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Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 4GB Review


Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 4GB 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.



  • 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.


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





Sapphire has been at the forefront when it comes to using custom cooling solutions on its products. For this round of cards in the Nitro+ series, Sapphire leverages a tri-heat pipe design coupled with a pair of 95mm fans to keep the card cool. When you look at the idle thermal results initially, you have to think there is something wrong. As soon as you realize the card is being passively cooled, the result makes sense. The load results put the card in pretty comfortable territory at 72 °C, which happens to be the target temperature that Sapphire was looking for. The noise levels go from dead silent at idle to barely perceptible under load. You can, however, crank up the fan speeds that does allow you to hear the card when the fans are at max RPM.

AMD has been under fire for the power usage numbers reported across the broad spectrum of reviews due to the power consumption of the reference card. The crux of the concern deals with the power delivered via the 6-pin power connection and the PCIe slot. With a 150W TDP and a max input of 150W, the power draw easily exceeded the rating for each input. Sapphire's total board power rating is 150W, but it has provided for the increased wattage by using an 8-pin power connection to ensure that the input from the PSU is overdrawn. The max draw from the system was a total of 177W over the idle draw, putting the system draw over the 150W rating, but within the scope of the 225W potential maximum inbound current.

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