AMD Unveils Radeon RX 480, Offers Great VR & AAA Gaming Solution At Mere $199
AMD has officially announced their first Polaris based graphics card, the Radeon RX 480. Built using the industry leading 14nm FinFET process technology, AMD RX 480 is designed to deliver a giant leap in performance per watt efficiency; however, as we noted earlier, the card won’t directly compete with Nvidia’s latest GTX 1080 or GTX 1070. Instead, it is pitched at the wider mainstream market, offering over five TFLOPS of compute performance for just $199.
AMD’s Radeon RX 480 is based on their forth generation GCN architecture, and powered by a really small but performance-packed Polaris 10 GPU. According to AMD, the graphics chip is optimized to deliver up to 1.7x perf/watt improvement thanks to the 14nm FinFET process while their exclusive technologies will help push this efficiency up to 2.8x, which is incredibly impressive.
Here’s a list of some of the key enhanced features that have been integrated into the new Polaris chips:
- Primitive Discard Accelerator
- Hardware Scheduler
- Instruction Pre-Fetch
- Improved Shader Efficiency
- Memory Compression
AMD claims this Polaris 10 based RX 480 graphics card is everything, offering a great VR solution as well as capable of running AAA gaming titles flawlessly – all this at a very competitive price point. This is surely an exciting news for gamers who aim to achieve a decent performance without putting a dent in their wallets.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy, said in a statement:
The Radeon™ RX series efficiency is driven by major architectural improvements and the industry’s first 14nm FinFET process technology for discrete GPUs, and could mark an important inflection point in the growth of virtual reality.
By lowering the cost of ownership and increasing the VR TAM, Radeon RX Series has the potential to propel VR-ready systems into retail in higher volumes, drive new levels of VR content investment, and even drive down the cost of VR headsets.
AMD hasn’t yet revealed the exact performance numbers, instead it claims the RX 480 offers “VR capability” comparable to that of $500 GPUs. In fact, VR is a key part of AMD’s pitch for the card, with the company hoping this could help accelerate price drops on VR headsets across both desktops and laptops.
While the idea above is unlikely to be realized in the near future, a $199 graphics card that could run high-end games at 1440p, and spit out VR visuals without issues is a very attractive proposition for the mainstream crowd. Something that Nvidia doesn’t have a response to right now.
AMD Radeon RX 480 will be available for purchase on June 29th at a price of $199 US for the 4 GB and $229 US for the 8 GB variants.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.