SAPPHIRE's Nitro Radeon RX 480 4GB is powered by the Polaris 10 GPU, which features 2048 stream processors on the 14nm FinFET process. The model we have here for review is the 4GB variant, but SAPPHIRE does offer an 8GB version of the Nitro Radeon RX 470. The P10 GPU is clocked at 1260MHz, while the 4GB of GDDR5 sits at 7GHz on a 256-bit memory bus with 224GB/sec of memory bandwidth.
SAPPHIRE's Nitro Cooling System
SAPPHIRE has always had industry leading cooling technology on graphics cards, but when the price is as low as $179, it would be hard to keep the Radeon RX 470 cool and quiet under load. AMD's new Polaris architecture is more efficient than ever before, and on the exciting new 14nm FinFET process, the Nitro cooling tech adds another touch of premium to a card that is sub-$200.
The Nitro cooler features dual ball bearing fans that have 85% longer life. The two 95mm fans are dust repelling and provide better cooling that is also quieter. SAPPHIRE's new Fan Check system is impressive, which keeps an eye on your cooler's status and supports SAPPHIRE's customer service if there are any issues. Then we have Quick Connect, which in the case of your cooler breaking down, SAPPHIRE can remove, clean, and replace the fan with a single screw for easy replacement.
SAPPHIRE's Nitro Radeon RX 470 has the same Dual-X cooler on the higher-end RX 480 model, with two 95mm fans and redesigned airflow through the new Nitro Free Flow technology, making the Nitro RX 470 a little quieter, too.
With most reference and lower-end cooling on other graphics cards blowing hot air somewhere back into your case, the Nitro cooler pushes the hot air through the vents on the backplate, which reduces the effects of the hot air bouncing back into the case at a minimum. Considering the card costs $179, this is a cheap cooler that pushes above its own weight.
SAPPHIRE's Intelligent Fan Control III system keeps the Nitro Radeon RX 470 completely silent during idle and light loads, without the fans spinning the card runs cool enough passively resulting in total silence from the graphics card. If you like customization of your fan profile, you can tune your start and stop temperature settings on the fans.
We can't have a graphics card released in 2016 without some LEDs, right? SAPPHIRE has deployed Nitro Glow onto the Nitro Radeon RX 470, which can be customized through SAPPHIRE's overclocking software, TriXX 3.0 - and through hardware with a physical red button on the back of the Nitro Radeon RX 470.
I'm really loving the style that SAPPHIRE has used on the Nitro cooler, with the Nitro Radeon RX 470 looking very premium for its price. Starting with the box, which is quite plain, and I'd rather that saved money from the box that will not provide any additional performance, be put into the cooler on the card - which SAPPHIRE has done.
The Dual-X cooler in the flesh, with the two 95mm fans keeping the Nitro Radeon RX 470 cool.
I really love the back of the Nitro Radeon RX 470, with the silver and black theme with the design of the ventilation - something that actually keeps the card cooler, and looking great. The LED switch in the bottom left lets you tweak the lighting on the top of the card.
SAPPHIRE knows VR is quickly becoming an awesome technology that will continue to expand and has provided 2 x HDMI ports alongside 2 x DisplayPort outputs so that you could have a TV and a VR headset connected at once. Normally there would be a single HDMI connection which puts you in a pickle when you're using your TV, and then want to use your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset and then disconnect your TV to use the HDMI connection required for VR gaming.
The heat sink can be seen at the front end of the card, with a single 8-pin PCIe connector powering the Nitro Radeon RX 470.
The top of the card has the V BIOS switch, and the SAPPHIRE logo which lights up courtesy of the LEDs.
A closer look at the V BIOS switch.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [It's Not Just About Gaming, Either]
- Page 3 [Specs, Cooling Tech & A Detailed Look]
- Page 4 [Testing Methodology & Test Setup Configuration]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Synthetic]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks @ 1080p]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks @ 1440p]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks @ 4K]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - DX12]
- Page 10 [Power, Temperature, & Noise]
- Page 11 [Performance Summary & Final Thoughts]
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