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Sapphire RX 480 Nitro + OC 4GB & 8GB Review

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Sapphire ship the Sapphire RX 480 Nitro + OC 4GB in a relatively small, oblong box which features a high resolution image of a robot on the front.

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Inside the box, along with the card is some literature on the product, as well as a software disc. We always advise readers to get the newest graphics card drivers from the AMD website. This will ensure you are running with the latest bug fixes and performance enhancements. Sadly Sapphire's TriXX V3.0 was still in development and unavailable during our review process.

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We like the appearance of the Sapphire RX 480 Nitro + OC 4GB. Sapphire are using two 95mm dual bearing fans in parallel. They claim they are 10% quieter than the previous generation.

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At one edge of the card is an LED Mode Switch called ‘Nitro Glow'. This switch changes the colours of the LED lights. Sapphire say it will be fully customisable when TriXX 3.0 is available. The red switch changes the mode, from a total of six available.

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It makes sense for Sapphire to include LED lighting with their newest iteration of the Nitro+ cards. In practice it works very well, up at the level we would expect from the company. We look forward to playing with TriXX 3.0 at a future date, when it becomes available.

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The Sapphire RX 480 Nitro + OC 4GB takes power from a single 8 pin PCI e connector at the end of the card.

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These are the first non-ASUS RX 480 samples we have seen to include two HDMI ports. One DisplayPort is removed in exchange, which seems a good move to me. This is to support users who want to run VR headsets and a TV via their card.

The HDMI port is 2.0b standard and DisplayPort is 1.3HBR3/1.4 HDR ready. this allows for 4K support up to 120hz and 5k @ 60hz, and even 8K @ 60hz with two cables in play.

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The cooler shroud can be removed once all the screws are taken out of the PCB. We see above the dual fans mounted in the plastic shroud. The backplate covers the rear of the PCB, which is a dark brown. The cooler is substantial, comprising multiple heatpipes which connect to the base which cools both the core, memory and VRM's. The 4GB card is fitted with Hynix GDDR5 memory.

UPDATE 28th July: We noticed that the 4GB model has 6 GPU phases and 2 memory phases, while the 8GB model appeared to have one less GPU phase. We spoke with Sapphire who referred us to an engineer in the company. He said that our particular 4GB sample was made before the 8GB version and indeed has an extra phase on the PCB. It is apparently disabled in the BIOS – giving a total of 5 GPU phases and 2 memory phases.

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93 comments

  1. Best mid-range card going, I reckon. You’d be mad to opt for any of the competition.

  2. Are you retarded? the 1060 beats it in almost every game while consuming much less power as well

  3. retard

  4. power > 280W!

    we cant took anymore nothing about mainstream gpu or low power,its alot,huge power eater.
    but of coz,oc’d max top,and without thouse 2 proellers,its melted.

    i say once again, over 280w load and 73w idle.
    hmm,that idel watt eating is huge too.

    that card is not anymore rx 480 is middle range gpu like gtx 1070.

    still its too slow.

  5. yup, you. thanks for pointing out how much of a 12 year old you are just by throwing a cuss word and not giving any points or facts against my argument, the nitro+ was the 480’s last barrier to beat the 1060 and it completely failed

    gtx 1060 > Rx 480
    bye-bye AMDissapointed crybabies

  6. What the fuck mate

  7. I will enlighten your mind in the world of technology, we are moving towards DX12 and Vulcan for our games, many people agree that the RX 480 wins in those benchmarks with Tomb Raider being the only game in DX12 to favor Nvidia due to the heavenly optimized bases code towards Nvidia, yes the 1060 wins, but as time goes by the RX 480 will staND the test of time longer like most amd cards do. If you plan on upgrading your system often, get a 1060 but if you wanna keep a card that Will last longer get a 480 and many professionals are saying the same as well, and don’t say the 1060 wins in every benchmark while Doom in Vulkan for the RX 480 gets around 980ti performance, AMD still wins because most people will spend 200-240 for a card while the 1060 is out of stock everywhere and if you find it, it cost more then 300, shit, I’ve seen it close to 400 bucks. The rx 480 is in stock and performances great and the difference in frames are small so that extra 50+ bucks is stupid buy some games with that.

  8. You sound very educated and informed please stay in school sir xD xD xD Jesus

  9. And you’re a hypocrit for not realizing you just said are you retarded to the other guy, then you say it’s a “cuss word” when it’s far from it, if anone is acting like a 12 year old you are.

  10. Not sure where you got the 200 or 250 pound price from.

  11. In case you are confused, that’s total system power …………..

  12. In case you are confused, that’s total system power …………..

  13. Thank you for that enlightening appraisal of my mental faculties. And no, as far as I am aware I am not.
    In regards the topic of 1060 vs 480. Yes the 1060 comes out on top in DX11 most of the time, but not by a significant amount. But DX11 is nearing it’s end and the current batch of AAA games are probably the most graphically intensive we will see.
    As Kian Grey pointed out, AMD’s GCN architecture is showing way more promise in the low level API’s. There are rumours that Nvidia will “fix” Pascals DX12/Vulkan deficit in a driver update but until that appears, it’s just a rumour.
    As for the power, with the 4 GB version I would have to run Furmark, all day, everyday for 3 months just to make up the price difference to the cheapest 1060 on OCUK. That’s with the highest Irish electricity rates going (Some of the most expensive in Europe).

  14. hahahahahahaha

  15. but it beats it in dx12 as well, and don’t give cherry picked benchmarks back, I’m talking about the majority, not minority of games.

  16. https://www.overclockers.co.uk/sapphire-radeon-rx-480-nitro-oc-8192mb-gddr5-pci-express-graphics-card-gx-37b-sp.html

  17. Ah yes, thanks. Damn sales taxes 🙁
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ad81ec89b7f1743933d6ac963513babed1f45da0b04ea701a1a96940e7e1e60.jpg

  18. Nice! 100% true

  19. 31 days x 6 hours = 186h
    186hours x 0.082kW (difference between full load 480 and 1060) = 15.252kW/h
    Price for 1 kW/h in Poland (one of the most expensive energy) = 0.13 €
    15.252kW/h x 0.13 € = 1.98 € for month. For 31 days playing, around 6hours/day.

  20. You mean besides Ashes of the Singularity (AMD win but barely, props to nvidia for upping their driver game), Hitman (AMD win), Rise of the Tomb Raider (Nvidia win), Total War Warhammer (AMD win), Quantum Break (won’t exceed 60fps on any system), DOOM (AMD win). I haven’t seen any benches for forza or Talos with the 480 and 1060 but going off of last gen GPU’s Forza 6 Apex (AMD win) and The Talos Principle (AMD win barely)

  21. Carl Pilkingtion

    I love how people love to see the death of AMD. If AMD is fighting with NVIDIA then who is? Then there will be no point in upgrading the performance of the cards and NVIDIA will not upgrade anything becuase with nobody against them they have no reason to

  22. I don’t really see the point of getting this AIB 480, it is way more thirsty than the Strix by a wide margin while marginally increasing performance and runs far hotter (again, vs the Strix, and is pretty close to the reference)

  23. Carl Pilkingtion

    I maybe get an hour in each day of gaming so its not really a big deal for me on how much power it consumes

  24. When could we have benchmarks with games from last 6 months? I mean more representative for incoming titles. We are buying new cards, rather for upcoming games than old one.

  25. I don’t think there is any country in Europe, where people can’t afford additional 2 Euro for month of playing.

  26. http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/11445377

    http://www.3dmark.com/spy/143980

    http://www.3dmark.com/fs/9495139

  27. In old directx 11 games which nvidia is better optimized for, that story changes considerably once directx 12 and vulkan is involved, i mean rx 480 is 20% faster running vulkan doom, explain that one….

  28. You realize it is system power. You can shave off 60 watts at idle and 100 watts when maxed out. We arrive to figures 13 watts idle and 180 watts maxed out for the gpu. Something like that.

  29. Performance dx11 gtx 1060> Rx480
    Performance dx12/vulcan RX 480=/=gtx 1060
    Price Rx480>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> GTX 1060.

  30. 480 was supposed to be a lot better for the price.

  31. Could you share please a bit more about noise and thermal results? I would like to know if the card was tested in silent, gaming or oc mode. Because it makes a big different. I won’t OC but I want the best looking quietest card possible.

  32. In all games? What about doom hitman forza apex quantum break…? Those are 5 games that RX 480 beats GTX 1060 and those are 5 pure DX12/vulkan games.
    In DX11 in most games they are even maybe GTX 1060 pulls ahead with 3 4 FPS but that’s nothing for the price of a gtx 1060… Costs about 30-40e more.
    Also don’t start me on “but GTX 1060 aib costs 249″… well WRONG. No GTX 1060 aib costs 249. Only reference AiB and even they cost about 270 with store mark and that’s if you are lucky. They will go even higher because real AiB GTX 1060 pulls even higher then 300$ mark and then add store mark on top of that.

  33. And people love to forget about the fact, that FreeSync Displays are still cheaper than GSync. And u can’t use SLI with 1060, while 480 is a Crossfire beast.

    I’m even considering to buy 3440×1440 FreeSync and just add a second RX 480 later. Even with one RX 480 could play with High-Ultra settings on downscaled 2560×1080, while working with full 3440×1440.

    But FreeSync IPS 3440×1440 are 2.X more expensive than FreeSync IPS 2560×1080 in my country, so i might just wait some time.

  34. No, it wasn’t. It is as good as it was advertised by AMD. Those rumors were just mad and bad. I never expected it to be as fast as GTX 980 tho sapphire nitro is kickin it’s bum in quite a dozen of games (when nitro is OCed compared to stock gtx 980).

  35. it’s not the sales taxes mate it’s the shipping look at it. You’re blowing away 24 pounds just to get it shipped. That’s huge.

  36. If you add those 50$ savings on buying price.. you get it free for 2 years….

  37. Gsync monitors cost 2x as much as Freesync monitors. Even if the GTX 1060 is 10% faster, running on a Freesync monitor provides a tangibly superior experience. If only Gsync monitors weren’t so stupidly expensive.

  38. Vulcan? is how many games?
    ogl is not even fixed so what you are telling me unless you buy only the newest dx12 games is the card maybe worth it?damn you cheap guys cant get a few bucks up for a nano or fury but can buy 50 70 dollar games? really the Vulcan thing is a sad last grasp

  39. I have news for you AMD has nothing that’s why intel and NVidia charge what they do now.so its like there is no amd if you ask me.

  40. You have no proof that the 480 will “stand the test of time”. That’s just a guess at best, and fanboy speak at worst. The 1060 is cooler, less power consumed and a higher OC. Unless price was the factor someone could not shift on, I would always recommend the 1060 over the 480 as it scores higher in almost every game (it does, work out the %) and has a good OC.

    Ofc you could also not be cheap and just get a 1070-1080 😀

  41. £900 cpu with 2 mid range gpus….That’s a really stupid build.
    http://www.3dmark.com/fs/9072077 – just buy one 1080, don’t worry about super high psu loads, micro stutter, drivers etc.

  42. Yeah you’re right – I didn’t actually look as I dont plan on buying from there anyway 🙂 RMA is going to be a pain in the rear if dealing with a reseller in another country.

  43. why doom benchmark is not available ?

  44. indeed it is… damn UK why isn’t sapphire being delivered anywhere else atm? 🙁

  45. looks this is amd site,all critics deleted.
    rx 480 its any version is big bubble and all know it

  46. rx 480 is 200 – 270, not more than that. if i want one gpu, based on the polaris performance i will wait for vega.

  47. retarded are the nvidiots who deny reality , like you. only in a few nvidia paid gameworst games is a little faster. But in the rest is faster the nitro+ 480 and amd rapes nvidia in doom with vulkan and paralelism.

  48. this review show the 480 beating 1060 in 70% of the cases and all dx 12 or vulkan scenarios so , get the fuck out unbrained fanboy.

  49. the RX 480 is better in everything that doesn’t have gameworks and its cheaper, so no, no nvidiot.

  50. put crysis 3 benchmark 480 is faster

  51. the reason why a lot of benches exist like that is to eliminate any and all performance restrictions from the rest of the computer thus the weight of the benchmark results depend on the graphics card. Case in point, when I first got my 480, I was running an 845, which was great and all for single thread tasks outside of gaming, but I was averaging maybe 20% more performance over my old card (an HD 7870), I swapped over to an FX 8350 and my frames per second went up by over 50%

  52. honestly, this is probably the worst of the AIB 480’s in my opinion, sure it is faster than the Strix, but it sucks so much more power and runs way hotter, I’m basically at (or around) the same level as the 1060 with my 480 (reference) in quite a few games and all I did was adjust the voltage curve

  53. Christopher Lennon

    according linustechtip’s review of the 1060, the RX 480 produces more FPS per $ of cost in every game and at every resolution than the 1060…so, the 480 100% produces more per dollar than the 1060. The 1060 is a more expensive card, so it SHOULD produce more FPS, but in terms of a better value to the consumer, the 480 clearly beats the 1060

  54. Christopher Lennon

    typical nvidia fan’s mantra “DX12 does not exist, DX12 does not exist, DX12 does not exist…”

  55. Christopher Lennon

    Why no Doom benchmarks or ANY DX12?

  56. It doesn’t matter if gtx 1060 is faster than RX 480. What is really matters is that: amd is the reason for every revolution or evolution we have at the CPU & GPU market. AMD GPUs were faster than nvidia at mantle so Microsofts dx12 was a really new update from dx11 so AMD GPUs has similar performance at both of them. Nvidia series 9 GPUs work the same at dx11 & dx12 and because they didn’t know how good will be the new AMD GPUs they construct very fast the 10 series. The benefit for the customers is that you can buy gtx 1060 or RX 480 at the half ( or even less) price that you could buy gtx 980 1 year ago and you could have the same or even better performance. If AMD didn’t push the CPU market probably a dual core pentium would be the best CPU now. In my opinion gtx 1060 is better than RX 480 but if I had to choose one of them, RX 480 is my choice because I want to support AMD. I also hope AMD zen CPUs will be as good as supposed to be so will see a serious CPU update from Intel after 1155 socket ones.

  57. Typo on page 4. 4GB version is 7Ghz effective mem bandwidth

  58. Except that is based on USA pricing. In the EU the nitro costs more than a top of the line gtx 1060……….not sure why AMD prices here are so insanely high. Nitro is €319 and a top of the line gtx 1060 is €307.50 with cheap models going for €281. I redid all the charts in excel for myself based on multiple review benchmarks and local pricing and the performance to euro was: 480 4G >> GTX 1060 > 480 8G.

  59. Very true, but with any dual card setup the proc is incredibly important as that is where a lot of bottlenecking occurs due to the big increase in proc overheads, and a top range Intel cpu is needed to get the best gains. However you wouldn’t ever actually pair 2x480s with a 5960x so the guy should post 2x390x, 2×1060 etc to show the actual relevance of his benchmarks otherwise its just biased crap on its own ^^

  60. Sorry but I own all brands it seems the amd mantra is it will be OK in 3years its here and now in PC hardware plus doom runs pretty well on most new hardware.wake me when you can see some new redefining fx in dx12 because now I don’t see anything visually and have enough fps

  61. Just ordered this card, curious about how much better it is over my gtx660ti 🙂
    Thank you for the review Kitguru!

  62. not-a-fanboi-honest

    Just like Intel is doing with CPUs for the last xx years. Yes, we all need AMD even if you have a problem (for some odd reason) with their products.

    With luck Zen will kick things up a notch or 3 on the CPU front too.

  63. Mario A. Vazquez

    Yes is better, with the games of yesterday and APIs of last year.

    But in DX12 and Vulkan it eats the 1060 alive. The only exception is RotTR which is a (a) NVidia Gameworks title, and
    (b) Has a half a$3 baked lately introduced DX12 implementation, which very likely they never planned to do in the first place.

    And since MS is doing the crossover XBox to PC title that means the future will be DX12 console ports, like this:
    http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/GeForce-GTX-1060-6GB-Review-GP106-Starting-249/Gears-War-Ultimate-Edition

  64. not-a-fanboi-honest

    You can use the 2nd “quiet” BIOS if you want it cooler but the heat/temp difference is irrelevant (still under 80c if your PC is properly ventilated) and as noted above the electricity difference is irrelevant.

  65. not-a-fanboi-honest

    And GHz is the clock speed measure, not the bandwidth which would be MB/s. 😉

  66. not-a-fanboi-honest

    OC+ is about 250 on OCUK (8GB) was a bit less a couple of weeks ago – still pre-order/OoS sadly.

  67. not-a-fanboi-honest

    They have cheaper shipping options too.

  68. This is NOT a UHD card. Good way to make it look bad though.

  69. Gtx 1060 has no sli bridge headers.

  70. Go forth and educate the media. I have noticed them writing that a lot. I just dont bother any more.

  71. pettit.twyla3456

    I currently profit around $6k-$8k monthly doing an online job. Anyone ready to do easy online work for 2h-5h /a day from your couch at home and get decent payment in the same time… Try this gig OW.LY/mxF3302KWXU

    dvfhyougfbqdss

  72. What tosh. This is a gaming review so all that matters is speed.
    If you want to rant about market innovation keep that to Reddit (and you’re also wrong as everyone innovates; look at Cuda cores and Deep learning).

  73. Did you get the impression that big or even massive speed gains could be obtained from future driver updates ?
    (I’m not interested in starting a poor drivers vs better drivers trench war.)

  74. Thank you for your reply but 1st of all you must learn how to have manners. I know is a gaming review and I know all that matter is speed. The reason I made this commend is because people get crazy if AMD or NVIDIA gpus & AMD or INTEL cpus are better. Its not only speed matters its speed/value matters because if only speed matters then you just buy a gtx 1080, i7 6850K and you dont have any reason to check this review about RX 480. Also I didnt say there is no any innovation. If you read carefully what I say is there is not innovation if there is no competition and AMD keeps this competition alive. For example cuba cores is something innovating but if you check the benchmarks a GTX 970 (with cuba cores, release day 9/14) is a lot slower than a R9 290 (shader cores, release day 9/13) at DX12 games and at some DX12 games R9 290 is even better than GTX 980 which means is a lot more than cuba cores can make the deference. Anyway maybe my commend is not 100% at the right forum but I just want to remind some of the people (who are doing nasty commends about AMD products) that AMD keeps the competition up and respect it.

  75. I Haz AMD you Mad Bro?

    In my country is 0.16.

  76. Competition is always good as it results in the consumer getting a better deal, however AMD do suck a bit and that is the problem.
    AMDs power consumption is poor and seriously lagging behind Nvidia, along with software support. Professionally, Nvidia are the go-to guys due to Cuda cores and professional platforms as Nvidia has expanded beyond just gamers (they have being pushing ~6 different target markets for the last few years with gamers being low priority). For AMD to be so gamer focused, they fail to deliver products that are more powerful and/or cheaper. Heck, the R9 270 was a chip respun over 4 generations! Unless someone is on a budget, it would be hard for me to recommend AMD at the moment over Nvidia.

  77. Ah, that’s a bit biased. You shouldn’t really compare an OC 480 to a stock 980 when the 980 could support seriously beefy OC’s (for its time =p).

  78. I’m from Europe and the the 480 is priced 250-260 euro, far less than the 1060.

  79. Whats your avg & peak power consumption at the wall like when you game?

  80. Uhh lol

  81. Why? You don’t have a power meter to measure? If so that’s ok, was just asking.

  82. I’m sorry to hear that €2.44 a month for you then 🙁

  83. in gameworks titles from ubisoft it surely is..

  84. The future is two or more GPU cores on the same interposer next to hbm2 with some kind of high speed interconnect between them.

  85. My comment is about a month after you made your comment. Did you get the card? How do you like it?

  86. bad comparison. GTX 9xx series are way better overclockers than anything out right now. a GTX 980 strix or classified will beat the nitro 480 even in DX 12 titles.

  87. Overclock RX 480 to 1450mhz and its faster than both 980 OC and 1060 OC.

  88. Yup, 1440p 144hz freesync is $500 in my country vs the same brand Gsync version being $900. Insane premium for Gsync. With TV’s about to adopt Freesync, its a safer bet that Nvidia will support it in the future.

  89. And your Kudos BOMBED.

  90. Navigating this website is a bit of a chore on mobile. The page numbers are small, so you have to zoom in to select the one you want. It would be useful for both mobile and desktop to have a dropdown menu to see what each page is and to quickly navigate to where you want to go.

  91. If you’re considering between RX470 8GB vs RX480 4GB, then go for RX470 8GB. It’s more future proof to have 8GB VRAM. And also the Sapphire Nitro+ RX470 OC running at default clock @1260 MHz have the same performance like the stock reference RX480 @1120 MHz which give exactly 5.1 TeraFlops.

  92. hy,can anyone please help me?i have a sapphire nitro+ 4gb and i need the first bios,the one with 1266 mhz i think.can anyone help me with one?thanks!

  93. I also upgrade PC like that, component by component, its easy on pocket to do so. The only time I bought a complete rig was when I bought my first PC.