Before the release of the Polaris and 2nd gen GCN architecture, AMD was boasting about the abilities of its new hardware structure. The release schedule of AMD Radeon Graphics cards is the opposite of what Nvidia does with its Graphics cards, they start with their lowest end cards and gradually make way for the high-end ones. Rx 460 is one such card that marks the debut of the Polaris 11 architecture code named Baffin. This Graphics card is meant to provide cheap FHD gaming with performance better than the last gen Hawaii architecture. Let’s dive into more details and see if there is any credence in AMD’s claims.
AMD’s devices are mostly repackaging of the old architecture sometimes with more processing power and sometimes with less price, its all give and take. The new 14nm FinFET process means we should get new architecture from AMD that will be able to make use of the new process as Nvidia did with its new Pascal architecture.
However, the new Polaris 11 architecture has a lot of similarities with the Polaris 10, which is not bad necessarily, but the new architecture should bring something new on the table. Unfortunately, that was not the case with it. The Polaris 10 had a total of 5.7 billion of transistors, the new Polaris 11 in RX 460 decreased the number of transistors in favor of power consumption and making sure that the resources are most used where they are needed most. It will increase the efficiency of the GPU while making sure that the use of power is as low as possible.
Radeon RX 460 is the entry-level graphics card that is meant for 1080p gaming with a performance that is better than the previous gen Graphics cards from AMD. Its specifications are in crude from a linear downgrade from the Radeon RX 470, as on paper it looks like the RX 460 has half the amount of all computing components present in RX 470 but with a better memory to compensate some of the loss in performance. The 123mm2 die houses 896 stream processors that are spread over 14 compute units with a base clock speed of 1090Mhz and 1200Mhz boost speed. The texture units in this Graphics card are only 56 which means if you opt for this card you should not expect it to perform well with high textures as the Texture filtering rate is only 67.2GT/s.
The memory provided to GPU is the 128-bit GDDR5 memory that is with memory data rate of 7GB/s. The total power consumption rating of this card is less than 75 Watts which means the card should not require additional power supply from the wall, but there is a catch here all the currently released models of the RX 460 are equipped with a 6-pin power connector which identifies that the Graphics card requires extra juice from the socket to work properly.
Coming to the essential part of our review the real-life performance of the Graphics card. The RX 460 is marketed towards the consumers who want performance that is almost comparable to what they get in GTX 1050 with more VRAM and less price. In theory, it can provide enough computing power to run the most AAA titles at 1080p with medium and low settings or even high too if you are willing to sacrifice some framerates. Ashes of Singularity is one of the most demanding multiplayer MMO game on the PC at 1080p high settings the game was unplayable, but with medium preset, we were able to get 32FPS, with fluctuations between 30 and mid-twenties. Then we tested the first-person shooter game from Bethesda Studios DOOM with Vulkan graphics settings, at the 1080p high quality we were able to get 62FPS on average with some dips in the mid-50s. At last, we tested the game that is the most demanding regarding textures the GTA V with DX11 and 2x MSAA settings and high overall preset at 1080p we were getting 51FPS which are not good, but the GPU performed well overall although it only has 56 discrete texture units. Regarding power consumption, the maximum power draw was only 114.5 Watts while at idle it only draws 13.2 Watts from the socket.
To conclude, the RX 460 shows an incremental decrease from RX 470 regarding performance too. The performance out of this card was not expected to be out of the box, but it proved that the low-end market is not dead yet. The MSRP of this card is only $110 so if you are looking for performance that is indeed comparable to the comparatively expensive GTX 1050 then you should look for this card or if you can spend slightly more and want the best 1080p AAA gaming experience and 1440p esports gaming then RX 470 should be a viable choice. Buy it from Amazon here.