The long awaited AMD Radeon RX 480 is finally here, and the prices are not bad considering the state of the pound. We have found the 4GB version available for £174 on Ebuyer.com with the 8GB version coming in at around £220 on Ebuyer/Amazon/Overclockers.
Initial reviews have been conservative, but the general opinion is that it offers GeForce GTX 970 levels of performance for most DirectX 11 games, which offering superior performance for DirectX 12.
That means for 1440P & 1080P gamers it should be more than enough to power any game at maximum settings, even at higher refresh rates like we just saw on the Acer Predator Z35. However, for 4K gaming, you are going to need something significantly more powerful.
It has also been praised for its power draw with an official TDP of just 110W 22W beneath the GTX970 and 140W below the AMD 380X.
The main downside I can find from the initial reviews is the temperatures. It has hit in excess of 93 degrees’ maximum and idles at over 50! Noise levels isn’t amazing either, with the idle readings sitting at around 31dB which means it will probably be audible in a normal room, under load it hits a significantly more noticeable 41+dB. It isn’t bad, but with a card using so little power you would expect better.
Overall this is now regarded as the best card to buy in the £200 price range. The GTX 970 is still priced above £200, is a generation behind and performs worse in DirectX 12. However with the GTX 1060 on the horizon this opinion could change quickly
Personally, I am still happy with my power hungry 290X for now, but if the non-reference cards address the heat and noise issues I could seriously be tempted