We’ve had several teases of custom AMD Radeon RX 480 cards by ASUS, XFX, Sapphire and PowerColor in the past month, but no-one has committed to any launch date, and pricing is still up in the air. While the reference RX 480 design is decent, many people want the quieter coolers and 8-pin auxiliary power provided by the partner cards instead. ASUS seems to have broken the silence now, and has announced that the Radeon RX 480 STRIX will launch in mid-August 2016. With NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 on the horizon, this seems to be cutting it rather close.

This card is going to be a premium design, and anything carrying the Strix cooler is guaranteed to be a heavy hitter in the performance department. To start off, the RX 480 STRIX has a boost clock of 1310MHz using the “gaming” preset, and 1330MHz on the “OC” preset. Compared to the 1266MHz boost clock for reference RX 480 designs, ASUS claims this is a 19% increase in performance in games like Hitman and DOOM, both of which were obviously carefully chosen because they run better on GCN graphics cards right now.

ASUS will be selling a base version of the RX 480 STRIX, which ships with reference clock speeds for the RX 480 GPU, and an OC version, which will have a higher base clock speed. There’s no mention of any memory overclock or a 4GB GDDR5 model, so this is going to feature 8GB of 8Gb/s GDDR5 VRAM. Overclocking the RAM might prove difficult for now, but perhaps that may improve later as that product matures. The card will come with DVI-D and Displayport 1.4 ports, as well as two HDMI 2.0 ports for connecting up two HDMI monitors, or alternatively one monitor and one VR headset.

The LEDs in the shroud support ASUS’ AURA RGB lighting software, and there’s something also included called FanConnect – this is just two 4-pin PWM fan headers for powering case fans off the GPU. ASUS says this is useful for situations where the motherboard controls fan speeds based on the CPU temperature, but it does not ramp up speeds quickly enough to meet the needs of the GPU. I’m not sure if that’s especially useful or if it works well, but it’s a rather nifty addition that I’d like to see in action. The RX 480 STRIX also ships with a full backplate, if that’s important to you.

No specific launch date or pricing was announced by ASUS, although the launch could take place anywhere from 15-19 August 2016. I can only hope that there’s local stock of the card by that time.

Source: Tech Report

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