This evaluation is the follow-up to our PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 video card launch review. That review was not supposed to be of the reference 4GB RX 470 at stock clocks, but the BIOS that came with the PowerColor Red Devil had clocks that were completely locked down at the reference RX 470 speeds (1206MHz), nor would it overclock at all. What you will see now is a PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 running at PowerColor (1270MHz) RX 470 speeds, and we also manually overclocked it for even higher performance.
Make sure to check out the launch of the RX 480 on June 29 to see the details of the Polaris architecture, and you can follow its progress with improved drivers that somewhat addressed its power issues, and you can also see how the overclocked RX 480 fared versus the overclocked GTX 1060.
Instead of requiring two PCIe connectors as in the 28nm R9 200 and 300 series, the 14nm RX 480 and the RX 470 get by with only one, yet they are supposed to deliver near R9 390 performance. In the case of the PowerColor Red Devil RX 470, it uses a single 8-pin PCIe cable versus the 6-pin power connector in the reference RX 470 and RX 480. And we saw the RX 480 get into trouble with its 6-pin connector as being insufficient for overclocking. Having an 8-pin power connector plus superior 6+1 multi-phases where each phase supplies 25W instead of 22.5W found in the reference board, the Red Devil RX 470 is designed for superior performance and overclocking, plus more stable power delivery.
Here are the specifications for the RX 480.The Red Devil’s boost clocks have been increased from 1206MHz to 1270MHz, giving it near-parity with the RX 480 clocks. The main difference is that the RX 480 has 36 Compute Units while the RX 470 has 32.
Our main focus is to test the Red Devil RX 470 at PowerColor clocks and also further overclocked by us, against the reference RX 470 and the reference RX 480. We shall test 25 games and 2 synthetic benchmarks at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1440. Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-6700K at 4.00GHz which turbos to 4.4GHz for all cores as set in the ASRock Z7170 motherboard’s BIOS, and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 at 3000MHz.
- PowerColor RX 470 4GB – $199 – at RX 470 reference clocks, PowerColor clocks and further overclocked by us; reference card is $179
- RX 480 8GB – reference version – $239 to $259
The PowerColor Design
The PowerColor Red Devil RX470 is a good looking and solidly built card with twin fan technology called Double Blade III which has more fan blades for increasing airflow, and their design helps to prevent dust deposits. The Double Blade III is made with dual 80mm 2-ball bearing fans to give what PowerColor claims is 4 times more longevity than regular fans, and they act to cool the card better than the reference blower. Turning it over, we see it is has a solid backplate.
We originally pointed out that the PowerColor Red Devil card carries a hexagram inside a circle – a six-pointed star which is a symbol originating in Egypt and adopted as a symbol of the Jewish faith. Although PowerColor’s hexagram in a circle has nothing to do with the associated modern occult Pentagram symbol which is always a similarly drawn 5-pointed star inside a circle, it may well refer to the Seal of Solomon which implies that a Devil is bound within the card.
Let’s check out the PowerColor Red Devil RX 470’s performance after we look over our test configuration on the next page.