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E3 2016 - While we are still officially under NDA about the next-gen Polaris cards from AMD, the company revealed the line up at E3 2016 just now. AMD has made the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 official, two new mid-range cards that will join the VR-focused RX 480 that's priced at just $199.
Starting with the Radeon RX 470 which is delivering "refined, power-efficient HD gaming" while the RX 460 is a "cool and efficient solution for the ultimate eSports gaming experience". The new Radeon RX series of video cards provide three fundamental "entitlements" for PC gamers and game developers.
- Extraordinary VR experiences at price points never offered before - Previewed at Computex, the Radeon™ RX Series will expand the VR ecosystem by democratizing exceptional VR experiences, making them available to many form factors and millions of consumers by lowering the cost barriers to entry.
- Great game content delivered to PC Gamers in real-time - Through a combination of Radeon™ RX Series performance profiles and close-to- the-metal APIs that closely mirror console APIs, AMD believes that developers will be further empowered to co-develop high quality, high performing game content for both consoles and PCs, enhancing the PC gaming ecosystem.
- Console-class GPU performance for thin and light notebooks - Gaming notebooks have traditionally been large and cumbersome or under-powered for today's gaming needs. The Radeon™ RX Series addresses this with flagship technology that effectively gives mobile users GPU performance that rivals that of consoles with exceptionally low power and low-z height to drive thin, light and high-performance gaming notebooks, and 1080p 60Hz gaming experiences for both eSports and AAA titles.
E3 2016 - AMD will be hosting the PC Gaming Show at E3 2016 once again, and it'll also be working directly with PC Gamer on the show, which starts in 9 hours from now.
During the show, we're expecting to hear more about the Polaris architecture and various video cards - but now that the Radeon RX 480 has been revealed, is it time to hear about the Radeon RX 470? It packs the same Polaris 10 GPU as the RX 480, so let's hope that AMD kicks off E3 2016 with a bang. The live streams will be on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch, so we'll embed one of them once it goes live.
Just recently, we had a leaked 3DMark Fire Strike results on the Radeon RX 480, where it was beating the GeForce GTX 980 - which is double the price. We've also seen the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 480 Nitro, and the MSI Radeon RX 480 Lightning, which MSI has updated us on and said it was a total fake. Boo.
AMD can't take all of the limelight right now, even with the great-looking MSI Radeon RX 480 Lightning shaping up well, and the first look at SAPPHIRE's new Radeon RX 480 Nitro - Team Green is once again in the headlines with its purported GeForce GTX 1060 video card.
VideoCardz is reporting that the GeForce GTX 1060 will rock either 4GB/6GB or 8GB of RAM, and it'll arrive with a 192-bit memory bus, knocked down from the 256-bit memory bus on both the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards. There have been different SKUs noticed, with the GP106-powered card rocking a 192-bit memory bus, with the PG410 board using 4GB of RAM, while the other SKU sees it with 6GB of RAM.
We could also expect a GeForce GTX 1060 Ti which would be kinda cool, but we don't know when that'll be dropping at all. Whatever happens, AMD is ready for The Uprising.
AMD is preparing it's new 'The Uprising' marketing campaign for its Polaris launch, led by the Radeon RX 480 priced at $199, but how does it perform in benchmarks other than Ashes of the Singularity? Well, according to one leaked benchmark, the RX 480 beats the GTX 980 from NVIDIA in 3DMark Fire Strike.
We can see the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with its 3038 score, versus the RX 480 and its higher 3194. It might not be much, but considering the RX 480 4GB (which is the card benchmarked here) is going to be priced at $199, and while NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 still sells on Amazon right now (at least at the time of writing) for $450+, AMD is onto a massive winner here. I don't want to throw my personal or professional weight behind it until I do my own independent testing, but I'm beginning to get excited about what AMD has on its hands - and that $199 price point, wow.
In the last 24 hours, we've seen the purported MSI Radeon RX 480 Lightning and SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 480 Nitro cards, both rocking 4GB of framebuffer. Personally, I love the look of the Lightning cooler over the cheese grater look SAPPHIRE has opted for - but these are leaks, we could expect some changes and different models before release.
AMD is on different footing since spinning off its GPU division into Radeon Technologies Group, with our own Jason Evangelho breaking a story through Forbes about RTG's new goals - kicking off its impressive 'The Uprising' marketing campaign.
Jason spoke with RTG boss Raja Koduri and Chris Hook (who is still looking for the Hydrofoil) about their new focus on the mid-range market, and what it means for gamers. Jason reported:
- Prestige. "They wanted the prestige of a $700 video card, but they didn't want to have to pay for it," Hook begins.
- VR that just works. "They wanted the ability to have a great VR experience today or two years from now without worrying about upgrading power supplies and digging into their PC. They wanted to buy a headset at some point and just have it work."
- Respect their investment. "They wanted us to pay respect to the dollars they were giving us and do things in the architecture or transistors or APIs or ASync Compute, that provided a measure of 'futureproofness.' They wanted to be reassured that even if they're only spending $200 they'd feel secure in their investment for a couple years."
- More overclocking control. "We brainstormed what kind of voltage control could be given to them to create a better experience.
- Better drivers. "We feel we've made a great first step there, and we're only going to be putting a heavier foot on the gas this year and next year to make those drivers better and better."
The first note is something worth actually noting - as this is something I totally agree with Chris Hook on. People want the $700 video card, but they don't have the money to pay for it - well, that's where the Radeon RX 480 4GB model priced at $199 steps in. The second note is "VR that just works" - this is how VR needs to be, easy. Ridiculously easy. Not having to upgrade PSUs, motherboards and operating systems goes a long way into keeping consumers happy.
Respecting their investments for consumers, yes - yes, yes. More overclocking control is an interesting take for AMD, as they're handing much more control of their Radeon video cards to consumers and gamers, which is a very nice change of direction for AMD. Finishing off with better drivers, is something AMD has been championing for around a year now - and from what we're still under NDA about, it's only going to get better in the coming months.
Update: MSI has reached out to us, saying that this is "fake without any doubt". The full statement from MSI: "This stuff is way too retro for any new product...I can guarantee you this is fake without any doubt, There is no need to be too serious about it :)".
Just 24 hours after the leaks on the purported SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 480 Nitro 8GB appear, we have the world's first look at the MSI Radeon RX 480 Lightning, powered by AMD's next-gen Polaris architecture, and rocking a triple-fan cooler.
The leaks are coming from Chiphell, with two photos of the card and some 3DMark benchmarks. The first shot of the card shows off that beautiful Lightning cooler, with a triple-fan system keeping the Polaris 10 GPU nice and cool, with a gorgeous black/white design. I'm definitely loving the look of MSI's offering versus the RX 480 Nitro from SAPPHIRE.
We also get a peek into the power system for MSI's Radeon RX 480 Lightning, which rocks 6+8-pin PCIe power connectors.
The first pictures of a custom AMD Radeon RX 480 have arrived, with the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 480 Nitro 8GB making an appearance, rocking a new silver cooled shroud with a dual-slot, dual-fan design.
SAPPHIRE's upcoming Radeon RX 480 Nitro 8GB features an LED-illuminated SAPPHIRE logo, with VideoCardz's source stating that the colors will change depending on the fan speed, GPU temperatures, or a custom profile that the user can set.
The Radeon RX 480 reference design from SAPPHIRE has been revealed, with it being quite a short card, with the cooler extending past the end of the PCB, ensuring that the RX 480 will run nice and cool under option, and only requiring a single 6-pin PCIe power connector.
The release of AMD's next-gen Radeon RX 480 isn't too far away, but we have no real performance data on the Polaris-based video card, until now. According to benchmarks on the 3DMark database, the RX 480 has achieved a 3DMark 11 Performance Score of 14,461 - not bad for a card worth $199.
At this performance level, AMD will have no issues with the RX 480 meeting the minimum VR spec, but it'll also handle 1080p and 1440p gaming like a champion. Again, for $199 to $229, depending on whether you want the 4GB or 8GB model. With VR headset sales set to expand over the coming years, AMD is positioning itself incredibly well for consumers. Sure, the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 kick some serious ass, but not everyone has $400-$699 to spend on a video card - but $199? That's a huge market.
We have Radeon RX 480 samples coming soon, but we can't tell you when our review will be up - but stay tuned to TweakTown for more information on Polaris very soon.
Colorful impressed us so much at Computex 2016 with their range of GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 video cards, but now the company has made their GTX 1070 video cards official, with a few different variants.
The company has launched three GTX 1070 cards, with the iGameGTX1070 X-TOP-8G, followed by the iGameGTX1070 U-TOP-8G (guys, you need to use a space bar...) and of course, the Colorful GTX 1070-8G Founders Edition. All three cards don't vary from the 16nm FinFET-powered Pascal GPU, with its 1920 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR5 clocked at 8GHz on a 256-bit memory bus.
Colorful hasn't provided clock speeds just yet, but we should expect something special from the iGame-branded cards. We do know that both of the cards are based on the i-MSD from Colorful, which is the iGame-Modular Structure Design. The iGame-based cards have a 'new cooling base' and 8+2-phase power, with a newly designed cooling fan which is sure to keep the GP104-powered card nice and cool, even when hitting those huge overclocks.
Computex 2016 - Ugh, there were so many GeForce GTX 1080 cards at Computex 2016, that I literally had a nerd overload. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 Founder's Edition is a beautiful card on its own, but the custom design cards are... well... just so freakin' beautiful. We have a small roundup video below that you can check out.
We caught a glimpse of what MSI were showing off, some of the cards from GIGABYTE, as well as the monster GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition from ZOTAC. One of the new members on the block is Colorful, which most of you have probably never heard of. Colorful is a gigantic Chinese video card maker that should be sampling us in the very near future as the first media in the world outside of China to receive a Colorful video card. I even introduced Luke from Linus Tech Tips to Colorful, as I love his work on video (and he's a super-cool guy as well), so expect some major exposure from Colorful in the future.
MSI's cards impressed me, as I have their GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G in the house right now and have been benchmarking it for days. I also have the G1 GAMING edition of GIGABYTE's GeForce GTX 1080 which will be benchmarked next week. So expect a flood of GTX 1080 reviews before AMD flings their Polaris-based offerings led by the Radeon RX 480 into the wild later this month.