Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 470 4GB OC 11256-01-20G Review

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Video cards, one of the most wanted upgrades for any PC and tons of them keep getting released thankfully, each bigger and better than the previous.  Gamers will drool over the latest gaming GPU, as a gamer myself I loved the chance to get to review Sapphire’s latest gen of AMD’s GPU.  Today I bring you my review of the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 470 4GB GDDR5 OC  11256-01-20G.


Before we get to the card itself, let’s check out the specs.

  • Engine Base Clock: 1143Mhz
    • Engine Boost Clock: 1260Mhz (Always runs at this speed)
  • 4,096MB GDDR5 256 bit RAM
    • 1750Mhz
      • 7000Mhz Effective Memory Frequency
  • 2048 Stream Processors/Compute Shaders
  • 5 Outputs Maximum
    • 1 x DVI-D
    • 2 x HDMI 2.0b
    • 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Resolutions Supported
    • 3840×2160 Pixel DisplayPort Resolution
    • 2560×1600 Pixel Dual Link DVI Resolution
    • 3840×2160p HDMI Resolution
  • Supported API’s:
    • OpenGL 4.5
    • OpenCL 2.0
    • DirectX 12
    • Shader Model 5.1
    • Vulkan 1.0
  • Support Features
    • AMD Crossfire (bridgeless)
    • AMD PowerTune
    • AMD ZeroCore Power
    • AMD Virtual Super Resolution (VSR)
    • AMD TrueAudio Next Technology
    • AMD Xconnect Ready
    • AMD Liquid VR
    • AMD Eyefinity
    • FreeSync Technology
    • Dobly TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support
    • DirectX 12 Optimized
    • High Dynamic Range (HDR) support
    • Frame Rate Target Control
    • 10mm Heatpipe
    • 16K Hours Capacitor
    • Black Diamond Chokes
    • Intelligent Fan Control III
    • NITRO Boost
    • NITRO Quick Connect System
    • VR Friendly
    • Dual BIOS
    • Dual-X 95mm fans
      • Two Ball bearings
    • NITRO Free Flow
    • NITRO Fan Safe and Fan Health Check
  • Power Consumption: 175Watts
  • System Requirements
    • 500 Watt Power Supply
    • PCI Express 2.0 or higher x16 lane slot
    • 1 x 8-Pin PCI-E connection
    • CD/DVD-ROM drive for Driver Installation (optional)
    • Windows 10, 8.1, 8 or 7
  • Form Factor
    • 2 PCI Slot’s
    • Length: 9.44in
    • Width: 4.72in
    • Depth: 1.66in

Sorry, I know that was a lot of info but I had to get it out.  Check out the unboxing and overview of the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX470 4GB GDDR5 OC.


You are able to connect up to 5 monitors simultaneously, 1 x DVI-D, 2 x Display Port 1.4 and 2 x HDMI 2.0b.


Yup, all 5 of those ports can be used at the same time, 1 x DVI-D, 2 x HDMI and 2 x Display Port.  I know that DVI is an older standard now, but it’s great that they still allow you to connect to it.  Actually I just moved one of my monitors from DVI to HDMI 2 months ago, that way you don’t have to spend extra money and waste extra time when you order the card to find out your monitor can’t support it.

This is important because as you may or may not have seen in the unboxing video, this card does not include any sort of adapter to connect monitors.

Aside from the card, the package include a few other things.


It includes the Drivers disk, which unless you do not have access to the internet, I would recommend you do not use.  The drivers on the disk are already outdated the minute they print this disk, I would always recommend going to and download the latest drivers.


Also included is the “Sapphire Graphics Card Quick Installation Guide” which goes over the installation of this card, but it is amazingly generic.  Don’t worry though, if you don’t know how to install a video card, I will show you in great detail very soon.


This leaflet comes in there as well.  It basically just states the manufacturer of the card, their address and representative in Germany, nothing more.


And finally, the product registration card.  This pamphlet has some information on registering and the serial number of the card.

OK, so let’s get to a little more detail on the card itself.

[nextpage title=”The Video Card”]

Video cards now are more than just an ugly colored PCB, GPU, a cheap flimsy enclosure, some fans and the output ports.  Video cards have become works of art and not only does the GPU do the work, the enclosure itself does tons as well.  So let’s check this one out.


To start out with, towards the front of the card, close to the output ports, you can see the “LED MODE SWITCH” and the “V BIOS SWITCH”.

The red LED Mode Switch on this card allows you to change the LED lights on the card, the color, add a little breathing effect, temperature effect and all together turn off the lighting on the “SAPPHIRE” logo.  I will show you later in the review how this works.  So what does the “V BIOS SWITCH” do?


The V BIOS Switch, the little almost hidden switch circled in red above, allows you to change from one of the two onboard BIOS’ or firmware on the card.  This is great for overclocking profiles.  On one BIOS you might have your new super high overclock and on the other, you might have the stock speeds.  This will come in handy in case you get a little too loose setting the voltages and/or frequencies leaving your card totally helpless in a black screen, BSOD or one of the other friendly situations overclocking can leave you on.  Switching back to the stock V BIOS options, you can recover right where you left off on that overclock without having to start from square one.

Moving on to the rear of the card, we find the 8-Pin PCI-Express connection.


Since this card only requires 175Watts to operate, even overclock, yes a single one.  The card requires 175Watts and the 8Pin PCI-E can only provide 150Watts but the PCI-e slot (2.0 or 3.0) itself provides an additional 75Watts.  This means you have an additional 50Watts to overclock with, use it wisely.  Here we can also see a portion of the cards heatsink fins, which is also part of Sapphire NITRO Free Flow design.

Turning the card around a little more, we reach the bottom of the card.


The bottom of the card is pretty plain, we find the PCI-e connector itself but seemingly attached to it, we find the heatpipes.  These two 10mm heatpipes help keep the memory and GPU nice and cool.

The backside of the card has an aluminum backplate to keep this beast cool.


The back of the card is also a part of the Free Flow design Sapphire implemented helping to keep the card as cool as it can be.

I borrowed this GIF from Sapphire’s web site to illustrate how the NITRO Free Flow design works.


This animation shows you how Sapphire’s NITRO Free Flow design helps to keep the card cool, sucking cool air in through the fans, pushing hot air upwards and through the back as well.  The exhausting air out of the rear of the card is not a new idea, its been around for sometime but the vents on the backplate that help push hot air out is new.  Since heat rises, it allows the heat to be pushed upwards towards either the rear fan that most cases have exhausting air but also in the chances that your case has fans on the top of the case further exhausting hot air.


Here we can see those 2 fans that are in charge of pushing in that cool air.  These fans are 95mm, these fans ontop of being ultra quiet implementing the Zero DB Cooling technology but also employ the Quick Connect system as well.  The Quick Connect technology allows you to easily replace a single fan in the off chance that a fan dies, so that you don’t have to waste time returning the entire card, just for a dead fan.

I have gone over a lot on this first page, but there is a lot more that I will go over in the coming pages.  Let’s see now how to install the card.

[nextpage title=”Installing the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 470″]

As with all my video card and component reviews, I dedicate an entire section to installing that device and it won’t be any different here.  For the advanced reader this might be a little too basic, but we all at one point did not know how to install a video card.  With this video I am trying to help those of you that may not know helping to build some confidence in PC assembly and also to help you save some money not having to pay someone else to do it.


Here is a picture of how my system looks like after the card was installed, pretty simple process right?  This is inside of the Anidees AI Crystal, hard to show you with the side panel on because it is tinted a bit, and being that it is glass, it will cause a glare.

A small chapter, but now gives us a foundation for some benchmarks, so lets get to it.

[nextpage title=”Benchmarks, Performance, Temperatues and Power consumption”]

Benchmarks don’t just come from a video card, you need the system around it, at least as a point of reference, and here are my system specs

Here are the specs of the Sapphire Nitro RX470 within TechPowerUp’s GPU-Z


Yeah I know, it is the 4Gig card, but it’s what Sapphire sent me, so this is what I have to work with.  The Sapphire Radeon RX470 8Gig card I have found to be the same price as the 4gig card sometimes, but I have also seen it to be only about $20 more, so not bad all the either way.

Aside from GPU-Z, Sapphire has their own utility named TRIXX 3.0.  I will go into greater detail of this software a little later on in the review but I want to show you how Sapphire reports this card as well.


Both utilities show that the card is based off of AMD’s Ellesmere GPU which is part of AMD’s next generation “Arctic Islands” FinFET GPU’s.

This card has 2048 shaders, those are processing cards and the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX480 OC card I reviewed earlier has 2304, this is one of the only differences between the cards.  Well, also the 480 I reviewed had 8Gigs of RAM and this 470 has 4Gigs of RAM, but again Sapphire does offer an 8gig model as well, bringing the 480 and 470 closer together.   Remember this, it comes into the picture a little later in the review as well.

For this review I used AMD’s Crimson 16.10.1 drivers, there are newer ones but I wanted to keep things as similar as possible between the reviews.  It is important to update the drivers as they come out as they fix many things in each release and you will get better performance as well.

Ok, so we are about ready for the benchmarks now, but before I get into that I wanted to let you know a bit more on how I review.  During benchmarking the card will require more power than at idle, so to check this to give you a better idea of what kind of power this card takes, I use the “Kill A Watt” by “P3 International”.  I test for Minimum, Average and Max power consumption, but the most important is the Average.


The applications I use to benchmark are the following.

Let’s get things started with 3DMark.




At stock speeds, this is a decent score and you can see in the run detail that this performed 76% better than all other results.  The lowest wattage this reached while benchmarking was 174Watts, the average power consumption was 347Watts and the maximum wattage pulled was 372Watts.  The max temperature the GPU reached was 60°C and this was using only the stock fan profile on the card, TRIXX 3.0 was not running during this or all of the other stock benchmarks.

While 3DMark is a great way to gauge a little of the performance of a video card, it’s not a game, you cannot play 3DMark, so let’s move on to some games starting with Metro Last Light.


Here are my presets for Metro Last Light.  For each benchmark, I will present the presets, changing only the resolutions for each test between the 2560×1440, 1920×1080 and 1280×1024.



Metro Last Light is known as a video card killer, if you pump all the settings to Ultra like I have here.  All games I will be benchmarking will be with all of the eye candy to the max so you can see what the card will do, and with that keep in mind that if you lower the eye candy you will get better performance.  Later in the review, I will show you gameplay as well so that you can compare the differences between the benchmarks and actual gameplay.

At 2560×1440, we see we are getting 19.52FPS at average, by no means is that playable but at 1920×1080 we can see there is a 44.62% improvement in performance at 30.73FPS.  Since we did lower the resolution, resulting is less strain in the card, we actually pulled on average 2Watts less and with that dropped 1°C.  Between 1920×1080 and 1280×1024, we can see a 33.80% improvement in performance again and power draw lowered by 9.41%.

Might not be a great indication of performance, but I think a good way to get things started off.  Let’s see how much of that performance was stolen by THIEF.




There is not one non playable result here in THIEF, and to start it off with we are looking at 2560×1440.  At this resolution we are seeing on average 53FPS, while not 60FPS I would find it very difficult if not impossible to be able to tell the difference but at 1920×1080 we can see 79.6FPS.  Between 2560×1440 and 1920×1080 we can see a 40.12% increase in performance in favor of 1920, in that we can see 2560 pull only 1.89% more power and only a °1C difference in temperature.  At 1280×1024 we can see an increase of 22.12% at 99.4FPS but actually the power draw increase 1.89% and with that a 7.09% increase in temperature on the 1280 side.

If your monitor can handle 2560×1440, you would have no problem at all running with all the eye candy turned on as I have here in these results.  Now, this game is a little dark so we can’t full gauge the eye candy but Tomb Raider is much brighter with a lot of beautiful scenery, so let’s check that out.




Yet again, the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX470 OC keeps the results 100% playable. At 2560×1440 we are seeing on average 61.4FPS and at 1920×1080 we can see 90.8FPS a 38.63% increase in performance.  2560 pulls on average an additional 5Watts of power and actually cools 2°C better.  Between 1920×1080 and 1280×1024, we see a 25.13% increase though a 2°C increase in temperature but a decrease on the average power consumed by 5.07%.

Let’s see what Ashes of the Singularity says about this, this is a little harder on video cards.


Ashes of the Singularity is a DX12 game if you didn’t not know, but there is a little trick to get it to function in DX12. In Steam, when you are about to double click this game to get it started you will want to instead right click on the title.


On the drop down, click “Launch DirectX 12 Version (Windows 10 Only)”, it implies, this will only work in Windows 10.  After that, once it is loaded, here are my settings for your reference.


Also, you know you are benching in DX12 when you get this message when you click “Benchmark”


Notice under “API:” it reads “DirectX 12”.


As you can see, this game heavily utilizes the CPU and picks up where the GPU might be lacking, though it seems like no matter what the CPU dominated.  Watching this game, in all 3 resolutions (2560 did flicker a bit) the game ran smoothly, but there were some spots where there were epic planetary battles occurring.

At 1920×1080, we can see that the GPU performed 19.32% than its higher resolution benchmark at 2560×1440.  1920×1080, pulled 0.55% less power and the temperature decreased by 1°C. Also if you notice at 2560×1440, the CPU pushed a little harder to compensate, 0.38% harder.  At 1280×1024, we can see that it performed 22.03% over 1920×1080 and the CPU also helped a lot more, 8.62% more.

Ok, I had a conversation with Tom Clancy and he feels that The Division might provide more information.


Here are the settings I used.



The Division shows you as well how much CPU it utilizes, but you can see here utilization is relatively low compared to Ashes of the Singularity.  Between the 2560 and 1920 resolutions there is a 41.87% improvement.  At 1280×1024 performance improved by 21.39% over 1920×1080 though at a lower resolution its power consumption increased by 13.78% oddly enough and the temperature also increased 4°C.

1920×1080 was incredibly close to 60FPS and with that ran very smooth.  At 2560×1440, there was an occasional chug but that’s how averages are built but better than discussing it, I will show you how the game performed, as well as a few others.

[nextpage title=”Gameplay and Performance”]

A benchmark is no way to gauge gameplay, though I know it does help tons, the higher the FPS the better the experience.  So I am going to show you how this card runs on a few games.

Grand Theft Auto V

Tom Clancy’s The Division


Battlefield One

One thing to mention before I show you these videos, when doing screen capturing I have found with BandiCam, you will lose about 20FPS which of course is pretty high but something to note when watching.

Grand Theft Auto V at High.  During the video I do change some settings to show you how performance is affected.

So we did hit the 60’s sometimes in the upper 50’s as well.  With MSAA, you noticed that the FPS dropped as low as the 40’s.  Let’s move onto Tom Clancy The Division.

Frame rate here was somewhere in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, though again without screen capture (since there is no external screen capture device, the card takes the hit) it will be in the 60’s.  Let’s check out DOOM.

This was my first time playing DOOM, at least this new version.  Here we saying the FPS from the 50’s all the way up to the 70’s.  This was at Medium and a little at High and the FPS was the same, 50’s to 60’s.  Screen capturing eats up performance.  Let’s check out Battlefield One.

This was playing at High, in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s on DX12.

OK, not that we have seen the game play at stock, let’s do some overclocking and see what the benchmarks look like.

[nextpage title=”Overclocking Performance, Benchmarks, Temperatures and Power Consumption”]

Here are the GPU-Z results before and after overclocking.  I wanted to mention, overclocking is not something that takes a few seconds and you are done, it can take hours, maybe even a few days to perfect.


Since the 470 is essentially the 480, with fewer processing cores and in this specific case, less memory, I decided to overclock this card, the same way I overclocked the 480.  You can click here to check out that review as well, it will open up in another tab.  Yeah, as fast as the overclock I placed on the 480, maybe I can save you a few dollars.

We can see the GPU Clock speed increased 161Mhz, and I did not focus too much on RAM, but it did raise 280. I feel like I could have gone higher on both but I did not want to take up too much time on that and delay the review more than it needed.  Other things to notice, only overclocking the GPU Clock and Memory, we raised the Pixel Fill Rate 5.2 GigaPixels, then we raised Texture Fillrate 20.6 Gigatexels and finally we also increased the Bandwidth by 35.8Gigabytes per second.  Sorry for all the numbers, let’s move on.

OK, let’s check out TRIXX’s results.





I modified the GPU clock


Then also raised the “Power Limit”


Also the “GPU Voltage”


The “Memory Clock”


And finally the “Current Fan speed”



TRIXX does more than just overclock the card, but I will get into that a little later in the review.  Let’s get into the comparisons.




With that bump in speed, we went from a 3DMarks score of 10,477 to 11,340.  It landed me a 7.91% improvement and I am sure we could have gone even further.  Since I did adjust the power limit and GPU voltage, we did see the average power consumption raise from 347 to 391 on the overclock and the max wattage jumped from 372 to 421, both huge leaps.

Here are also the Run Details, the first one score 76% better than all other results but then the overclock raised that to running better than 81% of the results, a nice improvement.





3DMark though is not just the complete score, that score derives from the combination of the Graphics score, Physics score and Combined score.  You can see above from the screenshots, but on the stock speeds we went from a Graphics Score of 12,078 to 13,244 on the overclock, a 9.21% improvement.  On the flip side though, the Physics score dropped from 14,805 on the stock scores to 14,710 on the overclock, a 0.64% decrease in performance.  To make it up though we improved performance on the Combined Score from the base speeds providing 4,307 to the overclocked speed of 4,683 a nice 8.36% improvement.  So let’s check out Metro Last Light.





The overclock did help a bit, raising the average score from 43.23FPs to 47.66FPS, a 9.74% improvement.  The average wattage drain did jump 7.91% from 243Watts to 263Watts. This was 1280×1024, let’s see what 1920×1080 can do.



While it was a tiny one, there was a 5.35% increase in performance with the overclock though with that performance came an 11.64% increase in power consumption.  Sadly 1920×1080 did not perform much better; hopefully something can come from 2560×1440.



At 2560×1440, we can see the overclock barely brought a 1FPS improvement yet still consume 11.64% power on average.

Metro Last Light as I mentioned is a slayer, we saw it brought a huge improvement in 3DMark, but not so much in Metro.  Will the other games save it?  Let’s check out THIEF.




Starting with 1280×1024 we can see an improvement of 3.46% from a base frames per second of 99.4FPS to 102.9FPS.  With this improvement there was actually no average wattage increase or decrease but on max, there was a 10.92% increase in power consumption but this was on max, so they were surely short bursts of wattage.  A decent improvement though the game already ran great as it was, but let’s check out 1920×1080.



Again we are seeing an improvement of 5.4FPS, though an improvement of 6.56% should not equate to power consumption over base of 13.83%.  This is not the video cards fault though, this is all in the way I overclocked it.  There are plenty of other ways to get to the performance I have shown if not much further using less, this was a quick way to get it. Ok, let’s check out 2560×1440.



5.4FPS improvement over stock clocks yet again, this time though the power consumption went up by 17.16% above stock, higher than before.  With the power, the heat rose as well from 67°C to 70°C, so surely the thermals came from the wattage, but again my overclock was merely an example.  Let’s check out Tomb Raider, hopefully Laura will ease up a bit on the wattage.




Here we are seeing a much better improvement than we saw in THIEF, on average we are seeing a 6.86% increase in performance. Thankfully the temperature also dropped from 76°C to 69°C, a 9.66% decrease in thermals.  How about 1920×1080?



With 1920×1080, we get a 6.1FPS increase in performance and with it a slight increase in power consumption.  On stock clocks it hit an average of 344 Watts and overclocked it hit 377 Watts, an increase of 6.50% but thankfully the change in the fan profile dropped the temperature by 5°C.  Let’s check out 2560×1440.



At 2560×1440, we are getting 66.1FPS, that’s a 7.37% increase over the stock score of 61.4FPS.  Power consumption did go up by 4.61% but thermals improved by 2.82%.

Tomb Raider provided a decent improvement, though it was not really needed since at any resolution and with all the eye candy turned to the max ran perfectly.  Due to the overclock power consumption did go up a little tiny bit.  Let’s see what she does for Ashes of the Singularity.




At 1280×1024, we are seeing a 10.83% improvement in the average framerate.  If you notice as well, since the average frame rate increased, the average CPU frame rate decreased so that we can see that the overcall is helping a bit. Now the bad part is the average power consumption did increase by 6.77% and the cooling has improved by 8.33%.  On to 1920×1080.



On average, there is a tiny 1.1FPS increase yet the decrease of average CPU framerate his been decreased by 6.75% showing that the stress is being placed on the GPU again.  With that, the GPU draws some more power,… well because I let it.  It is now drawing an average of 391Watts when on the stock clock it would only pull 362Watts, the overclock makes it draw an additional 7.71% more power.  On the lighter side, thermals did improve by 2.70%.

Let’s see if 2560×1440 has any sort of real improvement?



At 2560×1440 we get an even smaller 5.07% increase in performance, only 0.9FPS, not even 1.  With that small improvement, the power draw increased by 8.17% but thermals did improve by 4.03%.

It is a pretty cool game, and it plays fine but hurts a little on DX12, surely as the drivers keep getting pumped out the performance will improve.  Well, let’s get over to The Division.




At 1280×1024, we are seeing a 10.27% improvement in the average FPS.  Since the average frame rate increased, the average CPU frame rate decreased 10.17%. Since the GPU uses more power than the GPU, that means the wattage being pulled increased from 366 Watts to 401 Watts, a 9.13% increase… though I wouldn’t mind it too much for such a performance increase.  This is only 1280×1024, let’s see what 1920×1080 can do.



We are seeing only a 4.68% improvement in performance, I would have of course wanted more but it is still incredibly playable.  The average Wattage increase by 13.78%, but surely spending more time on the overclock would have helped power drain much more.  My favorite resolution is next, 2560×1440, well at least that my monitor can handle.



Well, far from playable, but would be perfect on a console, haha.  Even though the results were not great, they did improve by 2.64%. Though with that improvement, it sucked an additional 100Watts, ouch.

[nextpage title=”TRIXX Overclocking and Card Utility”]For the overclocks, there are quite a few applications to work with but I am reviewing a Sapphire card and since they make the card, I figured it was best to use TRIXXTRIXX aside from being Sapphire’s overclocking software it is also used for a few other things of which I will go over here.


I have shown you a bit before, but again I will go over it since this section is just going over TRIXX.  Before I show you how to overclock, I will give you some recommendations on how to overclock, and let’s start with the GPU.  Please note, these are only recommendations and not rules, you will want to find your own overclock and also, my overclock my potentially not work on your card or your overclock my blow mine away, not all GPU’s are the same.  One other thing to mention, as drivers get released and refined, overclocks could perform even better, or maybe even worse… it happens.


This section here goes over how many Mhz the GPU is running it also shows you the temperature of the GPU.  The default GPU clock is 1260Mhz and the temperature at least here is at 31.0°C.  The way I recommend overclocking is 5Mhz at a time and you can raise the GPU speed clock by click the + on the “GPU Clock” or – to lower the GPU Clock.  I recommend writing each change down to backtrack in case you go too high.


When you get the results, write it down as I mentioned and then click “Apply”


If during your testing the machine freezes or you notice artifacting or tearing (spots appearing on the screen, missing or stuck textures) then it’s time to raise the “Power Limit” bar and if that fails then also raise the GPU Voltage and test again.  Make sure all changes you make, you click “Apply” and you write it down.


You will need to play with the Power Limit and GPU Voltage a bit.  My overclocks consumed a lot of power because I raised these a bit to quickly compensate, but since you will now own this card, you will want to use these power settings only when needed.

As you are raising the GPU Clock, you will also want to work on the Fan Speed.  I would recommend clicking “Custom”, which will open up the “Custom Fan Speed” section where you can raise/lower the fan bar.  As you raise the clock speeds, power limit and GPU voltages the card will get hotter.


Once you have reached a stable GPU speed and achieved adequate cooling then I recommend you start working the same process on the Memory Clock.

I would recommend saving your work too, you can do this on the profiles.


You can click on any one of those numbers and click “Save” the settings.


You will want to use the same methods for Memory Clock that I mentioned for GPU Clock.

Here you will raise the “Memory Clock” slider.


And like before, click “Apply” to apply the settings.

This is what I came up with; let me know what you got?


One thing to mention about overclocking on Sapphires TRIXX 3.0.  If/When you restart your computer for any reason, at times the “GPU Voltage”, if you saved it will appear to be “0” (zero)
as well the “Power Limit” setting sometimes maybe just slightly lower than where you last left it, even if it came from a save profile. I am assuming this is occurring since it is a beta.

Aside from the ability to overclock, TRIXX gives you a few more features, I will list them here.

FanCheck:  A utility built into Sapphires TRIXX 3.0 that allows you to check the life of your fans, since you are actually able to easily replace these fans.


This will run a test on each fan on the card.


Now if everything is working fine, this is what you will see.


Problem is that I was not the first recipient of this card, it has already passed through the hands of a few reviewers before it got to me and who knows how rough they were on the card, so I got this message.


I ran it a few times and each time this message would appear.  It worked fine throughout the entire review and I was able to give you the previous screenshots and towards the end I got this message.  With this I have to mention, since this has passed through a few hands before it got to me, the chances of this happening are relatively high, the chances are slim to none if this was a new card.  This can happen with any card from any manufacturer though but Sapphire came up with the Quick Connect System, so this is a great opportunity to see how this works out.

With the Quick Connect System, you don’t have to send your card back if the fans are failing, they will send you new fans and you can replace them without having to wait for the RMA process.

So when you get this message, just clicking anywhere within that message brings you to this page.


Here you can signed up for an account or login if you already have one to fill.


Then click “Add New Ticket”


Fill out all the info and then click “Create This Ticket”.   Remember, the registration card has the serial number on it, so you don’t have to play with the card to get it, so don’t through the card away.

That was a great way to not only show the feature, and how to handle it.

So now, back to the rest of TRIXX until I receive the replacement fan or fans.  Once I receive it or them I will make a video (through the power of time travel, the video will be included here too).


So a few more of the features of this software is the “Settings” button itself.


Settings allows you to show effect memory clock, Synchronize crossfire cards, set clock on Change, save fan settings with profile, Disable ULPS (ULPS: Ultra Low Power State: a sleep state that lowers the frequencies and voltages of primary and non-primary cards to save power, it can also cause instabilities with Crossfire and single card configurations).   The other settings are to be able to “Load on Windows Startup”, start TRIXX minimized and restore clocks,… maybe I should enable that one?

There is also “Graphics Card Info” which shows you information on the card.  Most of the information is static information, of course if anything did change it would update, for example when I overclocked, it showed the clock speeds.

Here are the stock settings:


Here are the overclocked settings:


This also allows you to “Save the BIOS” to maybe store for your own purposes, give to a friend or share with the community or maybe adjust using another piece of software and reflash back to the card.

Hardware Monitor, allows you to see all of the specs of the card in real life, as you are overclocking and maybe running through games and benchmarks. Here you can see where the voltages are maybe if the benchmark fails, then make adjustments or if maybe the voltages are needlessly high, you can adjust looking through here as well.


And “Log Now” allows you to create a log to save your metrics to of your Sensors.  Its output is similar to that of GPU-Z.

Then, last but not least on the TRIXX side is how to control the lighting.

Sapphire TRIXX 3.0 also gives you a nice feature called NITRO Glow.


Nitro Glow allows you to change the LED lights on your card.  It’s pretty cool actually, but both of these don’t really say much unless you actually see them work, so I recorded a video for you.  Check it out.

So that’s about it for TRIXX, pretty nice right?

One more thing I wanted to show you using the Seek Compact Thermal Sensor that I will be reviewing soon was how thermals build up while benchmarking.  The Seek Compact Thermal Sensor is a device that hooks up to your Android or IOS smartphone and shows you in video or in photo’s thermal imaging of whatever it is aiming at.  Check it out.


This is the top of the card sitting idle.  See how the hottest spot on the card, the top of the PCB behind the GPU is at 39°C.


Underneath we can see the fans sitting idle,… since it has not hit the thermal threshold.


This is after only 2 minutes of benchmarking using UNIGINE’s Valley Benchmark.

Sapphire did a very nice job keeping this card cool and quiet too with its Zero DB technology and its cooling system.

Oh and, now that I got to show you have well the fans work and its cooling, I also get to show you how the fans get replaced in the event one or both of yours fail.

Pretty simple right, one single screw to replace an entire fan unit, two screws of course if you are replacing both.


Almost a 1,549 RPM difference from the prior test to when the fans were replaced, that’s awesome.

Let’s see what I thought by clicking to go to my Final Thoughts and Conclusion.

[nextpage title=”Final Thoughts and Conclusion”]

Let’s check out the Pros and Cons to help me gather my thoughts on this.


  • Tons of ports to fit almost any monitor
  • Supports 4 x 4K displays
  • FreeSync Support
  • Supports DX12
  • 0DB Fan mode
  • Quick Connect Fan Replacement
  • Aluminum Backplate (For Better Cooling)
  • NITRO Glow RGB is a nice little toy
  • The RGB on the cards seems a little gimmicky, though some people like thatMost manufacturers are on that bandwagon.
  • LED BIOS Mode Switch in case you don’t want to install Sapphire TRIXX 3.0.
  • Affordable for the speeds provided and headroom
  • Sapphire TRIXX 3.0 is a nice Utility
  • Dual BIOS support
  • Overclocks very well to achieve speeds and performance of the 480 and surely beyond.


  • Does not include any adapters or adapter cables
    • Could be important for people that have 2 x DVI Monitors, 3 x HDMI Monitors, 3 x DP monitors, etc…

This card is jammed with performance at a great cost but you can squeeze tons more performance.  While it does have a host of different ways to connect your monitor (2 x HDMI, 2 x DP, DVI-D) it does not include additional adapters.

It cannot handle the highest end of games with everything maxed out and give you 60FPS or higher but for a relatively affordable card; it does a good job at what it can do.  Since it is more affordable than higher end cards, you could get a 2nd card and crossfire them and get tons more performance.  Even for a single card it has plenty of headroom for even more performance.

The card is well priced, but only for about $10 more you can get the 8Gig version and for about $50 more, you can get the Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX480.  Sapphire is pricing their cards aggressively and the price fluctuates on Amazon often, so its hard to nail down a score based off of pricing.

I am giving this card 5 out of 5 Stars, an Editor’s Choice.  It has great performance for being a middle tier card, you can easily get the performance of the next card up, the 480. You can just as easily save for another week or 2 and get the 480 and overclock that.  I want to give this card a little less than an Editor’s choice because of the confusion,… but they are doing right by you so if I had a 6th star to give them, I would.  AMD and Sapphire and aggressively pushing this GPU and they are doing a great job.

This drives competition among the AMD graphics card partners and I think heats things up on the green team.


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