Overall and Final Verdict
Alright, so when going into this review I had already taken a look at a few different RX 470’s. So I wasn’t as focused on how the MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8GB compared to cards from Nvidia. I was more curious if having double the vRAM would help performance at all and I also wanted to see how MSI’s RX 470’s compares to the competition, especially in things like cooling, power usage, and noise. All of the areas that the manufacturer design decisions play a big role in. So first off I can say that the additional vRAM wasn’t as helpful as I would have hoped. I was expecting to see a bump in performance in things like 4k and 1440p testing, but I didn’t see it there at all. It did help in a few of the compute benchmarks and a few of the games did see a small improvement. So I wouldn’t focus too much on the additional vRAM, but the rest of our testing should also represent the 4GB MSI RX 470’s as well. Overall the card was consistently faster than the XFX RX 470 that had a higher clock speed but slower than the Sapphire. Sapphire managed this by really cranking up the power on their card and they have a little more consistent clock speeds to show for it. It’s not a big gap, but there is a difference. However, I’m not sure if that difference is worth the 50 extra watts that is required to do it or not.
That is where MSI really jumped ahead. It has the lowest power draw of any of the RX 470’s I have tested, putting it within 27 watts of the GTX 1060’s. This also translated into extremely low temperatures, but with the fans turned up and with the stock profile. At the same time, the card is also the quietest tested. They managed the cooling and noise performance, however, due to going with two huge fans. This isn’t a downside to everyone, but you will have to keep in mind the overall card height when shopping for a case as it is over an inch taller than a standard card. Some cases have room for that, but others don’t, especially as you get into smaller cases.
In the end, MSI has put together a great RX 470 and If I were on the market for one I would be looking at both the MSI and the Sapphire. They both have unique downsides and upsides. Basically, if you don’t want your card to run hot and pull a lot of extra power the MSI is the way to go, but it is a little tall.
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