But the real news in graphics cards in July was the launch of mainstream models built around AMD and Nvidia’s new cutting-edge Polaris and Pascal (respectively) GPUs, which represent a leap forward of two full technological generations. All are in short supply, however.
AMD’s Radeon RX 480 ($200 for 4GB model on Newegg, $240 for 8GB on Newegg) hit the streets in late June, and it truly revolutionized what’s possible with a $200 graphics card. This thing delivers uncompromising 1080p gameplay, a damned fine 1440p experience, and the ability to run VR without breaking the bank. Its launch was somewhat marred by a power consumption controversy, but to AMD’s credit, it quickly released a driver to fix the issue.
In July, custom versions of the RX 480 started to trickle out. We reviewed the hotly anticipated Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 ($220 for 4GB on AmazonRemove product link, $270 for 8GB on AmazonRemove product link) pictured above, and while the overclock didn’t provide much extra oomph, it’s a refined, rethought take on AMD’s Polaris.