AMD shook things up at its Computex press conference in Taipei by announcing the Polaris Radeon Series RX 480 graphics card.
At first glance the Radeon RX 480 might not seem much of a match for competitor Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, but AMD demonstrated convincingly that it is ready to give the pricey rival a run for its money. It even claims the new card can actually outperform its rival for less money.
At more than half the price, the RX 480 is capable of more than five teraflops while Nvidia’s GTX 1080 is capable of nine. By simply using dual RX 480’s the benchmarks provided showed that not only was the card outperforming the GTX 1080, it was doing so with plenty of headroom left - using only around 50 per cent of the available power.
Dual RX 480s cost less than one Nvidia GTX 1080, hence the claims.
You’re also looking at 4GB or 8GB memory on the RX 480 and it's compatible with both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, making it an inexpensive option to match with a VR headset.
The AMD Radeon RX 480 will be available from the end of June, with a price tag starting at $199 (£160). Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 costs $600. We think that AMD’s description as “disruptive technology” is fair enough in that case.
We’ll have to wait and see if Nvidia will rest on its laurels or consider lowering its prices in response. Either way it’s great news for VR enthusiasts as costs start to come down on this currently expensive hobby.