Reviewed: AMD RX 480


When you look at the performance and the cost, the RX 480 is competitively priced. There is a lot of variation due to the number of options in that there are 4GB and 8GB versions, reference and non-reference (overclocked) editions.

The RX 480 is a worthy GPU in the mid-range classification. It performs well at both 1080p and 1440p, has good availability and is ready for the next generation of DX12 titles.

Final Thoughts

The RX 480 GPU is a well-performing advancement from AMD and when paired with 8GB of GDDR5 it’s a serious option in the mid range. This is the first Polaris card we’ve seen and AMD has since released the lower spec RX 470 and entry-level RX 460. The improvements in this generation are a positive indication of what is to come in the high end. The decision to target the larger population of gamers with both lower budgets and needs in a serious play for the mid-range and entry-level demographic so we will be watching the market share stats with interest. Competition is great for gamers and the RX 480 brings it.

Whilst we were impressed with the performance of the reference card, when paired with a FreeSync monitor, it just gets better. With more FreeSync monitors hitting the shelves at prices lower than the NVIDIA G-SYNC alternatives, tear-free gaming is also becoming more affordable to the masses. As a trend, the RX 480 is good news.

The RX 480 belts out the frames at 1080p, even giving us around 60FPS in the Division but it can also do well at 1440p. We found that generally speaking, the quality sacrifices for smooth 1440p gaming with the RX 480 were pretty modest.

In our testing, we found a practical use for the reference cooler design with the Fractal Design Node 202 but for most people who have decent case airflow, probably spend a smidge more and get a non-reference cooled RX 480 like the ASUS STRIX or MSI Gaming series for quiet running and a factory overclock.


  AMD Radeon RX 480


Great value
8GB of GDDR5
When paired with a FreeSync monitor 1440p gaming is a legitimate option
Good DX12 performance


crossReference design cooler limits overclocking and makes more noise than the AIB designs of MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte.
Awards HighlyRecommended TheValueAward


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