[SFF Network] AMD Announces the Radeon RX 480: 5 TFLOPS and 4GB for $199

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
Original poster
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,060
1,919
AMD's event may have been thin on details for some of their upcoming technologies (as the author gives some longing side-eye to Zen), but there was at least one segment that had some tangible information, and some welcome brashness and boldness to boot: the announcement of the Radeon RX 480, a graphics card set to launch on June 29th that utilizes the first Polaris-based high-performance GPU.

Throughout AMD's Computex presentation, the various speakers seemed to endlessly repeat the value proposition AMD's various CPU and GPU technologies meant to the lower price segments of the graphics and portable industries - segments, they'd mention, that are the most popular across the broader computing market. And although the commentary by some of the vendors and guests on-stage felt directed at a very different audience at times (let's be real: nobody in that room was impressed that AMD's new silicon makes room for an ODD in a cheap Dell laptop), how AMD planned to leverage some of these innovations in the enthusiast space to boost perf-per-dollar was what kept the anticipation high as they quickly started to discuss the state of graphics.
Read more here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iFreilicht

EdZ

Virtual Realist
Gold Supporter
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,106
A low price, but like any unveiling I'll wait and see for what the benchmarking turns up.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,403
2,836
www.lazer3d.com
If you can read anything into the 5 TFLOPS performance, the RX 480 costs $40 per TFLOP compared to $58 per TFLOPS of the GTX 1070 and $66 for the 1080.
 

|||

King of Cable Management
Sep 26, 2015
767
750
FLOPS doesn't necessarily translate into real performance. For instance, when fused multiply-add (FMA) ALUs were being added, a lot of processor vendors claimed 2x FLOPS, but the workload would have to be a theoretical one of exclusively FMA operations.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
4,548
4,102
A nice card with an "ITX" sized PCB and only 6-pin power requirement. I'm glad they're putting the focus on Crossfire, that way my R9 290X project is not an effort in futility. Although the 150W vs 275W for basically the same performance is a little harder to swallow for that ye olde card.
 

Popstar

Chassis Packer
Feb 13, 2016
17
13
So going by the figures in your article
RX 480 – 1267 * 2304 * 2 = ~5.8 TFLOPS which compares to the R9 380 – 970 * 1792 * 2 = ~3.5 TFLOPS pretty favourably.

With additional per clock improvements in performance in GCN 4 it may be near double the performance of the previous $199 card. Pretty nice. Hopefully we'll get an ITX version close to launch.
 

Mackan

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 2, 2016
168
105
Not sure where AMD got their efficiency improvement factors from. A R9 Nano has 175W TDP, while this RX 480 has 150W. R9 Nano seems slightly faster, although we still need benchmarks to confirm. However, based on those numbers, it seems to me that the shrink to 14nm gained them nothing?
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
Original poster
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,060
1,919
Not sure where AMD got their efficiency improvement factors from. A R9 Nano has 175W TDP, while this RX 480 has 150W. R9 Nano seems slightly faster, although we still need benchmarks to confirm. However, based on those numbers, it seems to me that the shrink to 14nm gained them nothing?
You'd need to know the die size to make a direct comparison. My presumption (which I think is a pretty safe one) is that AMD's gone with a significantly smaller die (saving money), that's then pushed to the absolute limit in order to dump all of the process improvements into performance rather than efficiency.

NVIDIA, comparatively, focused on performance but also translated some of the efficiency gains into energy savings - the consumption per core of Pascal is lower than Maxwell, but not by much, and the TDP of the 1080 (for example) is actually a tad higher than that of the 980.
 

Mackan

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 2, 2016
168
105
Yeah the die of the RX 480 is quite small. Some numbers I found.

R9 Nano: 596 mm² die size, and 8,900 million transistors, 175W TDP
RX 480: 232 mm² die size (rumoured), ? million transistors, 150W TDP
GTX 1080: 314 mm², 7,200 million transistors, 180W TDP

I think what you say makes sense, although I am not sure how the physics formulas work here. I had expected lower TDP for the RX 480, given the performance benchmarks, and these 1.7x 2.0x, 2.5x, 2.8x efficiency factors they have been giving. It isn't particularly obvious how this generation cards live up to those numbers.
 

IntoxicatedPuma

Customizer of Titles
Editorial Staff
Silver Supporter
Feb 26, 2016
968
1,229
I'm guessing if they clocked these much higher, they lost some of that efficiency. I think they usually say stuff like "2.0x efficiency at same clock"
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
Original poster
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,060
1,919
Yeah the die of the RX 480 is quite small. Some numbers I found.

R9 Nano: 596 mm² die size, and 8,900 million transistors, 175W TDP
RX 480: 232 mm² die size (rumoured), ? million transistors, 150W TDP
GTX 1080: 314 mm², 7,200 million transistors, 180W TDP
Where did you find these die sizes? Can you link to the source?

I think what you say makes sense, although I am not sure how the physics formulas work here. I had expected lower TDP for the RX 480, given the performance benchmarks, and these 1.7x 2.0x, 2.5x, 2.8x efficiency factors they have been giving. It isn't particularly obvious how this generation cards live up to those numbers.
Had AMD kept the clocks the same, then that level of efficiency gain would have been realized. But if they're clocking chips very aggressively, then they're throwing it all away and boosting TDP in order to increase performance, at low/no cost to them (at least from a fabrication perspective). As Puma says:

I'm guessing if they clocked these much higher, they lost some of that efficiency. I think they usually say stuff like "2.0x efficiency at same clock"
AMD is basically betting that people won't give a darn about efficiency if they can deliver a card with ~70% of a GTX 1070's performance at ~50% the cost. I think that's a pretty good bet.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,222
2,334
freilite.com
If they keep the promises they made with that card, it could be my next one. Having a short PCB there makes sense in my book, they maybe don't want to fall into the same trap they did with the Nano where they already made the shortest version of that card themselves.

With the short PCB, they can offer a good reference design and manufacturers only have to put their already existing short thermal solutions on top of it to make a whole bunch of ITX-sized cards which don't compete with AMDs "perfect" own solution. It seems like in the renderings, the PCB is a bit longer than ITX, though, not sure what's up with that.
 

Popstar

Chassis Packer
Feb 13, 2016
17
13
I'm pretty sure AMD hasn't given a TDP figure for the RX 480 yet. The 150W that everyone is quoting is just listed as "power" on their slide. Which is what you get with a 6-pin connector on a PCIe card.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,222
2,334
freilite.com
I'm pretty sure AMD hasn't given a TDP figure for the RX 480 yet. The 150W that everyone is quoting is just listed as "power" on their slide. Which is what you get with a 6-pin connector on a PCIe card.
Well in that case the TDP would be even lower, something in the realms of the GTX 960? Which would be even better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

Mackan

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 2, 2016
168
105
Where did you find these die sizes? Can you link to the source?
I just googled them. The die size for RX 480 is rumoured to be leaked by some Chinese AMD former employee who included the die size on his LinkedIn (probably no one wants to hire such a "leaker"). The other ones can be found on, for example, TechPowerUp.

http://videocardz.com/58237/amds-project-f-is-232mm2-discrete-gpu-made-in-14lpp-process

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/2735/radeon-r9-nano

I'm pretty sure AMD hasn't given a TDP figure for the RX 480 yet. The 150W that everyone is quoting is just listed as "power" on their slide. Which is what you get with a 6-pin connector on a PCIe card.
You are right, it's referred to as "power", which leaves the possibilities open. For some reason they want to keep certain numbers secret for a while more, maybe until that NDA lifts on June 29th. Hopefully for good surprises. Personally, I feel quite attracted to these Polaris cards, since they seem to offer great value for the money. If AMD would disappear, it would be a disaster for the consumers. So I am likely to buy a Polaris card. Provided the benchmarks aren't too bad, or something else is left shady. Worried about coil whine and "leaf blower noise" though. Releasing a $200 card probably means they aren't using premium components...
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
4,548
4,102
There is some speculation that there'll be a higher tier GPU around the 299$ price that will be competing against the 379$ GTX 1070. Basically because the RX 480 seems to be a 90W TDP card and it would be silly of AMD to cater to people that use 250W or less PSUs. So it's probably going to be releasing an 8-pin or dual 6-pin card with the "full Polaris 10" with a higher TDP and higher performance.
 

Mackan

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 2, 2016
168
105
There is some speculation that there'll be a higher tier GPU around the 299$ price that will be competing against the 379$ GTX 1070. Basically because the RX 480 seems to be a 90W TDP card and it would be silly of AMD to cater to people that use 250W or less PSUs. So it's probably going to be releasing an 8-pin or dual 6-pin card with the "full Polaris 10" with a higher TDP and higher performance.
Yeah that seems to make sense. Though one has to wonder why AMD didn't mention or show this more powerful $299 Polaris card at Computex then, to possibly prevent people from buying the GTX 1070. I haven't fully figured out how AMD is thinking, but I get the feeling they haven't showed everything yet. Hopefully.