Offering the discrete graphics of the new generation, the company AMD put the main bet on the middle-class devices. According to the developer, about 85% of sold graphics cards cost between 100 and $300. Therefore, the company´s starting focus on the devices with the good price/performance ratio is no coincidence. We have already appreciated the opportunities of Radeon RX 480 that became the first robin in the new line of the manufacturer. It´s time you meet Radeon RX 470, the perfect complement to the series of discrete graphics with the Polaris architecture. The subject of the experiment is ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING.
Also see: How to choose Graphics card
Radeon RX 470 was nominally presented in the reference design, but it hardly used by the manufacturers of graphics cards. The companies preferred to develop the original adapters, providing them with the effective refrigeration systems and increasing the recommended frequencies. ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING is the typical representative of such findings. Note that to this day the portfolio of ASUS has only two versions of Radeon RX 470: the above-mentioned model and almost identical version, but without an additional dispersal.
The considered graphics card has got some factory tune-up. The maximum frequency of graphic processors has been increased from 1206 to 1270 MHz, while the memory works on the recommended 6600 MHz. By default, Radeon RX 470 has 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. The version with 8 GB will also be available on the market, but solely on the initiative of specific manufacturers of graphics cards.
Let us recall that Radeon RX 470 is based on the simplified version of 14-nm graphic processor Ellesmere with the reduced number of computing blocks. In the version for Radeon RX 480, the chip contains 2304 computers, 144 texture blocks and 32 rasterizers, while the modification for the lower version has the functional formula 2048/128/32. The version for Radeon RX 470 also has slightly reduced DDR, but the 256-bit tire allows you to get a quite good bandwidth of 211.2 GB/s.
The graphics cards is delivered in the box, which is less than the average. It comes only with a manual, the disk with drivers and software, as well as a pair of reusable bands for arranging the power cables after the connection of supplementary feeding.
Design and configuration
The new graphics cards from ROG STRIX has similar style, but ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING is still different from Radeon RX 480 from the same line.
The graphical adapter is not only much more compact than the older version, but also has the other cooling system.
The cooler nominally belongs to the family DirectCU II. It is still based on the dial radiator cassette from the aluminum plates, linked by two heat pipes. The pair of pipes with the diameter of 8 mm is directly connected to the graphic processor crystal.
In this case, the width of pipes is not enough to cover the whole area of GPU. Therefore, the edges of chips come out to the platform of aluminum base, where the heat pipes are pressed. In such case, you could use another pipe. The structure is very simple. The plates are planted closely on the heat pipes, and the additional soldering in the contact points is not provided.
The radiator is blown with a pair of 100-mm ventilators of axial type. There are small bumpers at the edge of the larger blades, which slightly increase the generated air flow.
The graphics card uses the original PCB that defines the dimensions of adapter. The length of PCB is 242 mm. The power supply regulator is based on the 6-phase scheme. Four of them are allocated for GPU, and the other two are responsible for the memory power. According to the arrangement, the part of strength elements is located closer to the interface panel.
These fittings are usually more loaded, so they require an additional radiator for cooling.
The controller Digi+ ASP1106, located at the top of the printed circuit board, is used to control the framework.
PCB has 8 memory chips with a total volume of 4 GB, installed around the graphic processor.
It has the chips SK hynix H5GC4H24AJR-R0C, the recommended operating frequency of which depends on the supply voltage (6000 MHz, 1.35 W and 7000 MHz at 1.5 W). Perhaps, in this case you must use the second option, which means the nominals for graphics cards of 6600 MHz are not the limit for these chips.
As well as the older models, ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING has got an additional connector for the outer fan. In this case, we are talking about one 4-contact plug. The technology ASUS FanConnect provides for the possibility of regulating the rotation speed of the system fan depending on the heating of graphics card, and not the central processor or a certain node of the motherboard.
There is a minimum of elements of the surface mounting from the other side of PCB. The back surface is not covered with the protective plate. At that, there is a metal bracket on the upper edge that links the PCB to the anchorage plate.
There is a 6- contact plug for the connection of supplementary feeding. In this case, 150 W can be connected to the adapter. Taking into account the indicated TDP of graphics card of 120 W, such configuration is enough for working in normal mode. Some nuances may arise if you want to accelerate the graphics card on your own.
There is a pair of LEDs next to the power connector for the indication of power line connection.
As we have said, the length of 2-slot graphics card is 242 mm. With such size, there should be no problems with the installation of the body.
ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING is adorned with additional illumination. There is a lighted logo of the gaming series on the upper edge of adapter. At that, it is located on the bevel edge. Therefore, it can be seen from all angles.
Of course, compared to the decoration of the older models of ASUS line, this option of illumination looks very modest. However, the parameters of RGB-indicator can be regulated with an application AURA.
Apart from setting the color of LEDs, you can also choose one of the few illumination modes.
There is a set of four video outputs on the interface panel: one full-format for a DisplayPort and one for HDMI 2.0, and two for DVI-D. The grate with the large cells occupies approximately one quarter of the panel for the output of the heated air.
The work of graphics card cooler in passive mode without the load on GPU doesn’t impress anyone. In this case, graphical adapter is absolutely noiseless. However, the chip is heating even at rest, so it´s not necessary to withdraw the heat. Here the configuration of radiator block and its ability to remove and disperse the heat from its source.
Without additional blowing, the temperature of GPU maintained at 46-50C. Under the load, the chip heated to 64C.
To maintain such temperature, the fan speed increased to about 1760 rpm. Subjectively, the noise level is below the average. However, with such an economic adapter, one a priori wants more peace. Quite high fan speeds are the consequence of the set limits. Nominally, the extreme temperature must not exceed 60C, the active СО tries to provide according to the given algorithm.
The actual operating frequency of graphical processor under load varies widely. 1270 MHz is a maximum specified value, while during the game the frequency can reduce to 1100 MHz. It is constantly changing depending on the nature of the load, and even the current scene. In some games, the operational ranges are lower, and in other – higher. Dynamically, the frequency is constantly varying not to exceed the set temperature limits, and especially the energy use of graphics card. Radeon RX 470 is restricted by the heat packet of 120 W, which slightly limits its performance.
Radeon RX 470 offers a very good price/performance ratio, even with the cheapening adapters of the previous generation. Graphics cards can compete with GeForce GTX 970. At that, the retail value of RX 470 even at beginning of sales looks very attractive. In the current price group, we will certainly give word to GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB. Apart from reducing the amount of memory, used for this modification of GPU lost a part of its functional blocks. However, even in this form, the adapter can destroy the peaceful existence of Radeon RX 470.
4.5 ASSESSMENT thecomputerfinder.com
PROS: Great price/performance ratio; 4 GB of memory; passive work of cooler with minimum load; effective cooling system; RGB illumination
CONS: Reduction in productivity because of restrictions of Power Target; increase in energy consumption in dispersing
CONCLUSION: Radeon RX 470 is an interesting middle-class solution, offering a sufficient performance for the comfort game in Full HD mode with the high graphics quality. In normal mode, the graphics card is about 15-20% less productive than the older model of the new series based on Polaris. Actually, Radeon RX 470 offers the level of performance, provided by the popular GeForce GTX 970. At that, the graphics card based on 14-nm AMD chip is more economical, and at the beginning of sales costs less than its opponents of the previous generation. If you want to exercise in dispersal, the performance of Radeon RX 470 can be brought closer to that of RX 480, even though the acceleration significantly increases the energy supply of adapter. As for ASUS ROG STRIX-RX470-O4G-GAMING, it is an effective and interesting model with an original cooling system and low frequency tuning. If you need a serious tuning, you could use an 8-contact plug of supplementary feeding, but the existing platform also allows accelerating the graphics card in the manual mode.
Also see: Review of ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460 and Review of ASUS ROG STRIX-RX480
|GPU||Radeon RX 470|
|Amount of memory, GB||4|
|Interface||PCI Express 3.0 x16|
|Cooling System Design||Branded (DirectCU II)|
|Operating frequencies of the GPU, MHz||1270|
|Memory frequency, MHz||6600|
|Memory bus, bit||256|
|Output Connectors||2xDual Link DVI-D (HDCP), DisplayPort, HDMI (2.0)|
|Power consumption, W||120|
|Recommended power supply, W||450|
|Other||Element base Super Alloy Power II, GPU: AMD Polaris 10, microarchitecture: 4th generation AMD GCN, 5 + 1 Phase Super Alloy Power II, Aura RGB Lighting|