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AMD Radeon RX 460 Review

Conclusion

AMD’s decision to target the mainstream space first looks pretty smart right about now, doesn’t it? The Radeon RX 480 is a respectable 1920x1080 card, and the RX 470 isn’t much slower. Nvidia charges quite a bit more for GeForce GTX 1060, and that’s its lowest-end Pascal-based board currently. There’s a large gap between the 470 and new RX 460, but a $110 estimated price also tells us the 460 is meant for a different segment…which our benchmarks show it dominating.

As a result of the incremental improvements made across four generations of GCN, we have to break our performance analysis into two parts: one that covers DirectX 11-based games, and another that isolates the latest wave of titles able to leverage DirectX 12 and Vulkan.

In DirectX 11 titles like GTA V, Project CARS, The Witcher 3, and WoW, AMD’s Radeon RX 460 either lands behind the R9 270 and 270X or between them. We also have BF4 numbers showing the 460 behind those older GPUs, but left them out because EA’s awful hardware-checker deactivated our account before we finished collecting data. In these titles, the RX 460 is still positioned appropriately—it’s a little slower and a little less expensive.

But across AotS, Hitman, and Doom, the RX 460 is either as fast as the R9 270X/370X and GTX 760/950 or faster. Assuming that trend continues, AMD is setting its 460 up to be a killer deal at $110. Now the company needs to make sure RX 460s are available for customers to purchase.

Both AMD and Nvidia are firing off 14/16nm GPUs at a rapid pace, and there’s plenty of backpressure from enthusiasts who were waiting for this generation’s graphics hardware to upgrade. A surge of demand is causing an issue with availability, complicating recommendations. As of this writing, Nvidia finally has GeForce GTX 1080, 1070, and 1060 cards on shelves, though the 1070s and 1060s in particular sell for significantly more than the company’s original claim…

…but at least it has cards to sell. None of Newegg’s 12 RX 480 listings are in stock. And while there is one RX 470 available, it starts at $200—the same price as a 4GB RX 480. In fact, all but one RX 470 overlap the lowest RX 480 listings. Whoops!

All of that is to say we’re cautiously optimistic about Radeon RX 460 at $110. If the company can get partners to sell cards at the recommended price, like it’s doing with RX 480, then this is a clear winner for HD gaming and even 1920x1080 at relaxed quality settings, blowing previous recommendations out of the water. The Bonaire-based GPUs can’t hold a candle to it, and GeForce GTX 750 Ti is outclassed across the board, regardless of the API we look at. What’s more, as you shift from DX11- to DX12/Vulkan-based games, RX 460 matches the next-higher class of hardware, including certain GK104/GM206 and Pitcairn derivatives.

Of course, if AMD’s suggested pricing has no teeth and we start seeing these creep up $20 or $30 higher, similar to what the RX 470 is doing, it’ll run into unavoidable comparisons to cards like the GTX 950 and R7 370, which succumb to Polaris in our DX12/Vulkan tests, but are generally faster in DX11. Here’s hoping that $110 price holds, and that AMD has some volume of these cards to ship. After all, this segment is primed for a revitalization, and we see no way for Nvidia to compete down at that level, even with a GeForce GTX 1050.


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  • chaosmassive
    oh, you already such small chip
    why is that disabled CU?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    18404296 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.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    18404342 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.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    Major gap between 470 and 460. Kinda weird. I was expecting more from the 460.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    18404369 said:
    18404342 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. ;-)
    Reply