Home Gaming AMD debuts Polaris with the RX 480– a budget VR solution

AMD debuts Polaris with the RX 480– a budget VR solution

2 min read

AMD reveals first Polaris card, the RX 480(2)

While Nvidia is busy touting their fastest cards to date at the annual PC trade show, Computex, AMD is using the time in the limelight for a completely different approach. The company was set to reveal their Polaris architecture at the show, and have followed through with the reveal of the first Polaris card coming to market: The RX 480. And instead of being a direct answer to the team in green, the RX 480 is indicative of AMD’s new approach to GPU releases.

Higher-end Polaris cards might be coming out later in the year, but the RX 480 is about two things – efficiency and cost. The card will retail for only $200, and is poised to offer around the same performance as a GTX 970 (or 980 depending on some of the as of yet unrevealed specifications). The Polaris chip, AMD’s forth generation GCN architecture and a new 14nm FinFET, will come packed with 36 compute units (that’s more than the R9 380 but less than the R9 390), as well as either 4 or 8GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory bus.

Those aren’t staggering figures when looking at specifications alone, but when you take into account just how cheap AMD is bundling it all up for it presents an interesting proposition. AMD is squarely aiming at the VR market here, by attempting to drive down the required buy in price to get a full VR setup working. The RX 480 should do the trick, which will begin to make this space a lot more competitively interesting than it currently is.

The only real disappointment is when you really start comparing this first Polaris card and what Nvidia has achieved with Pascal. The RX 480 is set to have a TDP of only 150W (which is an incredible figure considering AMD’s previous cards), but that’s already on par with the GTX 1070. That card, in comparison, delivers far more performance (exceeding a Titan X) with the same amount of juice, which could indicate that Nvidia is getting a lot more out of their architecture already.

But if you’re just in the market for a mainstream card that should sort you out for decent 1440p and VR gaming, than AMD’s solution is rather simple. Better yet, Nvidia has yet to deliver something as competitive in the same space. The RX 480 is out on June 29th.

Last Updated: June 1, 2016


  1. Yup, so far looks like AMD will be getting my money this time.


    • Yondaime

      June 1, 2016 at 09:58

      Yup waiting to give AMD my money as well, besides I’ve always been a Red Devil XD


  2. Admiral Chief Protector

    June 1, 2016 at 09:40



    • Frik van der Hewerskink

      June 1, 2016 at 09:44



      • Admiral Chief Protector

        June 1, 2016 at 09:46



    • chimera_85

      June 1, 2016 at 14:05



  3. Dane

    June 1, 2016 at 09:48

    $200? I am getting one. End.


    • Admiral Chief Protector

      June 1, 2016 at 09:53



  4. VampyreSquirrel

    June 1, 2016 at 09:49

    Good news for Team Red.


  5. I_am_Duffman!

    June 1, 2016 at 10:26

    This is very good news. I am already preparing my mind for the fact that the 1070 is out of my budget. I also read somewhere yesterday that it is somewhat overkill for 1080p gaming (which is all I am interested in). The rumoured GTX 1060 which is about $230 – $280 should then deliver more or less the same performance (between 970 and 980) as this 480X at a higher price. This should be a no brainer for the budget conscious buyer until the benchmarks come out.

    I wonder which brand will make better use of DX12?


    • HairyEwok

      June 1, 2016 at 11:06

      For most people in SA playing on 1080p, this is godsend news.


  6. Greylingad[He Charges!]

    June 1, 2016 at 11:45

    What I like about this approach is that they introduce a card that runs with great performance at low cost, instead of the we have this powerful out of budget card which will be replaced in 12 months anyway…


  7. Ghost In The Rift

    June 1, 2016 at 12:51

    Now for the $200 VR headset otherwise its pointless.


  8. chimera_85

    June 1, 2016 at 14:04

    I think I found my next card. Anyone wanna buy a GTX 960 later this year? 😀


  9. Stéfan le Roux

    June 2, 2016 at 08:59

    To be honest with our Rand going down the toilet AMD seems like the only viable option for us in SA if you don’t want to go bankrupt. Fortunately it looks like it will be a very good card! Can’t wait to see the benchmarks


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