AMD’s RX 480 Hard-Launches, Redefines $200 GPU Expectations
You can actually buy one this time!
Finally. With Nvidia having played the Pascal card last month with the release of the GTX 1080, and subsequent outing of the GTX 1070, all eyes were on AMD, and Team Red’s first product based on the new Polaris architecture.
The RX 480 had a lot of expectations riding on it. With AMD having initially positioned the card as a new, mainstream entry-point for Virtual Reality experiences, performance in the GTX 970/980 range was expected. As reviews come in, we see that the RX 480 sticks closer to the GTX 970’s performance profile. But considering that the 4 GB model of the RX 480 costs a mere $200, we’re not complaining: this here is the single fastest mainstream $200 dollar part to reach the market. AMD’s not trying to snag the high-margin low-value market the way Nvidia is with the GTX 1070 and 1080.
Rather, hearkening back to the good old days of the HD 4870, AMD’s doubling down on the mainstream market, where it’s historically been at its most competitive. And although we’ve yet to hear of an actual dual-GPU RX 480 SKU, AMD’s positioning Crossfired 480s as a value-oriented alternative to the GTX 1080. Ah, just like ye good old days and the 4870X2.