Overall and Final Verdict
We came into this review with no clue how the RX 470 was going to perform other than knowing AMD said it was a 1080p card and yet somehow I’m coming out of the review with more questions than answers. I will get to that at the end, though. The XFX RX 470 RS Black Edition that AMD/XFX sent us ended up being a cool looking card with it's blacked out styling. I love the black on black backplate design as well, really aesthetically my only issue was with the cooler sticking out past the end of the PCB. I’m loving the design decision to go with removable fans because I know that it should improve the RMA process for a lot of people, not only that, it should also help lower costs in the future. XFX has already bumped their warranty up to 3 years from 2 years, I’m sure the fans played a role in that. XFX is also saying they will be introducing replacement fans with LEDS in them as well, the idea of being able to customize your card a little is really cool.
The XFX 470 RS Black Edition kicked but in our performance testing, especially any of the tests at 1080p. It actually performed better than I expected at 1440p even, but at 1080p you can toss just about anything at it without having to turn down the settings and that is what it is all about. If you end up moving to 1440p in the future, you can handle games with some slowdowns until you can afford to pick up a second card for crossfire. I was a little considered with the overall power draw, though. This overclocked card was only a few watts behind our results from the reference RX 480. Because of this, I would have preferred to see XFX go with an 8-pin power connection, if for no other reason than for comfort after all of the power draw drama.
So that just leaves me with where my confusion sets in. You see the overclocked RX 470 actually comes in really close to the reference RX 480 in a lot of our tests. That in itself is actually really awesome. The problem is our card as tested has an MSRP of $219. The base RX 470 has an MSRP of $179 so it is safe, but these overclocked cards are actually selling for more than the 4GB RX 480 reference card. Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to test the 480 at 4GB I actually asked for the firmware a few weeks ago but it’s clear I need to follow up and see how the reference RX 480 4GB will compare to the RX 470 overclocked cards. So, in the end, I think the RX 470 is an exciting launch, but I’m sure a lot of you are confused as to what to get when you get into the 200 to 220 price range. Sadly it's going to take a few days to see where all of the RX 470’s land before we know if it’s a good deal or not. But for now, we know it’s a good performing card. Check them out, but consider all of your options.
Live Pricing: HERE