AMD Radeon RX 480 Graphics Card Review

/ 7 years ago

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A Closer Look

The RX 480’s reference cooler opts for a blower fan design and the styling is reminiscent of the R9 Nano, albeit on a larger scale. Personally, I think AMD have done an excellent job with the stock cooler’s appearance which looks fantastic and the colour scheme will match the majority of gaming builds. I’m also very fond of the soft cover plate, new Radeon logo and simplistic design philosophy. Sadly, the Radeon logo doesn’t light up which is a shame and would have added a more vibrant twist. Despite the affordable price, the cooler doesn’t feel cheap and should be a good choice for Crossfire configurations.

Unlike many modern custom coolers, the RX 480 doesn’t employ an assortment of heatpipes or advanced fin array. Instead, AMD has decided to use a fairly basic aluminium heatsink with a copper contact point and thermal pads positioned on the plastic undertray. Given the 14nm manufacturing process and low TDP, this should be ample to keep the card running as intended during intense games.


On the rear, we can see the fairly compact PCB which is extended by the GPU’s default cooling solution. When it comes to power delivery, the RX 480 utilises 6-phases.


From this image, we can see the gorgeous soft cover plate and iconic Radeon logo.


The RX 480’s blower fan allows for good thermal efficiency in an enclosed space and is capable of decent airflow.


From a visual standpoint, the RX 480 is a massive improvement on AMD’s previous reference cooling design and I’m surprised how solid the construction is. Saying that, its actual thermal performance leaves a lot to be desired.


The graphics card’s 150W TDP is extremely efficient and only requires a single 6-pin PCI-E connector.


Connectivity-wise, the RX 480 includes three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.0b connector. Please note, custom variants should feature a DVI-D port which means users with an older monitor shouldn’t be overly concerned by this omission.


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