The AMD RX 460, 470 and 480 cards are here: VR-capable graphics cards for less than £200. Here are the AMD RX 460, 470 and 480 UK release date, price and specifications. Also see: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 & 1060 vs AMD Radeon RX 480.

The new AMD RX-series cards are aimed at gamers, from those who want to experience VR, to those who are playing on MOBA games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 and want a no-nonsense graphics card that doesn't require a lot of power to run. Here's everything you need to know about the new Polaris cards. 

Update 8 August: The RX 460 is now on sale. 

AMD RX 480 power draw concerns

Update 12 July 2016: On 8 July, AMD released its driver update Radeon Crimson 16.7.1. This new driver draws less power through the PCIe slot and instead routes the card to draw power from the more capable 6-pin PSU slot.

According to our colleagues at PCWorld in the US, the new driver doesn't impact performance, if anything marginally increases benchmark results in certain games. The power draw issue has also been tested by both Tom's Hardware and PC Perspective, both of which initially reported the issue, and it's safe to say that the PCIe only draw a maximum of 75W.

If you're looking to reduce the power draw, make sure to enable 'Compatibility Mode' under the 'Global Graphics' settings in your AMD settings. This mode reduces the power draw of the RX 480 on the motherboard's PCIe slot.

Also see our GTX 1070 review and GTX 1080 review.

AMD RX 480 4GB BIOS flashing

A very intriguing find by TechPowerUp has revealed that you can unlock a RX 480 4GB to a 8GB version, by a simple BIOS flash.

This of course really depends on your card, but if your RX 480 has eight Samsung chips on its PCB, then you can theoretically unlock them by flashing a 8GB BIOS on your 4GB card. This will then enable you to utilise those extra, unused memory modules. Do be warned that this will void your warranty, as you'll be flashing non-certified BIOS, taking apart your GPU and potentially running into problems in the long run.

If done successfully, you'll then have a 8GB card for the price of a 4GB one!

AMD RX 460 release date: When is the RX 460 coming out?

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - Side card

The RX 460 is now on sale, with prices ranging from £99 for a 2GB model up to around £135 for a 4GB card.

The RX 480 is available in both 4GB and 8GB VRAM versions. The RX 470 with 4GB VRAM, and the RX 460 comes in 2GB and 4GB VRAM models. 

You'll be able to find the AMD cards through a variety of UK retailers, such as Overclockers UKeBuyer, Scan and Maplin. You can also buy the Sapphire RX 480 8GB for £219.99 from Amazon.

Other manufacturers offering AMD cards include: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, HIS and PowerColor.

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 UK price: How much do the RX 460, 470 and 480 cost?

Due to the volatility in the market, especially with the announcement of Brexit and a drop in the value of the Pound against the Dollar, prices are currently unstable. However, in the UK you can find the RX 480 at £180, but sourcing it is proving to be a little tricky at the moment. If you want to buy an RX 480 right away, the 8GB version is readily available for around £220.

Here are the prices in the US and UK (these are a rough guide - prices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer):

AMD RX 480 UK price

  • 4GB VRAM: $199 / £180 inc VAT
  • 8GB VRAM: $239 / £220 inc VAT

AMD RX 470 UK price

  • 4GB VRAM: $179 / £170 inc VAT

AMD RX 460 UK price

  • 2GB VRAM: $99 / £99 inc VAT
  • 4GB VRAM: $129 / £135 inc VAT

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - Sides

The prices are extremely attractive, with the RX 480 aimed at those wanting to game on VR or on 2K (2560x1440) screens. In CrossFire (where two or more cards are used together), the RX 480s beats a single GTX 1070. AMD had made us believe that it could beat a single GTX 1080, but as Ars Technica pointed out, a single GTX 1080 or 1070 is better than having to deal with a CrossFire setup, especially with its increased power draw consumption.

The RX 470 is aimed at those who want a smooth 1080P at 60fps experience, allowing gamers to play their favourite games in full-HD without worrying about the framerate dropping under 60fps. Unfortunately, it's very closely priced to the RX 480, meaning most people will opt for the more powerful and VR-capable RX 480 over the RX 470. See PCWorld's review of the RX 470, our colleagues in the US.

Meanwhile, the RX 460 is aimed at eSports gamers. In other words, those who don't need a super powerful graphics card, but still want to play their favourite games in full-HD or at a high framerate.

Read next: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080,1070 & 1060 UK release date, price, features and specification.

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 specification and features: What to expect from Polaris cards?

The new Polaris cards run on a 14nm FinFET manufacturing method, allowing the cards to run much more efficiently and produce a better output. The new cards also run on higher clock rates versus the older generation cards.

AMD RX 480 specs

  • Stream Processors: 2304
  • AMD CUs: 36
  • Core clock: 1120MHz
  • Boost clock: 1266MHz
  • VRAM: 4 & 8GB GDDR5
  • TFLOP: 5.8
  • Memory clock: 7Gbps (4GB) & 8Gbps (8GB)
  • Memory bus width: 256-bit
  • Memory bandwidth (GB/s): 224 (4GB) & 256 (8GB)
  • TDP: 150W
  • Transistors: 5.7b
  • Manufacturing process: 14nm FinFET
  • Power: 1x 6-pin
  • Standard card length: 243mm

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - RX480

AMD RX 470 specs 

  • Stream Processors: 2048
  • AMD CUs: 32
  • Core clock: 926MHz
  • Boost clock: 1206MHz
  • VRAM: 4GB GDDR5
  • TFLOP: 4.9
  • Memory clock: 6.6Gbps
  • Memory bus width: 256-bit
  • Memory bandwidth (GB/s) 211
  • TDP: 120W
  • Transistors: 5.7b
  • Manufacturing process: 14nm FinFET 
  • Power: 1x 6-pin

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - RX470

AMD RX 460 specs

  • Stream Processors: 896
  • AMD CUs: 14
  • Core clock: 1090MHz
  • Boost clock: 1200MHz
  • VRAM: 2 & 4GB GDDR5
  • TFLOP: 2.2
  • Memory clock: 7Gbps
  • Memory bus width: 128-bit
  • Memory bandwidth (GB/s): 112
  • TDP: 75W
  • Transistors: 3.5b (unknown)
  • Manufacturing process: 14nm FinFET 
  • Power: None

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - RX460

Looking at the specs above, the cards are aimed at those who aren't going to be running a single card playing games in 4K, rather those who want a good full-HD experience.

Note: depending on the configuration of the cards by third-party manufacturers and the VRAM version you select, the card's specs will vary. For example, Sapphire are set to release a 8GB OC version with a 8-pin power connector, allowing you to draw more power from your PSU for greater overclocking headroom.

Looking more closely at the RX 480, we can see that it sits somewhat in-between the R9 390 and R9 390X in terms of its on-paper specs.

The RX 470 has sufficient firepower for those wanting to game at full-HD while also enjoying a solid 60fps experience, but as previously mentioned, we expect most people to see past it and buy the RX 480 instead.

The RX 460 on the other hand is really aimed at those who want a very cheap graphics card for eSports. The card has a very low power draw (<75W), meaning it doesn't need an additional power supply: it takes power from the PCIe slot.

The RX 470 and 480 on the other hand needs a 6-pin PCIe connector from the PSU to work. The low-power consumprion of the RX 460 mean it's perfect to simply plug and play into any computer. The card will also run on Polaris 11, a cut down version of the full Polaris 10.

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - Polaris

For those who are into eSports, resolution is often not important, whereby most play on a lower resolution in order to achieve the highest possible framerates. For example, playing at 300fps with a black border 4:3 resolution on CS:GO.

All three new Polaris RX cards include support for HDR (high-dynamic-range) rendering, which allows better lighting scenarios in games - making games more visually accurate and appealing.

The cards also support AMD FreeSync, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, Direct X12 and Vulkan, and have H.265, HEVC encoding and decoding capabilities.

AMD RX 460, 470, 480 release date, price and specs - Streaming

AMD RX 460, 470, 480: Videos

AMD at Computex 2016