While reference Radeon RX 480 was not bad either, although it had some troubles with excessive power draw from the PCIe slot, some of the custom versions, including the new Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+, are definitely a treat.
Featuring a fully-custom PCB, which probably packs a bit more VRM phases compared to the custom version and draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe as well as feature Black Diamond Chokes, which are 10 percent cooler and 25 percent more power efficient compared to standard chokes, the Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ has plenty of other features to offer.
First in line is the factory-overclock, which pushes the 4GB version to 1208MHz GPU base and 1306MHz for the GPU Boost clock, which is significantly higher than reference 1120MHz for the GPU base and 1266MHz for the GPU base clock. While it has the same 1208MHz GPU base clock, the 8GB version of the Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ graphics card will come with a higher GPU Boost clock of 1342MHz, which is quite an impressive number.
The GDDR5 memory on the 4GB version will still work at 7000MHz while the same GDDR5 memory on the 8GB version will be clocked at slightly higher 8000MHz. In case you missed it, the RX 480 packs AMD's 14nm Polaris 10 GPU with 2304 Stream Processors and features a 256-bit memory interface.
The second biggest feature is the fully-custom dual-fan Dual-X cooler from Sapphire with two 95mm blades, Sapphire's Intelligent Fan Control III, which switches the fans at low temperature and low loads as well as a special full cover Nitro Free Flow backplate which allows air to pass through the back of the card. The new Dual-X cooler also comes with Nitro Quick Connect feature allows users to remove, clean or replace fans by simply removing a single screw.
The cooler also comes with RGB LED Nitro Glow system and a dedicated button at the top of the card which allows users to quickly switch between standard single blue color mode, rainbow random color, PCB temperature, fan speed, custom color options set by TriXX 3.0 software or to turn LEDs completely off.
Sapphire's new RX 480 Nitro+ lineup is currently listed online with a price starting at €290-€300 for the 8GB version and €240 for the 4GB version in Europe, while Overclockers.co.uk lists it for £239.99 for the 8GB version and £199.99 for the 4GB version, including taxes. Unfortunately, we could not find it listed in the US.
There should be plenty of custom Radeon RX 480 on the market soon and Sapphire will certainly be on the top of the wish list.