19 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2016 8:04 PM by brucer

    RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.


      So, we now have the RX 480. Seems the common themes between all the reviews are:


      • Impressive for the price
        • Around R9 290 and R9 390 levels of performance
          • But with a cut down back end
            • Therefore killing frame rates with MSAA/SSAA
      • Reference cooler which doesn't deafen you
        • But it isn't exactly subtle
        • Or altogether effective at lower speeds
      • Low gaming power draw
        • But high idle power draw
          • And multiple monitors still increase power draw (by 3w)
        • And overclocking even slightly raises the consumption significantly
          • Most of it comes from the PCIe slot, easily exceeding the 75w PCIe limit
            • PCIe 6 pin was a bad idea
      • Overall a good card
        • But could have been a great card
          • Should be a great card when board partners release custom versions in a couple of weeks



      I get why AMD did what they did, it was to give a good base card at a low price while leaving adequate room for improvement to differentiate and justify custom versions from the board partners. But I also think that they left too much which could be improved. The power connector, for instance, should have been an 8 pin. The AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB Power Consumption Results at TomsHarware says:

      AMD’s Radeon RX 480 draws an average of 164W, which exceeds the company's target TDP. And it gets worse. The load distribution works out in a way that has the card draw 86W through the motherboard’s PCIe slot. Not only does this exceed the 75W ceiling we typically associate with a 16-lane slot, but that 75W limit covers several rails combined and not just this one interface.


      With peaks of up to 155W, we have to be thankful they're brief, and not putting the motherboard in any immediate danger. However, the audio subsystems on cheaper platforms will have a hard time dealing with them. This means that the "you can hear what you see" effect will be in full force during load changes; activities like scrolling may very well result in audible artifacts.


      We’re also left to wonder what we'd see from a CrossFire configuration. Two graphics cards would draw 160W via the motherboard’s 24-pin connector; that's a tall order.

      Now it's not like many using these in Crossfire will be using reference editions, and it's not like reference editions should ever be produced after this first batch, but it is possible. There's a lot of cheapo motherboards out there, and at the price of the RX 480 it's going to appeal to them. Even worse, there's still a lot of power supplies out there which still have many 12v rails capped at 18A each (or less). Combine a 125w processor with the 86w to power this graphics card and you're already 211w into that 216w limit, and that's not counting the power to drive everything else which pulls from the ATX20/24 and P4/EPS8.


      The lackluster cooler and lackluster component design and layout, that's typical self imposed reference handicapping, and I suspect the choice of a 6 pin instead of 8 pin could be an attempt to limit overclocking, though the thermals themselves would do a good job of that anyway.


      I have to wonder, as I imagine at least one person in the RTG is also wondering, should the RX 480 have had a reference version at all? The RX 460 and RX 470 sure, they're targeting even the more mainstream 1920x1080 market, but AMD is banking a lot on the RX 480, and to me the reference RX 480 is just too compromised, especially considering custom versions should hit shelves in the next two weeks.

        • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

          kingfish L4d Hardwood your thoughts? amdmatt yours as well if you're allowed to give them.


          Everyone else reading is welcome to post too, but keep it objective.

          • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

            What I find more interesting is how did AMD not catch this issue before releasing the card for sale to the public. This just shows me there is a high level of incompetence somewhere within AMD.  I seriously believe this product is just another rushed to market product and it had very limited testing, or they are releasing these new cards with the limited testing and letting the consumers be the actual beta testers, which this is a proven process some companies use to cut costs.


            As the architecture sits right now, if the architecture isnt flawed, yes, the rx480 should have been an 8pin connector card, or the 6 pin used and the voltage reduced to comply, but that would also reduce performance..  I think the reference model should have been an 8pin, with dual fans, then the aib cards be a 8+6pin with the aib custom coolers and fans and led's.  I just think this would have really solidified the performance of the card even if it cost $20 dollars more, and would been a fantastic platform.


            As of now I feel the rx480 is a mediocre card at best, and with this power issue I cant feel confident with my purchase of the reference rx480.  I cant justify installing it in my old back up computer, I'm not chancing it.  I plan on returning it unopened, If they wont accept a return, it'll be on ebay..


            I have also ordered a Zotac gtx1070 amp edition 2 days after I ordered the rx480, this is the first nvidia card I've purchased since the gtx260 (circa 2004). The 1070 is going in my main gaming rig, the Sapphire Fury is going up for sale, also selling my old msi r9-290gaming, after those sell I'll purchase a gtx1080, move the 1070 to my backup rig, and put the 1080 in my gaming rig.  I'm completely out of confidence with present amd products.. The AMD of present is nowhere near what the AMD of old was, and I dont care to support it any more...

              • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                I don't think I'm going to be too far behind you. I'm hanging around till Amd releases their new high end card then deciding which way to go. With the RX 480 bombing and the current state of their drivers it doesn't look good for them. But since I usually only replace my card ever 3 years I guess I can hang on for a little bit longer. We'll see.

              • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                I guess we'll see if they really can adjust the power with a driver tweak. Other than that, I've got nothing to add, can't even get them around here yet. Good prices on preorder though for the reference cards. Need more time for it to flesh out.

                • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                  The number 1 gain I see from the 480 is HDMI 2.0.  Since HDMI 1.4 can only support resolutions over 1080p @ 30Hz.  Apart from that, it is the same price I paid for my 270x 2 years ago, so it is a decent price for performance.  I foresee the revised variants and manufacturer customs packing a bit more of a punch, especially if most go with an 8pin like Sapphire is doing with the Nitro.

                  Honestly I'm hoping the 480 references are just a fluke, and the next run is a top performer.

                    • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                      I don't think the reference editions are as much of a fluke as a deliberate gimping. Bad cooler and bad power delivery options to limit overclocking and performance, whereas custom editions are being reported to fly past it. And you'll be able to have one for under $250, half of what I paid FOUR MONTHS AGO for my Fury Nano...Wish I would have stuck with my 290X...

                        • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                          hopefully...  Remember they said that about the fury and furyx also, then when they came out for consumers they were gimped up.

                          • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                            Something interesting I've found..

                            I have an fx8350black that I've ran overclcoked at 4.2 for several years..gigabyte 990fxa-ud3 motherboard, and 16gb or ddr3 2400..


                            The rx480 is getting bottlenecked in my system.. I would think the fx8350, even as an older cpu would be able to handle the rx480, but when you go to overclocking the 480 you see it...


                            I ran benchmarks yesterday and when I found a stable overclock with the rx480 (1360/2200) with my fx8350@4.0ghz, I started increasing my cpu overclock in sequence (4.1ghz/4.2ghz/4.3ghz/4.4ghz) and my graphics score in 3dmark firestrike kept increasing at each step... I havent went any higher than 4.4, I have a hyper212evo on it and I think 4.5 or 4.6 would be the limit with that cooler.

                        • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                          I was thinking about getting a RX480, but the Norwegian market didn't want to go with the MSRP prices for some reason.

                          The absolutely cheapest it you can find it for here is 2790kr, while nvidia set their MSRP in norway (including VAT) to 2799kr. Someone from AMD has to talk to these people. There is a really low incentive to buy these cards here when they are priced $50 over the the MSRP.

                          • Re: RX 480 civilized discussion and opinion thread.

                            i could not agree with your points any more then i currently do.


                            i find this card pretty decent, good bang for the buck, and does absolutely as advertised.

                            however, the cooler is .. not to my liking at all.