Unlike nVidia who chose to show off their high-end GTX 1080 and 1070 at Computex, AMD decided to go with a more understated approach and reveal their RX 480. The RX 480 appears to be a powerful mid-range card aimed squarely at VR and will retail at a relatively cheap $199 (£138).
Currently it looks like the RX 480 will feature 4 – 8gb of GDDR5 RAM (depending on the model / manufacturer) and we’ll assume the 4gb model meets the $199 price-point. The card also features more than 5 TFLOPS of computing capability, a 150w TDP and an estimated 1266mhz clock speed. Although this card is clearly not aimed at the same market as the GTX 1070 or 1080… The specs for the price-point look good. Many estimates online expect R9390X / Fury performance for half (or more) of the price and many expect this to be faster than a GTX 970 or even a GTX 980. Add to that the fact that AMD handles DirectX 12 better than nVidia and they could be on to a winner in the mid-range GPU sector.
AMD’s teaser also laid out their marketing plans for the card. Oculus and Valve/HTC have been encouraging developers to treat VR like a fixed platform, and setting minimum hardware specifications to go along with that. On the AMD side those specifications called for a Radeon R9 290, which the RX 480 should be able to beat.
As a result AMD is planning on heavily promoting the VR aspects of the RX 480, as it brings the necessary performance down from a 250W, $300+ card to a 150W, $200 card.
And finally, going back to DirectX 12. Total War: Warhammer is receiving a DirectX 12 patch in June and AMD looks to be clear winners in the benchmarks shown so far so this generation might be the one you choose to go AMD… You can also read our Chaos Guide to TW:Warhammer to help you get started if you’re thinking about picking up the game as well!