GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card Review: Page 6 of 8

Posted by Paul Malfy on Friday, November 4, 2016 - 8:00am

System Configuration & Testing

Test System

  • Intel i7 6700k at 4.5 ghz @ 1.30 volts
  • Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 5
  • 32gb G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4 3200MHz
  • Corsair HX850i 80+ Platinum PSU
  • Swiftech H320‑X2 prestige AIO cooler
  • SanDisk 240 gb SSD Ultra 2
  • Primochill Praxis Wetbench

Test Software

  • Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit
  • CPUID - HWMonitor
  • TechPowerUp - GPU-Z
  • MSI Afterburner

Synthetic Benchmark

  • Futuremark – 3DMark
  • Maxon – Cinebench
  • Unigine – Heaven

Game Benchmarks

  • Bioshock Infinite G
  • Crysis 3
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Shadow of Mordor
  • Thief
  • Tomb Raider 2013
  • The Witcher 3

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

My Overclocking settings in the Xtreme Gaming App.

The testing environment is kept the same for all GPU reviews with the exception of the ambient temperature.  As hard as I try to keep it the same,  the ambient temperature was a cool 17°c during all testing. The GPU was kept at its stock clock during all testing, with one exception. Both Time Spy and Firestrike were run at stock and overclocked to +125 on the core, +100 on the memory and the power slider in Gigabyte Xtreme Engine. The G1 Gaming RX 480 has a base clock of 1290 MHz. This means The card was left on these settings for all gaming and synthetic benchmarks. For the synthetic benchmarks, I tested OpenGL, DirectX 11 and 12. For the Gaming benchmarks, the games were run in 1920 x 1080p. 2560 x 1440p and 3840 x 2160p. We use only full release drivers and software, meaning no beta drivers as they are usually not 100% stable. I used Windows 10 Professional due to it being the most recent operating system, as well as having DX12 support. All games were run on very high settings, with no MSAA or AA of any kind in any results. My original sample had a few issues. Gigabyte was great to work with through this process and provided me with a bios update, that is now available on their website. However, the bios update didn’t fix the issues I personally was having with my sample. This led to the card being RMA’d. I’m happy to repost that the new sample performs much better than the last one ever did, and also overclocks quite well compared to other RX 480s on the market.

3D Mark

3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark used to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. It does this through a series of graphics and physics and or CPU tests. I Firestrike, the 3DMARK DX11 benchmark and Time Spy, the new DX12 Benchmark. Both benchmarks were run at stock clocks on the OC settings in the Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming APP. I also ran both benchmarks overclocked as well.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

3D MARK Firestrike is a DX11 benchmark. Here are the results at stock, 1290 MHz, and overclocked to 1415 MHz.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

3D MARK Time Spy is a DX12 Benchmark. Here are the results at stock, 1290 MHz, and overclocked to 1415 MHz.

Maxon Cinebench R15

Cinebench is a synthetic benchmark evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. It’s based on MAXON's animation software Cinema 4D, which is used by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. I ran all aspects of Cinebench. First was their OpenGL GPU test in which the G1 Gaming RX 480 scored 166.17 FPS. I’m not so sure how accurate that score is considering the Gaming 1070 from MSI only scored 143.57 fps and my Pascal Titan X scored only 156.60. Second was the CPU test. This test maxes the CPU to 100% and tests its rendering capability. My 6700k scored 979 cb, on this run. Lastly was the Single Core performance of the CPU. On this run, the 6700k clocked at 4.5 ghz scored 192 cb.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

Unigine Heaven

Heaven is a DirectX 11 benchmark that stresses your GPU under heavy load. It's used in many cases to determine the stability of your GPU under stressful conditions, such as overclocking. Although the RX 480 isn’t considered a very high end card, it still performs great, especially at 1080p. The settings I used were extreme tessellation, 8XAA, 1920x1080 in full screen. The Heaven benchmark was run at the RX 480s stock speed of 1290 MHz. Overall, the G1 Gaming RX480 did really well in this test. It had a minimum FPS of 24.9, max FPS of 111.4 and an average FPS of 50.4. The G1 Gaming RX 480 scored a 1271 on the Unigine Heaven Benchmark.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

Gaming Results

I tested my usual six games, all DirectX 11 titles. However, I also added in a seventh game, The Witcher 3. I added this game for its excellent graphics as well as its ability to hammer your system. They were tested in 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. All games were played on their Very High presets, or the settings below max. The one exception were the 4k results. They were run with no anti-aliasing. Each benchmark run was timed at 120 seconds. The games are as listed:

  • BioShock Infinite
  • Crysis 3
  • GTA V
  • Shadow of Mordor
  • Thief
  • Tomb Raider
  • The Witcher 3

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

As you see, the G1 Gaming RX 480 did great in older games like Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite. However, even in newer, more demanding titles like the Witcher 3, the G1 Gaming RX 480 produced more than playable framerates at Very High settings.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

Although the G1 Gaming RX 480 did best at 1080p, it still did an excellent job at 1440p in the Very High presets. Most games even stayed over 60 FPS, and the rest very close to 60 as well. The lowest being the Witcher 3 at 44 FPS.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

If you’re the type of gamer that can handle 30 FPS gaming, then the G1 Gaming RX 480 can even handle 4K. Only 2 games in my suite fell below an average of 30 FPS. The Witcher 3 and Crysis 3.

It was no surprise that the G1 Gaming RX 480 did best in 1080p. While older games did amazing like Bioshock Infinite averaging 162 FPS on Very High Settings, even newer, more demanding games did very well too. GTA 5 averaged 108 fps. Even though the original release was in 2013, it was just released on PC in 2015 with one of the most extensive graphics menu to date. I was very surprised to see the G1 Gaming RX 480 average well over 60FPS in Crysis 3 at 86 FPS in 1080p. Even the Witcher #, the newest game in my suite, hovered right around 60 FPS. After looking at the results, this card was clearly designed for 1080p gaming in mind.

However, that doesn’t mean it can’t handle 1440p, because it most certainly can. Where most of the games stayed below 60 FPS, it was only by a few frames. The lowest average at 1440 was Crysis 3. No surprise, but the best was an older title, Bioshock infinite. Even Shadow of Mordor with the 4K texture pack installed stayed over 60 fps at an average of 65 fps. If you’re planning on 4k gaming, then this probably isn’t the card for you. Although all games with the exception of the Witcher 3 and Crysis 3 stayed well over the 30fps mark. That tells me that with lower settings, all of these games are “playable” at 4k. However, I wouldn’t recommend buying a 200-300 dollar graphics card for 4k gaming anyway. Overall, I’d sat the G1 Gaming RX 480 did really well and even exceeded my expectations.

Mantle

Mantle is a low-overhead rendering API. AMD originally developed Mantle in cooperation with DICE, starting in 2013. Mantle was designed as an alternative to DirectX and OpenGL.  Having only been supported for a short while and by only a handful of titles, Mantle showed great promise. The Vulcan API has recently replaced Mantle and has also implemented a number of features that made Mantle so interesting. Mantle was only supported by AMD cards.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB Graphics Card

Although the overall results for Thief were similar, I did see higher minimum FPS and ever so slightly higher averages.

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