XFX Radeon RX460 4GB Review

Submitted by Robbie Pyckhout on Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:04

 

In addition to the RX series, AMD just released a new member even more budget friendly than the other two products. The card focuses primarily on budget gamers who mainly play eSports-like games, for which League of Legends, DOTA and Overwatch are highly anticipated examples. Although, the card should be able to play all newer titles decently on medium settings as it's said to bring console-like performance on a small form factor.

Our review today will cover XFX's RX460 with a total of 4GB GDDR5 on board. This version of the RX460 is slightly overclocked and comes with a custom thermal design by XFX.

 

Specifications and Features

  XFX Radeon RX460 4GB AMD Radeon RX460 Club3D R9 270 AMD Radeon RX470 AMD Radeon RX480

Price (Euro)

27/06/16

169 ~131 170 215 315
GPU Polaris 11 (14nm) Polaris 11 (14nm) Curacao (28nm) Polaris 10 (14nm) Polaris 10 (14nm)
Stream Processors 896 896 1280 2048 2304
Clock Speed (MHz) 1220 1200/1090 955 1206/926 1266/1120
Memory Interface Width 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256
Memory Interface GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Clock (MHz) 7000 7000 5600 6600 7000
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 112 112 179.2 211 224
Typical Board Power (W) 75 75 150 120 150
Memory GDDR5 (MB) 4096 4096 2048 4096
 
8192

 

Specification-wise, the RX460 is differing alot with its two older brothers. Less then half the stream processors, half the memory interface width as well as the bandwidth is cut in half. That said, this card is named after a slightly different architecture, Polaris 11, which stands for decent performance while maintaining a very low power usage.

Why did we include the R9 270 in our specification chart? Because based on AMD's advertised performance numbers, those two cards should be pretty close in terms of performance. You can see controversial numbers in this chart protending a small wonder in terms of performance per CU and power efficiency compared to its older counterpart. The RX 460 offers exceptional value and is optimized for the next generation of APIs. Do our tests answer their claims? You'll see that in the next couple of titles.

 

XFX Radeon RX460 4GB

XFX doesn't take the job lightly and uses a dual-fan solution to keep the slightly factory overclocked RX460 cool. However that's not all there's to say about this little fan-design. For the first time in my life I've now seen a design in which fans are removable from the card by a click in/out design. What the exact meaning of this is, stays unclear. We expect this option to make the card easier to fix if any buzz or other fan issues appear, as well as the ability to remove dust quite easily. Other than that, we might want to ask XFX for more information.

Let's have a look at the packaging:

 
The packaging is pretty basic, it's just a box with no real interior divisions. Every component inside the box is just in there without much of an esthetic value. What can you find in the box? The card obviously, driver CD, warranty card and a 2x 4pin power adapter to 6pin GPU to ensure you can use whatever PSU you'd like. (although, don't be shy of some extra watts to decently power your system) 
A first look at the GPU in its plastic protection, wasn't all too well. The impression we got was something like 'Oh, this card is meant for budgetary use and belongs to the lower-end, so we'll make it accordingly'... However, taking the plastic things off the card, increased our interest in the design. Most of it is just plastic, but well built. However, we do not agree on the lay-out. With this kind of lay-out, you just ask for a cheap look. Taking off the fans is very practical, but that doesn't clear the fact that making a more appealing design is feasible, even for a cheaper card.
 
 
Product Showcase
 
 
Like said above the product showcase, I'm not a big fan of the design in terms of appearance. In terms of cooling performance, I expect something else. While having two fans, their are still only 2 small heatpines to dissipate the heat. However, the card isn't a huge power-requirer, so it won't heat up as much as an RX470 for example. Although it uses only 75Watts of power, there's till a 6 Pin power connector. On the back, there's almost no indication of where the graphics core is situated on the card, the chip is pretty little compared to others that have been here for our collection of tests.
 
 

From Graphics Cards, to PSUs and PC Cases, we at XFX are gamers who love gaming so every product we make is designed by gamers for gamers to ensure that it gives you the best gaming experience possible.
 
 
 
 

Testing Methods

For the process of these tests, we'll be running the testing environments at 1920x1080 and 4K (3840x2160)  at the maximum available graphical settings. A big thanks to Samsung that they submitted the UD590 for reviewing purposes.

For the comparison, we use cards from the same price range or a little higher from both AMD and Nvidia, to show how it compares. For these tests, the card will be benched at stock settings, but to give our readers an idea what this card can achieve if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty, we did some overclocking for some particular tests. More about that in the next pages.

Games and benchmarks that we used for this review:

  • 3DMark: FireStrike/Time Spy (2 Tests)
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Black Ops II
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Saints Row IV
  • Battlefield 4
  • HITMAN
  • Thief
  • Warhammer
  • Doom
  • Ashes of the Singularity

 

Test System

Processor i7 4790 - review
RAM

G.Skill RipsjawX (4x4GB) 1600MHz CL9

Motherboard MSI Z97 Gaming 5 - review
Power Supply Aerocool GT-1050SG
Graphics Card

MSI GTX 760 OC Twin Frozr Gaming - review

Club3D RoyalQueen R9 270X Dual-Fan - review

MSI R9 280X Gaming OC - review

MSI R9 290X Gaming OC review

MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4GB - review

Sapphire R9 390(X) Nitro - review

CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-D15

SSD

Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB

OS Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Monitor Samsung U28D590D
Driver Crimson Edition 16.3.2

 

Special thanks to:

MSI - for the support of the Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard which made this review possible!

Intel - for the support of the i7 4790

Aerocool - the GT-1050SG power supply to make crossfire configurations possible

Samsung - for the support of a 4k monitor to test our graphics cards on higher levels! 

SAPPHIRE - For the support of the R9 390(X) which we handle in this review

Noctua - For the CPU cooler

 

 

Synthetics

 

3DMark 2013-2015: FireStrike

"Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today."

3DMark is arguably the most popular 3D graphics benchmark available. It measures the gaming performance of your GPU in all ways possible. Currently, there are 3 different levels of the Fire Strike Benchmark. Each with a different resolution. One HD, one QHD and a 4K benchmark for the really powerful rigs around here. First up is the 1080p test the raw combined gaming power of our rig with different GPU setups.

 

 

Performing slightly better than the R9 270 as well as the older GTX660, we expect the RX460 to be in between the GTX950 and GTX950 in terms of performance. What we see here, is quite a miracle, the cards it's competing with are cards who went on sale for 200 euro each in their days, while having much higher specs and power usage than the RX460 does. In the newer Time Spy bench, we weren't able to include as many cards...

 

 

Performing roughly half as good as the RX470, we can say that the Time Spy benchmark actually went pretty fluent. However, we don't have enough results to conclude anything as yet. Continuing with performance on 1080p.

 

 

1080P Graphics Performance

As the RX460 is mainly meant for entry-level gamers, we're conducting no other resolutions than standard HD. We'll comment on the benchmarks at the end of the page. 

DX12 and OpenGL 4.5 (Comment on Vulkan below)

While playin the game on the most demanding settings, the RX460 is able to pull of some amazing for its price and especially playable framerates on these games supporting newer APIs. Doom does offer support for Vulkan and we've seen an increas of almost 25% in performance using Vulkan over OpenGL 4.5. We didn't include exact test results as our testing software doesn't yet support the API.

 

Battlefield 4

 

Hitman: Absolution

 

Sleeping Dogs

This game is quite stressful for the GPU, and it can be used to test the max load temperature of your card.

 

Saints Row IV

This game is well optimized for a little older generation GPUs throughout the mid-high price ranges, but is still reliable as benchmark for lower-end games.

 

Black Ops II

The Call of Duty series is again, like Saints Row, quite well built for those that don't live on the bleeding edge of technology.

 

 

Comments

It's a pity that we didn't have any lower end cards to put on our bench. However, comparing the R9 270 to the card gave us an idea of how much this kind of tech has been evolving. While we already expected to see similar results guided by AMD's claims, we can see that the RX460 is only slightly lower than the significantly higher specced predecessor. Especially in games using newer APIs, the RX460 makes no compromises. Some higher-end games might run a little chunky with all settings like MLAA, ... enabled, but lowering this a little will provide very playable frame-rates in almost every game out there. People on a budget can seriously consider this card as an option.

However, we do suspect, that going higher in resolution might not be possible with this card, its limit is and will probably stay 1080p.

 

Power Consumption

We used a UMP meter to accurately measure and monitor the total power consumption of our test system. The average power consumption from each test is displayed in the chart. The PSU used is the Aerocool GT-1050SG which did its job well.

AMD’s Polaris GPU is a huge improvement in terms of power efficiency. However, they're still not on the same height as Nvidia on this; with the small overclock and extra power connector, the XFX RX 460 draws almost exactly the amount of power as the GTX 950. Both cards are almost similar in terms of performance, but the 950 belongs to Nvidia's previous generation of graphics cards. However, we still feel that this might be AMD's biggest step yet in improving the power efficiency of their graphics cards. With a TDP around 75W, you can couple almost every power supply to your system without compromising performance or the requested power draw.

 

Temperatures

Room temperature is 24°C.

No surprise we see good results here, a 75W TDP certified card accompanied with a dual-fan thermal design is sealed to be cool (and quiet). We doubt the need of a dual-fan solution here though.. 

 

Noise

Each different GPU manufacturer has its own methods of attempting to reduce and eliminate noise from fans while also managing to keep the heatsinks cool enough to keep the GPU itself from slowly melting. These efforts always have varying results, so how did XFX do with the RX460? Our measurements are taken 20cm away from the case. All Fans were disabled while testing. Our testing device however, has to be replaced as it has only a low sensitivity rate starting from quite some decibels. While cooler designs get more silent by the year, we'll need to be able to go in more and more detail...

I've seen other reviewers stating that the XFX RX460 generates an unpleasant noise, that seems not to be the case for me, unless my hearing is very bad. We actually think this is one of the more silent cards we had on our testbed. We didn't see the fan's speed pop above 38% in any of our tests, probably partly due to the dual-fan solution for only a 75W TDP card. No issues here either.

 

Conclusion

The RX460 is a great option for an HTPC-build, but aside from that, also entry-level gamers would be pleased with a card from this caliber. Offering tremendously good performance in eSports games on the world's most popular resolution (1080p) is one of its great trump cards. Most newer games are very playable at medium to high settings and some lighter games can even be played on maxed out settings. If you're looking for a very power efficient card to complete your small-box PC next to your TV, this is probably one of the most straight-forward choices you can make. We might have tested a 4GB version with a 20MHz overclock and an extra power connector, but cheaper ones won't do much worse for this purpose. AMD's RX460 is optimized for the newest graphics APIs ensures you the best support and capabilities (for its price) in the upcoming games. All that and there's currently no card from the competition to compete against this small graphical wonder.

There's not much to say about the thermal design and its capabilities, that's all alright. It even has those removable fans which is pretty fancy, but those are certainly not the things we don't like about the design. Probably more a subjective part of the review, the looks of the card, is what I don't like about the card. In terms of lay-out, this card looks like garbage... Anyway, a second look gave me a better feeling as the build-construction was mostly plastic, but still firmly build. Seeing the thermal and noise results made up for the bad esthetic choices.

We finally see an AMD card really focusing on the needs of this generation of gamers in which affordability, e-sports, newest APIs and power-efficiency are the keywords. Polaris 11 shapes its own category of graphics cards on the price point and answers to all claims AMD put on the table.

XFX could have done better with an higher overclock (especially using this extra 6Pin power connector) and more thoughts given to the esthetic looks of things.

 

Performance = 17/20

GPU performance in price range = 10/10, Global GPU performance = 7/10

Power Consumption = 5/5

Overclocking = /

Design = 20/25

Acoustics = 9/10, Cooling = 9/10, Looks = 2/5

Value = 9.5/10

 

Total Score ≈ 8.6/10

 

We decided to give the XFX Radeon RX460 4GB a well earned Silver award!

More Information about our awards and High resolution versions can be found here

 

About the Author

Keeping up with new inventions and technological improvements is kinda my thing. Writing about technology is just a result of my fascination with it. I hope to provide readers with as much news as possible, everyday.
glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8
sfy39587stf03
sfy39587stf04