Card Layout and Photos
Having tested the RX 460 and the GTX 1070 from the G1 Gaming lineup I had an idea of what to expect with the RX 480 G1 Gaming. I knew it would have a black and orange theme and if you haven’t noticed from the website itself, we like a little orange so I can’t complain about that color choice. The card itself is completely different from the GTX 1070 where it had three cooling fans. It is a lot closer to the RX 460 with two fans, but the RX 480 is a little longer. The fan shroud is plastic and molded with aggressive styling all over the front including the orange dashes to the top left and bottom left of each of the two fans. The card is slightly taller than a standard video card, but it is still significantly shorter than a few of the cards on the market right now. The two fans have 11 blades each and each blade has 5 groves as well. They also both have the Gigabyte logo on the middle sticker.
The Windforce cooling on the RX 480 G1 Gaming sticks with the same basic setup that Gigabyte has been using for a while with good results. They have a baseplate that sits directly on the GPU die and inside of that there are three copper heatpipes. The heatpipes pull the heat up and around to the sides of the large heatsink that runs the length of the card. The heatsink itself also sits on top of the baseplate and gets part of its heat from there, the heatpipes mostly just help spread things more evenly. Unlike a lot of manufacturers the three heatpipes all run out the top of the card, most split it up with the bottom to save space. This means most of the top is heatpipes and because they packed them in behind the fan shroud there is a little extra space taken up there, that is where the card gets its extra height. The two fans blow down across the heatsink to cool things down and that air then vents out the top, bottom, and end of the card and into your case. The fan shroud doesn;t go all the way to the PCB to help with this and there are a few openings all around the card as well. The top of the fan shroud does, however, have the Gigabyte logo on it for facing out of your window. That logo and the Fan Stop sign next to it both light up in full RGB colors that you can set in Gigabytes software. The fan stop is a little silly, but they have that to let people know that the fans being off most of the time is normal. The low noise feature freaks most people out and I'm sure it causes a lot of support calls.
So the reference RX 480 had its 6 pin power connection, but all of the aftermarket cards including the G1 Gaming all scrambled to make sure they had an 8-pin after the power issues found right after the RX 480 launch. Gigabytes connection is flipped around with the clip facing the PCB with a notch in the PCB for clearance. This means they don’t have to make room on the cooler for people to fit a finger in to unplug the power cable later on. Gigabyte used this space to fit one of the heatpipes close to the connection and the fan shroud is also right up next to it.
The rear facing PCI slot cover is almost completely covered in display connections. In fact, where most RX 480’s have gone with one slot for ventilation Gigabyte only went with half a slot and even that vent is hardly a vent if you ask me, the slots aren’t very open. You do get a DVI connection, though, something not every RX 480 comes with. The DVI doesn’t cut into the three DisplayPort connections or the HDMI connection.
While the RX 480 G1 Gaming does have a black PCB, Gigabyte stepped things up with a full cover backplate. The backplate has a few raised features to add some style and it also has the Gigabyte logo in the middle. The logo faces out when you have the card installed in a standard PC case, that’s why it is upside down from this angle. There is a sticker on the back with the model name, revision number, and your serial number for RMA use should you need it.