AMD launched its very first Polaris-based graphics card yesterday, the Radeon RX 480, and it has the potential to open up VR gaming to a wider audience. That's because it's priced at just $199, making it accessible to a mainstream audience while bringing enthusiast class performance to the VR party. It was an exciting announcement, but one that lacked product shots. That is, until now.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we thought we'd give our keyboard a break and share a handful of press photos showing off the new card. Feel free to click on any/all of them to enlarge for a higher resolution vantage point.
AMD is calling Polaris an "historic leap in performance per watt for Radeon GPUs." That claim is backed by the architecture being produced on TSMC's 16-nanometer and GlobalFoundries' 14-nanometer manufacturing processes. One of several advantages of using FInFET transistors is they require less voltage, as there's less static leakage to account for. That in turn leads to lower power consumption without sacrificing performance.
You'll notice in the above shot that AMD's Radeon RX 480 sips power from a single 6-pin PCI Express connector. NVIDIA was also able get away with using a single power connector on its Pascal releases, and it's a welcome development to see both GPU players moving to more power efficient architectures that require less cabling and power draw.
For AMD's part, the Radeon RX 480 boasts 36 Compute Units that deliver more than 5 TFLOPS of compute performance. Compare that to AMD's Radeon R9 390, which has 40 Compute Units delivering 5.12 TFLOPS. Despite the similar level of compute performance, the Radeon R9 390 draws power from two PCI Express connectors (8-pin and 6-pin).
That translates into a significantly lower TDP as well. Whereas the Radeon R9 390 has a TPD of 275 watts, AMD was able to reduce the TDP on the Radeon RX 480 to just 150 watts. That's even less than the Radeon R9 Nano, which has a TDP of 175 watts.
Ready for the kicker? It's cheaper, too! Gamers are looking at $400 for a pair of Radeon RX 480 graphics cards, versus $599 to $699 for a GeForce GTX 1080. That's a compelling value proposition, assuming the performance claims hold true in multiple titles.