AMD Aims to Take Over the Entry GPU Market

E3 brings the big games but what about the hardware? Well, AMD wants to you think AMD=gaming in a big way. They hosted the PC Gamer show featuring tons of new trailers, updates and swag like crazy. Oh, and they showed off new RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards. It’s freaking graphic card Christmas. Let’s take a look.

(For more AMD GPU coverage and PC building, check out Unlocked)

First, let’s talk, ahem, consoles. AMD owns that entire market and, soon, XBox and Playstation will possibly see some AMD branding in the form of a red sticker or, simply, advertising. AMD doesn’t seem to be content sitting behind the scenes, it’s going to start screaming that Team Red powers your fave livingroom machines.

More importantly on the PC front, AMD is trying to take over that 80%+ of the graphics card market that resides between $100 and $300. While the big $700 GPUs are great for the vision board, most are looking at $200 for their basic gaming rig.

And $199 is exactly where the new AMD RX 480 lands. And with that $199 you get a VR ready RX 480 (the 4GB model) that can crunch some serious DX12 graphics or AMD’s own Vulkan graphics API (successor to openGL). Vulkan does the good stuff on the retrofab Doom for a really impressive demo. The 8GB RX 480 will probably come in around $50 higher. 

Now, RX stands for Radeon Experience and is meant to replace the confusing R9 naming structure. Expect to see some cool AMD RX branding in the future.

AMD knows the high end is owned by the green monster NVIDIA. At least, until AMD’s Vega lands. But AMD is leveraging its advanced DX12 and Vulkan combined with VR-specific and HDR tech to take the GPU lead on the lower end where raw processor numbers no longer matter.

The $199 RX 480 is sure to be the most popular card out of the bunch. But AMD also hooked us up with some private time for their new cards -- the RX 470 and RX 460. These will land around $150 and $100 respectively, give or take a Tubman.

Where the RX 480 is said to be more powerful than the GTX 970, the RX 470 is aimed to go against the NVIDIA GTX 960 but with DX12, Vulkan, HDR and the latest HDMI and DisplayPort features. The lower-end RX 460, with nary a PCIe plug in sight, is the 75 watt PCie-powered card touted as the answer for diet esports games like League of Legends and Dota 2. My Overwatch antics like to be on Ultra, so I’ll stick with the RX 480 thankyouverymuch.

Luckily, the graphics card team at AMD hooked us up with some quality time with their new cards. These are demo models, so no fancy fans or LEDs.

When do the cards arrive? The AMD RX 480 with 8GB from the likes of GIGABYTE, ASUS, MSI, Sapphire, XFX and others will appear at Newegg towards the end of this month. The 460 and 470 are likely a few months out.

With AMD’s renewed focus on PC gaming, it’s a good time to get in VR. I'm already plotting AMD-powered VR builds. 

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