AMD Is Offering VR Experience for $200 with their new Radeon RX 480
Nvidia is clearly going after the high-end GPU market with Pascal GP104 cards, with GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 both delivering better than Titan X levels. AMD’s response with Polaris 10/11 won’t be direct competition, but instead AMD is going after the mainstream market by announcing their all new mid-end Radeon RX 480 graphics card.
Here comes all the technical label. AMD lists 36 Compute Units, and unless they’re changing things with Polaris, they’ve used 64 ‘shader cores’ in every GCN CU to date, that would be 2304 cores. That’s fewer CUs than the R9 390, but almost 30 percent more than the R9 380.
The most important number in all of this right now is probably the TFLOPS, which AMD states as >5 TFLOPS. Again, that’s about in line with the R9 390, at a significantly lower price and power level. If you’re wondering about clock speeds, like Nvidia architectures, peak TFLOPS on GCN ends up being two 32-bit FLOPS (FLoating-point Operations Per Second) per core, times the clock speed. Working back from the >5 TFLOPS and CU number, we get a minimum estimate of 1085MHz. Except, the greater-than sign suggest that AMD hasn’t finalized clock speed yet, so it could be 5.1 TFLOPS or 5.9 TFLOPS (~1280MHz) once the card hits retail.
On the memory side of things, like the GTX 1070, RX 480 will run GDDR5 at 8000 MT/s (2000MHz base, four bits per cycle). There are some concerns between the 4GB and 8GB models, but at this level of performance, 8GB probably isn’t going to be strictly necessary. The 256-bit bus is a large step down from the R9 390’s 512-bit bus, and AMD hasn’t officially stated whether they’re doing any new forms of memory compression to help compensate. The only other major item worth mentioning is that RX 480 will support DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4 HDR, a step up from the DP 1.2 in current products. RX 480 will also be VR-ready, with what appears to be similar performance expectations relative to the R9 290/390 cards.
TL;DR:- This will sit right between the R9 380 and R9 290/390 cards (more towards R9 290 though) but will boast a way better price/performance ratio.
Looking at the bigger picture, those who were hoping to see AMD’s Polaris take on Nvidia’s Pascal chips will be disappointed. Rather than improving overall performance, AMD is going after the value-conscious gamers. There’s nothing wrong with that, and AMD cites Mercury Research data showing 13.8 million people spent between $100 and $300 on graphics cards and this might become successful because this level of performance was only achievable with the GTX 970 and R9 290/390 cards for about a year and a half, but at a higher prices closer to $300-$350.
So who should be most interested in making the upgrade to an RX 480 once it becomes available? Anyone currently running R7 370 or lower (HD 7870) could potentially double their gaming performance. Or another way of looking at it is that the RX 480 offers roughly the same performance potential as the old Radeon HD 6990 in a card that uses less than half as much power. But that card’s five years old now. On the Nvidia side, if you’re thinking about switching from team green to team red, GTX 760 and lower (GTX 670 and lower) potentially double performance, not to mention adding some new features and reducing power requirements.
The official release date for this and other graphics cards of the Polaris line is June 29. And even though this may not have the performance of the behemoth Titan X, the current consoles have to get by on 1.3-1.84 TFLOPS, so now a $199 GPU will basically offer three times the performance potential of a PS4. This very well could be the perfect alternative for people switching to PC from consoles hoping for better performance for almost the same cost.
How do you like the new addition to the Radeon series? Let us know in the comment section down below.