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AMD Radeon RX 470 review

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AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • AMD Radeon RX 470
  • RX 470 Dirt Rally
  • RX 470 shadow of mordor
  • RX 470 GTA V
  • Hitman
  • RX 470 rise of the tomb raider
  • RX 470 Fire Strike Ultra

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Great Full HD performance
  • Low power consumption
  • Plenty of memory for a sub-£200 card

Cons

  • Priced too near the 4GB RX 480

Best Deals for AMD Radeon RX 470

  • ebay

Key Features

  • 2,048 stream processors
  • 32 compute units
  • Maximum boost clock: 1,270MHz
  • 4GB GDDR5 memory
  • DVI, HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
  • TDP: 120W
  • Manufacturer: AMD
  • Review Price: £200.00

What is the AMD Radeon RX 470?

The AMD Radeon RX 470 sits slightly awkwardly in AMD's range. As you'll see from our benchmarks, it's a great Full HD GPU, but pricing oddities mean it sits in a price bracket that's just 5% lower than the more powerful 4GB RX 480.

Aside from the economics – these might change in the coming months – AMD has produced a very competent card for Full HD gaming with the latest AAA titles with a very low power draw of just 120W. Compact versions of this card will be great for microATX and mini-ITX PC builds, producing very little heat and noise and playing nicely with tight power budgets.

AMD isn’t producing its own version of the RX 470, so reviewers have been sent a variety of third-party cards from AMD’s partners. Ours is a PowerColor Red Devil model that's currently priced at £200.

Related: Best graphics cardsAMD Radeon RX 470

AMD Radeon RX 470 – Specs and Technology

The Radeon RX 470 uses the exact same chip as the RX 480, called Polaris 10. The RX 470 uses ‘binned’ Polaris 10 chips – a common practice in the world of microelectronics. These binned chips didn’t make the grade as RX 480 units, but they're still good enough to match the specification of the less powerful RX 470. It’s sensible business logic: you get a much higher yield of usable Polaris 10 chips and get to sell them in two different products.

The difference between the two isn’t huge. The RX 480 has 36 compute units, while the 470 gets 32. Clock speeds have been reduced slightly, too, with the base clock speed sitting at 926MHz, lower than the RX 480’s 1,120MHz. Our PowerColor model comes pre-overclocked with a boost clock speed of 1270MHz.

The RX 470 gets the same memory as the 4GB RX 480, shipping with GDDR5 with a 256-bit bus and a memory bandwidth of 211GB/s, which is slightly less than the 224GB/s on the RX 480.

Polaris itself is full of little technical treats, with perhaps the most important coming in the form of massively improved power efficiency. There are also hardware-level improvements to colour compression for more efficient rendering, and granular overclocking control with AMD’s WattMan software.

Related: Our ultimate PC building guideAMD Radeon RX 470

Our PowerColor model came pre-overclocked to 1,270MHz with 1,750MHz memory. It’s a double-height card, as is typical with all RX 470s. It has a dual-fan design with nine blades on each. The shroud is made of black plastic, and the backplate is a simple matte-black affair with a hexagram affirming the satanic themes of PowerColor’s Red Devil.

The PowerColour RX 470 comes with a small switch on its near side that toggles between the overclocked mode and a quieter, more power-efficient mode. All of our testing was conducted in the OC mode, which is the default setting. Turn to page two to see how it performed.

The number of video outputs on the RX 470 varies across the different third-party manufacturers. Our model included three DisplayPort 1.2 sockets, an HDMI 2.0 connector and a DVI connector, but some are available with a second HDMI port in place of one of the DisplayPorts.

Best Deals for AMD Radeon RX 470

  • ebay

Mark

September 6, 2016, 11:37 am

Wouldn't a 1060 be better value at £185??

MattMe

September 6, 2016, 5:10 pm

It would seem so given these benchmarks, yes.

MattMe

September 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

It's odd how some games run better on the AMD card.
Is that DirectX12 related? I've no first-hand experience, but from what I hear the AMD drivers are optimised much better than NVidia in DX12, and I do know that both Hitman and Tomb Raider have the option to run in DX12...

If so that makes a very interesting case for these cards, otherwise a 1060 looks a better option.

Barron

September 7, 2016, 7:50 am

What about Vulkan benchmarks. The 470 beats the 1060 in those. Anyhow, this card is great value for money.

Phil

September 7, 2016, 4:07 pm

It would be useful to see minimum frame rates as well as average - a low min frame rate can make a game unplayable when the action kicks off whilst the average might mask this. 1440p would also be very useful at max quality settings regardless of if it results in low frame rates as it would allow assessment of whether this would be acceptable.

EDIT: Also, page two is labelled as the 480 review.... guessing you used that as a template and forgot to change the title.

Abraham Soto

September 8, 2016, 2:20 pm

Where are the VULKAN games Benchmarks, why all the bechmarks are base on DX11, OGL,, review sites should re review this cards under the new APIS, VULKAN, DX12. Look what happens with DOOM in VULKAN.

Abraham Soto

September 8, 2016, 2:22 pm

Thats depend, for DX11, OGL, yess, but the RX is much faster with futures games made with VULKAN and DX12. Tomb Raider has DX12 support but is not a good example of DX12. Look at DOOM benchmarks to see of what I am talking about.

Ryan

November 19, 2016, 9:19 am

Right now this card is going for $169 on Amazon, which makes it the best bang for your buck for 1080p gaming by far. Next step up is the 1060 3gb which isn't future proof due to lack of vram, followed by the 6gb version which is a whooping $70 more expensive for about 10fps more.

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