Sapphire's Custom Polaris 10-Based Nitro+ RX 480 Coming Next Month

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 25, 2016 - 08:49 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, Radeon RX 480, polaris 10, nitro+, nitro

UPDATE (July 27th, 1am ET): The 8GB overclocked Sapphire Nitro+ will MSRP for $269 while the 4GB version will be $219. For more information on Sapphire's new Polaris 10 graphics card check out our archived livestream with Sapphire's Ed Crisler!

More details on custom graphics cards based around AMD's RX 480 reference GPU are starting to trickle out now that the official shipping dates are approaching (it appears many of the cards will be available next month). Sapphire is the latest AIB to provide all the juicy details on its custom Nitro+ Radeon RX 480 card!

The Nitro+ RX 480 is a dual slot card with a Dual X cooler that features two 95mm quick connect fans, vented aluminum backplate, black shroud, and aluminum heatsink. The graphics card is powered by a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector which should be enough to allow overclocking headroom and alleviate any worries over pulling too much amperage over the PEG slot on the motherboard.

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Sapphire is using high end capacitors and black diamond 4 chokes. The twin fan cooler supports "quick connect" which lets users easily pull out the fans for cleaning or replacement (which seems like a neat feature considering how dusty my PC can get (it doesn't help that my corgi loves to lay against my tower heh)). RGB LEDs illuminate the Sapphire logo and fans.

Of course, all of the LEDs can be controlled by software or a button on the back of the card to change colors in response to temperatures, fan speed, cycling through all colors, and turned off completely. 

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The company also uses an aluminum backplate which has a nice design to it (nice to see the only part of the card most will see getting some attention for once heh) as well as vents that allow hot air to escape. Air is pulled into the card from the two fans and pushed out the back of the card and up through the backplate. I am interested to see how much this design actually improved cooling.

Rear IO includes a single DL-DVI output along with two DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0b video outputs. This configuration results in a smaller air intake but also lets you hook up both a HDMI monitor and VR headset. While there are five connectors, only four may be used at the same time.

While Sapphire did not touch the memory, it did factory overclock the Polaris 10 GPU to up to 1,342 MHz boost. Compared to the reference boost clockspeed of 1,266 this is a decent jump, especially for a factory out of the box overclock. Users should be able to push the GPU further though exactly how far remains to be seen and will depend on the cooler and the quality of their specific chip.

Sapphire's Nitro+ RX 480 will reportedly be available as soon as next week in both 4GB and 8GB models. The 4GB will run $220 while the 8GB card will cost $269. If these numbers hold true, that is only a $20 premium over the reference designs which certainly seems like a great value all things considered! I am looking forward to the reviews on this slick looking card and I hope that the performance and build quality are up to snuff! 

Also read: The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise

Source: Sapphire

July 26, 2016 | 05:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That is one nice looking card. Will be interested to see how much more OC room it has. Particularly the memory.

Undervolt slightly, raise the power limit, and OC the crap out of the memory seems to be the way to go on Polaris.

July 26, 2016 | 08:41 AM - Posted by Rich (not verified)

We heard "as soon as next week" at the beginning of last week. Any more firm idea of a release date?

Maybe this needs to be another trademarked phrase, but different from Soon(tm)

July 26, 2016 | 09:00 AM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

Sorry early august is all i've seen heh. More info, un, soon(tm) :)

July 26, 2016 | 12:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

OCUK was able to secure the first few thousand Nitro cards being made and has pre-orders up. If you want it first, that's where you have to go.

With the extremely high world-wide demande for Polaris the rest of the world has to wait :(

July 26, 2016 | 02:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

converted to USD OCUK wants 328.99 + 25 shipping. No thanks. I'll wait for my local store to get one.

I missed out on a 480 8G stock at Frys a couple days ago because I was in between paychecks. It was a real bummer to put that last card back on the shelf.

July 26, 2016 | 06:29 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

Sexy card, I suspect this will be the go to version of the RX480. Now I have to decide between this and a GTX 1060 from EVGA.....

July 26, 2016 | 08:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you intend to stick mainly to DX11 games I'd get the 1060. But if you want to explore DX12/Vulkan ones, I'd get the 480 Nitro+. By the end of the year every major new game should come with DX12 and/or Vulkan support (along with DX11). So personally I think the 480 is the better long term prospect.

July 26, 2016 | 11:05 PM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

This Nitro+ looks very tempting :). A 1060 is also a good choice though. How often do you buy new cards / upgrade?

July 26, 2016 | 11:30 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

Still have my MSI GTX 660Ti PE from 2012. Torn between this card and the 1060.

July 27, 2016 | 12:02 AM - Posted by Butthurt Beluga

Yeah, if you upgrade that infrequently I would recommend the 480 much above the GTX 1060.
I'm sure you're well aware Nvidia drops major driver support on cards from last generation, meanwhile AMD GPUs often have tremendous gains in performance long after their launch.

July 28, 2016 | 02:50 AM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

Agreed, I would go with the rx 480 as it is a bit more future looking (i wont say its future proof but yeah).

I am still chugging along with my unlocked radeon 6950 so Im right there with ya! These new midrange cards are very tempting though. It does suck that I would have to take off that nice looking air cooler to include it in my water loop though heh. (Thats probably one of the reasons i have not upgraded yet, laziness on having to get a new water block and re do the loop haha).

July 27, 2016 | 11:43 PM - Posted by FeverStriker

Love that back plate!!!

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