AMD’s Radeon RX 480 graphics card is still making the rounds across the globe, challenging NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 for the mid-range market. While most of AMD’s partners weren’t allowed to make non-reference models at launch, the floodgates have now opened and a deluge of custom coolers and better board designs are beginning to flow in. ASUS, one of the world’s biggest GPU manufacturers, has announced that they’re readying a Strix version of the Radeon RX 480, and it looks really, really good. Hit the jump for the details.
Firstly, the price – the ROG Strix RX 480 will hit the local market with a recommended price of R5599. That’s a little higher than some local RX 480 versions from other brands, and cheaper overall than many NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 variants currently available. Availability only starts in September 2016, which means that if you’re looking for a more premium Radeon RX 480, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer.
The ROG Strix RX 480 comes with ASUS’ now-traditional triple-fan Strix cooler, which takes up two PCI slots in your chassis and looks like it could be at home on GPUs costing twice as much. The card will ship with a full-cover backplate, with a white ROG logo stuck on the rear. If someone feels enterprising enough, I can envision cutting that out with a laser cutter, replacing it with opaque plexiglass, and lighting it up with RGB LEDs. That would be awesome. Thanks to the ridiculously beefy cooler and the backplate, the card weighs about a kilogram. Best keep it secured with both screws, then!
The ROG Strix RX 480 comes overclocked out of the box at 1310MHz, a small 44MHz boost over stock frequencies. There’s an OC mode offered through ASUS GPU Tweak II software, which bumps speeds up to 1330MHz. While the memory clocks remain unchanged, ASUS claims users should still see a 15% increase in performance in 3DMark Firestrike Extreme, and 19% more performance in Hitman and DOOM, the latter while running the Vulkan rendering option. Auxiliary power is provided by a single 8-pin PEG connector on the top of the board, giving the card a theoretical power draw limit of 225W combined (the reference design is rated for 150W combined).
There’s also RGB lighting included. The LEDs sit on the cooler shroud and face downwards when installed in a system. I’ve yet to play with the AURA system myself (ASUS’ name for their programmable RGB software), but it basically can be programmed in the same way as the RGBs in some gaming keyboards that use professional lighting controllers. Somewhere, someone has probably written a clever script that changes the RGB colour according to system load.
Included with the ROG Strix RX 480 8GB is a year’s license for XSplit Gamecaster software, which is useful for anyone thinking about streaming or recording gameplay on something that isn’t using the Raptr interface. For display outputs, the card features two HDMI 2.o ports as well as DVI-D and two Displayport 1.4-compliant ports, you can plug in an HTC Vive headset and still have one HDMI port for hooking up a monitor to mirror the output.