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With AMD set to release the Polaris based RX 480 in the immediate future, we wanted to find out just how good the card is, how it stacks up against the Nvidia Pascal cards, and whether or not to dish out the cash for the newest entry in AMD's graphics card line.

There's been so much hype about the two sets of graphics cards by AMD and Nvidia, so our goal in this article is to get into the nitty gritty and figure out which card is better. Ultimately we don't think there will be one winner - The RX 480 might suit some people, and the GTX 1070 others, but we'll atleast give you the tools needed to make that choice. 

Details below. Enjoy!

RX 480 

Based on recently released benchmarking (not official), it appears the RX 480 performs on par with the GTX 980 and R9 Fury. 

This is important because it affects how we'll judge the 480 against the GTX 1070. We know that the price point of the AMD card will be significantly lower than that of the 1070, by roughly $200 depending on the model. On the other hand, we also know that the 1070 will deliver crazy fast performance, well above the TItan X, Fury, and 980 Ti, and any other card on the market today. 

Base Clock Speed: 1266 MHz

Boosted Clock Speed: 2000 MHz Max​

Shader Processing Units: 2304

Compute Units: 36

VRAM: 4/8GB (depending on the model) GDDR5 Memory

What this means is the RX 480 is going to have to beat the Nvidia cards on price vs. performance, or bang-for-your-buck. It won't compare in a straight up performance benchmark. 

​While its challenging to do this comparison without having official benchmarking data, if we assume the RX 480 is on par with the 390, we get the following (courtesy of /u Jamjosef):

Graphics cardAggregate FPSNormalised FPS1Approx. priceBang4buckRelative to 1070
RX 480 at 390X Level212.1191.852000.96168%
RX 480 at 390 Level198.4175.52000.88154%
RX 480 at 390X Level212.1191.852300.83146%
RX 480 at 390X Level212.1191.852500.77135%
RX 480 at 390 Level198.4175.52300.76134%
RX 480 at 390 Level198.4175.52500.70123%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070289.1256.854490.57100%

Ultimately, these are rough estimates, so take them with a grain of salt, but you can see that the 480 beats out the GTX 1070 at a number of different performance points. 

So to answer the question of whether to buy the RX 480, the answer is - yes, buy it if you're looking for the best performance relative to price.

Like we mentioned at the start of the article, each graphics card has a designated market, and someone with $450 to shell out on the 1070 might want the Nvidia cards, while someone with only $250 will opt for the 480. 

About The Author

Matt
Owner/Founder

E-sports fanatic and hardware nerd. Owner of Peekand.co

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