The PowerColor Radeon RED DEVIL 8 GB RX 480 is a mid-range graphics card based on the Polaris architecture. The graphics card has three DisplayPort inputs, a single HDMI connector and a single DVI-D input.
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Pro Extremely quiet operation
The triple fan layout of the Red Devil's cooler result in a satisfyingly quiet operation. When idling (tamps are below 60 Celsius), the card's fans won't spin, which means they aren't producing any noise. Even under full load, the RX 480 Red Devil is barely audible with 38 measured decibels (A). This makes the Red Devil a lot quieter than a reference RX 480 at 42 dB(A). Because the decibel scale is logarithmic the difference can be noticeable (it's about 40% louder).
Pro Good overclocking potential
You can easily overclock the RX 480 Red Devil with additional boosts for the Boost Clock, GPU Clock and even the Memory Clock, especially considering the latter two haven't been overclocked by PowerColor. In this particular situation, a maximum boost clock of 1375 MHz (+ 45 MHz) and Memory Clock of 9000 MHz (+ 1000 MHz) was achieved with very little issues. The temperature limit was set at 83 degrees Celsius. Further overclocking of the card increases performance. In this case, the overclocked Red Devil card scores 4802 points in 3D Mark: Time Spy, while the same card using stock speeds only scores 4441 points. The overclocked card offers an improvement of a little over 8%.
Pro Decent cooling results, prevents throttling
The cooler of the Red Devil card performs well, both in idle and full load situations. The maximum temperature measured in idle was 37 degrees Celsius, which is an excellent result. Keep in mind that the fans don't spin up at all in idle, which makes the result even more impressive. The hottest temperature measured under full load using stock fan settings was 76 degrees Celsius, a difference of seven degrees compared to a reference RX 480.
Lower temperatures not only ensure a longer lifespan, but it also prevents throttling. Throttling is the phenomenon where the card gets too hot and clocks itself down in order to stay cool, effectively sacrificing performance. Due to the Red Devil's decent cooling results, this never occurs.
Pro Very little added power consumption
Because the Red Devil card is outfitted with a large cooling solution and also because of the slightly higher boost speed, it's reasonable to think that the power consumption would also be higher. Luckily, the difference is very minimal. As seen in this graph, the card is measured to have a maximum power consumption of 168 watts which is only two watts higher than a reference RX 480.
Pro BIOS switch located on the card
The PowerColor Radeon RX 480 Red Devil has two BIOS settings: Silent and OC, which provides the Boost Clock. The card has the OC setting in place out of the box. You could adjust the GPU settings to achieve similar results in the drivers and additional software, but there's a handy and physical switch located on the graphics card itself which makes for an effortless switch.
Pro 8-pin power connector allows for plenty of headroom
A reference RX 480 is equipped with a 6-pin power connector, but the power limit of the 6-pin connector has proven to be an issue for the RX 480 cards, as the total power consumption is sometimes higher than specified. The Red Devil 8 GB uses an 8-pin connector and although an 8-pin connector requires more power than a 6-pin connector, this effectively eliminates all concerns about the RX 480's power consumption and distribution and allows plenty of headroom for overclocking the card even further.
Con Very cheap PCB components
The components used in the PCB are really cheap. The VRM is rated at 46 amps (25 degrees Celsius) and 34 amps (80 degrees Celsius). For comparison, the reference RX 480 is rated at 66 amps (25 degrees Celsius) and 50 amps (80 degrees Celsius), which is significantly better. PowerColor has stated to not run Furmark on this card, because it just can't handle it without breaking.
For full details, this YouTube video by Actually Hardware Overclocking breaks down the problem.
Con GPU Clock hasn't been improved
Although the Red Devil 8 GB is equipped with an impressive cooling solution, the card only received a 5% Boost Clock overclock, while the GPU Clock has remained the same. This is a missed opportunity, as many other third-party RX 480 cards have received a GPU Clock improvement.
Con Quite long, won't fit in smaller cases
The maximum length of the PowerColor RX 480 Red Devil is 12.2 inches (310 mm), which is significantly longer than the reference 9.5 inches (241 mm). The additional length may cause installation issues in some smaller enclosures.