So synthetic benchmarks are well and good, but as I’ve always said at the end of the day it’s all about the in-game performance. That’s why we build badass computers right? So the most of my testing with the RX 480 8GB was spent testing its performance in game. In fact, in addition to retesting more cards on the new test bench to recover those results, I also continued to work on expanding and tweaking our test suite. I dropped Grid Autosport due to performance issues across all of the AMD cards. I also added in the new Hitman in both DX11 and DX 12. In addition to that, I also added Ashes of the Singularity in DX12 and retested the cards I added during the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 reviews.
With 11 different games being tested (plus the two games tested twice for both versions of DirectX) it can get a little crazy to read, so I do like to condense all of our testing down into two graphs to break down the overall playability. This breaks the results down into below 30 FPS that I consider to be unplayable, over 30 FPS but less than 60 that is playable but not ideal, and then everything over 60 FPS is perfectly playable. I do this for both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. The RX 480 8GB performed well, especially at 1080p. At that resolution 9 of the tests came in over 60 FPS with two in the 30 to 60 range and one under 30 FPS. The under 30 FPS result was in Ashes of the Singularity using DX11, a very demanding game at the settings I’m running. The 30-60 FPS results were the DX12 Ashes of the Singularity and also The Division. The Division was very close to 60 with its 57.6 FPS, I don’t think we can be too upset about that.
At 1440p the RX 480 had six games in the 60+ range, 5 in the 30 to 60 Range, and 2 under 30. Once again Ashes of the Singularity was both under 30 results with its DX11 and DX12 results. The 30 to 60 games at 1440p were The Division, Thief, Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs. Keep in mind these are all games running at their highest settings, so beyond them still being playable you can get them up over 60 but you are going to have to turn things down a little.
Diving into the results a little more. I was excited to finally take a look at our two DirectX 12 games and see if there are any performance differences compared to DirectX 11. In Hitman there was about a 1 FPS jump in performance at 1080p across all of the cards but the RX 480 didn’t stand out more than any of the others. In Ashes of the Singularity though I did see a jump in performance in DX12 with the RX 480 were some of the Nvidia cards actually dropped in speed or at best stayed the same.
In the rest of our in-game benchmarks, things were mostly smooth sailing. The RX 480 performed well ahead of the GTX 780 that outperformed in 3DMark. In Thief the RX 480 even pulled ahead of the GTX 980 Ti!