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RX 480 Unboxing and Initial Review

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 


I purchased the Sapphire RX 480 8GB model yesterday and have since been testing the card out on my system and have decided to share my unboxing and benchmarks with all of you.



The contents of the box. Comes with the obligatory promotional material as well as a CD with drivers.



The card itself in all its glory. I like the simplistic design.



Here you can see the card installed as well as my sloppy, IDGAF cable management. Time to power on and see if it works.



Powered up and passed the POST! Good signs!



OMG FIRE! THE PCI-E POWERGATE RUMORS WERE TRUE! WHAT HAVE I DONE!?




GYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!



Phew! Okay, looks like we're back to normal and no damage done. Now let's get to those benchmarks wink.gif


Test Bench Specs:
CPU: i5-2500k Sandy Bridge @ 4.5 GHz
RAM: 8GB G.skill Ripjaws DDR3 @ 1600
GPU: Sapphire RX 480 8GB @ Stock Clocks and XFX Black Edition HD 6870
Mobo: Asus P8Z68-V/Gen3 ATX Board
PSU: Corsair TX650
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit



GPU-Z Info



Driver Info



Here we see the Wattman display and our Idle temp of 43 celsius in a room with ambient temp of 26 celsius



Under load from Furmark it stayed at a steady 81 celsius while using all stock settings including the fan





These are the GPU Power Draw ratings from GPU-Z under idle and load. This is not the full 150W rating, but instead measures the draw from just the GPU itself. I believe the number being used by AMD is 110W and as you can see it stays beneath this threshold at max load.



All games were run at 1080p with max settings.


And here are the benchmarks themselves! As you can see this is a huge increase in performance over my 6870. I've also included thresholds for 60fps and 144fps for those worried about hitting certain refresh rates for their monitors.

*Doom for 6870 is at 1fps because the card simply could not run that game. I spent 1 second playing it and couldn't take another second.

*Arkham Origins has a low minimum FPS on the 480, but I believe that to simply be a driver issue or something with the game's benchmark tool. In actual gameplay I did not come across any big performance dips.



Here are my Firestrike graphic scores for the two cards.

FAQ

Q: Your computer sucks, why did you bother making these?

A: All the benchmarks for the RX 480 I've seen have been on high end systems and that is simply not what people who buy this card will be running. I wanted to try and get a more accurate view of the card's performance in a budget situation out there. That is also why all tests were performed at stock clocks because most buyers will not be overclocking this card.

Q: Why didn't you overclock the 480?

A: I am simply playing it safe right now. I wanted to show what the 480 looked like with stock, straight out of the box settings. Once AMD releases an official statement addressing the PCI-E power draw issue I will make a second review which will be much more detailed on the card's overclocking performance. However, I have played around with Wattman a bit and with some undervolting and a modest overclock I was able to increase the graphics score from 12185 to a much better 13359. I believe once the power draw issue is fixed I will have no problem breaking 14,000.

Q: Why didn't you benchmark any new games?

A: Do you see my 6870? I couldn't run new games until yesterday. Just bought Doom today. In my second review I will have a wider array of games, specifically DX12 and Vulkan games at which this card will truly shine.

Q: No 1440p?

A: Budget gamers don't run 1440p. This is a budget card. Blah blah blah (These are all just lame excuses for the fact that I'm too poor to buy a 1440p monitor right now, sorry)

If you guys have any questions or need additional information about my benchmarks feel free to ask! My second and more detailed review should be soon.
Edited by Iscaria - 7/2/16 at 9:33am
post #2 of 57
Nice review.

Glad to see the card is performing well for you thumb.gif
post #3 of 57
I'm still on the fence about grabbing one of these to replace my 290X. Nice review! +rep

I may still get an AIB card like the strix or tri-x if they are able to get fury performance or slightly above.
post #4 of 57
What settings did you use for the benchmarks for each game?
post #5 of 57
I thoroughly checked the fire picture and after 15 years of experienced photo shop pixel analyst I can safely say that this picture is legit. thumb.gif
current rig
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2500k R9 290X Tri-X GTX 680 Filco Majestouch 2 Brown Ninja 
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current rig
(4 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsGraphicsKeyboard
2500k R9 290X Tri-X GTX 680 Filco Majestouch 2 Brown Ninja 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksTricks007 View Post

I'm still on the fence about grabbing one of these to replace my 290X. Nice review! +rep

I may still get an AIB card like the strix or tri-x if they are able to get fury performance or slightly above.

If I were you I would wait for AIB solutions. They are coming quickly and will not have to worry about the power limitations of the reference model. I simply bought reference because I needed a low cost solution to tide me over until I can afford a high end card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuggles720 View Post

What settings did you use for the benchmarks for each game?

Sorry I forgot to include this. All games were run at 1080p with max settings. Everything pushed to the limit.
post #7 of 57
I understand your situation. I'm actually pretty happy with my 290X especially given that is an AIB card and I got it slightly used (bought it from a guy here that had it for 6 months) for $225. Best gpu investment I've ever made lol. I think I can wait a few more weeks thumb.gif
post #8 of 57
thumb.gif
Can you increase the Wattman power limit at +50% and see if the fire extinguisher works as intended - I'm too thinking of getting a (custom) RX 480 but I have to be prepared for everything smile.gif

Edit:
Can you add game settings (specifically DOOM) and what windows is this...
Ah! You mention Dx12 so it's Win10, sorry
Edited by C2H5OH - 7/1/16 at 5:42pm
post #9 of 57
I am tempted to get a new $400 980 ti but honestly my 290 maxes every game I have at 1080P
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post

thumb.gif
Can you increase the Wattman power limit at +50% and see if the fire extinguisher works as intended - I'm too thinking of getting a (custom) RX 480 but I have to be prepared for everything smile.gif

Edit:
Can you add game settings (specifically DOOM) and what windows is this...

Sorry, I added the info. All games are run at max settings and on Windows 10 64-bit pro.

In my testing I boosted power limit 40% and it ran fine wink.gif I'll cover all the overclock info in my next thread
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