CM01
CM02

December 12, 2016

MSI Radeon RX 470 GAMING X 8G Review

AMD has gained quite a lot of attention on their GPU since the announcement of its RX series graphics card back in Computex 2016. Instead of going head on against its rival, AMD plans to push their RX series graphics cards for different segment i.e RX 480 as the affordable alternative for VR, RX 470 to deliver a steady 60 fps for AAA titles at high settings, RX 460 as the affordable solution for popular esports titles.

In today's review, we'll be looking at the RX 470 Gaming X 8G from MSI - special thanks to MSI Malaysia for the provision of the review unit, and see just how far can we go with the card instead of sticking with the '60 fps on high settings'. 


(The MSI Radeon RX 470 Gaming X 8G is available at RM1199)


Specifications
Graphics Processing
Radeon™ RX 470 GAMING X 8G
Core Clock
1254 MHz (OC Mode)
1242 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1206 MHz (Silent Mode)
Memory Clock
6700 MHz (OC Mode)
6600 MHz (Gaming Mode)
6600 MHz (Silent Mode)
Process Technology
14 nm
Memory Size
8 GB
Memory Bus
256 bit
Card Bus
PCI-E 3.0 x 16
Memory Type
GDDR5
DirectX
12
OpenGL
4.5
PCB Form
ATX
Digital max resolution
7680x4320 (requires 2*DP1.3 connectors)
Analog max resolution
4096x2160
Multi-view
4
Output
Dual-link DVI-D *1
HDMI-2.0b*2 (Max Resolution: 4096x2160 @60 Hz)
Display Port-1.4 *2 (Max Resolution: 7680x4320 @60 Hz)
Recommended PSU
450W
Power Connectors
8 pin*1
Card size
H=37 L=276 W=140 mm

The Box


The MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G ships in its usual cherry red box with the actual card depicted at the front of the box, along with some of its feature highlights which can be found at the back of the box i.e RGB LED design, Twin Frozr VI cooling technology, Gaming App software.


Accessories

Accessories wise, the RX 470 Gaming X 8G is supplied with a drivers CD, Quick User's Guide and a thank you note from MSI. 


The RX 470 Gaming X 8G is equipped with MSI' latest Twin Frozr VI cooler; TORX 2.0 Fan design with double ball bearing that operates silently and capable of generating 22% more air pressure, as well as the SuperSU heatsink that utilizes 6 copper heat pipes with 8mm thickness to maximize the cooling performance. 


LED can be controlled individually by choosing any of the animation effects available in the MSI Gaming App, ranging from responding to your game sounds or music to steady light, breathing and flashing.


Unlike the previous AMD Radeon graphics card we've seen, the RX 470 comes with a surprising low TDP of 120W and requires power supply with only 450W for the card to operate. Of course, you need to make sure that your power supply comes with a 6+2pin  PCIe power connector because not all 450W power supply comes with that connector - especially the lower end OEM power supplies.


And... the mood killer. MSI could have include a metal back plate for the RX 470 Gaming X, as the cooler itself is putting on quite a significant amount of weight to the PCB itself. A metal back plate will come really useful to prevent PCB sagging in the coming future.


The RX 470 Gaming X comes with a reasonable amount display output which consists of 2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI and 1 x DVI-D. 


Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Raijintek Triton 240
CPU
Intel Core i7 4790K @4.6GHz
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus Hero VII
Memory
G.Skill TridentX 2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Chassis
Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0

We mounted the MSI RX 470 Gaming on our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room of about 30C° ambient temperature.

Performance 
We ran a few graphically demanding titles, popular eSports titles, and synthetic benchmarks in our possession on a selected settings at 1080p, which is considered as high for much of our test as usual.The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:



Temperature
Temperature wise, we've observed a pretty decent temperature record of 43°C during idle and 72°C on load while running on default clock speed. We've tried bumping up the GPU core clock doesn't seem to give a very significant performance boost, but a raise in temperature instead - we'd say it's better to leave it at factory default. 

Verdict
Performance wise, the MSI RX 470 Gaming X did surprised us a little as it is able to handle most of the AAA titles we've tried at the highest settings, with a playable frame rate. Of course, if 60 fps is your aim, lowering the graphics settings to high will still yield a juicy 60 fps for some AAA titles. The RX 480 on the other hand, will be a more suitable choice to go for if you want to have that 60 fps standard on your AAA titles, given that you have some extra budget to spend.

Other than gaming, the RX 470 can be a great choice if you are into crypto currency mining. Our friends at pokde.net has shown us the result of a well optimized RX 470 that does around 24 MHS on Ethereum mining. With the hash rate aside, the Twin Frozr VI cooler will have an advantage here as well, as it cools the GPU better than a reference design without generating any excessive noise.

At the price of RM1199, it might be a little pricey for the MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G compared to its competitors i.e PowerColor at RM999. If you're looking for a decent performance for cryto currency mining / gaming and better cooling performance is what matters more, the MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G is a choice that is still worth to consider for.

Pros
  • Solid build quality and good aesthetics
  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Near silent operation even when the fan spins at its maximum speed
Cons
  • Could really use a metal back plate to prevent sagging, as the cooler itself is putting on quite some weight to the PCB
  • Insignificant change in performance even after overclocked

 
CM03