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MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Review


MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing:

Finding out the just how much gaming FPS performance the MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8GB can deliver will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 will be used.


Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:



  • MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8GB: 1410MHz Core, 2190MHz Memory

MSI's RX 480 Gaming X 8GB is a factory overclocked video card that can be overclocked in multiple ways. The quick and easy way is to use MSI's own Gaming application. This software tool offers three preset clock speed profiles to let you go from dead silent to the maximum rating on the card, which happens to be 1316MHz. Not bad for out of the gate clock speeds, but that just won't do when there is more performance left on the table. All of the Polaris-based cards I have looked at have overclocked from 1370MHz to just over 1400MHz. The highest overclocking Polaris core that I have tested was in MSI's RX 470 Gaming X 8G. It's no surprise that the RX 480 Gaming X 8G is delivering the same 1410MHz core clock speed and almost 2200MHz on the high speed rated GDDR5 memory. Pretty stout numbers, to be sure, from a Polaris-based card.

Now, gettting the most out of the card is going to take some work in AMD's Global Wattman tool or you can use the latest version of MSI's Afterburner overclocking and tuning tool. I found MSI Afterburner to be the better option with this card from MSI. I was able to push the RX 480 Gaming X 8G to 1410MHz on the core and 2190MHz on the GDDR5 memory. By adding voltage to the core, setting the fan speed to 100% to maximize core and memory cooling, and finally increasing the boost clock speed, it was just a matter of rinse and repeat as I rolled through the boost then test procedure to find the final core clock speed then memory clock speed limits. Once at the limit, I backed down 10MHz on each bus to make sure that the card was indeed stable throughout the tests. Much like the Sapphire RX 480 and MSI RX 470, this RX 480 held the boost clocks and did not throttle them as the thermal or current load increased.




Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Fallout 4
  2. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  3. Far Cry Primal
  4. Battlefield 4
  5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  6. Hitman (2016)
  7. Tom Clancy's The Division
  8. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  9. Ashes of the Singularity
  10. 3DMark


  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption

  1. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G: Specifications & Features
  3. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Fallout 4, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  5. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Far Cry Primal, Battlefield 4
  6. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Hitman (2016)
  7. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Tom Clancy's The Division, Unigine Heaven 4.0
  8. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Ashes of the Singularity, 3DMark
  9. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G Testing: Temperature & Power Consumption
  10. MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8G: Conclusion
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