ASUS And MSI Bust Out Custom AMD Radeon RX 480 Cards

Hot on the heels of AMD releasing its first Polaris part, the Radeon RX 480, its hardware partners are finalizing customized cards that sport factory overclocks and custom cooling solutions that help the cards run chillier and quieter than stock. Two that have just been announced include the ASUS ROG Strix RX 480 and the MSI Radeon RX 480 8G Gaming X.

Before we dive into these custom cards, let's talk a moment about the Radeon RX 480. If you haven't done so already, check out our full review with plenty of benchmarks and analysis. Short and to the point, we declared the first Polaris part from AMD "easily the best value in its price segment," noting that performance is nearly on par with a Radeon R9 390 while consumer far less power, supporting more advanced features, and costing significantly less.

"In the end, AMD delivered what the company said it would. The Radeon RX 480 is an affordable, relatively powerful GPU that brings bleeding-edge display technologies and premium VR support into a lower price bracket," we determined.

ASUS ROG Strix RX 480

As for the custom cards that are beginning to appear, ASUS teased its ROG Strix RX 480 saying that it's coming soon but stopping shy of offering up a specific release date (or price). The card continues ASUS's pairing of its ROG (Republic of Gamers) and Strix brands, in this case with a card toting a DirectCU III cooling solution.

"The black metal shroud and backplate with new Aura RGB lighting can surely match almost any system. GPU Tweak II will provide easy one-click overclocking while a professional mode is still available for advanced users, with XSplit Gamecaster to stream or record gameplay," ASUS says.

ASUS also said the card will feature an HDMI 2.0b port for VR. Details such as clockspeeds and other features will be revealed at a later date.

MSI Radeon RX 480 Gaming X

MSI is also readying a lineup of Radeon RX 480 graphics cards. Going beyond the reference design, it will have a few Gaming X models cooled by its "award-winning" Twin Frozr VI cooler. Like ASUS, MSI isn't saying when the cards will be available, only that they're coming soon.

According to MSI, its Twin Frozr VI cooler is significantly better than the previous iteration.

"When tested on the same GPU, Twin Frozr VI was a full 40 percent quieter while keeping the GPU at the same temperature. When applying the same fan speed setting to both coolers, the Twin Frozr VI kept the GPU 20 percent cooler compared to its predecessor," MSI said.

Part of the reason for the improvement is its patented Torx 2.0 fan featuring two types of fan blades working together, including traditional fan blades and dispersion fan blades with steep curves. You can read more about the Twin Frozr VI here.

MSI Radeon RX 480

MSI also has a Radeon RX 480 graphics card based on AMD's reference design ready to go. This one sticks to AMD's blueprint with a stock cooler and stock clockspeeds (1,120MHz base and 1,266MHz boost), along with three DisplayPorts and one HDMI output.