AMD Radeon RX 460 Review

Power Consumption Results

Measurement Methodology & Graphical Illustration

Taking into account the lessons learned from our follow-up measurements of AMD's Radeon RX 480 and your feedback, we made some fundamental changes to the way we measure power consumption.

Our measurement intervals are now twice as long. There's also a hardware-based low-pass filter and software-based variable filter in place (the latter is a feature of the software used to analyze data; it's designed to evaluate the plausibility of very short load peaks and valleys). The resulting curves are a lot smoother than the old ones; we hope you derive more value from them as a result.

You'll find more information about our power consumption test methodology in The Math Behind GPU Power Consumption And PSUs.

You'll find a larger number of bar graphs, and higher-resolution versions of our power consumption charts that you can expand by clicking on them. We restructured our topic sections, added more comparison bar graphs, and, finally, added different scenarios to our measurements. In addition to power consumption, we also examine current to determine whether the graphics card stays within all of its relevant specifications. Our test equipment doesn't change, though:

Power Consumption Measurement
Test MethodContact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
Test Equipment2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500 MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA to 30A, 100 kHz, DC)
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz)
1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function

Power Consumption at Different Loads

Similar to our Radeon RX 470 coverage, we're adding several games to our measurement suite, though the familiar Metro: Last Light benchmark also turns out to be the Radeon RX 460's biggest challenge. It’s followed closely by Doom, which generates numbers that are almost as high. However, there’s a difference of less than 3W between Ashes of the Singularity and Metro: Last Light. This means that Asus’ graphics card is consistently running close to or at its limit.

The Strix RX 460's almost 90W result is a lot higher than what we expected based on AMD’s pre-launch PR. Then again, this is Asus' interpretation of the RX 460, which benefits from factory overclocking in our performance charts, but pays the price when we measure power. We're pretty sure there will be other RX 460s that do away with the power connector altogether. Ultimately, you're the one who has to decide if performance headroom or an efficient card without a power connector is more important.

The gray bar represents power consumption based on those load peaks that made it through our filters to the smoother curve. That bar doesn't have any practical significance since the peaks we measured are too brief for them to matter (even if the shortest-duration ones were already filtered out by this point).

Power Connector Load Distribution

So, how’s the load distributed across the power rails during a realistic gaming load and a stress test? We aren't including the motherboard's 3.3V rail in this discussion, because it's barely used (up to 1W, but usually less than that).

Load on the two 12V rails (the motherboard slot connector and six-pin power connector) is balanced beautifully. There’s lots of room left on them both. Even additional overclocking efforts will never push Asus' Strix RX 460 beyond the limits set in its specifications.

Here are the corresponding graphs for gaming and our stress test. Click on them for a larger version.

The PCI-SIG’s specifications only apply to current, meaning power consumption results on their own don't tell the whole story. Our readings put the motherboard slot just over 4A. Given a ceiling of 5.5A, this is most certainly on the safe side with lots of room to spare.

Of course, there are larger graphs for the current measurements as well.

Power Consumption Comparison with Other Graphics Cards

Finally, we’d like to know how the Strix RX 460 stacks up against other graphics cards. We're using the peak power consumption numbers for this comparison because they're what the previous results consisted of.

Gaming power consumption is much lower compared to older graphics cards. The same can't be said for Blu-ray playback and multi-monitor setups, though. Asus' Strix RX 460 lags way behind its competition in those disciplines.

AMD tells us that there's a fix for the high power consumption readings at idle and under partial loads. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it into the latest driver, which we used for these tests.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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  • chaosmassive
    oh, you already such small chip
    why is that disabled CU?
  • gdmaclew
    Just curious as to why you are showing a link to Newegg for the AMD FX-8370 at $169.99? The actual price for that CPU at Newegg has been $189.99 for the past week.

    Edit: Should have thanked the authors for their excellent review first. Well done.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Thanks for the review Chris and Igor, I've been waiting for this one! Nicely structured, logical, easy to follow. :-)

    I agree with your conclusion: I've been looking for a replacement for my 6670 1GB DDR3 that I picked up in 2012 for $65 and this looks good. I was, however, expecting to see a MSRP of between $85 and $100.

    Thanks again,
    Andrew
  • CaptainTom
    CURB STOMP!

    Very relieved this performed better than those leaked benchmarks. So it is indeed a 70w 7870 for $110.

    The are already sold out btw lol
  • turkey3_scratch
    The only one available is a Sapphire RX 460 and it is $170 on Amazon (it's also on Newegg but is sold out). So the RX 460 is being priced what the RX 470 was supposed to be. And the RX 470 is being priced what the RX 480 was supposed to be.

    Am I the only one having trouble figuring out where this sits performance-wise? It seems to be all over the place from game to game. CaptainTom, not sold out yet, 12 in stock https://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-NITRO-Graphics-11257-02-20G/dp/B01J1M4HDS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1470662745&sr=8-2&keywords=rx+460

    Also, these Asus coolers suck. I'm definitely not going to be recommending any Asus card this generation.
  • rush21hit
    This is it. For an entry-level and low powered $100 card at this caliber nVidia can't touch this. This is the winning chip.

    If there will ever be cutdown 1060 with 3B as planned, knowing nVidia, it won't even come near this price.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    1712875 said:
    Am I the only one having trouble figuring out where this site performance-wise?
    I think that there's one very big thing that the RX 460 has in it's favour over it's older brethren: the new APIs.
  • turkey3_scratch
    700347 said:
    This is it. For an entry-level and low powered $100 card at this caliber nVidia can't touch this. This is the winning chip. If there will ever be cutdown 1060 with 3B as planned, knowing nVidia, it won't even come near this price.


    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.
  • envy14tpe
    Major gap between 470 and 460. Kinda weird. I was expecting more from the 460.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    1712875 said:
    700347 said:
    This is it. For an entry-level and low powered $100 card at this caliber nVidia can't touch this. This is the winning chip. If there will ever be cutdown 1060 with 3B as planned, knowing nVidia, it won't even come near this price.
    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.
    I think rush21hit was talking about the rumoured 3GB 1060 which was supposed to be "severely cut down," to put it mildly, not the real, actual 1060 which is in a whole different class. One can almost buy 3x 460s for 1x 1060.

    Having said that... Let's just wait for the 1050 and 1040 to drop before we declare an absolute winner in this price segment, shall we? But right now, you are correct rush21hit, Nvidia has nothing to compete in this price range. I look forward to seeing the changed Best Graphics Cards for the Money article. ;-)
  • InvalidError
    1712875 said:
    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.

    A "cut down 1060" will likely be the 1050 - gotta do something with the 1060 rejects. But when that happens, I don't expect them to be available for much under $200.

    Where prices are concerned, all of them will come down to the MSRPs or lower in a few months. As Chris said, tons of people were waiting for 14/16nm for their next GPU, so they may be on back-order for a while.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    125865 said:
    Where prices are concerned, all of them will come down to the MSRPs or lower in a few months.
    I think it might be wise for people to sit tight until Black Friday, it's only 109 days away (and counting! Lol.) However, if a situation is urgent, it's urgent. :-)
  • turkey3_scratch
    125865 said:
    1712875 said:
    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.
    A "cut down 1060" will likely be the 1050 - gotta do something with the 1060 rejects. But when that happens, I don't expect them to be available for much under $200. Where prices are concerned, all of them will come down to the MSRPs or lower in a few months. As Chris said, tons of people were waiting for 14/16nm for their next GPU, so they may be on back-order for a while.


    I don't understand why they were waiting for 14/16nm so much. Maxwell was a larger jump in price/performance and performance/power than we have seen with Pascal so far. AMD, well, it's not a rebrand at least but their cards aren't that much more efficient. The drop to 16nm for Nvidia has not shown any more of a performance or power increase that they have not achieved on the same node size. Again, I'll refer to Maxwell which was quite great at lowering power a lot and increasing performance a lot, too.
  • Oranthal
    741589 said:
    CURB STOMP! Very relieved this performed better than those leaked benchmarks. So it is indeed a 70w 7870 for $110. The are already sold out btw lol


    Not sold out on newegg now. They tend to say released at 9am est but there is always a lag. I had the same thought with the 480 then bought one as I looked at 8:50 am all the way until 10am.
  • Oranthal
    125865 said:
    1712875 said:
    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.
    A "cut down 1060" will likely be the 1050 - gotta do something with the 1060 rejects. But when that happens, I don't expect them to be available for much under $200. Where prices are concerned, all of them will come down to the MSRPs or lower in a few months. As Chris said, tons of people were waiting for 14/16nm for their next GPU, so they may be on back-order for a while.


    Lol Newegg has a 109.99 one right now.
  • Nima84
    So it consumes as much as 950 while being slower or on par at best and more expensive. I'm not impressed at all.
  • turkey3_scratch
    2277213 said:
    125865 said:
    1712875 said:
    The 1060 is whoppingly better. Why would it ever come to this price? Pinch me also if you honestly see an RX 460 for $110.
    A "cut down 1060" will likely be the 1050 - gotta do something with the 1060 rejects. But when that happens, I don't expect them to be available for much under $200. Where prices are concerned, all of them will come down to the MSRPs or lower in a few months. As Chris said, tons of people were waiting for 14/16nm for their next GPU, so they may be on back-order for a while.
    Lol Newegg has a 109.99 one right now.


    $120 for the XFX. What one do you see?
  • payneg1
    I was hoping to see this pitted against the 960 4GB...
  • turkey3_scratch
    Powercolor is $110. XFX has a 4GB card on Amazon for $140. It's an ITX card so I am interested. But it's too expensive.
  • Onus
    I wanted to see one WITHOUT the 6-pin PCIe cable tested. This looks like it should kick the GTX750Ti off its low-power throne, but I want to see benchmarks to be certain. As such, a $110 price isn't unreasonable if we get half-height single-slot versions; Igor gets one as soon as it appears (at a fair price).
  • turkey3_scratch
    47340 said:
    I wanted to see one WITHOUT the 6-pin PCIe cable tested. This looks like it should kick the GTX750Ti off its low-power throne, but I want to see benchmarks to be certain. As such, a $110 price isn't unreasonable if we get half-height single-slot versions; Igor gets one as soon as it appears (at a fair price).


    I don't think we're going to see any without a 6-pin PCIe cable. Furmark goes past 100W, gaming is 85W-90W. It'd have to be severely downclocked.
  • Juha_Bach
    O ffs YES thest a entry level GPU on 1080p. Real smart. Its a video card for poor people for the love of god. Who is gonna buy this for a 1080p ultra gaming? Test it on lower resolution and in more appropriate titles. People buy GPU with games in mind, not other way around. Its like that in propably 99% of cases. You see a game you want to play and when you figure you cant play in on your junk, you buy new parts to make it posible. Thats how people buy GPUs lets not fool ourselfs. So when someone buys RX 460 its gonna be to play specific game and on specific resolution and level of details. Probably 1280 x 1024 or something like that. Most of people are gonna get it for HOTS, Overwatch, Dota, LoL, WoW, etc. So when you get cards like this dont just test it on 1080p+ but test it on lower resolution with higher details and see results with simmilar cards like 270, 950, 370 and 750ti. FFS be more proffesional when doing your job. Its not a mid class or high end card. Its a entry level GPU for poor people.
  • nix27
    Should i buy rx 460 or gtx 950 75w (available for 115$) for hd gaming?
  • turkey3_scratch
    I got mine on Newegg for $120. I got the XFX 2GB version. It was a tough decision with the GTX 950 for $15 more bucks or so. Note that I specifically need a low profile card, so the $125 EVGA ACX 2.0 GTX 950 would not do. A 750Ti was only a bit cheaper and I have owned one in the past. The R7 370, about the same price. So, I got it. Should give me a satisfiable gaming experience.