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The AMD Radeon RX 480 is a sub-$200, VR-ready card

AMD are probably sick of hearing about the NVidia GeForce GTX 1080. Their response? The super-cheap, VR-ready AMD Radeon RX 480.

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AMD Radeon RX 480

AMD are probably sick of hearing about the NVidia GeForce GTX 1080 and the Pascal architecture.

It’s twice as powerful as a GTX 980. One GTX 1080 will outstrip two 980s in SLI. It’s half the price of a GTX Titan. It draws less power than a lightbulb. It buys your wife anniversary presents in case you forget. It’s going to solve the Middle East troubles, and if all the press is to be believed, we’re pretty sure it’ll <censored> you with a <censored> <censored> and <censored> whipped cream <censored> <censored> your <censored> if you ask it nicely.

OK, we’re being glib here, but it is a bloody impressive feat of engineering, and AMD have been remarkably quiet through all of the brewhaha… until now: meet the AMD Radeon RX 480.

The RX 480 is not as powerful as a GTX 1080 – in fact, it’s fair to say it’s probably nowhere near – but what it lacks in punching power it makes up for in pluck and gumption, and we all like a gutsy underdog.

What the RX 480 will do, if AMD’s marketing is to be believed, is deliver a silky smooth, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive-ready VR experience, for less than $200 US, which is pretty damn remarkable. While NVidia are off chasing the top end of the market, AMD – with the Radeon RX 480 – look set to claim the middle ground previously staked by the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and relatively new GTX 950; cards that cost a similar amount, but aren’t considered good candidates for VR. Well, not if you want to keep your frame rates above 60 and your lunch on the inside of your body, at any rate.

Well played on the spec and market position game, AMD. It doesn’t look very exciting compared to the GTX 1080 though, does it?


The Radeon RX 480 is expected to launch June 29, 2016. Shop for AMD Radeon graphics cards on Amazon.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.