Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470 OC Graphics Card Review



/ 8 months ago

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Introduction


Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470 OC

Not so long ago, Sapphire unveiled the Nitro+ RX 480 OC graphics card which allowed AMD’s flagship Polaris 10 core to perform to its maximum potential. This is due to the company’s exceptional cooling solution which managed to tame the GPU’s thermal loads and in turn, ensured the boost clock didn’t plummet in a wide range of demanding games. Unfortunately, AMD’s relatively simplistic reference cooling design doesn’t contain any heat-pipes and relies on a single aluminium heatsink with a copper base. This was inadequate for overclocking and after speaking to AMD, they acknowledged it could have been engineered better. While the RX 480 offers outstanding value for money and targets the mainstream demographic, the price point might still be too high for certain consumers on a tight budget or those considering PC gaming for the first time. Thankfully, the RX 470 can dispel those concerns and is a slightly scaled back version of the RX 480. This particular configuration is capable of up to 4.9 TFLOP/s peak performance, has 32 compute units, 2048 stream processors all within a very respectable 150-watt TDP on models sporting an 8-pin connector.

As you might expect, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470 OC utilises the same cooling apparatus as its bigger brother and contains a BIOS switch to cycle between two modes. The silent mode features a 1206MHz boost clock and the memory runs at 1750MHz. If you require extra performance, then the Boost mode is a suitable choice given the higher 1260MHz clock speed. Evidently, this is a significant step up from Sapphire’s other RX 470 which is based on the reference model. Therefore, I expect to see some pretty significant frame-rate improvements as from my own experience, the boost clock is very stable and doesn’t fluctuate. Is the Nitro+ RX 470 OC worth the premium compared to more basic solutions? Let’s find out!

Specifications

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Packing and Accessories

Sapphire’s vertical RX 470 box leaves a striking impression due to the menacing robot cover which stands out beautifully on the black background. Also, the packaging informs the end-user about the GPU’s DirectX 12 support, VRAM size and a number of innovative AMD technologies.

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The packaging contains a description of the product’s 14nm FinFET manufacturing process alongside a whole host of other interesting information. Additionally, a feature list provides a great insight into the graphics card’s wonderful functionality. Rather surprisingly, the Crossfire support appears to be restricted to two GPUs and this is something I’d like to test for myself rather soon.

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The graphics card comes with a driver disk, quick installation guide, contact information and warranty registration leaflet.

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  • 12John34

    Nice card.

    • John Williamson

      Yeah, it’s a really great card.

  • Ninja Squirrel

    Nice review! The performance gap between 470 and 480 is not more than 10%, but 470 is 30% cheaper than the 480 and overclocked 470 come close the 480. 470 got great value for money. Powercooler 470 seems like much better than the Sapphire Nitro.

    • John Williamson

      Hey, thank you for the kind words. Yeah, there’s not a lot in it performance wise, and I think it will be a very solid option once the price comes down a little bit.

    • Raiders12

      The price difference of the Sapphire Nitro+ 4GB RX480 to RX470 is $20, which is 10%.

  • Sykobee

    Impressive Vulkan results versus the 1060. Let’s hope future Vulkan and DX12 games perform similarly.

  • KVragec

    Great review once again.

    • John Williamson

      Thank you!

      • KVragec

        Anytime. This card makes my decision hard

        • Larry Gall

          Go with a 470 4gb, especially at the current price level.. then add another in a few months… give it a friend to play with!

          • KVragec

            Will see. Can’t wait to put my R9 270X in deserved retirement. For CF 8 gig looks better.

  • This card make 480 4GB obsolete , there is not much performance difference in them,great review looking forward when vega comes out.

    • John Williamson

      Thanks 🙂

    • Raiders12

      If the non-reference 4GB RX480s were in stock, they would be worth the $20 premium for the extra shaders and CUs. I want the Sapphire Nitro+ 4G RX480 for $230, but out of stock….However the RX470 is in stock.

      • Yes they are in stock , but some versions are terrible priced.

        • Larry Gall

          Yes, some are in stock, but at terrible prices as you said. After 2 days of looking for a 480 8gb (or even a 4gb) at a decent price, but was let down everywhere I went. I’m not paying $300+ for this card. I finally “settled” for a 470 4Gb for $211 on Amazon. ASUS STRIX OC. I nearly gave up, but I’ve had a lowly GT 720 in my PC for a year now. I built backwards, but wanted a stable foundation to work with first (budget). Now I want to game.

          • Doc Hollowood

            Dude….. “Never Settle !”

          • Larry Gall

            There’s not enough of a performance difference to justify another $70. I paid $189 for a 470 with what, 4 less shaders? than the $270 needed for the 480. This 470 plays every game I throw at it with ultra+ settings. I feel just fine about the choice. And I’ve had it for a while now, I didn’t have to wait. I’m not going to be a victim of price gouging. The 470’s O.C. nicely. I run mine at 1350 GPU clock / 1850 mem clk. and game on one monitor with a movie on the other, and I barely hit 68°. There’s still plenty of room. Same clocks and mem as the 480.

  • Rafio Urbane Rijoy

    can you guys tell me should i go for it or gtx 1060?? i can buy this radeon card with 8 gb

  • Ur Human Toast

    Anyone know why my Nitros 470 8GB runs fine in the silent mode (1206MHz), but when I flip the switch to performance mode (1260MHz), I get in a BO3 game, and within five minutes its BSOD with Fault Page In Nonpaged Area? Other games don’t BSOD but they do have artifacting in performance mode.

    The only thing I can think of is my 500watt PSU. Because my computer runs perfectly fine with my R7 260x.

    • Increase the page file size in Windows system settings.

      • Imre Csoka

        Does the page size really help?

    • Imre Csoka

      I have a 460 Watt …PSU But i am buying a 750 Watt Coolermaster so hope it is good

  • Arata Atsushi

    wow

  • Peter Rogala

    Looks like the Nitro got a very decent amount of overclocking headroom, and the Sapphire cooling solution is very impressive too. Thanks for the solid review.

  • Gimm Wolff

    AMD + Sapphire = True fire performance 🙂

    • Imre Csoka

      Hi , and this can be the case even if buy my card hey ? i dont need
      to stay ina certain part of the world to be special? Im just asking… i
      hate to buy something and then its a failure. I have 4 cards i cant
      decide on and so many mixed reviews. There is a Gigabyte gaming graphics card and an ASUS Strix edition
      card that is on my list also…. but something tells me the Saphire
      Nitro 4GB is just fine… am i right ?

  • Zack Phillips

    I have my card pushed to 1400mhz on the core and 2200 on the memory at stock voltages. I guess I won the lottery 🙂

    • Imre Csoka

      Hi , and this can be the case even if buy my card hey ? i dont need to stay ina certain part of the world to be special? Im just asking… i hate to buy something and then its a failure. I have 4 cards i cant decide on and so many mixed reviews. There is a Gigabyte and an ASUS card that is on my list also…. but something tells me the Saphire Nitro 4GB is just fine… am i right ?

      • Zack Phillips

        The sapphire is in my opinion the best 470 you can buy. After overclocking It runs hotter and may be a little bit louder, but it will crush 1080p gaming. As for the gigabyte one, I saw a review on a gigabyte rx480 and it was pretty bad compared to other brands. The Asus will run much cooler and quieter as the core clock, power draw limit(only a 6 pin pcie) and throttling are heavily controlled by Asus to keep it at around 60-65c. Ultimately I’ll say it like this, if you want a top preforming card and don’t care about heat then get the sapphire, I can honestly say I love it, if you want a cool and quiet card but are willing to Sacramento performance then go for Asus. Also sapphire has a damn sexy back plate whereas Asus does not have one at all. On the topic of how your card will oc, I have no clue. I think it’s honestly just luck, I don’t think it matters where in the world you live.

        • ahmadsyar

          i just bought this GPUbut it’s 8GB instead. It’s great! gives excellent performance. I can play watch dogs 2 on high settings 1080p 60+FPS.
          it’s very hot on stock config, i dont even touch the OC and bios switch

  • Imre Csoka

    Is this card 6 or 8 pin power and does this make a difference? i am just asking since some guy on a forum once told me he would straiught up go for PowerCOlor brand over the HIS brand because it has an 8pin connector rather than a 6pin connector.

    • Zack Phillips

      This card has an 8pin. Power draw on mine doesn’t go over ~135w under full load when OCed to 1400mhz (no overvolt just 50% power limit). Which is 20watts less than what the 6 pin can deliver (75w through pcie and 75 through 6pin) so the 225w of total available power that you have with the 8 pin is arguably unnecessary. But my best guess is that the 8pin will give it better stability when overclocked and just in case you sometime manage to hit 150w while over volting then you have the extra power.