Amd Radeon RX 470 mobile Now that the Radeon RX 480 has been released ($200 for the 4GB model, $240 for the 8GB model), AMD is making its state-of-the-art 14nm Polaris GPU available to a wider audience.
The new Radeon RX 470 mobile ($180 and up on Newegg) purportedly aims to kick ass in 1080p gaming at an even cheaper price than the revolutionary RX 480, which delivered uncompromising 1080p gaming performance, damn fine 1440p gaming performance, and basic VR capabilities at an incredible price. The Radeon RX 470 may be cheaper than the more powerful RX 480, but the graphics chip it uses is only slightly downgraded. Is there room for this evolutionary step-down card, or could it potentially steal some spotlight from AMD’s flagship product?
Fasten your seatbelts. This trip promises to be exciting.
The Radeon RX 470 mobile is AMD’s latest and greatest graphics processing unit, and its specifications will make you raise an eyebrow.
The maximum frequency of the RX 470 is 1,206 MHz, and it features 4 GB of GDDR5 memory connected by a 256-bit bus. Comparable to the RX 480 in terms of base RAM, and very similar to its maximum clock speed of 1,266MHz. The RX 470 has the same number of ROPs as the RX 480, with just four fewer compute units, 256 fewer stream processors, and 16 fewer texture units.
Information on the AMD Radeon RX 470
Radeon RX 470 mobile however, there are a few significant changes that should be made. The RX 480 has a base clock speed of 1,120MHz, while the RX 470’s is only 926MHz; the RX 470’s memory is only 6.6Gbps effective, while the RX 480’s is 7.0Gbps; and the RX 480 has a 150W TDP, while the RX 470 only has a 120W TDP. Unexpectedly, the Radeon RX 470 does not come with an 8GB memory reference option, though AMD says it “encourages [hardware partners] to differentiate” if they see a market for such products. While there are some minor differences, AMD’s new card is largely based on the same architecture as the RX 480. Perhaps that’s why it’s only $20 cheaper than a 4GB RX 480.
The RX 480 is distinguished from the RX 470 in one crucial respect: No reference models of the RX 470 will be available at launch, while we are still waiting for custom Radeon RX 480 cards to hit the streets (with Sapphire’s Nitro+ model, $220 for 4GB on Amazon being a notable exception). The RX 470s available at launch will all be OEM variants developed in conjunction with AMD’s hardware partners. It’s the inverse of what happened with the RX 480, and it makes direct comparisons between the two cards seem less than ideal. Different custom models have wildly varying clock speeds and cooling methods.
Radeon RX 470 mobile to test, AMD provided us with a $220 (USD) XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition True OC from Newegg. The price tag is higher than that of a standard 4GB RX 480, making for an interesting initial value proposition.
There are some nice extras you can buy with the money. The maximum frequency of XFX’s card, an RX 470, is 1,256MHz, a 50MHz increase over the reference clock speed. According to XFX, a slower overclocked variant will be available for $210. Also, there is no need to install any third-party software; the overclock is enabled directly on the graphics card. To better compete with the RX 480, the company has also increased the card’s memory speeds to 7.0Gbps effective.
XFX’s popular Double Dissipation cooling system is utilized on this card. A new “Anybody VRM” design helps transfer heat from the card’s VRMs directly to the heat sink and heat pipes, and “Ghost Thermal 4.0” is a heat sink with composite copper heat pipes winding throughout. When compared to previous models, XFX claims a 40 percent increase in cooling efficiency.
The fans of the XFX Radeon RX 470 are secured in place by brackets. You won’t need any tools to remove them. Wow, that’s neat!
Double Dissipation isn’t just a heat sink, though; that’s just one component of the design. Load-sensing fans ramp up to full speed under intense workloads then throttle back to near-idle levels when the GPU isn’t being heavily taxed, such as during non-gaming periods. Inactive fans don’t make any noise. The XFX Radeon RX 470 has two big, user-swappable fans that are locked in place by snap brackets, making tool-free replacement a breeze. Because of this, processing refunds is much easier. In the “future,” XFX will also release unique fans with different colored LED lights so you can further personalize your card. It’s cool with me.
The card measures 9.45 by 4.76 by 1.57 inches, has a 6-pin power connector, and a DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and three Display Port 1.4 outputs on its stylish metal XFX-branded back plate. The ports on the Polaris GPU from AMD are compatible with a wide variety of cutting-edge display technologies, such as high dynamic range video, frame rates of 60 fps or more at 4K resolution over HDMI, frame rates of 120 fps at 4K resolution over Display Port, and AMD Free Sync displays.
Radeon RX 470 mobile you can expect improved performance in next-gen, “near to the metal,” DirectX 12 and Vulcan gaming APIs, as well as features like Frame Rate Target Control, H.265 encoding and decoding, the in-driver Radeon Watt Man overclocking tool, Crossfire compatibility, and dedicated asynchronous shadier hardware.
Radeon RX 470 mobile in sum, it’s a well-made component that wouldn’t appear out of place in any gamer’s rig. In the sub-$200 market, back plate-equipped graphics cards are a rarity. To top it all off, XFX is offering a three-year guarantee on the RX 470, which is an extra year longer than the company’s previous-generation cards. (XFX was once well-known for its lifetime warranties, but it had to scale back during the bit coin mining mania, when digital prospectors bought—and burned out—AMD graphics cards in droves.)