AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Review – Polaris Is Here

Table of Contents

AMD Radeon RX 480 – Closer Look

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The Radeon RX 480 sample we got here came straight from AMD, so no retail packaging or box, just the card itself. As you can see, the PCB is shorter than its cooler shroud.

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This is a reference design, so there are no backplate or any bling, just the new, clean and sleek look of the RX 480 that reminds me of the Fury’s cooler shroud. A single 6-pin connector is located at the end of the PCB which is rated to draw around 150W of power.

There were some issues with the RX 480’s power draw based on the tests conducted by other reviewers. At this point in time, AMD has already addressed the issue and has released a new driver, Radeon Software Crimson 16.7.1, that fixes the power draw issues.

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At the output ports, the Radeon RX 480 has three DisplayPorts and an HDMI port. The DisplayPorts are 1.3 HBR3/1.4 HDR ready, while the HDMI port is now version 2.0b. The DisplayPorts should be able to support 4K UHD resolution at 120 Hz and 5K resolution at 60Hz, or even 8K resolution at 60Hz with the use of two cables.

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The reference Radeon RX 480 features a reference blower type cooler. The GPU is cooled by an aluminum heatsink, including the memory and other components as well. I won’t be focusing much on the reference cooler since aftermarket coolers are still (far) better than the reference one, specially when it comes to cooling the GPU.

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Here we have a closer look at the PCB of the Radeon RX 480. It doesn’t have a long PCB, after all it’s a mid-range graphics card. You can see that there are 8 physical memory chips indicating that this is an 8GB version. Also for those who are not updated in terms of CrossFire, AMD has removed the CF bridges on the PCB (starting with the R9 200 series). CrossFire is still supported, but the link is already done via the PCIe interface.

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Here’s a closer look on the 14nm GPU die and Samsung’s GDDR5 memory. Now it’s time to see how this card performs on the following pages.

AMD Radeon RX 480 GPUs latest pricing and availability:
For US visitors, visit NeweggBusiness, eBay or B&H
For UK Visitors, visit Amazon UK here

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  • Jamjosef

    Why didn’t you OC the memory when you OC’d the Card?

    Memory Oc is probably even more important that Core OC on this card

    • I did try to OC the memory. Unfortunately, I can’t make the card stable enough to finish the entire benchmark suite with its memory OCed. Some reviewers where able to OC the memory of their RX 480, probably mine was an isolated case. I am hoping to get a non-reference RX 480. Then we can compare them side by side.

      • Jamjosef

        Did you raise the power limit and Have the VRAM voltage at 1V?
        Also, you could undervolt the Core a bit to acheive better clocks and thermals

  • I’ve got higher scores within Heaven at 1080p Ultra https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/60d821e79e9b2cd767ae2b2e8240687d8a8d10d7d0998a941e9270b985ea775f.png with my Red Devil and A10-7870K APU (OC to 4.2GHz) Memory OC to 2400. I know it’s not fair to compare the reference card with an Aftermarket solution, but I have an APU for CPU, which it’s supposed to be a bottleneck right?