AMD RX 480 Gaming-Focused Benchmarks

The RX 480 is arguably a gaming-first card, having been built specifically to address the need for affordable hardware to run VR applications. That said, there are a number of improvements, that we’ll talk about in another article, that help to improve your gaming experience. And this is all despite having less resources than a flagship card reasonably should have. Primitive discard helps to draw and display only those triangles that can be seen. Better memory and delta color compression engines healthily increase memory bandwidth available to the GPU and an improved L2 cache with a better index cache can vastly help speed things along. Spoiler alert; it can be a fast card, but what might be immature drivers seem to limit it in some circumstances.

To test this new card in games is quite the challenge. Not because it’s necessarily difficult to benchmark per-se, but because in order to get an accurate picture of how it performs I benchmarked the card in nearly 40 different games. I’ve compared the RX 480 to other GPUs in quite a few¬†recent modern games and have a compilation at the end that simply lists framerate for this card alone. Hopefully this can be a compendium of sorts to help you make the right decision. At the moment, drivers aren’t necessarily the most mature however that only means that performance will continue to rise in the future. Remember, Hawaii has remained competitive until this day thanks to the ¬†healthy tinkering with the drivers.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

Ashes in in the middle of the pack, and rightfully so. Though it’s a magnificent improvement underneath, there just aren’t enough of those new CU’s to amount for the type of performance that would take it beyond where it’s at. This is expected, and considering when I look at the power usage of the GPU and it’s at around 100W, that’s not bad at all. Star Wars: Battlefront is next.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

This one was a bit surprising. Of course there is no internal benchmark, so some variation is possible. Likewise, running around Endor with a mass of other people resulted in the performance you see above. It actually does well here, likely due to the better geometry processor, among other things. It’s better at rendering only what’s in front of you that you can see, and there’s a tremendous amount going on. DOOM is next on the bench.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

Again, there is no internal benchmark and we’re left trying to improvise, but running through the Crucible from start to finish. Things do change and there’s a lot of variance, though the FPS should still tell a story of what we’re seeing. It’s able to keep a fairly good performance. Keep in mind that Vulkan is also on the way very soon for DOOM, which could further improve performance for everyone. Rise of the Tomb Raider is next.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

This is where we start to see some inconsistency compared to my previous results. It’s been doing great, far greater than expected when compared to my previous results for these games. Likewise, here we see it in the middle of the pack, though still above the 390X in this case. That’s not an easy feat by any means. Hitman is up next on the test bench.

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

Hitman started off quite strong, and that was thought to be an anomaly given how it performs at higher resolutions relative to the other cards. Ran six times results in that. It’s a strong contender here and runs quite well.

For the rest of the benchmarks, feel free to peruse the gallery and choose at your will. There’s plenty to choose from and the results tend to be a bit inconsistent. In some it’s precisely in the middle, where we expect it to be, and in others it’s a bit higher due to reasons unknown.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the game compilation, you’ll have to click on it to actually be able to read the numbers with any clarity. This is merely an alphabetical list of games that either don’t generally “benchmark” well or that might be a tad older. The more data points the better, right?

Edit – Some numbers were only placeholders from another review, and no representative of actual performance. GTA V and The Witcher 3 have been updated to their actual scores. The Witcher 3 was run without HairWorks and GTA V was run with only 2X MSAA on reflections and the world.

Compilation