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AMD's Radeon RX480 GPU is VR ready for just $199

Engadget Engadget 1/06/2016 Devindra Hardawar
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For its upcoming Polaris GPUs, AMD doesn't just want to entice hardcore gamers. Instead, it's aiming to bring virtual reality-capable PCs to just about everyone with its new Radeon RX480 video card, which will retail for a mere $199. The RX480 is capable of more than 5 teraflops of computing power, whereas NVIDIA's new GTX 1070 packs in over 6 teraflops for $380, and the high-end GTX 1080 sports around 9 teraflops for $600. On paper alone, AMD's new card is an astounding value.

The RX480 will be available in 4GB and 8GB memory configurations, and AMD says it features 36 compute units. It'll support AMD's Freesync technology to smooth out frame rates, as well as HDR gaming with DisplayPort 1.3/1.4 support.

Really though, the key selling point of the RX480 is its cost. Currently, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require video cards costing around $300 at the minimum. By delivering a $200 card that's VR capable, AMD has dramatically lowered the cost of entry to VR for consumers. It's also a smart strategy for AMD, since NVIDIA has currently sewn up the high-end and mid-range market with the GTX 1080 and 1070.

Still, it's not as if the RX480 won't be good for gamers. In a remote video, Id developers praised its ability to run the new Doom remake (though we didn't get exact frame rate numbers). You could also run two RX480 units simultaneously, a configuration that managed to beat out NVIDIA's GTX 1080 while playing Ashes of Singularity. The RX480 clocked in 62.5FPS, while the GTX 1080 reached 58.7FPS.


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