AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Review – Polaris Is Here

Table of Contents

Radeon RX 480 – Temperature and Noise

The reference blower type cooler on this RX 480 isn’t the best cooling solution out there. Expect that partners with their non-reference cooler will do a better job at keeping the RX 480 cool. But it doesn’t mean that the reference cooler can’t do its job either. I’m getting an average of 49° degrees Celsius during idle to light load operation. The fans do not stop spinning but they are silent at these temperatures.

Radeon RX 480 Idle Temps

I opened and simultaneously run both Heaven and Valley benchmarks, and at full load the temperature quickly went up to 82° degrees Celsius. I could feel the heat exhausted at the back already. The fans also start to increase its RPM, but the default fan profile will only let the fan run up to 2200 RPM. Beyond that speed and the fan become noticeably loud, and anything above 3500 RPM fan speed is already noisy and very loud.

Radeon RX 480 Full Temps

Overclocking the Radeon RX 480

Overclocking the AMD Radeon RX 480 was easy thanks to the new Wattman application. However, I wasn’t able to get any much higher from the stock speeds. There were lots of options to tweak the card, but I could only push the card up to 1350MHz. Beyond that, I would see artifacts, flickering or would result in a video display failure. I also can’t push the card any further due to its reference cooler. I hope that AMD’s partners could hit better out of the box overclock speeds with their non-reference design and cooler.

The improvement or difference in overclocking the RX 480 can be seen on my 3DMark Sky Diver and Fire Strike benchmarks on the next page.

amd radeon rx 480 wattman

amd radeon rx 480 gpuz OC

Now, let’s proceed to the most important part of this review, the benchmark results of the Radeon RX 480.

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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?