You know what? This job is funny. I've just finished writing my NVIDIA Titan X review, a $1200 graphics card that is an absolute monster - it's truly the ultimate graphics card, and then I dive right into a mid-range graphics card in the form of SAPPHIRE's new Nitro Radeon RX 470 4GB.
Both of these cards are on completely different opposite sides of the spectrum, and to be completely honest, I'm more excited about what AMD will do with its new Radeon RX 470 graphics card, than what NVIDIA will do with a $1200 graphics card that will only sell a few thousand units.
But Anthony, you get to test $1200 graphics cards, don't be complaining now. And you'd be right - but I'm not complaining, I find it polarizing and real - AMD's Radeon RX 470 has me excited for many different reasons. First, around 80% of the discrete GPU market sits in the $100 to $300 price range, which is exactly where AMD is targeting all of their new Polaris-based graphics cards - the Radeon RX 480, RX 470 and the upcoming RX 460.
This market is absolutely huge, and for the gamers in this market, they don't need a new graphics card every 1-2 years. Their upgrade cycle is more like 3-5 years, and AMD has positioned itself perfectly to begin chipping away at this market. If we look at games like Overwatch, CS:GO, DOTA 2, and League of Legends where combined they have over 100 million players, AMD can hit this market, and it can hit it hard.
The reason? These games don't require crazy high-end enthusiast graphics cards, they just need to pump away at 1080p 60FPS for fluid gaming, and that's something the new Radeon RX 470 can do easily. If you want to game at 1440p, you could still use the Radeon RX 470, but you'd turn the detail down. I hear you shouting: "But, Anthony! We warned you before; you're going crazy!" - and again, I'll reiterate: these games in CS:GO and Overwatch and League of Legends don't need to have all of their graphical bells and whistles cranked to maximum to have fun.
These games are all about the gameplay, all about the fun and competitive nature - my nephew Corey plays CS:GO and Overwatch religiously, and in CS:GO he will lower the resolution far below his 2560x1440 native resolution "because he's so used to it". So many pro players do the same thing, and many of the hardcore (but not pro-CS:GO gamers) do it as well.
The reason behind CS:GO gamers lowering their native resolutions perplexes me, which is a big driving force behind this review and the stance I'm taking with the Radeon RX 470. There's a post on the /r/GlobalOffensive subreddit which asks the question: "Why do pros use low resolution", with plenty of players saying that they're used to it - one of the reasons that stuck out for me was "There are legitimate reasons even for new players to start playing 4:3 stretched. I didn't believe it initially and hated how it looked compared to Full HD, but the lower FOV can be beneficial for some as it makes far away areas seem closer and easier to scan".
Pricing & Availability
AMD has experienced the same issues as NVIDIA did when it launched its GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, with shortages galore. AMD's new Radeon RX series graphics cards are all spiking in price right now, so the entire push behind the sub $200 graphics card marketing feels deflated.
Still, the Radeon RX 470 is a sub $200 graphics card as AMD has set the price of the Radeon RX 480 4GB at $199, while the 8GB version is $239.
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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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