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.

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Summary

With the performance we have experienced today we can confidently say that a well-tuned Radeon RX 470 GPU based video card geared for overclocking will pose a threat to the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB video card. Having a Radeon RX 470 GPU based video card that can achieve near 1.4GHz and around 7.5GHz memory will perform faster than a referenced clocked Radeon RX 480 8GB video card in games. What’s more, it will actually compete very well with an overclocked AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB reference video card as well.

We experienced results between 3-11% performance difference between the overclocked PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 470 and overclocked AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB video card. With performance differences that small it automatically devalues the higher price point the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB video card is demanding.

You can save some cash and get a good overclockable Radeon RX 470 video card and have the same performance as a Radeon RX 480 8GB video card in games. The VRAM capacity difference will not make a difference at 1080p.

Let’s be clear, both of these video cards are very much 1080p video cards, we stated such in our launch evaluation of AMD Radeon RX 480. This also helps make the Radeon RX 470 4GB GPU based video card the better value for 1080p.

The only benefit we can see at this point for the 8GB Radeon RX 480 is if you want to CrossFire video cards at 1440p. But then, if you are looking at 1440p you probably aren’t looking at the AMD Radeon RX 470 to begin with.

Product Stack Too Close for Comfort

We’ve stated this before, predicting a product stack collapse, and it is happening. The AMD Radeon RX 470 and AMD Radeon RX 480 are too close for comfort. Too close in performance, too close in price at least when not being price gouged due to low inventories. We have the AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB, AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB and AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB video cards walking all over each other, stepping on each other’s shoes.

To be honest, with as good as the AMD Radeon RX 470 is performing overclocked compared to AMD Radeon RX 480 it really makes Radeon RX 480 look bad. AMD Radeon RX 480 cannot stand out on its own and seems rather under powered when compared to AMD Radeon RX 470 according to our evaluation.

These video cards are just not different enough in performance and price, which is an odd thing to say, but that is the reality. Even between the reference AMD Radeon RX 470 performance and the reference AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB performance, at most it’s around 10% difference in performance. That isn’t a lot.

This is an odd product scaling AMD currently has going on with its video cards. These video cards are too close to each other in terms of price and performance, others that you can’t even find in stock online (4GB RX 480), and performance deltas that do not make a lot of sense when compared.

The saving grace for AMD Radeon RX 480 may be custom built cards with custom PCB and cooling. We have not reviewed one yet so we can’t comment on the potential for overclocking it may have beyond the reference card.

We did try to push the reference card to its maximum potential, so we would be surprised if we got a whole lot more out of a custom card, but you never know. The Polaris GPU seems to be the limiting factor most of the time. Overclocking Radeon RX 480s may be down to luck of the draw. That still won’t erase it’s higher price compared to the Radeon RX 470 though. This PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 overclocked extremely well.


The Bottom Line

Our goal today was to see how far we can take the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 470 video card with overclocking. We managed to take it to 1390MHz. We don’t have other Radeon RX 470 video cards to compare to it yet, but so far this overclock seems rather solid and impressive.

PowerColor built this video card to overclock, and overclock it does. The performance benefit was real and around 11-14% performance improvement with it. This performance improvement allowed the same gameplay experience as an AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB video card. This means you can pick this card up for $199 and experience reference Radeon RX 480 8GB performance for a lesser price, saving you about $30 or more. That to us is what value is all about.

We feel PowerColor did an excellent job engineering this video card, giving it a custom PCB and power delivery with a cooling solution that performs. It’s a solid built card and should provide an excellent gaming experience. If you can get this video card right at the asking price of $199 it will provide a high level of gameplay experience at 1080p.

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