The cooler is built into the price of the card obviously. So it is not 0 dollars. Also if money was an issue on the matter, AMD could have easily lowered the voltage and the frequency so that it didn't throttle. You also underestimate how often reference cards are used. OEM's prefer reference designs because they dump heat outside the case which is preferable for a company which has to warranty all the components inside a case. The Founders edition is no doubt a greedy marketing move, but AMD reference air cooling designs have been just poor engineering failures.
In engineering or anything, you are given a particular performance desired, a budget to work with and you are given guidelines but as long as you meet those performance targets with that desired budget, everything is good. However, if those desired performance targets are not met, with the desired budget, it is important to communicate this with all parties involved so they can adjust for this.
E.g If you have an elevator with a real capacity to handle 2000lb but the design target was 2500lb and it is too late to make change and the budget is used up, you don't label it a 2500lb elevator, you communicate that it's a 2000lb elevator. Similarly AMD should have either ramped up the fan so that it more or less maintains the clocks desired or lowered the frequency so that stayed within spec and didn't have to throttle. Pushing clocks and not ramping up fan speed or power targets is just sloppy engineering.
Just because it's cheap(relatively) doesn't give it the excuse to run out of spec. Tell that to the victims of failed structural engineering projects.
AMD should have just clocked it at 1160mhz and given the rest of the freedom to board partners.
And at the same time released, partner cards at the time of the release of the rx480.
Edited by tajoh111 - 7/20/16 at 1:33am