Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 Overclocking Review

We take the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 470 video card and overclock it to the highest we can push it. We will compare that overclock directly to an AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB and an overclocked Radeon RX 480 8GB. We’ll even see how reference Radeon RX 470 performance compares to all of this as well.

Introduction

On August 4th AMD launched the AMD Radeon RX 470 GPU. New video cards based on this Polaris 4th generation GCN architecture have a suggested retail pricing of $179. We evaluated a retail custom video card from PowerColor called the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 470 with a price of $199. This video card comes with 4GB of VRAM and has a custom PCB and cooling built with overclocking in mind. This video card is designed to push the Radeon RX 470 GPU to its limits and squeeze every last bit out of it to get the most performance potential from overclocking. In our initial evaluation we did not get a chance to test out the overclocking aspects of this video card. This review today will remedy that.

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A Brief Summary

Before we dive into overclocking let’s just quickly go over the specifications and the performance we experienced in our launch evaluation. The Radeon RX 470 sits right under the Radeon RX 480 in specs and pricing. It contains 32 Compute Units, 2048 Stream Processors, 32 ROPs and 128 Texture Units. The boost clock speed is set at 1206MHz. The base model uses 4GB of 6.6GHz GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus providing 211GB/sec of memory bandwidth. It contains all the features found in the AMD Radeon RX 480 using the latest generation on 14nm FinFET. The TDP is 120W.

PowerColor decided to navigate toward its own route of providing a custom built video card in terms of hardware configuration and cooling to allow extreme overclocking. The AXRX 470 4GBD5-3DH/OC is built using a 6+1 power phase with increased wattage on each phase versus the reference card. PowerColor also included an 8-pin power connector for supplying more stable power for overclocking. There are Digital PWM to control voltage more precisely. On the cooling side PowerColor has included a dual-fan solution atop a large heatsink with heatpipes. The video card even has a dual-BIOS and a backplate for added robustness.

The Competition Setup

Due to the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 470 MSRP pricing being at $199, competing right at the level of AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB and near 8GB RX 480 pricing we needed to include it. To really see how the Radeon RX 470 compares when overclocked we needed to include both a Radeon RX 480 8GB at reference clocks and an overclocked AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB performance. Therefore, that is exactly what we will be doing today.

We will take the PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 and overclock it to the highest possible. We will compare that with reference Radeon RX 480 8GB performance as well as overclocked Radeon RX 480 8GB performance using the reference card. To further the comparison we have also downclocked the PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 to reference Radeon RX 470 clock speeds.

This will allow you to see the full gamut of Radeon RX 470 performance from reference clock speeds up to the highest overclocked clock speed. Then you can also compare reference Radeon RX 470 with AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB performance to see how far apart they are in performance. Since availability of 4GB Radeon RX 480 4GB is sparse, and impossible to find or obtain we settled with using the 8GB version. Honestly, the VRAM difference in size will make extremely little if any difference at 1080p resolution.