AMD had quite the press conference last night, getting a chance to show a working sample of a 16-thread Zen-based CPU and showing off the second generation Excavator APU’s. AMD also has finally publically  announced their Polaris 10 GPU to the world, as the RX 480.

RX 480

Polaris-based RX 480 is a way to capture more of the market

It’s being squarely positioned as a mid-range card and being priced at just $199. We don’t have any concrete performance numbers just yet, though the architecture itself is said to be 2.8x faster than the previous Graphics Core Next. The GPU has 36 total CUs, with an assumed 64 stream processors per CU, meaning we’re looking at 2304 SPs total for P10. With all the underlying architectural changes, this should put it at around the performance of the R9 390, though it doesn’t appear to be working at it’s fastest speed. That means overclocking or high boosts clocks could yield better performance, if it scales well.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480AMD R9 390X
Stream Processors23042816
Texture Units144176
VRAM Speed8Gbps5Gbps
Boost Clock1266MHz1050MHz
Memory Bus Width256-bit512-bit

This isn’t targeting the high-end market segment, but then the largest market is in the low-end to the mid-range. The strategy that AMD seems to be going for is to undercut NVIDIA in the price/performance and performance/watt categories. They have aggressive pricing for what should be good performance at 1080P and 1440P. A single RX 480 probably won’t be able to tackle most games at 4K, but then you can buy two for less than one GTX 1080 and enjoy decent and much improved Crossfire scaling in those games that support it.

The AMD RX 480 is being released June 29th for $199. I’d imagine that their much improved OEM cooler may debut, but certainly look for the AIB treatment as well. It’s an exciting card that represents a potential shift in thinking, and a shift in strategy.

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