R9 nano vs rx 480: R9 Nano vs RX 480 Game Performance Benchmarks (i7-4790K vs i7-6700K)

Asus R9 Nano vs MSI Radeon RX 480: What is the difference?

56points

Asus R9 Nano

47points

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

54 facts in comparison

Asus R9 Nano

MSI Radeon RX 480

Why is Asus R9 Nano better than MSI Radeon RX 480?

  • 3.03 TFLOPS higher floating-point performance?
    8.19 TFLOPSvs5.16 TFLOPS
  • 28.2 GPixel/s higher pixel rate?
    64 GPixel/svs35.8 GPixel/s
  • 94.7 GTexels/s higher texture rate?
    256 GTexels/svs161.3 GTexels/s
  • 256GB/s more memory bandwidth?
    512GB/svs256GB/s
  • 3840bit wider memory bus width?
    4096bitvs256bit
  • 1792 more shading units?
    4096vs2304
  • 3200million more transistors?
    8900 millionvs5700 million
  • 112 more texture mapping units (TMUs)?
    256vs144

Why is MSI Radeon RX 480 better than Asus R9 Nano?

  • 120MHz faster GPU clock speed?
    1120MHzvs1000MHz
  • 55W lower TDP?
    120Wvs175W
  • 1500MHz faster memory clock speed?
    2000MHzvs500MHz
  • 7000MHz higher effective memory clock speed?
    8000MHzvs1000MHz
  • 2x more VRAM?
    8GBvs4GB
  • 0. 2 newer version of OpenCL?
    2.2vs2
  • 14nm smaller semiconductor size?
    14nmvs28nm

Which are the most popular comparisons?

Asus R9 Nano

vs

AMD Radeon R9 Fury

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon RX 570

Asus R9 Nano

vs

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Asus R9 Nano

vs

AMD Radeon R9 290X

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon R9 290

Asus R9 Nano

vs

AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon RX 580

Asus R9 Nano

vs

AMD Radeon R9 390X

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon RX 470

Asus R9 Nano

vs

Galax GeForce RTX 3060 1-Click OC

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

MSI Radeon RX 580

Asus R9 Nano

vs

PowerColor Hellhound Radeon RX 6650 XT

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 8GB Limited Edition

Asus R9 Nano

vs

Zotac GeForce RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon R9 390

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

MSI Radeon RX 480

vs

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Super

Price comparison

User reviews

Performance

1. GPU clock speed

1000MHz

1120MHz

The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.

2.GPU turbo

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Asus R9 Nano)

1266MHz

When the GPU is running below its limitations, it can boost to a higher clock speed in order to give increased performance.

3.pixel rate

64 GPixel/s

35.8 GPixel/s

The number of pixels that can be rendered to the screen every second.

4.floating-point performance

8.19 TFLOPS

5.16 TFLOPS

Floating-point performance is a measurement of the raw processing power of the GPU.

5.texture rate

256 GTexels/s

161.3 GTexels/s

The number of textured pixels that can be rendered to the screen every second.

6.GPU memory speed

500MHz

2000MHz

The memory clock speed is one aspect that determines the memory bandwidth.

7.shading units

Shading units (or stream processors) are small processors within the graphics card that are responsible for processing different aspects of the image.

8.texture mapping units (TMUs)

TMUs take textures and map them to the geometry of a 3D scene. More TMUs will typically mean that texture information is processed faster.

9.render output units (ROPs)

The ROPs are responsible for some of the final steps of the rendering process, writing the final pixel data to memory and carrying out other tasks such as anti-aliasing to improve the look of graphics.

Memory

1.effective memory speed

1000MHz

8000MHz

The effective memory clock speed is calculated from the size and data rate of the memory. Higher clock speeds can give increased performance in games and other apps.

2. maximum memory bandwidth

512GB/s

256GB/s

This is the maximum rate that data can be read from or stored into memory.

3.VRAM

VRAM (video RAM) is the dedicated memory of a graphics card. More VRAM generally allows you to run games at higher settings, especially for things like texture resolution.

4.memory bus width

4096bit

256bit

A wider bus width means that it can carry more data per cycle. It is an important factor of memory performance, and therefore the general performance of the graphics card.

5.version of GDDR memory

Newer versions of GDDR memory offer improvements such as higher transfer rates that give increased performance.

6.Supports ECC memory

✖Asus R9 Nano

✖MSI Radeon RX 480

Error-correcting code memory can detect and correct data corruption. It is used when is it essential to avoid corruption, such as scientific computing or when running a server.

Features

1.DirectX version

DirectX is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.

2.OpenGL version

OpenGL is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.

3.OpenCL version

Some apps use OpenCL to apply the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for non-graphical computing. Newer versions introduce more functionality and better performance.

4.Supports multi-display technology

✔Asus R9 Nano

✔MSI Radeon RX 480

The graphics card supports multi-display technology. This allows you to configure multiple monitors in order to create a more immersive gaming experience, such as having a wider field of view.

5.load GPU temperature

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (MSI Radeon RX 480)

A lower load temperature means that the card produces less heat and its cooling system performs better.

6.supports ray tracing

✖Asus R9 Nano

✖MSI Radeon RX 480

Ray tracing is an advanced light rendering technique that provides more realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections in games.

7.Supports 3D

✔Asus R9 Nano

✔MSI Radeon RX 480

Allows you to view in 3D (if you have a 3D display and glasses).

8.supports DLSS

✖Asus R9 Nano

✖MSI Radeon RX 480

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an upscaling technology powered by AI. It allows the graphics card to render games at a lower resolution and upscale them to a higher resolution with near-native visual quality and increased performance. DLSS is only available on select games.

9.PassMark (G3D) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Asus R9 Nano)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (MSI Radeon RX 480)

This benchmark measures the graphics performance of a video card. Source: PassMark.

Ports

1.has an HDMI output

✔Asus R9 Nano

✔MSI Radeon RX 480

Devices with a HDMI or mini HDMI port can transfer high definition video and audio to a display.

2.HDMI ports

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Asus R9 Nano)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (MSI Radeon RX 480)

More HDMI ports mean that you can simultaneously connect numerous devices, such as video game consoles and set-top boxes.

3.HDMI version

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Asus R9 Nano)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (MSI Radeon RX 480)

Newer versions of HDMI support higher bandwidth, which allows for higher resolutions and frame rates.

4.DisplayPort outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using DisplayPort.

5.DVI outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using DVI.

6.mini DisplayPort outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using mini-DisplayPort.

Price comparison

Cancel

Which are the best graphics cards?

AMD RX 480 Rivals R9 Nano, GTX 980

AMD RX 480 4GB & 8GB Polaris 10 performance benchmarks, power consumption, base and boost clocks as well as temperatures. That’s right folks we have a bunch of goodies to share with you today about AMD’s RX 480 graphics card. So let’s get straight to the juicy bits!

Let’s start off with pricing. AMD’s RX 480 4GB will sell for as low as $199 and the 8GB version for around $29-$39 more. Custom versions from AMD’s add-in-board partners with unique cooling solutions, over-engineered power delivery circuitry and custom PCBs will naturally sell for more than that.

We’re told that AMD’s partners are preparing a huge array of graphics card options. Including some serious «beast mode» 8GB cards that will sell for up to $299 and overclock to the moon. We’ll tell you more about those custom cards in due time, but today we’re going to be talking strictly about AMD’s reference designed 4GB and 8GB RX 480 graphics cards which will officially retail on the 29th of June.

2 of 9

AMD RX 480 Competes With R9 Nano & GTX 980 — Polaris 10 XT Runs At 1266Mhz

Both the 4GB and 8GB versions are based on the exact same Polaris 10 XT GPU & both of them will give the R9 Nano and GTX 980 a real run for their money in terms of performance per dollar. The RX 480 cards feature a boost clock speed of 1266Mhz out of the box. The cards will always run at the boost clock while gaming except in synthetic stress tests like Furmark.

The reference design is slightly over 9 inches long and features an Aluminum fin array heatsink. Naturally as this is a blower style cooling design all of the card’s heat is exhausted out the back of the card. As standard the card features 3 DisplayPort and one HDMI connections. However, some custom designs will also feature DVI-D ports.

AMD Radeon RX 480 & RX 470 PCB — Printed Circuit Board —

The reference design’s maximum power delivery through the 6-pin PCIe connector and the PCIe slot is 150W. Some custom variants will feature single 8-pin PCIe connectors while others will feature dual 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The «beast mode» AIB cards that we mentioned earlier will feature a single six pin and a single eight pin design.

RX 480 Temperature Probe Reading 62.7c At Load

AMD’s Radeon RX 480 Gives The R9 Nano & GTX 980 A Run For Their Money

Now, let’s look at the performance numbers. Our source has provided us with performance figures for both the RX 480 4GB version and the RX 480 8GB version.  The benchmark in question is 3DMark Firestrike Ultra 1.1. We have added our own GTX Titan X, GTX 980 OC, R9 390 OC & R9 Nano results for comparison. Our own Keith May conducted the testing with our newly acquired Intel i7 6800K six core Broadwell-E CPU. The RX 480 4GB & RX 480 8GB were benchmarked with an Intel Core i7 4960X six core Ivy Bridge-E CPU by the source.

Our slightly better CPU & overclocked graphics cards skew the results marginally in favor of our graphics card lineup vs the RX 480. Regardless of this handicap, the RX 480 managed to edge out our overclocked GTX 980 & R9 390 samples in addition to our R9 Nano sample.

At $199 AMD’s RX 480 Is Like A Ferrari For The Price Of A Honda

So there you have it folks. A $199 graphics card that gives our $500 arsenal of heavy hitters a run for its money. In 3DMark Firestrike Ultra 1.1 at least. There’s a lot more independent testing that needs to be done before the bell is rung and a victor is declared.
Although very excitingly, according to what we’ve learned, AMD’s RX 480 and even the RX 470 put on a better show in actual games vs what we’re seeing in 3DMark. Especially in DirectX 12 games.  So if the cards end up showing better gaming performance come June 29th than what’s indicated by the 3DMark scores we’ve seen, do not be surprised.

Regardless, the mere thought that gamers will be able to get R9 Nano & GTX 980 performance for $199 — that’s less than half of what we would’ve had to pay just a couple of weeks ago — at the end of the month is simply astounding.

WCCF AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon R9 390X Nvidia GeForce GTX 980
GPU Polaris 10 XT Grenada XT GM204-400
Process Node 14nm FinFET 28nm 28nm
Compute Units 36 44 NA
CUDA Cores NA NA 2048
Architecture GCN 4.0 GCN 2.0 Maxwell 2.0
Boost Clock 1266Mhz 1050Mhz 1216Mhz
Peak Single Precision Compute 5.8 TFLOPS 5.9 TFLOPS 5.0+ TFLOPS
Memory Bus 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit
Memory 4/8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
VRAM Speed 8Gbps 6Gbps 7GBps
Bandwidth 256GB/s 384GB/s 224GB/s
TDP 150W 275W 165W
Typical Power ~100W ~250W ~165W
Launch Price $199 $429 $549

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AMD Radeon R9 Nano review: A powerful taste of the PC’s incredible shrinking future

Reviews

There’s no other graphics card quite like the AMD R9 Nano, which packs full-size performance into its six-inch frame—but it’s not for everyone.

By Brad Chacos

Executive editor, PCWorld

AMD deserves some serious props for even creating the Radeon R9 Nano in the first place.

This pint-sized powerhouse is the latest in a long line of AMD technical innovations that skate to where the puck is going, rather than where the puck is lingering today. Built around revolutionarily tiny—and fast—high-bandwidth memory, the six-inch Radeon R9 Nano delivers flagship-level performance in a form factor that fits where most other graphics cards simply can’t.

The Radeon R9 Nano inside a Lian Li mini-ITX case.

In an age where graphics cards keep expanding with heat pipes and heat sinks and fans in order to push performance to 11, the Nano’s more holistic design approach is a breath of fresh air, dragging mini-ITX (mITX) graphics cards out from the shadows and into the spotlight. It truly feels forward-thinking—the first top-tier graphics card designed for a future where mainstream computing increasingly shifts towards NUCs and Steam Machines and small-form-factor designs and PCs-on-a-stick. There’s no other card out there like quite it, and the Nano will bring tremendous joy to the people pining for its particular blend of high-end features.

But pushing the PC ecosystem forward isn’t possible without some growing pains. The $650 Radeon Nano rocks, but it won’t appeal to everybody—not by a long shot.

Let’s dig in.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano under the hood

The $650 asking price for the Radeon R9 Nano shocked some people, but AMD’s deft design of the Nano goes a long way toward justifying the flagship-level cost. This is the most powerful mini-ITX graphics card ever created, and every aspect of it screams premium.

How Nano’s so small: @Gordonung’s Project Quantum dissection shows Fiji GPU vs a 290X board http://t.co/0gGG3aAqM6 pic.twitter.com/p3xSCHjqeI

— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) September 2, 2015

The Nano’s six-inch length is its most notable feature, naturally, enabled by the tremendous space and power savings of high-bandwidth memory, which is integrated with the GPU. The card’s a hair smaller in both length and width than Asus’ GTX 970 DirectCU Mini, the Nano’s closest GeForce-based miniature competitor. (Nvidia doesn’t offer mini-ITX variants of the GTX 980 or 980 Ti.)

One more: The @AMDRadeon R9 Nano is slightly shorter than the Asus GeForce GTX 970 DirectCU Mini mITX graphics card pic.twitter.com/z8JHa9d4qp

— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) September 2, 2015

And it’s downright puny compared to the hulking Asus Strix Fury. The Fury is AMD’s other air-cooled graphics card built around a Fiji GPU and cutting-edge high-bandwidth memory.

Well look what just showed up from @AMDRadeon: The R9 Nano. Asus Strix Fury shown for size comparison. pic.twitter.com/O7D2NaE1L9

— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) September 2, 2015

Here’s a picture of the Radeon Nano next to a pencil and a battery for yet more scale.

More comparisons: The @AMDRadeon R9 Nano vs. a AA battery and a #2 pencil. pic.twitter.com/enjHx7pD7j

— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) September 2, 2015

It’s small.

The Nano takes its design cues from AMD’s other flagship, the also $650, water-cooled Radeon R9 Fury X. The Nano features a black metal shroud with a soft-touch aluminum finish, with RADEON emblazoned in bright red across its front and outer edge. It lacks a backplate, however, and for cooling it sticks to a single fan integrated in the shroud, sitting atop a card-length heat sink with horizontal fins. The GPU itself stays chilly thanks to a hybrid flattened-heatpipe/vapor-chamber solution. There’s even a dedicated copper heatpipe just for the Nano’s voltage regulator module.

Now that’s a cooler. The Radeon R9 Nano’s cooler, to be exact.

Our deep dive into the Nano’s design shines even more light on its inner workings, but the important part is that the cooling setup works well, as you’ll see once we wade into benchmarks. That’s a good thing, because AMD says customized Nanos from its graphics vendor partners (like Asus and Sapphire) won’t necessarily be available. If they ever are, it’ll be at least three months after launch—and even then, third-party vendors won’t be allowed to touch the GPU’s base specs.

Speaking of which, those specs are no joke. The Radeon R9 Nano packs the same full-fat, 4096 stream processor-strong Fiji graphics processor as the Fury X, along with the same 4GB of HBM. The Nano’s GPU isn’t an exact mirror of its bigger sibling, however: In order to squeeze Fiji into a mITX form factor without liquid cooling, AMD reduced the clock speed of the Nano’s GPU enough to allow the card to consume a mere 175 watts of energy over a single 8-pin power connector. The Fury X, on the other hand, requires two 8-pin connectors and 275W.

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano’s specs.

There’s more to it than the listed specs, however. On paper, the Fury X is clocked at 1050MHz, while the Radeon R9 Nano hits up to 1000MHz—but the Nano uses an aggressive version of AMD’s PowerTune technology to dynamically adjust the clock speeds to meet the card’s thermal and power targets. Observing real-time clock specs for the Nano using GPU-Z, it ran at 650MHz to 680MHz in the Furmark benchmark (which both AMD and Nvidia call a “power virus”), typically 859MHz to 926MHz in 3DMark’s Fire Strike (though it dropped to 700MHz during the last, most stressful scene), and 852MHz to 917MHz in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

That seems like a recipe for stuttering and frame rate issues, but nope: Games ran like a champ, while the card stayed cool and relatively quiet. AMD said the Nano would outpunch the older Radeon 290X flagship while using drastically less power, and spoiler alert: It does.

It also drastically outperforms the GeForce GTX 970, the most powerful mITX graphics card in Nvidia’s arsenal. Heck, the downclocked Fiji GPU in the Radeon R9 Nano even trumps a full-sized GTX 980 in most cases.

Segue!

Next page: Testbed details and gameplay benchmarks

PCWorld’s faithful graphics card testing system was pressed into action yet again for this review, loaded with all sorts of high-end parts to avoid introducing bottlenecks that don’t stem from the GPU itself. Our build guide for the PC has all the nitty-gritty details, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

  • Intel’s Core i7-5960X with a Corsair Hydro Series h200i closed-loop water cooler. No CPU bottlenecks allowed!
  • An Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard
  • Corsair’s Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory, Obsidian 750D full tower case, and 1200-watt AX1200i power supply
  • Games and the operating system are installed on a 480GB Intel 730 series SSD
  • Windows 8.1 Pro. We’ll be upgrading to Windows 10 soon, but haven’t yet.

The $650 AMD Radeon R9 Nano is an odd little beast, so we compared it against numerous other graphics cards. On Team Red, we pit the Nano against the older Radeon 290X that AMD’s so keen to compare it against, as well as the aftermarket $470 Asus Strix version of the Radeon 390X, the $650 Fury X, and the air-cooled $580 Asus Strix Fury. On Nvidia’s side, there’s the GTX 980 Ti of course, because it’s the same $650 price as the Nano. We also included both the reference GTX 980 as well as EVGA’s overclocked, custom-cooled GTX 980 FTW. And because the most powerful mITX graphics card Nvidia offers is the GeForce GTX 970, we also tested an AMD-supplied mITX Asus GTX 970 DirectCU Mini, as well as the full-sized EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW, which sports similar tweaks to EVGA’s GTX 980 FTW.

Every game was tested using in-game benchmark tests at both 4K and 2560×1440 resolutions, with the default graphics settings stated unless noted otherwise. V-Sync and any vendor-specific features were disabled.

Let’s kick things off with Grand Theft Auto V, which traditionally favors GeForce cards. That holds true here, but look at where the Nano lands: Far ahead of the GTX 970s, roughly equal with the air-cooled Asus Strix Fury, and lingering near the GTX 980s in most configurations. At 4K resolution with all graphics settings jacked to “Very High,” FXAA enabled, anisotropic filtering set to x16, and all sliders cranked to the max, the Nano actually outperforms the reference GTX 980. That’s crazy for such a small, cool-running card.

Using the same settings at 2560×1440 widens the performance gulf between the Nano and the GTX 980s—with the EVGA 980 FTW claiming a sizeable 9 frames per second (fps) advantage—but activating 4x MSAA and 4x reflection MSAA at the same settings drags performance back to comparable levels (though Nvidia still claims the crown). You’re much more likely to use MSAA options at 1440p than you are at 4K.

Next up: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which favors Radeon cards despite bearing an Nvidia splash screen when the game boots up. Here, we see the opposite of what we saw with GTA V: the Nano comes in slightly behind the Fury, slightly ahead of the overclocked EVGA GTX 980, and far ahead of the reference GTX 980. The one exception is at 4K resolution with all graphics options manually cranked to their highest available settings (which the default “Ultra” preset doesn’t do), where the EVGA 980 FTW ekes out a slight win.

The GTX 970s? Not even in the equation. Note that the $650 Nano doesn’t approach the performance levels of the full-sized $650 GTX 980 Ti or $650 Fury X, however.

Dragon Age Inquisition isn’t only one of the best PC games released in the past year, it can hammer even beefy graphics cards at 4K resolution. No card hits even 30fps at Ultra settings at 4K. The Nano, Fury, and the GTX 980s all hang closely here at both resolutions.

Alien Isolation is terrifying, gorgeous, and scales well across all hardware. The usual suspects turn in a tight cluster of results with everything set to Ultra at 4K resolution, but the Strix Fury and EVGA 980 FTW pull ahead a bit at 1440p—though the Nano also plants itself firmly ahead of the reference GTX 980. Again, the GTX 970 duo fails to compete, with the Asus 970 DirectCU Mini falling a full 20 fps behind the Nano. AMD was right: Nvidia’s most powerful mini-ITX GeForce card simply can’t compare to the Nano.

Next page: Gaming benchmarks continued.

Given Unreal Engine 3’s ubiquity in the gaming world, no graphics card review would be complete without at least one UE3 benchmark. Bioshock Infinite’s our guinea pig. The performance trend we’ve been seeing with other titles continue here.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition ’s Extreme preset hits graphics cards even harder than Dragon Age, thanks to some extreme anti-aliasing.

Metro: Last Light Redux is a gorgeous HD remaster of an impressive, densely atmospheric game, built using 4A Games’ custom 4A Engine. We test with both PhysX and SSAA disabled. AMD’s cards win out here, with the gulf widening as you move down to lower graphics detail settings.

Next page: 3DMark Fire Strike, heat, and power use results.

The Nano’s score in 3DMark’s widely respected Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra synthetic benchmarks fall between the reference GTX 980 and the amped-up EVGA model.

The real story with the Nano is just how much performance AMD managed to squeeze of the card while keeping its energy consumption and temperatures in line.

While it sucks a bit more juice than the reference GTX 980, it performs closer to the EVGA GTX 980 FTW, which uses much more power. Simply put, the Fiji GPU flirts with the vaunted power efficiency of Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture in the Nano. And look at how much power the Radeon R9 290X and 390X consume in comparison.

Power is measured by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, then running a stress test with Furmark—again, the test dubbed a “power virus” by both AMD and Nvidia—for 15 minutes.

Temperatures hovered around a consistent 75C degrees during gameplay, just as AMD promised, though it maxed out at 78C during the strenuous Furmark benchmark. I was worried that the single fan design would prove loud under duress, but subjectively, it stayed nice and quiet throughout—not the quietest graphics card I’ve ever heard, yet far from the loudest, as well. It won’t disturb you.

The Nano’s design is vastly improved over the Radeon R9 290X’s, and that comes through emphatically in the tiny card’s heat and power results.

Next page: Further considerations and the bottom line

So there you have it: All of AMD’s claims for the Radeon R9 Nano proved true in real life. This pint-sized powerhouse is one of the most capable graphics cards around, flirting with performance on a par with the Asus Strix Fury, a full-sized card with an imposing cooling setup. It demolishes the GTX 970, Nvidia’s most capable mITX graphics card. It runs cool and quiet, and it manages to outpunch both the 290X and 390X while using far less power.

There’s no other graphics card like it. If you want uncompromising gaming performance from a mini-ITX PC and play at resolutions higher than 1080p, the Radeon Nano is easily the most powerful option available. Its diminutive stature and cool performance will allow it to fit into itty-bitty cases that full-sized graphics cards couldn’t even dream of squeezing into.

The Radeon R9 Nano on a mini-ITX motherboard.

“For anyone who wants to build a small form factor chassis capable of playing 4K, the Nano is really interesting and that’s exactly where we targeted it,” AMD’s Victor Camardo said at a Nano press briefing last month. “For those people who want power efficiency, who want high-performance, who want a good overall gaming solution that’s optimized to take advantage of all aspects of the product, and not just push one curve or the other to the max.”

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano does just that. It feels unique. It feels forward-thinking, a harbinger in a world increasingly focused on cramming full PC performance into ever-smaller cases. And more than that, it feels premium, oozing style from every fiber of its being. People may scoff at the Nano’s $650 cost, but it manages to trade performance blows with the $580 Strix Fury and $530 EVGA GTX 980 FTW despite its far more diminutive stature and enviable power efficiency. 

It’s amazing. A hell of a graphics card. The Radeon Nano fully justifies its $650 price point.

But most people shouldn’t buy it.

Stumbling points

The Nano isn’t just a niche product, it’s an ultra-niche product—more a showcase for the space- and power-savings of HBM and Fiji than anything else. Currently, there are only a handful of (admittedly gorgeous) PC cases small enough to fit the Nano, but too compact for a larger graphics card. If size isn’t an issue, it makes more sense to spend your $650 on the far greater performance of a Fury X or GTX 980 Ti. (See: PCWorld’s recent mITX build starring AMD’s liquid-cooled Fury X.)

The HDMI 1.4a port on the Radeon R9 Nano hurts its claim to king of the HTPC throne.

What’s more, some technical issues hold back key would-be use cases for the Nano. At this size, the Nano just begs to be used in a killer home theater PC designed around a 4K TV… but the card’s lone HDMI port is 1.4a, not 2.0, which means it’s limited to 30Hz at that resolution. To be fair, Nvidia’s HDMI 2.0-equipped high-end GeForce cards lack HDCP 2.2 support so they can’t play protected 4K content, either. It’s still a bummer in a card like the Nano, however. To find a graphics card with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, and H.265 encode/decode, you have to look to the $200 GTX 960 or $160 GTX 950, which don’t offer anywhere near the gaming performance of the Radeon Nano.

Likewise, the small size and big-time performance of the Radeon Nano would make it seem well-equipped for Valve’s impending Steam Machine army, but SteamOS is based on Linux, and frankly, AMD’s Linux drivers don’t perform well at all (though they’re working on it).

Finally, our lingering concerns about the air-cooled Fury still apply to the Radeon Nano. Yes, it’s capable of gaming at 4K resolution—but only at 30 fps to 50 fps on High graphics settings in most games. The golden standard for PC gaming is 60 fps, so you’ll either need to pick up a FreeSync monitor to smooth out your gaming or dial the resolution back to 2560×1440, where the Nano rules the mITX roost—by far—but the GTX 970 mITX still puts on an admirable show. And at 4K, the Nano’s 4GB of HBM is fine now, but I’d be worried about the long-term prospects of so little memory in future games at such high resolutions.

Add it all up, and you’re looking at a fairly niche market for the Nano—and gorgeous, powerful flagship products for niche markets always command a price premium. The Nano is easily worth the $650 for someone who needs its unique blend of features. Mini-ITX gaming PCs don’t need to compromise performance for size anymore.

Finally, let’s loop back to where we began: AMD deserves serious props for pushing HBM’s birth and creating this card in the first place. This is innovation. HBM’s radical power efficiency and space savings is the future of graphics card memory, and small form factors are increasingly becoming the new norm in desktop PCs, flogged on by the energy efficiency in Intel’s recent chips.

The AMD Radeon R9 Nano gives us a glimpse of that future today, fully earning its flagship status and hopefully—hopefully—encouraging case manufacturers and the rest of the component ecosystem into further investments in itty-bitty gaming PCs. The Radeon R9 Nano may not make sense for most gamers today, but I’m thankful it exists, and I can’t wait to see the next version.

Author: Brad Chacos, Executive editor

Brad Chacos spends his days digging through desktop PCs and tweeting too much. He specializes in graphics cards and gaming, but covers everything from security to Windows tips and all manner of PC hardware.

AMD Radeon RX 480 (8GB) Review — Review 2016

When reviewing new graphics cards, like AMD’s Radeon RX 480 (8GB) ($239.00), the focus of this review, we’ve started off with the «It’s a good time to be a PC gamer!» trope more than a few times in the last several years. But here in the summer of 2016, it’s truer than ever. Ever since AMD, way back in 2011, launched the Radeon HD 7970—the first graphics card based on a 28nm manufacturing process—both Nvidia and its graphics-chip rival had been stuck at that same manufacturing process node. So while cards we’ve seen since then have certainly gotten more powerful (and Nvidia, in particular, has done impressive things with power efficiency), we hadn’t seen huge performance gains from one generation to the next in a long time.

For a while, it wasn’t an urgent issue. But it has become an increasing problem over the last couple of years. First 4K monitors, then virtual reality, put ever-increasing demands on video cards, to the point where you’d often need one of the highest-end current cards (or a pair of them) to keep the frame rates flowing smoothly with the settings cranked up on the most demanding games.

But that’s all changing very quickly. Which is to say: It started changing in mid-May 2016, when Nvidia dropped the performance bomb that is the GeForce GTX 1080 ($549.00 at NVIDIA) .

Thanks to its smaller 16nm manufacturing process (allowing for more transistors and much improved power efficiency), the GTX 1080 performed as much as 80 percent better than the previous-generation GeForce GTX 980 in our benchmark tests. Of course, the GTX 1080 is a rather pricey card ($649 for Nvidia’s reference version, dubbed the «Founders Edition»), so the company followed that card in quick succession with a stepped-down GeForce GTX 1070. The GTX 1070 still managed to mostly top the GeForce GTX 980 Ti—a card that launched at $649 not much more than a year ago—and at a more reasonable starting price of $379.

When we wrote this in late June 2016, both of those new Nvidia cards were still tough to find in stock at their MSRPs, and it was unclear whether that was due to seriously pent-up demand, limited yields, or both. But it’s impossible to deny the impressive performance jump that Nvidia delivered with its latest architecture («Pascal») and shrinking the manufacturing process.

Now, it’s AMD’s turn to do much the same, but at a more enticing price point. The Radeon RX 480 that we’re looking at here is the company’s opening shot in a new line of mainstream-aimed cards, actually built around a slightly smaller 14nm process. And it comes in at a price point that will raise serious interest from far more gamers than Nvidia’s recent offerings.

Equipped with 4GB of memory, the card will have a suggested price of $199, while the 8GB model we tested should sell for about $239. These cards can’t deliver the frame rates of the GeForce GTX 1080 or the GTX 1070. But at a fraction of those card’s prices, they don’t have to do that to be damn impressive.

And the Radeon RX 480 is damn impressive. It’s fully capable of delivering the muscle necessary for VR gaming, easily outpacing the GeForce GTX 970, which is the baseline video-card recommendation for the Oculus Rift headset. In fact, in many of our newer benchmark tests, AMD’s new card kept pace with or even bested the GeForce GTX 980, a card that, when we wrote this, was still selling at around the $400 mark.

Mind you, with AMD’s new card listing for half that, we expect the price of the Nvidia GTX 980 to drop quickly, so long as there’s enough stock left of those now previous-generation cards to fulfill orders. But it illustrates how far AMD has come here in one fell swoop. What a difference a year makes.

The Basics: The Radeon RX 480

The Radeon RX 480 is the first AMD card based around the company’s new «Polaris» graphics-processor line, built using its own process-node reduction to 14nm using 3D-stacked FinFET transistors. It’s not dissimilar to what Nvidia achieved with Pascal. Here’s a relative diagram of how the process technology has gotten smaller over the last decade or so, direct from AMD.

The Radeon RX 480 is based around one of two new Polaris chips from AMD, this one dubbed «Polaris 10.» There will be a «Polaris 11,» as well, but it’s a smaller, less-powerful slice of silicon, not a bigger one.

As you might guess, then, AMD has at least a couple of lower-end cards in the works, which are expected to hit the market soon. Details on those forthcoming cards haven’t fully been announced yet, but AMD says the one-step-down Radeon RX 470 will be aimed at 1080p gaming, while a Radeon RX 460 is being targeted at e-sports enthusiasts.

We’re here, of course, to talk about the Radeon RX 480. Here’s a detailed specs list for that card, direct from AMD.

The first thing that stands out about the RX 480’s specs, compared to Nvidia’s recent cards, is the top clock speed: 1,266MHz. That would have been impressively high a couple years ago, but the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 run at speeds approaching 2GHz, and we were actually able to overclock the latter GPU to just above that mark. That doesn’t mean the Radeon RX 480 doesn’t perform well. But the card’s lower clock speeds are likely the primary reason that AMD isn’t expected to launch a card to compete with Nvidia on the high end until its «Vega-class» cards arrive, which are expected sometime in late 2016 or in 2017.

The company is calling its latest Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture in the Radeon RX 480 «4th Generation,» which is a bit of a leap given previous versions were designated 1.2, 1.3, and so on. But that’s just splitting marketing hairs. AMD also claims that these new parts will deliver a performance-per-watt improvement of up to 2. 8 times. That sounds impressive (and it is), but in the fine print of the press presentation we were given, it’s made clear that the company is comparing these 400-series parts with AMD’s 200-series counterparts on the efficiency front. So those improvements come across not one chip generation, but two if you count the «Fiji» chips in the Fury card line, including the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X»title=»ziffcat: 27160, class: zdcse»>»title=»ziffcat: 27160, class: zdcse»>»title=»ziffcat: 27160, class: zdcse»>»title=»ziffcat: 27160, class: zdcse»>.

Still, the Radeon RX 480 is rated at 150 watts, which is less than the 165-watt rating of the GeForce GTX 980. But the GeForce GTX 1070 is also rated at 150 watts, and it is a significantly more powerful card, though looking at heat output/power ratings across these companies should be taken as a veryrough comparison at best. Both chip rivals doubtlessly benefit greatly on the efficiency front from the much-reduced process nodes that their latest cards’ core silicon now being made on. But to get a real sense of which architecture is more efficient, and to see where that efficiency really matters, we’ll have to wait to see what mobile chips both companies release, and the power draws those parts require.

Aesthetically, the Radeon RX 480 isn’t quite as flashy as Nvidia’s new cards, with its flat sides and pocked plastic surface, compared to the GTX 1070’s multi-angled surface that’s made mostly of metal. The AMD card also lacks lights to illuminate the Radeon logo on the edge, and there’s no protective back plate.

Of course, starting at $199, the Radeon RX 480 is also much more affordable than the $449 Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1070 that we tested. So it’s understandable that AMD’s card isn’t as flashy. Those with case windows may miss the lighting, but if that kind of visual flair is what you’re after, we’re fairly certain that non-reference versions of the Radeon RX 480 will be available with some sort of lighting in the weeks and months after the RX 480’s initial launch.

The Radeon RX 480 requires a single six-pin PCI Express power connector, though, as always, aftermarket designs with hopped-up cooling and clock rates may require an eight-pin connector instead.

AMD has definitely made improvements on the port front from its previous-generation high-end Fury cards. The Radeon RX 480’s single HDMI port is a 2.0 model, a feature that the Fury cards lacked. HDMI 2.0 allows for 4K resolutions at a 60Hz refresh rate. Given how many low-price 4K HDTVs with HDMI inputs are flooding the market, this is an important addition that catches AMD’s card up with Nvidia. (Nvidia had HDMI 2.0 ports in its previous-generation GTX 900-series cards.)

There are no DVI ports here, which will complicate things for those with older monitors. But AMD ditched those ports with its previous-generation Radeon R9 Fury cards, so it’s unsurprising that we don’t see any here.

The three DisplayPort connectors on the Radeon RX 480 also support High Dynamic Range (HDR) for a wider color gamut and brighter colors, as do Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards. This technology is still very much nascent in the real world, especially for gaming and PC monitors. While we’ve seen demos of HDR and can confirm it’s more instantly eye-catching than 4K or stereoscopic 3D, it’s tough to say, at least at this point, how much of an impact HDR will have on the gaming space.

It’s also worth pointing out that the memory on the RX 480 is of the familiar GDDR5 variety, not the newer High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) found on the company’s previous-generation, higher-end Radeon R9 Fury cards, nor the new, faster GDDR5X from Micron that’s in the GeForce GTX 1080. The card does feature ample portions of what it has, though: 4GB in the base model, and 8GB in the version we tested. If you plan to stick mostly to 1080p or 1440p gaming, you could probably get by with the lesser allotment. But we’d suggest getting the 8GB version if you have any aspirations of stepping up to gaming at 4K, or if you like to tweak games by downloading optional high-resolution texture packs.

The larger impact of the decision not to go with HBM (which was almost certainly a cost issue) is that the Radeon RX 480 isn’t as small of a card as the tiny, HBM-equipped AMD Radeon R9 Nano. The stock version of the Radeon RX 480 is 9.5 inches long. That’s still shorter than the 10.5-inch GeForce GTX 1070, but the Radeon RX 480 in its reference-card trim isn’t small enough to fit in most Mini-ITX PC cases.

Interestingly, however, when you flip the Radeon RX 480 over, you can see the circuit board itself is much shorter than the actual card body, measuring just 7 inches long. Given that, we wouldn’t be surprised to see shorter versions of this card in the months ahead. So, if the stock version of this card is too long for your current case, you may have more options soon.

Software

If it’s been a few years since you’ve owned an AMD graphics card (or your hands-on experience stopped during the days of the ATI brand), it’s important to point out that the company has recently undertaken a major overhaul of its software. The functional but slow (and largely text-based) Catalyst Control Center is now gone.

Back in November of 2015, AMD replaced it with Crimson, a more visually appealing and (in most ways) easier-to-navigate application that’s also much quicker to launch than the old Catalyst software was.

We won’t delve much into Crimson here, as it’s now more than a year old. For a much deeper dive on Crimson, please check out this Crimson rundown story from our sibling publication, ExtremeTech. But with the driver revision for the Radeon RX 480, we are seeing one key change with Crimson, around overclocking.

The substantial software addition AMD is launching with the RX 480 is a replacement for the old Overdrive overclocking software, which the company is calling WattMan.

Like Crimson, WattMan is much more visually oriented, with real-time graphs of things like clock speed, temperature, and fan speed. If you have a high-resolution display, it can give you a massive amount of info about your card and its current settings from a single screen.

You will need a 4K monitor to see it all at a glance, though. At lower resolutions, we had to do some scrolling to see all of the graphs and settings. Above, you can see the top-most modules of WattMan; below is what we had to scroll down to see with the resolution at 1080p.

The amount of data on display in WattMan will be appealing to tweakers and overclockers, and it is certainly a solid improvement over AMD’s Overdrive software. But we’d like to see a more streamlined «easy» mode for novice users.

And WattMan itself is pretty tough to find if you don’t know specifically where to look. It’s tucked into the «Global Settings» tab under the «Gaming» section. If you didn’t already know that the WattMan tab was meant for overclocking, it wouldn’t be abundantly clear by name that this is where overclocking happens. (It sounds more like a power-management utility, if you ask us.)

For details of our actual overclocking results, stay tuned after our main Performance section. After all, we can’t tell you how well the card runs when overclocked without delving into its out-of-the-box performance first.

Performance Testing

We are just entering an age of radically new graphics technology, with VR and DirectX 12 (DX12) both coming to the forefront. But, sadly, there aren’t any wholly reliable ways to test either quite yet. For VR, there are two major competing headsets, from Oculus and HTC, with more in the pipeline, so it’s impossible to say a card will run a given game the same way globally with one benchmark. For DX12, we do have some real-world games to test with, but just a handful at this early stage, instead of an entire suite.

Finally, since DirectX 11 (DX11) is still quite popular, and will remain a mainstream API for several years to come, we’re still running plenty of DX11 benchmarks, too. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be able to present comprehensive benchmark charts for DX11, DX12, and VR, but we’re just not there yet. Two out of three ain’t too shabby, though!

3DMark (Fire Strike)

We started off our testing with Futuremark’s 2013 version of 3DMark, specifically the suite’s Fire Strike subtest. Fire Strike is a synthetic test designed to measure overall gaming performance, and Futuremark has expanded Fire Strike nowadays into three subtests. In the past, we used the basic test (known simply as «Fire Strike»), as well as the more demanding Fire Strike Extreme test. We’ve included the latter here, but most of these GPUs are so powerful that we also felt compelled to move up to the most punishing test, Fire Strike Ultra, which is geared toward simulating the stresses of gaming at 4K resolution.

Interestingly, the Radeon RX 480 lagged just behind the overclocked Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega Edition ( at Amazon) on the less-demanding Fire Strike Extreme, but edged it out in the 4K Ultra test. As we’ll see, this is an interesting precursor to the rest of our testing, where the new AMD card tends to do better on newer, more-demanding tests and game titles.

Also note that a quick glance at the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G ($219.99 at Adorama) numbers will give you a look at what $200 worth of graphics card would have bought you just a few weeks before the Radeon RX 480 launch. Looking particularly at the Graphics Subscore, which attempts to isolate card potential, AMD’s new card triples the score achieved by MSI’s GTX 960 card. We, of course, tested the $239 8GB version of the Radeon RX 480, but we would expect the 4GB $199 model to perform much the same at all but the highest resolutions. Even so: Whoa.

Tomb Raider (2013)

Let’s start with some older games in DX11. Here, we fired up the 2013 reboot of the classic title Tomb Raider, testing at the Ultra detail preset and three resolutions.

In our first real-world gaming test, the AMD Radeon RX 480 trailed just slightly behind the overclocked Zotac GTX 970, while doing much better than the MSI GeForce GTX 960, which was until recently priced around $200.

Sleeping Dogs

Next, we rolled out the demanding real-world gaming benchmark test built into the title Sleeping Dogs…

Here once again, the Radeon RX 480 lagged just slightly behind the overclocked Zotac GTX 970, while fully dominating the MSI GTX 960. If you’re starting to wonder where the AMD card starts catching up to the GTX 980, stay tuned for our more modern, more-demanding tests.

Bioshock Infinite

The popular title Bioshock Infinite isn’t overly demanding, as recent games go, but it’s a popular one with stellar good looks. In its built-in benchmark program, we set the graphics level to the highest preset (Ultra+DDOF)…

We’ve now established a clear trend for the Radeon RX 480 among older DirectX 11 titles, and Bioshock Infinite is no different. The card sticks close, though slightly behind, the GeForce GTX 970 here, while trouncing the GeForce GTX 960. (Our 8GB review card also has four times the memory of the 2GB GeForce GTX 960 charted here, which helped AMD’s card at higher resolutions.)

Hitman: Absolution

Next up was Hitman: Absolution, which is an aging game but still pretty hard on a video card.

Once again, in the last of our older DX11 benchmarks, AMD’s Radeon RX 480 maintained its status, running mostly behind the overclocked Zotac GTX 970. But thanks, likely, to its 8GB of memory, the RX 480 actually pulled ahead of the GTX 970 at 4K, if only by a nose.

Far Cry Primal

Now here’s a much newer game. Ubisoft’s latest open-world first-person hunting game is one of the most demanding titles we use, thanks to its lush foliage, detailed shadows, and otherwise incredible environments.

Now that we’re stepping into the newer titles, we immediately see things start to change. The AMD Radeon RX 480 managed to finally pull consistently ahead of the GTX 970 here, while getting to within 1 frame per second (fps) of the GeForce GTX 980 at the highest resolution (3,840×2,160, or 4K). Even at 1080p resolution (1,920×1,080), the new AMD card was only 4fps behind the GTX 980, a card that cost close to twice as much when we wrote this.

Ashes of the Singularity

Oxide’s Ashes of the Singularity is a bit of a departure as a benchmark, as it’s a real-time strategy title, rather than a first-person shooter or a third-person action game. Due to the planet-scale nature of its battle scenes, with hundreds of onscreen tanks, ships, and other implements of future warfare, it can be extremely demanding at high settings.

Also, because of the plethora of rendered units, this game is also more CPU-bound—especially at high settings and resolutions—than most other recent games. We tested it first using DirectX 11 at the «Crazy» preset. (Yes, that’s what it’s called.)

The results in this chart indicate to us there’s a CPU limitation, since the scores are all very close across resolutions with each card. But still, the AMD Radeon RX 480 managed to land just 1fps behind the GTX 980 here at 4K resolution, while the overclocked Zotac GTX 970 managed to edge ahead of the RX 480 at 1080p.

We’re going to tease one of our DirectX 12 tests here. When we tested the cards under DX12 using the Crazy preset, the newer AMD card had more of an edge, significantly surpassing the GTX 970, and even outpacing the GTX 980 at all resolutions. After looking less impressive with older titles, it seems like the Radeon RX 480 is establishing its strength in cutting-edge games and APIs. That’s exactly what you would hope to find from a new card with new graphics architecture.

Grand Theft Auto V

One of the most popular game franchises on the planet, Grand Theft Auto needs no introduction. The fifth installment took a lot longer than many expected to land on the PC. But when it finally did, in early 2015, it brought with it a number of graphical improvements and tweakable visual settings that pushed the game far beyond its console roots.

The previous $200 performance champ, the GeForce GTX 960 (along with the lesser GTX 950), couldn’t even run our GTA V benchmark at our maximum settings. (GTA V keeps you from running the game beyond the capabilities of the card, if you set it too high, rather than letting you run it with poor results.)

The Radeon RX 480 certainly could hack our settings, but it slipped back to its older-game habits here, trailing just slightly behind the Zotac GTX 970, while the GTX 980 had a solid performance lead. Next up, though, we’ll be getting back to some newer titles.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara Croft rises once again in the early-2016 iteration of Square Enix’s long-running action franchise. As our hero works to unfold an ancient mystery (and reveal the secret to immortality) ahead of the ancient and deadly Order of Trinity, she traipses through a slew of complex atmospheric environments, from arid tombs to the frigid Siberian wilderness. A dynamic weather system, and the complexities of Lara’s wind-tousled hair, add to the game’s visual complexity.

This DirectX 11 test once again shows the AMD Radeon RX 480 just edging out the overclocked GTX 970, and about 1fps behind the GTX 980 at the highest test resolution. Also note that at lower resolutions, the Radeon RX 480 here even managed to best AMD’s previous-generation Radeon R9 Fury X, a card that requires liquid cooling and a whole lot more power.

Hitman (2016, Under DX11)

The newest game in the Hitman series finds Agent 47 turning over a new leaf, and embarking on a journey of self-discovery as a teacher at a school for underprivileged children. Just kidding; he kills loads of people in this one, just like the rest. It does offer gorgeous graphics in both DX11 and DX12 varieties, though. We’ll tackle the former first.

This title seems to clearly favor AMD cards, as the Radeon RX 480 for the first time significantly outpaced the GTX 980 here, while leaving the overclocked GTX 970 even further behind.

Hitman (2016, Under DX12)

The newest Hitman title also offers up a DX12 graphics option in its benchmark that, like with Rise of the Tomb Raider, looked identical to our eyes to the DX11 version.

The Radeon RX 480 (and AMD cards in general) get an even bigger performance boost here by stepping up to DirectX 12. The GTX 980 lagged well behind the new AMD card, with the Radeon RX 480 even managing to get somewhat close to the performance of the GTX 1070 for the first time. Next up, we’ll see if AMD’s DirectX 12 advantage carries over to other titles.

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Under DX12)

This sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider was one of the first AAA titles to offer DirectX 12 support. We used the preset labeled «Very High» for testing.

The results here are somewhat mixed, but the Radeon RX 480 doesn’t look quite as impressive as it did on the previous test. AMD’s new card managed to edge out the overclocked GTX 970 at the higher two resolutions, but it got left behind on that front by the GTX 980. Note: The GTX 980’s low showing at 1080p here is likely an anomaly. There’s no discernible reason it should fall well behind the GTX 970 and the RX 480 when it easily bested those two cards at higher resolutions.

Ashes of the Singularity (Under DX12)

The strategy title Ashes of the Singularity was among the first to offer DirectX 12 support, even when it was still in beta. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it was also the most stable DX12 test we ran, never once crashing, locking up, or noticeably glitching when we ran it many times on high-end and low-end cards alike.

This was the AMD Radeon RX 480’s last chance to shine, and the card certainly did, nearly tripling the score of the GeForce GTX 960 at 1440p (2,560×1,440 resolution), pulling well ahead of the GTX 970, and even besting the GTX 980 at the higher two resolutions.

Clearly, the Radeon RX 480 is a massive performance leap ahead of the frame rates that were available in this price range not long ago. In fact, in our more modern tests, it competes with cards that until recently cost twice as much—and often bests them in these benchmarks.

Acoustics and Overclocking

Before we get to stressing the RX 480 beyond its stock settings, it’s important to point out that the Radeon RX 480 is an extremely quiet card as it comes out of the box. Not once did we notice the fan noise over the low whir of our Noctua CPU cooler fan when testing, until we fired up the overclocking software and ramped up the minimum fan speed to make sure the card remained cool at extreme settings.

This is a huge improvement, particularly for those who might be holding on to stock versions of the AMD Radeon R9 290 or R9 290X cards, which were some of the noisiest in recent memory. AMD has clearly made progress on power/heat efficiency. (The same is generally true of Nvidia’s latest cards, as well.)

As usual, we were pressed for time with our overclocking testing, and as this is the first time we’ve used AMD’s new WattMan software for overclocking, it’s entirely possible that we may have been able to achieve slightly better results given a couple more days. But by increasing the Radeon RX 480’s power target by 14 percent and tweaking the temperature target to 84 degrees, we achieved a stable clock-speed increase of 6 percent, upping the top clock speed of the GPU from 1,266MHz to 1,340MHz. Attempting to step up to a 6.5 or 7 percent overclock resulted in lockups when trying to run 3DMark and other tests.

With our 6 percent overclock, our 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra Graphics Subscore jumped from 2,667 to 2,802, about a 5 percent bump. When we shifted to actual game benchmarks, though, we achieved mixed results. Running Far Cry Primal at our overclocked settings, the Ultra preset netted us the same 24fps that we got at stock, despite several retests and reboots. Shifting to the 2016 Hitman reboot, our overclocked card refused to run our 4K test under DirectX 11 and high settings, crashing every time. However, when we shifted to the same test at the same settings under DirectX 12, we achieved an average frame rate of 33.5fps, an extra 1.4fps over the Radeon RX 480’s performance at stock settings.

Of course, these game settings push the Radeon RX 480 to its limits, so if you’re playing older titles or running at lower settings and resolutions, you may see better results when overclocking. But as a general rule, graphics-card overclocking tends to deliver modest gains at best. We did see a bit more overclocking headroom from the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition sample we tested recently, but that’s also a much more powerful card that costs more than three times the starting price of the Radeon RX 480.

Future-Looking Performance Where it Counts

With the next-generation muscle to leave previous cards in the $200 price range far behind, power graphics-intensive VR, and topple the GTX 980 on more than a few cutting-edge titles, it’s tough not to be impressed by what AMD has delivered with the Radeon RX 480. For those shopping for a card in this price range, it’s a mega-leap over what was available just weeks before we wrote this.

Our only reservation against recommending the Radeon RX 480 wholeheartedly? A competing GeForce GTX 1060 may be arriving soon from Nvidia. As these things often play out, just as we were wrapping up testing on the Radeon RX 480, leaks began appearing online about such a new Nvidia card, and an ostensible photo even showed up at Legit Reviews.

We don’t like to make recommendations based solely on rumors, but it seemed obvious even before this happened that Nvidia would launch a GTX 1060 at some point. Now that it seems a release might not be all that far off, those who don’t lean strongly to one side of the graphics-card competition or the other may want to wait to see what the Green Team can deliver in this price range.

That being said, the Red Team has thrown down the mainstream-card challenge first, big-time, and Nvidia will have a heck of a time parrying this card. If you’re looking for a card that can deliver strong performance for above-1080p gaming, VR, and 4K at reduced settings, the Radeon RX 480 is unquestionably a great value. But if you’re likely to stick to 1080p, the upcoming Radeon RX 470 may be a better fit, at a substantially lower price.

With so many new cards arriving in the same season, delivering huge performance leaps over previous-generation parts, the only bad buying decision may fall to those who splurged on a new previous-generation card in the months leading up to these 2016 card launches. Then again, both AMD’s Polaris and Nvidia’s Pascal have been heavily rumored and teased for months. So, as long as you’ve been paying attention, you probably didn’t make that mistake. Right?

Best Graphics Card Picks

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Graphics Card Product Comparisons

  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super: Which Budget Graphics Card Should You Buy?
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  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 vs. AMD Radeon RX 590: Which Mainstream Graphics Card to Buy?

Further Reading

  • Nvidia Unveils GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080 Super GPUs for Laptops, Touts Boosts in Mobile Efficiency
  • Testing Nvidia’s DLSS 2. 0: Higher Frame Rates for Free?
  • AMD’s Navi, Arden Graphics Technology May Have Been Stolen in Hack
  • Nvidia Introduces DLSS 2.0 for Spiffier, Speedier Games With GeForce RTX Cards
  • Nvidia Faces $100 Million Coronavirus Hit

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Review – goldfries

Great stuff sometimes come in small packages, such is the AMD R9 Nano. It’s so small you wouldn’t believe the performance it holds.

The card was designed to be neat, with the top side having nothing but the Radeon text on it. Unlike the Fury X models the R9 Nano’s RADEON text is without backlight.

The 8-pin PCI-E power connector is placed at the forward section of the card, this means the card is capable of drawing up to 225W of power. The actual power draw of the card is rated to be 175W.

Just as the top, the bottom of the card is covered as well so there’s literally no exhaust area other than the forward and rear section.

The AMD R9 Nano is without backplate as well which I think quite spoils the already sweet box-like appearance.

As for the output ports there are 3x DisplayPorts and 1x HDMI

And just how small is the card? Here’s a comparison between the lowly ASUS Radeon R7 250 1GB GDDR5 and the mid / high range PowerColor R9 390.

Test Setup

Overclocking

The AMD R9 Nano is barely overclockable, I tried pushing it to R9 Fury X speed but it couldn’t pass all my benchmark tests.

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K UHD (avg)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 63 18
PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 56 15
Nvidia GTX 970 (Reference) 53 14
Nvidia GTX 980 (Reference) 65 17
Metro Last Light

Card 1080p (avg) 4K UHD (avg)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 91 33
PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 78 27
Nvidia GTX 970 (Reference) 80 30
Nvidia GTX 980 (Reference) 88 34
Bioshock Infinite

Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card 1080p (avg) 4K UHD (avg)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 130 47
PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 111 38
Nvidia GTX 970 (Reference) 112 37
Nvidia GTX 980 (Reference) 123 43
Shadow of Mordor

Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync off.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K UHD (avg)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 102 42
PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 92 39
Nvidia GTX 970 (Reference) 71 30
Nvidia GTX 980 (Reference) 92 38
Grand Theft Auto V

Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available.

Card 1080p (avg) 4K UHD (avg)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 43 35
PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 40 30
Nvidia GTX 970 (Reference) 38 27
Nvidia GTX 980 (Reference) 44 32

Performance wise the R9 Nano looks impressive, holding its ground at the level of an Nvidia GTX 980 card. The competition on the AMD side of the camp would be an R9 390X.

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 36 74
AMD Radeon R9 Nano (Full RPM) 30 59

The fan hovers at around 36% on AUTO settings where the noise level is silent.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an FSP Aurum S 700W with 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 60w.

Card AMD Radeon R9 Nano
Furmark Burn-in 268
Estimated Actual System Draw 241
Estimated Card Power Draw 181

At 181W it’s just slightly above the rated 175W by AMD, keep in mind that this is just based on my estimation and it’s based on the peak power draw. Average and exact power draw is likely to average out to be below 175W.

The Verdict

AMD Radeon R9 Nano retails at RM 3,300 onwards of which I think it’s crazy considering that’s the price of an Nvidia GTX 980 Ti card that delivers more performance, 50% more than an R9 390X and the GTX 980 cards, and nearly double the price of Nvidia GTX 970 cards.

What exactly do you get with the R9 Nano? A very compact card that draws less power than a GTX 980 but performs like a GTX 980.

Now I can’t deny that the R9 Nano is a great product BUT it’s only with condition that you’re aiming for this card to place it in a really compact casing. The thing is most compact casings these days are designed to accommodate long cards and there are cheaper alternatives like say Nvidia GTX 970 cards in compact form factor.

Another thing I wish to highlight is the coil whine issue that’s reported all over the place. I face severe coil-whine with the R9 Nano as well but from what I gathered, AMD has already rectified this matter. If ever you decided to spend on this card and face coil-whine issue, please send it in for warranty.

Sorry AMD – I love the product but the pricing leaves much to be desired, the price for this card alone is sufficient to setup a decent small form-factor gaming rig.

goldfries rated this product :

A Look At The $200 Radeon RX 480 – Techgage

Whoa, has that time finally arrived? Indeed it has! AMD’s much-anticipated Radeon RX 480 – its first Polaris card – has landed. This should of course come as no surprise unless you’re without a calendar (somehow), as AMD has made no secret about when the card would be released. What the company has kept mum on, though, is performance. Don’t worry – we have that for you.

For a couple of reasons (none of which have AMD to blame), I had very limited time to churn this review out. That being the case, it’s not going to be as in-depth as I’d like, but it will contain everything important you need to know.

First things first: the price. AMD’s 4GB Radeon RX 480 will retail for $199, while the 8GB model will tack on a $40 premium. We’re not sure at this point if the memory on both cards is clocked the same (we couldn’t get an answer in time for publishing), as the RX 480’s 8000MHz is definitely a premium clock, but once we know for sure, we’ll update this.

AMD’s Radeon RX 480 features a familiar reference cooler, which looks quite sharp overall. It’s clean, and gives the impression that it’s rugged (I still wouldn’t recommend throwing it). At the back of the card are three DisplayPorts and a lone HDMI. Partner cards might offer a DVI port, but in the worst case, an adapter could be used instead (we’d anticipate that some AIBs will include one in the box).

We don’t know all of the specs of AMD’s upcoming Polaris cards, RX 470 and RX 460, but given that most GPU launches don’t start off with a bang and then dissipate immediately, we’re sure to learn a lot more about those models soon.

What we can reveal now, though, is that the RX 470 is designed to power full-featured 1080p gaming, while the RX 460 is for ‘eSports’. That’s a broad description, but we read it to mean that the most popular MOBAs out there, and games like CS: GO, will run smooth as butter on this Radeon. And, given its name, and the fact that the RX 480 is $200, we can expect some attractive pricing on that card, too.

Alright, back to the RX 480.

AMD Radeon Series Cores Core MHz Memory Mem MHz Mem Bus TDP
Radeon RX 480 2304 1266 ≤8192MB 8000 256-bit 150W
Radeon RX 470* 2048 1206 ≤8192MB 7000 256-bit 110W
Radeon RX 460* 1280 1000 4096MB ? 128-bit 75W
Radeon Pro Duo 4096*2 1000 4096MB*2 1000 4096-bit*2 350W
Radeon R9 Fury X 4096 1050 4096MB 1000 4096-bit 275W
Radeon R9 Fury 3584 1000 4096MB 1000 4096-bit 275W
Radeon R9 Nano 4096 1000 4096MB 1000 4096-bit 175W
Radeon R9 390X 2816 1050 8192MB 6000 512-bit 275W
Radeon R9 390 2560 1000 8192MB 6000 512-bit 275W
Radeon R9 380X 2048 970 4096MB 5700 256-bit 190W
Radeon R9 380 1792 970 4096MB 5700 256-bit 190W

AMD says that its RX 480 has “up to” 5. 8 TFLOPs of computing power, which puts it in the same position as the R9 390X. Unfortunately, we never received that card to review, and thus can’t use it for comparison. In fact, we simply don’t have a “perfect” card to compare it to in general, but that could be soon remedied if the rumormill is to be believed, as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 is allegedly en route.

In the slider above we can see a few more angles of the card (again, due to time, I opted to use stock photos). One thing of interest can be seen on the card’s top: there’s just a single 6-pin power connector. If that doesn’t seem impressive, consider the fact that this card will go neck-and-neck with the R9 390X, a card which had both an 8- and 6-pin connector.

Oh – and the 390X was a 275W card. RX 480 is 150W. AMD’s done well, here.

A huge reason for the power drop is the move to the FinFET process, one shared by the green team with Pascal. That’s not the only reason, though, and it’s not even a “major” one. AMD has said that with its move to FinFET, the performance/watt increased 1.7x. However, combined with other architecture updates and all-around polishing, the full performance/watt gain (over the previous generation) is 2.8x.

It doesn’t really need to be said, but that’s damned impressive.

While we’re going to get into performance in a moment, I thought I’d include a slide here that illustrates what kind of gains AMD expects gamers to see over NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970. That’s one GPU I regret not being able to test in time for this article, so this might help clear up that particular battle.

Alright, enough said. It’s time to get into the meat of the review, and tackle the one thing people want to know: performance. Without further ado:

Testing Notes

When we need to build a test PC for performance testing, “no bottleneck” is the name of the game. While we admit that few of our readers are going to be equipped with an Intel 8-core processor clocked to 4GHz, we opt for such a build to make sure our GPU testing is as apples-to-apples as possible, with as little variation as possible. Ultimately, the only thing that matters here is the performance of the GPUs, so the more we can rule out a bottleneck, the better.

That all said, our test PC:

Graphics Card Test System
Processors Intel Core i7-5960X (8-core) @ 4.0GHz
Motherboard ASUS X99 DELUXE
Memory Kingston HyperX Beast 32GB (4x8GB) – DDR4-2133 11-12-11
Graphics AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB – Catalyst 16.5.3
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB – Catalyst 16.6.2 Beta
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB – GeForce 365.22
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB – GeForce 365.22
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB – GeForce 368.19 (Beta)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB – GeForce 368.25
Audio Onboard
Storage Kingston SSDNow V310 1TB SSD
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300W
Chassis Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full-Tower
Cooling Thermaltake WATER3. 0 Extreme Liquid Cooler
Displays Acer Predator X34 34″ Ultra-wide
Acer XB280HK 28″ 4K G-SYNC
ASUS MG279Q 27″ 1440p FreeSync
Et cetera Windows 10 Pro (10586) 64-bit

Framerate information for all tests – with the exception of certain time demos and DirectX 12 tests – are recorded with the help of Fraps. For tests where Fraps use is not ideal, I use the game’s built-in test (the only option for DX12 titles right now). In the past, I’ve tweaked the Windows OS as much as possible to rule out test variations, but over time, such optimizations have proven fruitless. As a result, the Windows 10 installation I use is about as stock as possible, with minor modifications to suit personal preferences.

In all, I use 8 different games for regular game testing, and 2 for DirectX 12 testing. That’s in addition to the use of three synthetic benchmarks. Because some games are sponsored, the list below helps oust potential bias in our testing.

(AMD) – Ashes of the Singularity (DirectX 12)
(AMD) – Battlefield 4
(AMD) – Crysis 3
(AMD) – Hitman (DirectX 12)
(NVIDIA) – Metro: Last Light Redux
(NVIDIA) – Rise Of The Tomb Raider (incl. DirectX 12)
(NVIDIA) – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
(Neutral) – DOOM
(Neutral) – Grand Theft Auto V
(Neutral) – Total War: ATTILA

If you’re interested in benchmarking your own configuration to compare to our results, you can download this file (5MB) and make sure you’re using the exact same graphics settings. I’ll lightly explain how I benchmark each test before I get into each game’s performance results.

Because the RX 480 is targeted at 1080p/1440p gamers, that’s what I chose to test with. Even the top-end GPUs available right now are not what most people would consider “ideal” for 4K or even 3440×1440 gaming, and this $200 offering isn’t changing that. While ultrawide testing was not included here, the RX 480 would be suitable for 2560×1080, which renders less pixels than 1440p (2.76 megapixel vs. 3.69 megapixel).

With that all said, let’s dive right into our test results.

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AMD Radeon R9 Nano vs AMD Radeon RX 480: What is the difference?

55 BALLLA

AMD Radeon R9 Nano

45 BALLLA

AMD Radeon RX 480

VS

54 Facts compared to

AMD Radeon R9

AMD Radeon RX 480 9000

Why AMD RADEN RX 480?

  • 3. 03 TFLOPS higher than FLOPS?
    8.19 TFLOPS vs 5.16 TFLOPS
  • 28.2 GPixel/s higher pixel rate?
    64 GPixel/s vs 35.8 GPixel/s
  • 94.7 GTexels/s higher number of textured pixels? more memory bandwidth?
    512GB/s vs 256GB/s
  • 3840bit wider memory bus?
    4096bit vs 256bit
  • 1792 more stream processors?
    4096 vs 2304
  • 3200million more transistors?
    8900 million vs 5700 million
  • 112 more texture units (TMUs)?
    256 vs 144

  • GPU frequency 120MHz higher?
    1120MHz vs 1000MHz
  • 55W below TDP?
    120W vs 175W
  • 1500MHz faster memory speed?
    2000MHz vs 500MHz
  • 7000MHz higher effective clock?
    8000MHz vs 1000MHz
  • 2x more VRAM?
    8GB vs 4GB
  • 0. 2 newer version of OpenCL?
    2.2 vs 2
  • Are 14nm smaller semiconductors?
    14nm vs 28nm
  • Newer version of HDMI.?
    HDMI 2.0 vs HDMI 1.4

Which comparisons are the most popular?

AMD Radeon R9 Nano

VS

ASUS R9 Fury X

AMD Radeon RX 480

AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT

AMD RADENO 9000 3703

AMD RADEN RADEN RADEN RX 480

VS

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1060

AMD Radeon R9 Nano

VS

AMD Radeon RX 570

AMD Radeon RX 480

VS

AMD RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADEON RADENNano

VS

AMD Radeon RX VEGA 56

AMD Radeon RX 480

VS

NVIDIA GTX 1050

AMD RADEON R9 VS

AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON AMD RADEON RADEON AMD RADEON RADEON AMD RADEON RADEN RADEN

MSI GEFORCE GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X

AMD Radeon R9 Nano

VS

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650

AMD Radeon RX 480

MSI GeForce GTX 9000 GTX 9000 AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDEL AMDENNano

vs

AMD Radeon R9 Fury

AMD Radeon RX 480

vs

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

AMD Radeon R9 Nano

vs

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

AMD Radeon RX 480

vs

AMD Radeon RX 580

AMD Radeon RX 480

vs

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 AMD 9004 Super

03

VS

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550

Complexation of prices

Users reviews

performance

1. TECTION FECTION GP

1000MHz

1120MHz

Graphic processor (GPU) has a higher bunker.

2.turbo GPU

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon R9 Nano)

1266MHz

When the GPU is running below its limits, it can jump to a higher clock speed to increase performance.

3.pixel rate

64 GPixel/s

35.8 GPixel/s

The number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen every second.

4.flops

8.19 TFLOPS

5.16 TFLOPS

FLOPS is a measure of GPU processing power.

5.texture size

256 GTexels/s

161.3 GTexels/s

The number of textured pixels that can be displayed on the screen every second.

6.GPU memory speed

500MHz

2000MHz

Memory speed is one aspect that determines memory bandwidth.

7.shading patterns

Shading units (or stream processors) are small processors in a video card that are responsible for processing various aspects of an image.

8.textured units (TMUs)

TMUs accept textured units and bind them to the geometric layout of the 3D scene. More TMUs generally means texture information is processed faster.

9 ROPs

ROPs are responsible for some of the final steps of the rendering process, such as writing the final pixel data to memory and for performing other tasks such as anti-aliasing to improve the appearance of graphics.

Memory

1.memory effective speed

1000MHz

8000MHz

The effective memory clock frequency is calculated from the memory size and data transfer rate. A higher clock speed can give better performance in games and other applications.

2.max memory bandwidth

512GB/s

256GB/s

This is the maximum rate at which data can be read from or stored in memory.

3.VRAM

VRAM (video RAM) is the dedicated memory of the graphics card. More VRAM usually allows you to run games at higher settings, especially for things like texture resolution.

4.memory bus width

4096bit

256bit

Wider memory bus means it can carry more data per cycle. This is an important factor in memory performance, and therefore the overall performance of the graphics card.

5. GDDR memory versions

Later versions of GDDR memory offer improvements such as higher data transfer rates, which improve performance.

6. Supports memory debug code

✖AMD Radeon R9 Nano

✖AMD Radeon RX 480

Memory debug code can detect and fix data corruption. It is used when necessary to avoid distortion, such as in scientific computing or when starting a server.

Functions

1.DirectX version

DirectX is used in games with a new version that supports better graphics.

2nd version of OpenGL

The newer version of OpenGL, the better graphics quality in games.

OpenCL version 3.

Some applications use OpenCL to use the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for non-graphical computing. Newer versions are more functional and better quality.

4. Supports multi-monitor technology

✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

✔AMD Radeon RX 480

The video card has the ability to connect multiple displays. This allows you to set up multiple monitors at the same time to create a more immersive gaming experience, such as a wider field of view.

5. GPU temperature at boot

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon RX 480)

Lower boot temperature means the card generates less heat and the cooling system works better.

6.supports ray tracing

✖AMD Radeon R9 Nano

✖AMD Radeon RX 480

Ray tracing is an advanced light rendering technique that provides more realistic lighting, shadows and reflections in games.

7. Supports 3D

✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

✔AMD Radeon RX 480

Allows you to view in 3D (if you have a 3D screen and glasses).

8.supports DLSS

✖AMD Radeon R9Nano

✖AMD Radeon RX 480

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an AI based scaling technology. This allows the graphics card to render games at lower resolutions and upscale them to higher resolutions with near-native visual quality and improved performance. DLSS is only available in some games.

9. PassMark result (G3D)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon R9 Nano)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon RX 480)

This test measures the graphics performance of a graphics card. Source: Pass Mark.

Ports

1.has HDMI output

✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

✔AMD Radeon RX 480

Devices with HDMI or mini HDMI ports can stream HD video and audio to an attached display.

2.HDMI connectors

More HDMI connectors allow you to connect multiple devices at the same time, such as game consoles and TVs.

HDMI version 3

HDMI 1.4

HDMI 2.0

Newer versions of HDMI support higher bandwidth for higher resolutions and frame rates.

4. DisplayPort outputs

Allows connection to a display using DisplayPort.

5. DVI outputs

Allows connection to a display using DVI.

Mini DisplayPort 6.outs

Allows connection to a display using Mini DisplayPort.
8.19 TFLOPS vs 5.16 TFLOPS

  • 28.2 GPixel/s higher pixel rate? higher number of textured pixels? more memory bandwidth?
    512GB/s vs 224GB/s
  • 3840bit wider memory bus?
    4096bit vs 256bit
  • 1792 more stream processors?
    4096 vs 2304
  • 3200million more transistors?
    8900 million vs 5700 million
  • 112 more texture units (TMUs)?
    256 vs 144
    • GPU frequency 120MHz higher?
      1120MHz vs 1000MHz
    • 55W below TDP?
      120W vs 175W
    • 1250MHz faster memory speed?
      1750MHz vs 500MHz
    • 6000MHz higher effective clock speed?
      7000MHz vs 1000MHz
    • 0. 2 newer version of OpenCL?
      2.2 vs 2
    • Are 14nm smaller semiconductors?
      14nm vs 28nm

    Which comparisons are the most popular?

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    ASUS R9 Fury x

    XFX Radeon RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    AMD Radeon RX 570

    AMD RADEN RADEN RADEN RX 480 4GB

    VS

    PowerColor Red Dragon Rax 470

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    AMD Radeon RX 570

    XFX RADEON RX 480 4GB

    VS

    9000 NVIDI0003

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    AMD Radeon RX VEGA 56

    XFX Radeon RX 480 480 480 40003

    AMD Radeon Radeon Radeon RADEON RADEN RADEN

    VS

    000 AMD RADEN Radeon RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3060

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650

    XFX RADEON RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    000 NVIDI0003

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    vs

    AMD Radeon R9 Fury

    XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    vs

    AMD Radeon RX 560

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    vs

    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

    XFX Radeon RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    PowerColor Red Dragon RX 550

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    AMD Radeon RX 480

    XFX RADEON RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    AMD RADEN RADEN RADEN290x

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    VS

    AMD Radeon RX 580

    XFX Radeon RX 480 480 4GB

    VS

    VTX3D R9 290X X-EDITION 900C

    Reviews

    Reviews

    Revenues

    References

    References

    References GPU frequency

    1000MHz

    1120MHz

    The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.

    2.turbo GPU

    Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon R9Nano)

    1266MHz

    When the GPU is running below its limits, it can jump to a higher clock speed to increase performance.

    3.pixel rate

    64 GPixel/s

    35.8 GPixel/s

    The number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen every second.

    4.flops

    8.19 TFLOPS

    5.16 TFLOPS

    FLOPS is a measure of GPU processing power.

    5.texture size

    256 GTexels/s

    161.3 GTexels/s

    Number of textured pixels that can be displayed on the screen every second.

    6.GPU memory speed

    500MHz

    1750MHz

    Memory speed is one aspect that determines memory bandwidth.

    7.shading patterns

    Shading units (or stream processors) are small processors in a video card that are responsible for processing various aspects of an image.

    8.textured units (TMUs)

    TMUs accept textured units and bind them to the geometric layout of the 3D scene. More TMUs generally means texture information is processed faster.

    9 ROPs

    ROPs are responsible for some of the final steps of the rendering process, such as writing the final pixel data to memory and for performing other tasks such as anti-aliasing to improve the appearance of graphics.

    Memory

    1.memory effective speed

    1000MHz

    7000MHz

    The effective memory clock frequency is calculated from the memory size and data transfer rate. A higher clock speed can give better performance in games and other applications.

    2.max memory bandwidth

    512GB/s

    224GB/s

    This is the maximum rate at which data can be read from or stored in memory.

    3. VRAM

    VRAM (video RAM) is the dedicated memory of the graphics card. More VRAM usually allows you to run games at higher settings, especially for things like texture resolution.

    4.memory bus width

    4096bit

    256bit

    Wider memory bus means it can carry more data per cycle. This is an important factor in memory performance, and therefore the overall performance of the graphics card.

    5.versions of GDDR memory

    Later versions of GDDR memory offer improvements such as higher data transfer rates, which improve performance.

    6. Supports memory troubleshooting code

    ✖AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✖XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    Memory troubleshooting code can detect and fix data corruption. It is used when necessary to avoid distortion, such as in scientific computing or when starting a server.

    Functions

    1. DirectX version

    DirectX is used in games with a new version that supports better graphics.

    2nd version of OpenGL

    The newer version of OpenGL, the better graphics quality in games.

    OpenCL version 3.

    Some applications use OpenCL to use the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for non-graphical computing. Newer versions are more functional and better quality.

    4. Supports multi-monitor technology

    ✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✔XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    The video card has the ability to connect multiple screens. This allows you to set up multiple monitors at the same time to create a more immersive gaming experience, such as a wider field of view.

    5. GPU temperature at boot

    Unknown. Help us offer a price. (XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB)

    Lower boot temperature means the card generates less heat and the cooling system works better.

    6.supports ray tracing

    ✖AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✖XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    Ray tracing is an advanced light rendering technique that provides more realistic lighting, shadows and reflections in games.

    7. Supports 3D

    ✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✔XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    Allows you to view in 3D (if you have a 3D screen and glasses).

    8.supports DLSS

    ✖AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✖XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an AI based scaling technology. This allows the graphics card to render games at lower resolutions and upscale them to higher resolutions with near-native visual quality and improved performance. DLSS is only available in some games.

    9. PassMark result (G3D)

    Unknown. Help us offer a price. (AMD Radeon R9Nano)

    Unknown. Help us offer a price. (XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB)

    This test measures the graphics performance of a graphics card. Source: Pass Mark.

    Ports

    1.has HDMI output

    ✔AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    ✔XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB

    Devices with HDMI or mini HDMI ports can stream HD video and audio to the connected display.

    2.HDMI connectors

    More HDMI connectors allow you to connect multiple devices at the same time, such as game consoles and TVs.

    HDMI 3.Version

    HDMI 1.4

    Unknown. Help us offer a price. (XFX Radeon RX 480 4GB)

    Newer versions of HDMI support higher bandwidth for higher resolutions and frame rates.

    4. DisplayPort outputs

    Allows connection to a display using DisplayPort.

    5.DVI outputs

    Allows connection to a display using DVI.

    6. Mini DisplayPort 9 outputs0003

    Allows you to connect to a display using Mini DisplayPort.

    Price Match

    Cancel

    Which graphics cards are better?

    Comparison of AMD Radeon RX 480 and AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    Comparative analysis of AMD Radeon RX 480 and AMD Radeon R9 Nano video cards by all known characteristics in the categories: General information, Specifications, Video outputs and ports, Compatibility, dimensions, requirements, API support, Memory, Technology support.
    Analysis of video card performance by benchmarks: PassMark — G3D Mark, PassMark — G2D Mark, Geekbench — OpenCL, CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Face Detection (mPixels/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Ocean Surface Simulation (Frames/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — T -Rex (Frames/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Video Composition (Frames/s), CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Bitcoin Mining (mHash/s), GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames), GFXBench 4. 0 — T-Rex (Frames), GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps), GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps), GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps), 3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score.

    AMD Radeon RX 480

    versus

    AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    Benefits

    Reasons to choose AMD Radeon RX 480

    • Newer graphics card, 10 month(s)
    • vs

      MHz release date difference: 12 MHz more core clock in Boost27 mode 1000 MHz

    • A newer manufacturing process for the video card allows it to be more powerful, but with lower power consumption: 14 nm vs 28 nm
    • Approximately 17% less power consumption: 150 Watt vs 175 Watt
    • 14x more memory frequency: 7000 MHz vs 500 MHz
    Release date 29 June 2016 vs 27 August 2015
    Boost core clock 1266 MHz vs 1000 MHz
    Process 14 nm vs 28 nm
    Power consumption (TDP) 150 Watt vs 175 Watt
    Memory frequency 7000 MHz vs 500 MHz

    Reasons to choose AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    • 40% faster texturing speed: 256. 0 GTexel / s vs 182.3 GTexel / s
    • 78% more shader processors: 4096 vs 2304
    • 1412.4 times more floating point performance: 8,192 gflops vs 5.8 TFLOPs
    • 3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score benchmark performance approximately 162% more: 4638 vs 4130
    Texturing speed 256.0 GTexel/s vs 182.3 GTexel/s
    Number of shaders 4096 vs 2304
    Floating point performance 8.192 gflops vs 5.8 TFLOPs
    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score 4638 vs 4130

    Benchmark comparison

    GPU 1: AMD Radeon RX 480
    GPU 2: AMD Radeon R9 Nano

    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score
    GPU 1
    GPU 2
    Name AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon R9 Nano
    PassMark — G3D Mark 8689
    PassMark — G2D Mark 780
    Geekbench — OpenCL 44522
    CompuBench 1. 5 Desktop — Face Detection (mPixels/s) 103.851
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Ocean Surface Simulation (Frames/s) 769.541
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — T-Rex (Frames/s) 7.593
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Video Composition (Frames/s) 67.879
    CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Bitcoin Mining (mHash/s) 597.772
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames) 11172
    GFXBench 4. 0 — Manhattan (Frames) 3719
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames) 3361
    GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps) 11172
    GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps) 3719
    GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps) 3361
    3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score 4130 4638

    Feature comparison

    Fiji

    conveyors

    AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon R9 Nano
    Architecture GCN 4. 0 GCN 3.0
    Codename Ellesmere
    Design Radeon RX 400 Series AMD Radeon R9 Fury Series
    Generation GCN 4th Gen
    Issue date 29 June 2016 27 August 2015
    Price at first issue date $229 $649
    Place in the rating 216 205
    Price now $299. 99
    Type Desktop Desktop
    Price/performance ratio (0-100) 39.12
    Boost core clock 1266 MHz 1000MHz
    Number of Compute 36 64
    Core frequency 1120 MHz
    Floating point performance 5.8 TFLOPs 8.192 gflops
    GPU Power 110 Watt
    Process 14nm 28nm
    Number of shaders 2304 4096
    Stream Processors 2304 4096
    Texturing speed 182. 3 GTexel/s 256.0 GTexel/s
    Power consumption (TDP) 150 Watt 175 Watt
    Number of transistors 5,700 million 8,900 million
    Video connectors 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
    DisplayPort support
    Dual-link DVI support
    Eyefinity
    HDMI
    VGA
    Number of Eyefinity Displays 6
    CrossFire without bridge
    Tire n/a PCIe 3. 0
    Interface PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
    Length 241 mm 152mm
    Recommended power supply 500 Watt
    Additional power connectors 1x 6-pin 1x 8-pin
    DirectX 12 12
    Mantle
    OpenCL 2.0 2.0
    OpenGL 4. 5 4.5
    Vulkan
    Maximum memory size 4GB 4GB
    Memory bandwidth 224 GB/s 512 GB/s
    Memory bus width 256bit 4096bit
    Memory frequency 7000 MHz 500MHz
    Memory type GDDR5 High Bandwidth Memory (HBM)
    Shared memory 0 0
    High Bandwidth Memory (HBM)
    4K h364 Decode
    4K h364 Encode
    AMD Eyefinity
    AMD Radeon™ Chill
    AMD Radeon™ ReLive
    App Acceleration
    CrossFire
    DisplayPort 1. 3 HBR / 1.4 HDR Ready
    Enduro
    FreeSync
    FRTC
    h365/HEVC Decode
    h365/HEVC Encode
    HD3D
    HDMI 2.0b
    HDMI 4K Support
    LiquidVR
    PowerTune
    TressFX
    TrueAudio
    Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
    Video Code Engine (VCE)
    Virtual Super Resolution (VSR)
    VR Ready
    ZeroCore
    DDMA audio

    dangerous rival even for Radeon R9 Nano

    Watch video review of MSI PCI Ex Radeon R9 390 GAMING 8G LE 8192MB GDDR5 512bit:

    Video card model R9 390x

    R9 390x unboxing video:

    Connection diagram

    Manufacturer’s instructions

    R9 390 8Gb payback video for cryptocurrency mining:

    In the following sections, we will evaluate the performance of R9 390x and R9 390 in terms of cryptocurrency mining.

    Features of R9 390/R9 390x setup for mining

    One of the significant drawbacks of the considered video cards is their excessive overheating. This is especially often manifested at the moment when the user wants to receive additional benefits and at the same time is tuned to the extraction of several cryptocurrencies.

    For this reason, all basic settings must be related to ensure an optimal balance between performance, electricity consumption and the internal temperature of the hardware unit. This can be done through the Msi Alferburner program, which looks like a simple driver and allows you to reduce the load on the main core due to point settings.

    Appearance Msi Alferburner

    To configure, start the video card in basic mode and when the temperature is high, select the «Power Limit» section and perform arbitrary settings.

    The driver for mining added to the Radeon R9 390 allows you to set the optimal power consumption parameters by simply dragging the slider

    In most cases, lowering the temperature parameters has a minimal effect on the video card hashrate. In return, you will get a stable farm that will quickly pay for itself and will work properly in conjunction with other equipment.
    Video about measuring the consumption of the R9 390x card with various overclocking algorithms:

    Radeon R9390 is a great solution for mining Ethereum

    Radeon R9 390 cards for mining Ethereum use the Dagger Hashimoto algorithm. Initially, during the test tests, the card gave out 31 Mh / sec. When overclocking was increased to 1100 mHz, the number of mega hashes increased to 32.

    Optimal speeds were shown, allowing not to overload the R9 390 processor during Ethereum mining.

    Checking R9 390 on different algorithms Gigabyte:

    Radeon R9390/R9 390x for mining Zcash

    If you set the core to 1080 mHz on the R9 390x card, you can achieve 414 H / s. This is the base mining speed of Zcash.

    Standard high-speed ones have shown that allow you to mine Zcash without significant overloads

    If you overclock the core frequency to 1150 mHz, then the speed will be increased to only 421 H/s. As you can see, the increase was insignificant. This means that there is no need to overload the video card, increase its temperature, risk integrity and shorten its life. The insignificant increase of 7 H/s is not worth it.

    Video card performance achieved after overclocking

    Conclusion about the video cards Radeon R9 390 and R9 390x

    Of the considered series of video cards, the most powerful in mining is R9 390x. The first model has a lower payback, is discontinued and allows you to create a less profitable farm. The second model is also no longer available, however, with the right settings, the Radeon R9 390 x is great for mining Ethereum, Zcash and other popular cryptocurrencies.

    Friends, what do you think, how efficient is Ethereum and Zcash mining on R9 390/R9 390x? Share your experience in the comments. It will be useful for all our subscribers to know how efficiently other users can use the available mining equipment.

    P. P.S. Throw off the addresses of verified online stores that may have R9 390/R9 390x cards in stock and trade at reasonable prices.

    AMD is the manufacturer of the cheapest computing power in the world. AMD graphics cards contain thousands of processor cores (CUDA technology), provide teraflops of computing performance and are affordable. For miners, AMD is the #1 hardware manufacturer. There are a lot of tests, reviews, configuration guides for AMD equipment. The main cryptocurrency for mining is Ethereum.

    AMD Radeon R9 270X is a budget gaming graphics card introduced in 2013. It is produced by five concerns: AMD, Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and Sapphire. The characteristics and price of equipment from different manufacturers are the same. There is an insignificant difference in components. The Radeon R9 270X attracts miners with its affordable cost in relation to performance. The most important characteristic is the ratio of power consumption and hashrate (video card efficiency). The Radeon R9 270 has a good efficiency, mining on it overtakes the GeForse GTX660Ti, HD7870 cards. They have an efficiency of 10-15% lower.

    Energy consumption

    The maximum power consumption at 100% chip load is 180 W. Power comes from the 12 volt bus. The PCI-E bus is connected to the riser. PCI-E is not used to transfer the power supply voltage. All power is supplied through the 12 volt line. For 180 watts, there will be 15 amps of current. The power supply is selected with a margin of 20 amperes. Powerful mining rigs for multiple GPUs provide savings on the cost of the power supply unit in terms of watts.

    In Radeon R9 specifications280x manufacturers indicate power supplies of 500 watts. A video card cannot consume so much, and this figure is taken from the current load on the 12 volt line at 15 A. Only ATX units from 500 W can provide this value. In the mode when shader cores are not used, the video card consumes 20 watts.

    Video processor requires 2 volts. 12 is supplied to the video card. The conversion is provided by a pulse circuit. This is the standard for all digital equipment. The power transistors are controlled by the IR 3563B controller with an output for 8 pairs of keys. Solid-state tantalum capacitors are responsible for smoothing the ripple of the supply voltage. Electrolytic are excluded due to the short service life.

    Unusual solution for chokes. They are made in sealed cases according to the American military standard Military Class IV (MIL-STD-810G). A similar power scheme is typical for video cards and other premium electronic boards. This correspondence allows you to overclock the video card. In mining, you can get carried away with this only after changing the cooling system, for example, to liquid.

    Computing power

    Mining involves the use of a video card for other than its intended purpose. Oddly enough, this was originally envisaged by manufacturers when introducing CUDA technology (parallel multi-threaded computing requiring hundreds of cores). For mining, the high frequency of CUDA processors is not so important. Much more relevant is their number. An example of such an architecture is ASIC miners. There, the computing cells that enumerate over SHA256 have a very low clock frequency. But in one chip there are several million of them. Video cards cannot please with such a ratio. They have no more than one and a half thousand cores, but for mining this opens up another advantage. The high frequency of CUDA cores allows for a variety of calculations. Mining of second-generation cryptocurrencies is carried out only on video cards. They are not specially adjusted for ASIC miners in order to maintain the versatility of calculations. At the household level, this means that you can rent out your power for a variety of tasks.

    The AMD Radeon R9 270X has 1280 CUDA cores at 300MHz clock speed per core. This requires a solid number of logical elements. The number of transistors is 2.8 billion. Radeon R9 280 mining has very good performance.

    Process technology

    Chip manufacturing process — 28 nm. Announcement — 2013 Top video cards in 2017 have a 14 nm process technology. Less process technology means better power consumption, but the Radeon R9 270X is an entry-level product. Energy consumption is still at an acceptable level.

    How much can you earn with one Radeon R9 270X card?

    Radeon R9 270X provides Ethereum mining speed of 30-31 MN/sec. Hourly value — 108,000 MN/hour. With a power of 170 TH / s and a time between blocks of 15 sec. (value at the end of 2017) one card will “earn” one Ethereum coin in 800 hours. This is super cool, but the reward for the Ethereum block is already promised to be reduced. This calculation is based on a block reward value of 3 ETH. In any case, calculate the profitability of mining by dividing the total hashrate by the power of your farm.

    Memory

    The top cryptocurrency for video cards is Ethereum. Calculations using the ethash algorithm require a significant amount of RAM. The initial limit threshold is 2 GB. Now the power of the Ethereum network has grown, so it is better to take video cards with 4 GB of memory. They will remain relevant for a long time. Radeon R9 270X meets these parameters. The gaming version comes with 4096 MB of RAM. For communication with 1280 shader processors, the speed is 1440 Gbps. The standard is DDR5. The memory chips are cooled by a common heatsink with heat pipes. Memory clock speed 5.6 GHz.

    Cooling

    Cooling system Radeon R9 270X — with centrifugal turbine. Compared to conventional coolers, such a system is technologically advanced for high power with the same impeller dimensions, but its noise level is higher. Mining farms are rarely placed in residential areas, so the noise level is irrelevant for them. During cooling, heat is removed from the graphics chip, RAM and power switches. In the power circuit, the keys provide a voltage drop from 12 to 2 volts.

    The cooling system is replaceable.

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