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AMD Radeon RX 470
AMD Radeon RX 470
2016 has been chock-full of new graphics cards based on cutting-edge architectures that have given PC gamers plenty to be excited about. Both AMD and NVIDIA have whet our appetites with cards such as the RX 480, GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and Titan X, yet with manufacturer suggested retail prices starting at $199 and soaring to well beyond $1,000, there arguably hasn't been a GPU with genuine mainstream attraction.
That changes today with the arrival of the Radeon RX 470, priced at $179 and bringing the goodness of AMD's latest Polaris architecture to a broader audience.
An array of partner cards are expected to be available from the get-go, with the popular Asus Strix OC pictured above. Board designs will be recognisable in this price bracket, and there's familiarity under the hood as the 14nm GPU is for all intents and purposes a cut-down variant of the Polaris chip that made its debut in the RX 480.
This time around, the 232mm² die disables four compute units, resulting in 2,048 processors, 128 texture units and 32 ROPs. Core speed has similarly been lowered a notch, from 1,266MHz on RX 480 to 1,206MHz on RX 470, and though the card is backed by 4GB of GDDR5 memory via a 256-bit bus, do note that memory frequency has also been lowered to an effective 6,600MHz.
|Radeon RX 480||Radeon R9 390X||Radeon RX 470||Radeon R9 380X|
|Launch Date||Jun 2016||Jun 2015||Aug 2016||Nov 2015|
|Codename||Polaris 10 XT||Grenada XT||Polaris 10 Pro||Antigua XT|
|Architecture||GCN 4th||GCN 2nd||GCN 4th||GCN 3rd|
|Approx Die Size (mm²)||232||438||232||359|
|Peak GPU Clock (MHz)||1,266||1,050||1,206||970|
|Peak GFLOPS (SP)||5,834||5,914||4,940||3,973|
|Memory Size (MB)||4,096 / 8,192||8,192||4,096||4,096|
|Memory Bus (Bits)||256||512||256||256|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||8,000||6,000||6,600||5,700|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)||224 / 256||384||211||182|
|GFLOPS per Watt||38.89||21.5||41.17||20.9|
A snip here and a snip there is a natural way to flesh out a range of products from a single GPU, and the RX 470 takes a balanced approach. A single six-pin connector provides the requisite power, and the efficient 120W chip is able to serve up 4.9TFLOPS of performance - that's 24 per cent more than last year's thirstier R9 380X and only 15 per cent less than the current RX 480.
Benchmarks from leading review sites suggest that the on-paper specification translates to consistent real-world capability, and initial tests confirm that RX 470 slots in behind RX 480 with a performance deficit of roughly 10-15 per cent.
Real-world gameplay is what matters most, and whereas older cards such as the GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 270X struggle to deliver the preferred 60 frames per second in modern titles, the RX 470 serves as a solid choice at an ubiquitous full-HD resolution.
Extending the reach of the 14nm Polaris architecture, AMD has introduced the Radeon RX 470 at a tempting $179 price point. Borrowing a lot of what's good about the existing RX 480, the second-rung GPU offers excellent efficiency, a forward-looking feature set that's geared toward DX12 gameplay, and capable performance that's well suited to common 1080p displays.
The AMD Radeon RX 470 graphics cards will ge available to purchase from Scan