Originally Posted by NightAntilli
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 OC 8GB review;
Overclocking and Overclocked Performance
By default, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 OC is already tuned to a fairly high maximum boost which limits the amount of headroom for manual overclocking somewhat. Unfortunately, Sapphire’s TriXX 3.0 utility isn’t quite ready and MSI Afterburner constantly causes stability problems when overclocking a wide range of AMD graphics cards. Therefore, I deployed AMD’s new overclocking tool, embedded in the Crimson driver and slowly made adjustments to the core and memory. Please note, the maximum power (50%) was applied as well as automatic voltage. This is because manually selecting the voltage didn’t appear to aid stability or reduce temperatures when selecting a lower value than the automatic configuration.
To easily outline the graphics card’s real world performance, I’ve included the average boost clock before and after manual overclocking. As you can see, the hefty factory overclock maintains a very stable 1342MHz boost and the core rarely drops from this figure. In contrast to this, the reference model had quite a sharp decline in its boost clock and behaved erratically. Thankfully, this doesn’t plague the Sapphire model and the improved cooling solution works wonders to prevent throttling.
Once overclocked, the boost clock hovers around 1360MHz, and a few slight drop offs bring the average down to 1359.8MHz. Please note, I did try to push the clock further and even added large amounts of voltage to no avail. As always, your mileage may vary but it’s important to remember that overclocking beyond the heavy factory overclock core is always going to yield small gains. On a more positive note, the memory overclocked by a decent amount and reached an average figure of 2126MHz. Before progressing, please disregard the extreme high fan speeds, which happened as a result of a bug discussed later in the review.
Here we can see the default boost mode clocks and the enhancements I managed using AMD’s WattMan software.
After the overclock was applied, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 OC defeated the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X running at stock settings. While it’s still some way behind an overclocked GTX 1060, the synthetic scores are good and showcases the benefits of overclocking.