AMD Radeon RX480 Polaris 8GB Review
Published: 29th June 2016 | Source: AMD | Price: 4GB £180 - 8GB £220 |
As we're a British website run by people of a certain age the word Polaris makes us think of the nuclear deterrent. There is probably some irony given the fact it's also the brightest star in the sky. Thankfully we're sure AMD mean it in the "bright star" sense.
The big change with this latest GPU from AMD is the move from 28nm process all the way down to the FinFET 14nm process. This should have considerable efficiency benefits, which is good news for all of us.
It isn't only the things going on beneath the hood that have changed, as the new Radeon Crimson Software has some very powerful overclocking tools, and indeed efficiency tools, to really let you squeeze the most from your new graphics card.
On the subject of efficiency, by utilising Frame Rate Targeting it's possible to restrict the maximum frame rate in low detail situations, thus saving even further power. Credit needs to be given to AMD for avoiding the temptation to shout solely about the performance and focus as much attention to the efficient nature of this Polaris GPU. In a world with diminishing resources it's a wise course of action.
Lastly we're including the AMDs expected results from a particular system specification, if only to shut up anyone who wants to play keyboard warrior on our forums. Our results from our graphics card test rig are better than the expected AMD ones. So we're not "being fanboys" or "deliberately limiting results" whatever baseless accusation takes up our moderators time this week. As always we give every hardware the best opportunity to show its capabilities, and it's in everyone's interest that AMD challenge nVidia, or Intel or whomever. Choice is good.