A LowBuckPC look at the MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8GB


The Radeon RX 480 is not a high end graphics card. It is however the best that AMD has to offer at the time of this posting, and does quite well. It was designed to be a mid range card in the highly competitive under $300 graphics arena. So if your expecting PC Master Race like results, your going to be disappointed. It’s not going to beat a Nvidia GTX 980, 980Ti, a TitanX a 1070,1080 or TitanX Pascal. It may not even beat a GTX 1060 except in games that need more than 6GB. Here I have the MSI Gaming X RX 480 8gb pitted against a Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury and a Gigabyte Windforce 3 OC GTX 970. I also tested a Sapphire Nitro R9 380 to show the difference between the last generation “80” and the new “80”. All cards at stock speeds tested at 1920 x 1080 on a Asus 970 Gaming Aura with a FX 8320 clocked to 4.2GHz and 8GB Gskill Flares @ 1600 8-8-8-24

Here is Tomb Raider (2013) With all settings at Ultimate

Next up is Rise of the Tomb Raider which is a very Vram intensive game, so I used the Very High preset then set textures to high to accommodate the 4gb cards. For the R9 380 I had to lower the Particles to high and Depth of field to on to keep it from crashing. That problem has been fixed with the Crimson 16.12.2 drivers.




Since GTA V hasn’t any presets I used the custom settings here:

Vsync off
Pause on
Population density full
Population variety Full
Distance Scaling Full
Texture Quality Very High
Shader High
Shadow high
Reflection high
Reflection MSAA off
Water High
Particles High
Grass Normal
Soft Shadows Soft
Post FX Very High
Motion Blur off
Depth of field on
Anisotropic Filtering 16X
Ambient Occlusion High
Tesslation high
Advanced Graphics Default
Here is the RX 480 in all except Tomb Raider (2013) with all settings maxed. Note: Rise used 7200MB of Vram here.

The Fury is still the top Mutt in my dog house for any game that doesn’t need more than 4GB. The visuals are just breath taking compared to the other cards, but it is 4096bit. FPS is not the only thing that matters. High FPS doesn’t mean anything to me if it looks like a console game. Granted it’s not the fastest, but in price vs performance for mid range cards, it rocks. Now the 4GB version might be another story, but it has been found that some of the reference RX 480 4GB cards actually had 8GB, and were just a bios flash away from being a 8GB card. https://www.techpowerup.com/223913/amd- … enchmarked

Full load power consumption (CPU + GPU) 395 watts. Cost to game 4 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year @ $0.11KWh = $47.38


Update 8/24/17: I recently flashed the bios of this card to the RX 580 version. Although I do not recommend trying this at home as it will void your warranty and there is always the chance the card may “brick” from the flash, It worked fine for me and isĀ  much more stable now with the latest drivers than it was as a RX 480 (the card is now recognized as a RX 580). As a bonus, it uses much less power while watching Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.

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