Today we’re taking a look at the overclocked variant of the RX 480 from XFX. As we’ve already explored, Polaris isn’t exactly an overclocking powerhouse and doesn’t seem to do very well considering how warm it tends to run. Third-party coolers even struggle somewhat to keep the heat at bay, diminishing the amount of headroom we expected to have compared to the stock cooler. Regardless, the XFX RX 480 GTR is their attempt to provide an overall good solution that’s both cool(er), quiet(ish) and somewhat faster than stock.
XFX RX 480 GTR is faster, but not overly so
The design choice is said to mirror high-end automotive trends, though the cooler doesn’t seem to look anything like that at all. It’s a departure from their usual monolithic designs going for something that’s more sleek and fluid, likely trying to evoke a sense of speed or even perhaps efficiency. The 90mm fans are something new, something less common among GPUs. You can, if you so desire, change or replace them for others, sold by XFX, very easily. Overall not an unattractive design, but also not exactly what XFX is historically known for, either. The lit-up logo is actually a nice effect, not overly ostentatious at all. Consequently, due to the change in outward appearance, I don’t personally like it. I enjoyed the industrial exterior they used before, even if it was a bit drab compared to the flash competitors. That’s what I enjoyed about it. Anyway, new architecture, new them.
The interchangeable fans let you switch out the one component that has the highest failure rate, also letting you personalize the fans. You do have to buy those fans, which come with LEDs and varying levels of CFM to let you personalize your card. It’s a smart idea and doesn’t appear to have a negative effect on performance, or the noise profile.
XFX hasn’t always had the best coolers, either, with issues with VRM temperatures with Fiji, Hawaii and even Tahiti. This new design seems to rectify that with coverage of the fans and of more metal to help siphon heat away. The RX 480 GTR, then, should be able to handle these higher frequencies with aplomb.
We’ll dive right into the benchmarks, so if you want to get acquainted with the RX 480 itself, you can head on over and read or original review.