A few days ago AMD presented the capabilities of its new GPU based on the Polaris architecture – Radeon RX 480. Since it was not yet confirmed, we expected the American company to announce the names of their new GPUs at Computex. Yesterday AMD finally confirmed that the new chip will keep the same name and be part of the new RX series. In the lines below you will find all the important facts about this chip.
The advent of the new Polaris generation was motivated by VR technology. There are more and more games that have versions suitable for VR and this is why AMD has focused on making a GPU that offers the needed performance for you to enjoy VR at an affordable price. It was namely this that motivated AMD to present its new Polaris architecture or, to be more precise, their Radeon RX 480 (Polaris 10) GPU. We also expected to see its little brother (Polaris 11) at this event in Taipei, but we are sure that what we actually saw will make users happy.
The first time we encountered Polaris 10 was at the Capsaicin event where we saw that the GPU “is hiding” in the mATX box. This meant only one thing – the size of this GPU is quite similar to that of R9 Nano. Despite this, a bit later AMD officially stated that the Fury/Fury X GPUs are “extreme” class, and Polaris 10 will not belong with them. The new GPU targets mainstream users, as it was confirmed at Computex 2016.
Since the “red” company believes that the future is VR, it sells you Radeon RX 480 at a very reasonable price – only 200 $. What you get is much more than what you pay for. AMD believes that in this way everyone can enjoy VR headsets.
It is thanks to the FinFET technology and 14 nm manufacturing process that the Performance/Watt ratio has increased almost twice – 1.7x. With AMD technologies this ratio reaches up to 2.8x. The Polaris 10 with an Ellesmere core has been based on the GCN architecture, which is the newest 4.0 version. Namely the latter reduces the need of higher power consumption for optimal chip performance.
There are also some changes in the Polaris architecture, of course. A good number of novelties have been incorporated so that the Radeon RX 480 may be such a good performer (without the need of a big power block, and at a cheap price). You can notice the presence of a new memory controller and geometry processor, as well as a regular command processor and L2 cache.
We can say a good word about the cooler that was shown at the event. Although they did not unveil much info about it (the same happened with NVIDIA and their Founder’s Edition), we managed to recognize the cooler accompanying AMD Radeon RX 480’s announcement. As Raja Koduri mentioned, this is the cooler that comes with most previous generation premium AMD GPUs – Radeon R9 380, Radeon R9 390, and Radeon R9 Fury (without the liquid cooler). Unfortunately, AMD did not show how it handles temperatures like NVIDIA did in announcing the GTX 1080, and we are eager to see results from the first temperature tests.
You can browse through AMD’s current GPUs here: http://amzn.to/1qaIwBJ