Originally Posted by magnek
They should've just undervolted the damn thing, or binned better tbh. Honestly just feels like 7970 GE with ridiculous stock VDDC that's enough to sustain a 15-20% overclock all over again.
Funny how prices in other countries either count or don't count depending on how convenient it is for the narrative (and this goes for both sides).
Binning takes time and money. You cannot apply undervolting when you have millions of cards to make.
Undervolting while maintaining high clocks, can cause crashes. It's the very reason why the 7970 had such high voltage. Because of the early nature of the 28nm process, there was a tonne of variance in the 7970s. AMD solution was to overvolt it generally so that all cards could run at this particular frequency. If they didn't take into account for this variance and just gave it the bare minimum to maximize efficiency while trying to maintain the clocks, you would have a crazy amounts of cards that failed and would crash during gameplay.
Overvolting cards within a certain degree is safer than undervolting. This is because with a high enough amount of voltage, every single card will reach a certain frequency(particularly before this boost crap). Undervolting given that there is a tonne of variance in millions of GPU cards, particularly with AMD budget, is just a longterm RMA nightmare.
There are two solution available to this problem on a large scale for AMD. Nvidia solution, which has often increased to their performance per watt, is to refine the chip itself to reduce variance, so an optimal amount of voltage can be given to the card.
Because of AMD lower budget for R and D, they had two choices.
Lower the clocks so it doesn't fail spec in the first place.(doesn't cost money)
Or increase the thermal solution to adjust for the higher than anticipated energy and heat production. (does cost money).
If AMD lowered the frequency on their reference cards, while releasing partner cards from day one, everyone would be happier.
Performance might have dropped 4% on reference but people would still be getting a card which at the time had unrivaled price to performance.
Additionally, people that wanted higher performance than rx480, would have access to it in partner cards and less people would be waiting.
Instead what you have is this drama that is the rx480 launch and most of the people reading these reviews left wanting for a partner card, which isn't available yet. It is simply an execution error that AMD has done repeatedly and repeatedly.