Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 470 04G

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

AMD is cur­rently throw­ing all of its new graph­ics card tech­nol­ogy at the more af­ford­able end of the spec­trum. Now, not long af­ter the re­lease of the com­pany’s first Po­laris-based prod­uct, the Radeon RX 480, comes the even less ex­pen­sive RX 470 with its eye fixed on the 1080p prize.

Fea­tures

With the vast ma­jor­ity of PC gamers run­ning at 1080p, AMD de­cided to tar­get ex­actly this res­o­lu­tion with its lat­est tech­nolo­gies. First came the Radeon RX 480, which is pro­moted as an en­try-level VR-ca­pa­ble card, and now the more price-sen­si­tive RX 470 re­viewed here. If you’re not into vir­tual re­al­ity gam­ing, or can’t af­ford it, then an RX 470 may be all you need for solid 1080p gam­ing at a rea­son­able price. The card re­viewed here has been given the Asus Strix treat­ment, which adds ex­tra fea­tures to AMD’s ref­er­ence de­sign along with over­clocked gam­ing per­for­mance.

The RX 470 em­ploys ex­actly the same graph­ics pro­ces­sor as its big­ger brother, the RX 480, but with se­lected com­po­nents dis­abled, thereby pro­duc­ing a re­duced per­for­mance ver­sion. Where the RX 480 comes with 2304 stream pro­ces­sors, the RX 470 leaves only 2048 of these en­abled. The mem­ory band­width on this 4GB model is also re­duced from 224GB/s to 211GB/s. Core clock speeds in ref­er­ence ver­sions of the card also suf­fer a sim­i­lar re­duc­tion, but this Asus Strix model comes pre­over­clocked with a max­i­mum core speed of 1270MHz, which is 4MHz faster than a stan­dard RX 480, help­ing nar­row the per­for­mance gap while keep­ing the cost low.

Like the RX 480, the RX 470 uses AMD’s lat­est 14nm FinFET tech­nol­ogy to en­able higher per­for­mance with lower power con­sump­tion than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. It will also sup­port the lat­est DirectX 12 games.

In ad­di­tion to boost­ing the clock speeds, Asus has also pro­vided its GPU Tweak II util­ity, which pro­vides a choice of three pre­set per­for­mance modes, al­low­ing you to bal­ance per­for­mance, power and fan noise to your own re­quire­ments. You can also switch into man­ual mode to push per­for­mance even fur­ther.

High lev­els of over­clock­ing re­quire an ef­fi­cient cool­ing sys­tem, and the Strix RX 470 comes with a cus­tom twin fan so­lu­tion fit­ted to a large heat­pipe-based heatsink. This de­sign leaves many of the board’s com­po­nents vis­i­ble and makes the card look com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the stan­dard ful­lyen­closed box of AMD’s ref­er­ence de­sign. An­other ma­jor cos­metic dif­fer­ence is the RGB il­lu­mi­nated logo, which changes colour un­der the con­trol of the supplied AURA software util­ity. Un­like some of the more ex­pen­sive Strix cards, there’s no metal back­plate on this model, which we think is fair con­sid­er­ing its price-sen­si­tive po­si­tion­ing.

If even more cool­ing is re­quired, you can make use of the Asus FanCon­nect fea­ture. This lets you wire up a fan from your sys­tem case di­rectly to the graph­ics card and will con­trol the fan speed as re­quired to keep GPU tem­per­a­tures down

We found the built-in fans to run very qui­etly and they’ll switch off en­tirely when not re­quired, so you can build a PC that op­er­ates si­lently when gam­ing per­for­mance is re­quired. Un­for­tu­nately, we no­ticed au­di­ble coil whine com­ing from the card while run­ning bench­marks, but it’s not as loud as many other cards we’ve tested.

Asus has fit­ted this board with a pair of DVI-D ports for com­pat­i­bil­ity with older dis­plays, along with one each of HDMI 2.0 and Dis­playPort 1.4 for mod­ern ones. The lat­ter two ports are the lat­est ver­sions which sup­port high re­fresh rates and also HDR when us­ing Dis­playPort. To in­stall the card in your PC you’ll need a sin­gle 6-pin power con­nec­tor.

Per­for­mance

If you’ve fa­mil­iar with the RX 480, then the bench­marks from the RX 470 will be much as you would ex­pect. It of­fers all of the same ca­pa­bil­i­ties of its big­ger brother, but with a lit­tle less speed.

The RX 470 still de­liv­ers enough power for high qual­ity 1080p gam­ing and from our bench­marks we can see that it does, achiev­ing av­er­age frame rates of 83.5fps in Thief and 118fps in Alien Iso­la­tion, both on Ul­tra set­tings. Drop the qual­ity level a lit­tle and you may even get away with 1440p on some ti­tles, although we rec­om­mend a faster card if you’re se­ri­ous about gam­ing at the higher res­o­lu­tion.

Vir­tual re­al­ity

If you’re think­ing of ven­tur­ing into the world of VR, then we’d ad­vise you not to take an RX 470 with you on that trip. While its Steam VR Per­for­mance Test re­sults show it can pass the test with­out dip­ping be­low the re­quired 90fps, it does so with only a ‘Medium’ qual­ity rat­ing and a VR qual­ity score of 5.8. This re­sults in it fail­ing to be deemed VR ‘Ready’ by the test, achiev­ing in­stead the lower re­sult of ‘Ca­pa­ble’. An RX 480 on the other hand will get you the ‘Ready’ rat­ing you should

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