AMD Radeon RX 470 review: A great graphics card with a terrible price

The Radeon RX 470 simply doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from the RX 480.

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Test 2: Hitman

Hitman’s Glacier engine heavily favors AMD hardware. It’s no surprise; Hitman’s a flagship AMD Gaming Evolved title, complete with a DirectX 12 mode that was patched in after the game’s launch.

Important note: Hitman automatically caps the game’s Texture Quality, Shadow Maps, and Shadow Resolution at medium on cards with 2GB of onboard memory, meaning the EVGA GTX 950 and 960 as well as the VisionTek R9 380 were tested at lower graphical settings. I’ve still included them in the graphs below for two reasons: 1) Because they’re the sort of cards the Radeon RX 470 is directly replacing, and 2) so you can see the comparative DX11 vs. DX12 performance on those cards.

The cards are not an apples-to-apples comparison with the rest of the pack, however.

rx 470 hitman dx11
rx 470 hitman dx12

The overclocked XFX Radeon RX 470 clears 60fps easily in Hitman, and comes damn close at 1440p, essentially tying the results of Nvidia’s $250 GTX 1060. The Radeon RX 480 pulls ahead by 7 to 10 percent—not a huge difference, but a considerable one, and the gap is large enough to allow the pricier card to hit 60fps average at 1440p. Once again, the RX 480’s little extra oomph helps it hit new tiers of experience that aren’t quite possible with the XFX Radeon RX 470. That matters—though the RX 470 comes damned close.

Last-gen’s $150 to $250 cards don’t. They can’t even run the game at its highest graphical settings. All cards with 2GB of memory suffer from severe performance dips the second DirectX 12 is activated. As I said, the RX 470 and RX 480 are a huge leap over what came before.

Next page: Rise of the Tomb Raider

At a Glance
  • XFX's gorgeous, thoughtful customizations are great, and the Radeon RX 470's performance devastates its predecessors, but it's priced too close to the RX 480.

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