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PowerColor Red Devil RX 480 8GB Review

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PowerColor Red Devil RX 480 8GB Testing:

Temperature Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920 x 1080 using 8x AA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.

 

Settings

  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920 x 1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Power Consumption:

Power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and loaded states, taking into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine Heaven Benchmark version 4.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A fifteen-minute load test will be used to heat up the GPU, with the highest power usage recorded as the final result. The idle results will be measured after fifteen minutes of inactivity on the system with the lowest recorded power usage as the final result.

Settings

  • Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark
  • 1920x1080 resolution
  • 8x AA
  • 15-minute load test
  • 15-minute idle test
  • Measurement is in watts

 

 

 
 

 

PowerColor usually puts a pretty massive cooling package on the Devil series cards. The Red Devil RX 480 8GB is no exception to this rule. The triple dual blade fans help deliver a low noise, high performance cooling solution when you run the factory fan profile. In the stock testing the fans go into Zero RPM mode when idling in a 2D environment; very much like what I saw when testing Sapphire Nitro+ card a short while ago. Under load, the additional airflow and dimensional size allow the card to stay under 70 °C with a 3D load. What's odd is that when you crank the fan speeds and voltage up to overclock the card, you get identical cooling results where we normally see a nice drop from the added fan speed. As you can imagine, three fans at max speed are going to be louder than two fans. That is the case here. You can hear the trio of double bladed fans from outside the chassis, but like most cards the tone is not really objectionable, just noticeable.

Power consumption has been a sore spot for AMD owners over the past few generations of the company's GCN architecture. When you run the Red Devil RX 480 with the performance BIOS profile, it is actually a fairly miserly card pulling, 244 watts from the mains under load. The added hardware makes it tough to get the idle consumption down even with the three fans in "mute" mode. Overclocking drives up the idle and load results. The only AMD card more power friendly is the Sapphire card I looked at recently. With only 333 watts being consumed under load, the recommended 500W PSU easily handles the full system load.




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