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The RX 480 vs. the 290X vs. the GTX 1060 – Has AMD Neglected Hawaii? – 35 games benchmarked

It’s been about six months since BTR compared the RX 480 versus the GTX 1060 and versus the 290X.  It will be interesting to see if there have been any major performance changes since then.  Has AMD neglected Hawaii in favor of Polaris, and what about Pascal performance?

This evaluation will revisit 25 games from the launch evaluation of the RX 480 on June 29, 2016, the follow-up on July 17 where we noted significant Polaris performance increases with Crimson 16.7.2, and we will also include the original GTX 1060 drivers from its launch on July 19, 2016.

We will use the same 25 games that we benched then, and we will again compare them using the latest drivers, plus we will add 11 newer games including Watch Dogs 2 and Tom Clancy’s The Division which now has a DX12 pathway for a total of 35 games.

The GTX 1060 and the RX 480 are in a similar price range and they have been natural competitors for almost 6 months.  Our game benchmark suite has changed over the past six months as we always strive to update our tested games to include the latest and most popular titles at the time of posting.

We mainly want to see how these upper-midrange GPUs stand now in relation to each other by playing the latest games with updated drivers at demanding settings that we usually bench at 3840×2160, 2560×1440, and at 1920×1080.

Let’s check out the RX 480 versus the GTX 1060 and versus the 290X after we look over our test configuration on the next page.

  • Casecutter

    AMD Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.1 here show decent traction.

  • Kessler

    These results are incredible, make sure that you guys compare the rx 480 and gtx 1060 once they age by the way, i’d be awesome to see a comparison between the 280x and 780 ^^

    • BraveLabrador

      This. Also they should do a comparison between the R9 380 and the GTX 960. Most sites wrote that the GTX 960 was faster. Tomshardware went so far to write that the GTX 950 is extremely close to the 960 (so close that they couldn’t recommend the 960 anymore) and ahead of the 380. Yeah right. In all 2016 reviews, the 380 destroys the 960, while the 950 is far behind. If you want to have a good laugh, read their review.

  • John Mellinger

    Why am I now finding out about this. I been slacking. Great job on all the work you put in for this!

  • To Be or Blah

    18-17 for RX480, its officially faster card 🙂

  • Eric Hudson

    Fine Wine baby. Still running waterblocked 290x’s in CF in one of my rigs. Bought them when they came out and they just keep getting better. They are hot and draw a lot of power, especially overclocked like mine, but they hold a special place in my heart haha. The RX 480 is great for budget builds I guess, but its pretty sad that the only real improvement is power draw and temps. Only recently broke down and bought a gtx 1080 for a newer rig to get away from using crossfire.

  • BeehiveRound

    Got a 290X MATRIX in reserve and a 390X STRIX in my wife’s systems Still very solid cards for 1080p and some 1440p titles. Basically though 480 ~390X~290X and 1060 6GB ~980~780Ti. Really this is all top end 2013 performance. Same as 1070~980Ti.