AMD RX 480 8GB Review, Overclocking, & Exhaustive Benchmark

By Published June 29, 2016 at 9:00 am
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Additional Info

  • Component: Video Card
  • Original MSRP: 240
  • Manufacturer: AMD

 

GTA V Benchmark on RX 480 vs. GTX 970, 1070, 960, 390X, etc.

There are some severe stuttering issues currently occurring on the RX 480 in GTA V. We contacted AMD about this issue, and the company acknowledged the stuttering and has told us that a fix is in progress. AMD hopes to deliver a fix for the stuttering in a driver update prior to consumer receipt of the card, but the company has not yet (as of this writing) identified the cause.

GTA V is one of our longest standing, most reliable benchmarks. Learn more about individual graphics settings for GTA V over here.

rx480-bench-gtav-1080p

rx480-bench-gtav-4k

The RX 480 operates at 83FPS AVG for GTA V at 1080p. Because we average our values, the whole story isn't told here. Here's a look at the raw data from three test passes:

  GTA V 1080p  
Avg FPS 1.0% low .1% low
85 61 56
85 61 55
79 57 6

The 0.1% low metric in our third test pass was jarred by a 6FPS hiccup, which was visibly noticeable during the benchmark. We demonstrate the stuttering in our video. This issue was even more prevalent during the second-to-last scene before our benchmark initializes, where a pier is shown with a timelapsed sunrise and sunset. The average framerate technically exceeds the 390X (+7.6%) and 380X (+20.48%), with a -7% drag behind the 970, but playability on the RX 480 is hindered by these stutters and “frame drops.” This is present in our 1% and 0.1% low metrics, where the GTX 970 SSC sustains significantly higher performance values.

Looking at 4K, something similar happened:

  GTA V 4K  
Avg FPS 1.0% low .1% low
28 15 6
27 7 5
27 9 5

Not that the game's particularly playable anyway, but there it is. We also ran the GTA V benchmark at 1440p, finding the following results:

  GTA V 1440p  
Avg FPS 1.0% low .1% low
59 34 27
60 37 32
60 35 6

The good news, then, is that the RX 480 can somewhat easily sustain 60FPS averages in GTA V – the golden number – and brings 1440p playability into the realm of a $240 graphics card. That is, if the stuttering issue can be resolved.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst Benchmark on RX 480 vs. 380X, 390X, 970, etc.

rx-480-bench-mec-4k

rx-480-bench-mec-1080-hyp

rx-480-bench-mec-1440p

rx-480-bench-mec-1080p

(Note: Some ME Catalyst tests were revisited following patches and driver updates).

The Division Benchmark – RX 480 vs. GTX 1080, 1070, 970, 960, 380X

rx-480-division-4k

rx-480-division-1440p

rx-480-division-1080p

The Division at 1440p plants the RX 480 at 56FPS AVG with reasonably timed 1% and 0.1% low metrics. The GTX 980 Reference card is 3FPS faster than the RX 480, or 5.4%. The RX 480 is effectively identical to the GTX 970 in performance (0.3FPS difference).

Metro: Last Light Benchmark – RX 480 vs. GTX 1080, 980 Ti, More

rx-480-mll-4k

rx-480-mll-1440p

rx-480-mll-1080p

At 1440p, the RX 480 falls below the GTX 970 and R9 390X, with the RX 480 pushing 53.3FPS AVG and 38FPS 1% lows. The GTX 970 is marginally ahead (~1FPS), and the R9 390X runs about 7FPS faster than the RX 480.

Dropping to 1080p plants the RX 480 at 80.3FPS AVG, about 23.6% faster than the R9 380X. The GTX 970 is about 7.7% faster than the RX 480. The GTX 1070 FE is 28.9% faster than the RX 480.

Shadow of Mordor Benchmark – GTX 1080 vs. 980 Ti, Fury X at 4K, 1440, & 1080

rx-480-bench-mordor-4k

rx-480-bench-mordor-1440p

rx-480-bench-mordor-1080p

The RX 480 isn't really built for 4K gaming – and neither is the 970 – but we still stress-test our cards at the three 'big' resolutions. At 4K, the RX 480 is outputting performance effectively equivalent to that of a GTX 970 SSC ($270). Margin of error accounts for the gaps between these two cards. The R9 390X is approximately 27.19% faster than the RX 480 at 4K. The GTX 1070 FE outputs the same AVG FPS, and is therefore also ~27.19% faster in its averages.

At 1440p, the RX 480 comes into play with a 58FPS AVG, 35.7FPS 1% low, and 31.7FPS 0.1% low. This plants it within the realm of good “playability,” and could easily match 60FPS with a few small tweaks to High settings. The R9 390X is approximately 14.7% faster than the RX 480 at 1440p average FPS, and sustains ~20.5% faster 1% low frametimes. The RX 480's AVG FPS is approximately 47.6% different from its 1% low values, though at this average, that's acceptable.

1080p pushes the RX 480 to 78.3FPS AVG. The percentage difference versus 1% low and 0.1% low frametimes has widened – now at 62.5% – and mostly mirrors the percentage difference exhibited on the GTX 1070 (~57% different between AVG & 1% FPS). At 1080p, the GTX 970 is 3.3% faster than the RX 480, the GTX 980 is ~8.99% faster, and the R9 390X is 10.99% faster. The new GTX 1070 maintains a powerful lead and is 35% faster in AVG FPS than the RX 480.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Benchmark – RX 480 vs. 1070 at 1080p, 1440p, 4K

Call of Duty: Black Ops III has always seen performance gains with AMD hardware that are often not found on other titles. BLOPS3 is also exceptionally well-optimized after its launch patch, making it a good benchmark title.

rx480-bench-blops3-4k

rx480-bench-blops3-1440p

rx480-bench-blops3-1080p

At 4K, the RX 480 runs 41FPS average and sits below the target 60FPS mark for this FPS. The card is outperforming the GTX 970 at this point, but that's moot given the generally unplayable nature of the output.

Moving to 1440p, the RX 480 is now operating at 83.3FPS average, with tightly timed 1% and 0.1% lows that remain above the 60FPS threshold. This makes the RX 480 14.77% faster than the GTX 970, so the two trade blows here, and nearly ties the 480 with the GTX 980. The R9 390X outperforms all these cards with its 94.3FPS. The GTX 1070 FE is at 106.7FPS, or 28.1% faster than the RX 480.

1080p would mostly permit 144Hz-ready framerates, if accompanying the RX 480 with a few settings reductions from High.

Continue to the next page for overclocking.


Last modified on July 19, 2016 at 9:00 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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