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AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB vs 8GB review


We have unfinished business with the Radeon RX 480. When we initially reviewed the card, we took a look at the 8GB reference version – as supplied by AMD. However, the main selling point of the product is the $199 price-tag, which sees us move firmly into 4GB territory. UK prices for this model are highly reasonable too, starting at around 180. This makes the RX 480 stand apart significantly from the recently released Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – a clear $50/60 price differential.

So going into this article, we have three major questions to address. Firstly, do you really need the 8GB of framebuffer memory for the more expensive version of the RX 480? Secondly, is there any performance differential between the two models in scenarios where we’re not limited by memory? And how does the four gig card stack up against the GTX 1060 bearing in mind that it’s a lot cheaper?

First of all, let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between the two versions of the RX 480. Basically, the products are physically identical: it’s the same chassis, the same IO connectors (three DisplayPorts, one HDMI 2.0), the same six-pin power input and the same software feature-set. The GPU core is identical too, with the same base and boost clocks. However, the 4GB version of the RX 480 features memory modules rated for 7gbps, while the 8GB release gets a small upgrade here – 8gbps RAM. The end result is simple – 224GB/s bandwidth on the cheaper card vs 256GB/s on the top-tier model.