Did this fly under the radar among the mainstreamers? Chipmaker AMD announced the latest generation of their graphic cards yesterday morning, and I found the debut a sound rebuttal as NVIDIA continues their manifest destiny cannibalization on the PC market. Meanwhile, the internet went abuzz with the intensity of a forced murmur.
Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic as my pilgrimage to Los Angeles in preparation for E3 was riddled with insomnia and flight delays, but I’m actually excited for the new RX 460 and RX 470 GPUs. These two entries follow on the coattails of the RX 480, which all fall under the company’s upgraded Polaris micro-architecture, and based off a 14mm process. Although it’s a little unusual that all these card weren’t unveiled at Computex Taiwan earlier last month, I guess E3 is as good of an event as any.
The RX 460/470 fall under the modern everyman category of graphic card. The RX 480 has been touted as being tailor-made for absolute 1440p performance, which has become the standard bearer of smooth gaming benchmarks. Meanwhile, the RX 470 is aimed at efficiency and utilizing the most refined HD gaming on a personal gaming atmosphere. And in a not-so-surprising move the RX 460 is intended for the infinitely fierce e-sports field, wielding an experience that’s impressive for the money and well-tempered for the technical demands.
And yes, both models are VR-cable out of the box. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners may have reason to rejoice.
There’s also dimension conformity, which AMD says are extremely thin, for an incredibly low Z-height profile able to fit snuggly into most gaming notebooks. By that definition the polaris-based GPUs are theoretically modular and are still able to accommodate features such as DirectX 12 (DX12), H.265 encoding/decoding, and the low-overhead Vulkan cross-platform API. There are other industry firsts included that AV gaming enthusiasts will appreciate, specifically HDMI 2.0b, High Dynamic Range (HDR) color spacing, and the advent of DisplayPort 1.3/1.4 on which the latter supports 8K/UHD resolutions.
So how can the majority not be excited by the prospects of getting graphical greatness on the cheap? I love the NVIDIA GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 but its prohibitively priced out of computing plebeian budgets, although amazing GPUs though. For those looking for a good deal, the RX 480 is scheduled to officially launch on June 29 at a agreeable sum of $199. AMD is even going as far to proclaim that this card can outmatch many $500 graphic cards on the VR front, an already expensive extra where any little bit of attainability is helpful to the consumer. Meanwhile expect the step-down versions to immediately hit the market next month.
Hopefully we can go hands-on with the Polaris cards during the summer. Because everyone should love the proverbial underdog that can deliver the goods.
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