XFX Radeon RX 460 Heatsink Edition
XFX's Radeon RX 460 Heatsink Edition looks a lot like the older HIS Radeon HD 7750 iCooler card. That company, now under the XFX (Pine) umbrella, no longer offers passively-cooled AMD cards, but instead shifted to exotic single-slot solutions. The cooler size and fin arrangement we're testing today are clearly based on older HIS models, though.
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Our first impression of the Radeon RX 460 Heatsink Edition is that it's small and cute, weighing in at just 337g. The heat sink extends a bit beyond the PCB, resulting in an overall length of 20.2cm (from the display output bracket to the end of the cooler). Its 12.5cm height (motherboard slot to the top of the heat pipe) is workable in most cases, and 3.5cm width requires two slots.
Flipping the card over, we can see its PCB measures just 16.5cm long. XFX fortunately dispenses with a backplate and wrap-around cooler, helping to avoid potential conflicts in compact mini-ITX cases.
Both nickel-plated heat pipes run from top to bottom. This adds 3cm to the card's height, but is necessary since the cooling fins are oriented horizontally.
The end of the card is completely open, which is appropriate for a passive solution. Up front, the output bracket sports a number of holes for air to escape, while exposing one DVI-D port, a DisplayPort 1.4-capable interface, and an HDMI 2.0 connector.
Circuit Board Layout And Power Supply
The voltage regulation circuitry is placed near the display output bracket, which makes perfect sense when you consider the card's power comes from a motherboard slot. The +12V pins are right there at the end.
XFX follows AMD’s requirements and uses Samsung K4G80325FB-HC28 memory modules, each with a capacity of 8Gb (32x256Mb). They reach a maximum of 1750 MHz at voltages between 1.305V and 1.597V. This card enjoys a thermal advantage compared to Radeon RX 470, which uses faster modules.
XFX gets creative with the Richtek RT8880C, a true dual-output PWM controller with three integrated drivers for the GPU's power phases. At the same time, it's able to control the memory's one phase. This saves space and simplifies layout significantly.
The high side of each GPU phase is equipped with one QM3092M6 N-channel MOSFET; the low side sports two QM3098M6 N-channel MOSFETs. Somewhat crudely-cast ferrite shells for the coils are adequate, but not what we'd call stellar. Since the GPU's maximum of 45W are divided up between these phases, the currents flowing through them shouldn't be an issue.
The memory uses one QM3098M6 N-channel MOSFET for the high and low sides, as well as a smaller Foxconn-style coil in the usual molded cup.
This card's power consumption is manageable, which is a basic requirement for passive cooling. It hits a searing 62W in our gaming loop, and drops to 58W in our stress test. Given the cooling available to it, we simply cannot expect much more.
Our peak measurement represents a brief moment in time; it can't be used to characterize the board's power consumption over longer periods.
The following graphs show two-minute runs in our gaming loop and stress test; they provide the basis for calculating average power consumption.
Now we get to look at our current measurements, which fall below the PCI-SIG's 5.5A limit for the 12V motherboard slot.
XFX's cooler is easily removed by loosening four screws surrounding the GPU package. Two 6mm nickel-plated copper alloy heat pipes are sandwiched between a small, yet beefy, copper sink and an aluminum block above it. The aluminum block supports the actual cooler assembly, while the pipes dissipate waste heat through the fin array.
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