Overclocking results listed in this section are achieved with the default fan and voltage settings as defined in the VGA BIOS. We choose this approach as it is the most realistic scenario for most users.
Every sample overclocks differently, which is why our results here can only serve as a guideline for what you can expect from your card.
For overclocking on the RX 480, I applied the same percentage increase to each of the eight adjustable clock levels; this approach seems to provide the highest performance at the highest stability.
Maximum overclock of our sample is 2250 MHz on the memory (13% overclock) and 1335 MHz on the GPU (5% overclock).
While memory overclocks really well, reaching the Overdrive adjustment limit, GPU overclock is extremely limited and one of the smallest I've seen in my reviews so far. AMD does offer the option of voltage control, but its effect seems extremely limited, with no noteworthy frequency gains in my testing.
With Polaris, AMD is introducing a new CCC Overdrive replacement called "Wattman." Here, you have control over GPU and memory clocks, GPU voltage, power limit, fan speed, and temperature. The GUI looks a bit complicated, which is better than having too few controls. Also, with the current power and heat limitations of the reference design, there isn't much point to tuning these, but custom designs could surely benefit from it.
Using these clock frequencies, we ran a quick test of Battlefield 3 to evaluate the gains from overclocking.
Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 5.0%.