ASUS Radeon RX 470 STRIX OC 4 GB Review 126

ASUS Radeon RX 470 STRIX OC 4 GB Review

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Even as NVIDIA has a somewhat top-down approach to the market with this generation by launching its top-performing "Pascal" GPUs in quick succession, including the "big chip" with the recent TITAN X Pascal, AMD's approach appears to be the opposite - bottom-up. The company debuted its "Polaris" architecture with GPUs that target the most voluminous market segment, $100-300, which AMD says to constitute the vast majority of discrete GPU sales.

Following up on the June launch of its $199-239 Radeon RX 480, AMD is launching the second, cheaper GPU based on the "Polaris" architecture, the Radeon RX 470. This SKU's price is expected to be below $200, although some custom-design cards, such as the ASUS Radeon RX 470 STRIX 4 GB we're reviewing today, could go slightly over it. This could confuse buyers because the 4 GB variant of the faster RX 480 is priced at $199 and gives you more performance.

The Radeon RX 470 is based on the same Polaris 10 "Ellesmere" silicon as the RX 480, featuring fewer shaders and lower clock speeds. The chip features 32 out of the 36 Graphics CoreNext (GCN) compute units (CUs) physically present on the chip, which makes for 2,048 stream processors. The TMU count is proportionately lowered to 128. The memory bus is untouched at 256-bit GDDR5, and the ROP count stays at 32. Reference clock speeds are set at 928 MHz core and 1206 MHz boost, and the memory runs at 6.6 Gbps, which works out to a bandwidth of 211 GB/s. ASUS overclocked its Radeon RX 470 STRIX graphics card to feature a boost frequency of 1270 MHz and left the memory untouched.

In this review, we have the ASUS Radeon RX 470 STRIX with us, which features the coveted Republic of Gamers STRIX branding and the company's all new DirectCU II cooling solution with an aluminum fin-stack heatsink that relies on two copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU to draw heat away and to the fin stack. This heatsink is ventilated by a pair of 100 mm spinners, which don't spin at all when the GPU is idling. You also get an ROG emblem that glows in any of the 16.7 million colors across the RGB palette and a unique GPU-synced 4-pin PWM case-fan header feature ASUS is pioneering with this generation.

Radeon RX 470 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 960
R9 380
RX 470
R9 380X
R9 390
GTX 970
RX 480
R9 390X
GTX 980
GTX 1060
Shader Units10241792204820482048256016642304281620481280
Graphics ProcessorGM206TongaEllesmereEllesmereTongaHawaiiGM204EllesmereHawaiiGM204GP106
Memory Size2 GB2 GB4 GB4 GB4 GB8 GB4 GB4 GB / 8 GB8 GB4 GB6 GB
Memory Bus Width128 bit256 bit256 bit256 bit256 bit512 bit256 bit256 bit512 bit256 bit192 bit
Core Clock1127 MHz+970 MHz1206 MHz1270 MHz970 MHz1000 MHz1051 MHz+1266 MHz1050 MHz1126 MHz+1506 MHz+
Memory Clock1753 MHz1375 MHz1650 MHz1650 MHz1425 MHz1500 MHz1750 MHz2000 MHz1500 MHz1750 MHz2002 MHz
Price$170$165$180$210$210$260$265$200 / $240$310$360$250 / $300
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