Maximum efficiency for your wallet.
After quite sometime, Polaris 10 make its appearance in front of media (finally). In the picture is Raja Koduri, the chief of Raja Technologies Group (err… I mean Radeon Technologies Group) holding the new Graphics Card from AMD RTG dubbed the Radeon RX 480. Inside this Graphics Card lies Polaris 10 GPU, a GPU that AMD has been boasting about its efficiency. This Graphics Card will strike the lower market segment because Nvidia already command the upper segment market with Maxwell GPU (and Pascal GPU real soon).
I will talk about the nice things about Polaris 10 first. It will come at low price. A real bargain actually. Just US$199 for the one with 4GB VRAM which should be enough to handle Full HD Gaming at maximum settings of many games. It should be powerful enough to handle VR. There will another version with 8GB VRAM too but it will cost a bit more for sure. I am guessing it would be around US$229-249.
How good its performance will be? I think this one is faster than Geforce GTX 980 but slower than Radeon R9 Fury. Is that bad? Not really. Especially when you look at the price tag. It’s actually pretty sweet. And how’s the Thermal Design Power? From many rumors, it should be around 150 Watts. Is that mean this GPU efficient? Yes it is more efficient than Maxwell which uses an older fabrication process but much less efficient than Pascal, unfortunately.
I still don’t know the exact specs but from many rumors, here are the specs :
Clock speed is 1266 MHz
Compute Unit is 36
Steam Processors count is 2304
Memory interface is 256 bit
Memory Clock Speed is 8 GHz
Memory Bandwidth is 256 GB/s
Memory Capacity is 4 GB and 8 GB
Thermal Design Power is 150 Watts
Now the bad thing. There is only one and that is efficiency. It is more efficient than Maxwell for sure but Maxwell was using older fabrication process. The difference is not that much. Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 only has 165 Watts TDP which is only 10% more than AMD Radeon RX 480. Not much lower, eh? And not much faster too. While this is not much problem for desktop GPUs, this can be frustrating for notebook GPUs. This GPU can be used for Notebooks but might ended to clocked lower than 1000 MHz to maintain the power consumption.
In the end, is Polaris 10 a bad GPU? Not really. It’s pretty good considering the price. While Polaris 10 might not ended as the most efficient GPU when it comes to power consumption, it will be the most efficient GPU for your wallet. Why did I say that? Because two of this card can offer more performance than single Geforce GTX 1080 at less half of the price. At least according to AMD.
AMD Radeon RX 480 will be launcher on June 29, 2016. The owner of Geforce GTX 960 (or slower Geforces) and the owner of Radeon R9 380X (or slower Radeons) can prepare your money to get this Graphics Card. It’s efficient and should be fast enough to handle 1080p gaming for every games at maximum settings. It’s also sufficient for VR (at least the entry level ones). Welcome back to mainstream market AMD!