VR Headset
Radeon RX480AMD is presenting a cheap, high quality graphics card in order to allow more gamers to experience VR.

AMD has recently announced their brand new graphics card, and they seem to have an ambitious, though achievable, goal in mind.

AMD is looking to bring the price of VR down to allow more people to access it. Raja Koduri (head of the Radeon Technologies group) described ‘good’ VR as being experience such as the VIVE and PlayStation VR and ‘bad’ to be mobile phone VR. The difference being that bad VR is more convenient, but lower in quality and good VR is just the opposite.

The main inconvenience of good VR is the price. Not only does it cost $799 to buy the Vive, but one of the biggest costs to run the headset is in creating a computer powerful enough for it. This is the main reason for the popularity behind PlayStation VR; it’s more affordable price tag.

AMD has noticed this problem and wants to do something about it. In one interview with LinusTechTips, Koduri stated, we want to get ‘good’ VR to all one hundred million users.”  This is a huge task, but they seem to have come through, on the 29th of June, they will be releasing the Radeon RX 480.

Radeon RX480In order to give some context to the RX 480, I’ll compare it to its most likely competitor the GeForce GTX 10 series, more specifically the 1070 as it matches better with the RX 480.

The exact numbers of the RX are still unknown, but there are claims it is able to compute over 5 Terra FLOPS compared to the GTX 1070 showing  5.783 Terra FLOPS. The really interesting difference between the cards comes when we look at the price, the GTX 1070 isn’t on sale yet, but it is expected to cost around $380, which would be a good price until we look at the RX480, which Koduri claimed will be priced at $199.

I will admit to being skeptical about a graphics card having a price point this low, however, if they are able to sell what they promise at this price then not only will it significantly drive down VR prices, but also high quality PC gaming in general. Assuming this is all true, then I struggle to imagine why people would choose the GTX with it being almost double the price for next to no difference in processing power.

Even if we were to look at the GTX 1080 then there is a significant jump in performance, with it reaching over 8 Terra FLOPS, but the cost is triple that of the RX 480. If money is no object, then NVIDIA will provide very high quality cards, but for the typical games who want to enjoy VR, AMD might be able to make it a possibility.

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