This was my first time checking out one of AMD’s Radeon RX 480 8GB graphics cards. When the RX 480 was launched it was really attractive given its price and performance. Coming in at $229 MSRP with performance of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970, which if you remember launched at $100 more at $329. It did not take long for NVIDIA to fight back against the RX 480 with their release of the GeForce GTX 1060 less than a month later. Based on my testing with a 3GB GTX 1060 I do have to say that the GTX 1060 does perform better in most cases than the RX 480. In the cases that it does not it is in higher resolution situations where the card is limited by the its 3GB of VRAM. Which in that case you could just get the normal GTX 1060 which has 6GB of VRAM. There is a $30 difference between Gigabyte’s GTX 1060 G1 Gaming and their Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming G1 Gaming card. So if you think its worth the extra $30 you are going to get better performance.
With that out of the way let’s talk about what Gigabyte has done to this card to make it better than the reference Radeon RX 480, which by most accounts runs hot and is pretty loud. Gigabyte has outfitted this card with their WindForce 2X cooling solution which makes use of two 90 mm cooling fans and a large aluminum heatsink with three copper heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU. The fans feature a triangle fan edge, which guides air smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, effectively enhancing the air flow by 23% over traditional fans. These fans will also completely turn off when the GPU is in an idle state, giving you virtually silent operation. The cooling solution is so good that Gigabyte was also able to give the card a slight overclock from its stock boost clock of 1266 MHz up to 1290 MHz. Power delivery is made by an 8pin PCI-Express power connector rather than the default 6-pin.
On the side of the card you have a Gigabyte logo and a fan stop indicator that lights up with RGB lighting. The fan stop indicator turns on when the fans go into idle mode and turn off. The colors and effects of the illumination of the card can be configured using the Xtreme Gaming software. This software is actually pretty good and no only allows you to configure lighting modes but you can tune your card and adjust the fan settings as well.
At the end of the day this is one of the better Radeon RX 480 cards you can get. It is overclocked, runs pretty cool, and most importantly quiet. If you are going to be gaming on a 1080p or 1440p display this is one card you should definitely consider. Right now it is selling at our favorite online retailer for $239.99.
– Slightly overclocked
– Good cooling solution
– 8-pin power connector
– Full backplate
– Great for 1080p and 1440p gaming
– GTX 1060 performs better at only a $30 difference