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AMD Radeon RX 460 review: An affordable graphics card with bleeding-edge tech

Brad Chacos | Aug. 9, 2016
The AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card is built for e-sports and low-power systems.

rx 460 temps
Click for larger image.

All of these cards run cool thanks to the sparse innards of their GPUs, with the GTX 750 Ti being the standout. The 64 degree Celsius maximum temperature of the RX 460 means it should be just fine even in cramped cases, though.

Bottom line

While the Radeon RX 470’s positioning is downright baffling, the Radeon RX 460 achieves everything AMD set out to do. This affordable card gives e-sports games a tremendous shot in the arm over integrated graphics, brings all the modern technologies surging through Polaris GPUs down to entry-level price points, and finally gives AMD a true GTX 750 Ti competitor. Reference, power connector-less versions of the RX 460 would be a killer option for transforming a power-limited big-box PC into a decent gaming machine.

In theory, at least. Because the XFX card that AMD provided for review is a supercharged, powered-up 4GB version of the Radeon RX 460, we can’t really be sure how a 75W reference version performs. I’d imagine it wouldn’t be a massive decrease, especially in e-sports games. The XFX Radeon RX 460 we tested has only a 20MHz overclock.

Though I didn’t test a reference RX 460, I feel safe saying that if you’re in the market for a basic graphics card that lacks additional power connectors, AMD’s new card is the clear choice over a GTX 750 Ti. The Radeon RX 460 not only outpunches its low-powered rival in terms of sheer performance, it’s infused with the latest and greatest ecosystem technologies, like HDMI 2.0b, high-dynamic range video, dedicated async compute hardware, and H.265 encoding and decoding. The two-plus-year-old GTX 750 Ti lacks all of that.

Plus, modest cards like these pair wonderfully with an AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync monitor, which sync the refresh rates of your display and GPU to eliminate tearing and stuttering. FreeSync monitors don’t carry the hefty price premium that G-Sync monitors demand. You can pick up a 22-inch 1080p FreeSync monitor for as little as $130 on Amazon, or a blistering-fast 144Hz 1080p FreeSync display for $209 on Amazon. And if you’ve only got a 60Hz monitor, using AMD’s Frame Rate Target Control to limit the frame rate of e-sports games to 60 fps would result in even lower temperatures and power usage.

That suggestion is tempered somewhat by the appearance of some low-power 75W GTX 950 graphics cards in recent months, which also support HDMI 2.0. Those appear to be phasing out of the market, though some models can still be found for $120 or less after rebates.

 

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