition from ASUS boasts the following features :

  • MaxContact Technology for 2x more contact area with the GPU for improved cooling
  • IP5X-certified Wing-Blade fans for better airflow and longer lifespan
  • ASUS Aura Sync RGB LED synchronisation
  • GPU core clock – 1360 MHz (gaming mode), 1380 MHz (overclock mode)

 

ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 OC Edition

The ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 OC Edition from ASUS boasts the following features :

  • DirectCU II heatsink with IP5X-certified Wing-Blade fans
  • ASUS Aura Sync RGB LED synchronisation
  • GPU core clock – 1300 MHz (gaming mode), 1310 MHz (overclock mode)

 

ASUS Radeon RX 550

The ASUS Radeon RX 550 boasts the following features :

  • IP5X-certified Wing-Blade fans for better airflow and longer lifespan

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The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8G

The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1340 MHz (gaming mode), 1355 MHz (overclock mode)

 

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 4G

The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 580 Gaming 4G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1340 MHz (gaming mode), 1355 MHz (overclock mode)

 

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G

The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design
  • RGB Fusion – customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1244 MHz (gaming mode), 1255 MHz (overclock mode)

 

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550 Gaming OC 2G

The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550 Gaming OC 2G boasts the following features :

  • WINDFORCE 2X cooler with 90 mm blade fan design

 

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 550

Next Page > The MSI & PowerColor Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

 

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The MSI Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X+ 8G

The MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X+ 8G boasts the following features :

  • Twin Frozr VI cooler with Torx Fan 2.0
  • Customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1431 MHz (gaming mode), 1441 MHz (overclock mode)

 

MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8G

The MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8G boasts the following features :

  • Twin Frozr VI cooler with Torx Fan 2.0
  • Customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1380 MHz (gaming mode), 1393 MHz (overclock mode)

 

MSI Radeon RX 570 Gaming X 4G

The MSI Radeon RX 570 Gaming X 4G boasts the following features :

  • Twin Frozr VI cooler with Torx Fan 2.0
  • Customisable LED lighting with 16.8 million colours
  • GPU core clock – 1281 MHz (gaming mode), 1293 MHz (overclock mode)

 

MSI Radeon RX 550 Aero ITX OC Edition

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The PowerColor Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

PowerColor Radeon Red Devil Golden Sample RX 580

The PowerColor Radeon Red Devil Golden Sample RX 580 boasts the following features :

  • Multiple heatpipe cooler with Double Blade III fans
  • Black backplate and black PCB, with Digital PWM and BIOS switch
  • GPU core clock – up to 1425 MHz (overclock mode)

 

PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 580

The PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 580 boasts the following features :

  • Multiple heatpipe cooler with Double Blade III fans
  • Black backplate and black PCB, with Digital PWM and BIOS switch
  • GPU core clock – up to 1380 MHz (overclock mode)

 

PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 570

The PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 570 boasts the following features :

  • Multiple heatpipe cooler with Double Blade III fans
  • Black backplate and black PCB, with Digital PWM and BIOS switch
  • GPU core clock – up to 1320 MHz (overclock mode)

 

PowerColor Radeon Red Dragon RX 550

Next Page > The Sapphire Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

 

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The Sapphire Radeon RX 500 Graphics Cards

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition boasts the following features :

  • Dual-X Cooler with twin 95 mm fans
  • Nitro Glow – customisable RGB LED lighting
  • GPU core clock – up to 1450 MHz (overclock mode)

 

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 boasts the following features :

  • Dual-X Cooler with twin 95 mm fans
  • Nitro Glow – customisable RGB LED lighting
  • GPU core clock – up to 1411 MHz (overclock mode)

 

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 8GB

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 8GB boasts the following features :

  • Dual-X Cooler with twin 95 mm fans
  • Nitro Glow – customisable RGB LED lighting
  • GPU core clock – up to 1325 MHz (overclock mode)

 

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB boasts the following features :

  • Dual-X Cooler with twin 95 mm fans
  • Nitro Glow – customisable RGB LED lighting
  • GPU core clock – up to 1325 MHz (overclock mode)

 

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 550 4GB

 

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 550 2GB

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The AMD Radeon RX 500 Series Tech Report

Last week, Adam Kozak, Radeon Product Marketing Manager, flew in to brief us on the Polaris Refined graphics cards. In this tech report, we will share with you the details of the new AMD Radeon RX 500 Series graphics cards, as well as Adam’s full briefing. Enjoy!

If you are wondering why Joe Macri (in white) is here as well, check out his presentation on The Disruptive Nature of AMD Ryzen! 😀

Updated at 2017-04-19 : Added the SEP Pricing section.

Originally posted @ 2017-04-18

Be sure to also check out the 27 new AMD Radeon RX 500 graphics cards that is now available for sale!

 

The AMD Radeon RX 500 Series Tech Briefing

The AMD Radeon RX 500 Series is based on the same AMD Polaris architecture as the AMD Radeon RX 480. Here is Adam’s full presentation.

Here are the key takeaway points :

  • There will be four models – the Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 560 and the Radeon RX 550.

  • The Radeon RX 580 is a faster version of the Radeon RX 480, with a 137 MHz (12%) higher base clock, and a 74 MHz (6%) higher boost clock.
  • The Radeon RX 580 will be able to offer 60+ fps in most games running at 1440p, and 90+ fps in VR games.
  • The Radeon RX 570 is a faster version of the Radeon RX 470, with a 242 MHz (26%) higher base clock, and a 38 MHz (3%) higher boost clock.
  • The Radeon RX 570 will be able to offer 60+ fps in most games running at 1080p.
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  • The Radeon RX 560 has 2 additional Compute Units than the Radeon RX 460, a faster version of the Radeon RX 470, with a 85 MHz (8%) higher base clock, and a 75 MHz (6%) higher boost clock.
  • The Radeon RX 560 will be able to offer 60+ fps in most games running at 1080p.
  • The Radeon RX 550 will offer a new lower price point in the Radeon RX family.
  • The Radeon RX 550 will have up to 8 Compute Units, with a boost clock of up to 1183 MHz, and a 128-bit memory interface with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory.
  • All Radeon RX 500 Series graphics cards will support Radeon Chill, which saves power and reduces heat while improving response time.

Next Page > The Presentation Slides, What Happened To AMD Vega?

 

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The AMD Radeon RX 500 Series Presentation Slides

 

SEP Pricing

Here are the official SEP pricing by AMD. The prices of the actual cards, however, is dependent on the card brand :

  • AMD Radeon RX 580 – US$ 199
  • AMD Radeon RX 570 – US$ 169
  • AMD Radeon RX 560 – US$ 99
  • AMD Radeon RX 550 – US$ 79

 

What Happened To AMD Vega?

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We all know that the AMD Vega is coming in 2017. AMD briefed us on its GPU architecture, as well as its memory architecture. They also showed off an AMD Vega prototype running DOOM in 4K. So where the heck is it?

We gently prodded Adam who would only say that it’s “coming later” in 2017. With AMD introducing the Polaris Refined graphics cards in this new series, we think that they will most likely introduce the Vega-based graphics cards in late Q3, or early Q4 2017 to make it for 2017 Christmas sales.

In case you are wondering if AMD may have hit a snag with the Vega GPU, AMD is already using it in the AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega accelerator. You can check out some Radeon Instinct servers using the Vega GPU.

Go Back To > First PageComputer Hardware + Systems | Home

 

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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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AMD Polaris GPU & 7th Generation APU Tech Briefings

AMD officially revealed the AMD Polaris GPUs and the 7th Generation AMD APUs at Computex 2016. The first graphics card based on the AMD Polaris architecture was the AMD Radeon RX 480, and that was officially launched on June 29th.

As part of their aggressive push to promote both the Radeon RX 480, and 7th Generation AMD APUs; David Nalasco and Peter Amos flew all the way from AMD Markham in Canada to give a thorough tech briefing on the new AMD technologies in those products.

BONUS : We stumbled upon the first Radeon RX 460 seen in action. Check it out here!

 

AMD Polaris Launch

Ryan Sim, Channel Sales Director of AMD ASEAN & India, started the event with a short welcome speech. He pointed out how the new AMD Radeon RX 480 offers unrivalled power efficiency, and brings virtual reality to the mainstream with a shockingly affordable price.

Then AMD officially launched the AMD Radeon RX 480 here in Malaysia, with this launch gambit. Check it out!

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AMD Polaris GPU Tech Briefing

In this video, David Nalasco, Senior Technology Manager for Graphics in the Radeon Technology Group, gives a thorough tech briefing on the new AMD Polaris architecture, and the first three graphics cards based on the Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 GPUs.

 

AMD 7th Generation APU Tech Briefing

Then Peter Amos, APU Product Marketing Manager, AMD Client Business Unit, gave a tech briefing on the new 7th Generation AMD APUs, as well as upcoming desktop processors based on the new AMD Zen architecture. Check it out!

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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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