As always to start off my testing I run through a few different synthetic benchmarks. These don’t always show exactly what you will experience in game, but they are consistent and give us a good look at performance differences between different cards. Before I do that though I do want to touch on the clock speeds of the Sapphire and XFX RX 470s. Sapphire lists a base clock of 1143 MHz and a boost clock of 1260 MHz. XFX is a little more confusing, they don’t offer a base clock at all but in the information they sent over for our review says the boost clock is 1256 MHz. But on their website they are now showing 1280 Mhz. I can say though that the card I tested last week was locked at 1256 MHz. So going by that the sapphire card has a 4 MHz advantage on the boost clock. The performance numbers from my first tests do have me questioning that, though.
The reason is because in 3DMark Fire Strike the Sapphire card performed WELL above the XFX, 500 points above in face on the 1080p testing. This almost puts the Sapphire RX 470 in the middle between the XFX 470 and the reference RX 480. In Time Spy the Sapphire card once again outperformed the XFX 470. This extra performance also put it ahead of the GTX 980 in this test. The RX 480 has a bigger performance gap in that test.
In the Valley Benchmark, the extra clock speed translated into a 1.4 FPS difference. It's rare to see this big of a gap between similar GPU models, especially when there isn’t a big gap in overclocking. I suspect it is throttling related, but we will have to see how the cooling testing turns out later.
In Catzilla, once again the Sapphire Nitro outperformed the XFX 470. I’m still impressed with how close this puts us with our 8GB RX 480.
For the last benchmark, I take a quick look at VR performance using Steams VR benchmark. Here the Sapphire falls into the green good for VR category. Like the XFX this is still on the low end of good, but it did get an extra .3 over the XFX. The reference RX 480 was only at a 6.9 so a 6.4 is an impressive number for having fewer stream processors and less vRAM.