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.
|ASUS RX |
470 STRIX OC
|Memory Size||2 GB||2 GB||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||8 GB||4 GB||4 GB / 8 GB||8 GB||4 GB||6 GB|
|Memory Bus Width||128 bit||256 bit||256 bit||256 bit||256 bit||512 bit||256 bit||256 bit||512 bit||256 bit||192 bit|
|Core Clock||1127 MHz+||970 MHz||1206 MHz||1270 MHz||970 MHz||1000 MHz||1051 MHz+||1266 MHz||1050 MHz||1126 MHz+||1506 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1753 MHz||1375 MHz||1650 MHz||1650 MHz||1425 MHz||1500 MHz||1750 MHz||2000 MHz||1500 MHz||1750 MHz||2002 MHz|
|Price||$170||$165||$180||$210||$210||$260||$265||$200 / $240||$310||$360||$250 / $300|