In recent years there has been a consistent trend of growth in popularity of various online games that allow not to compete with the AI computer, and with real users from around the world. World of Warcraft, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: GO, World of Tanks, Overwatch, and many others – all of these projects at least know firsthand all gamers, but for many they occupy a large part of leisure or even turn into a way making money (prize for League of Legends championship Fund exceeded $ 2 000 000 in 2015).
All these games are not too demanding on the hardware platform of the computer, but they are sensitive to the quality of Internet connection: low bandwidth channel or high ping minimize your chances of winning, providing valuable time rivals an advantage in battle. Whatever it was, fans of such games make much sense to spend money on a high-performance graphics card is not present, particularly in the resolution of the monitor is not higher than Full HD (1920 x 1080).
In the first place it is to this category of users is oriented third of the presented by AMD graphics cards – AMD Radeon RX 460. In contrast, AMD Radeon RX 470 and AMD Radeon RX 480, it is based on AMD graphics processor used the Polaris 11, rather than the Polaris 10 AMD. The key difference between them lies in fewer building blocks: stream processors, texture units and raster and GMCH. At the same time AMD Polaris 11 retains all the advantages of the fourth-generation microarchitecture, AMD GCN and 14-nm FinFET-process technology. Since they have already been discussed in detail earlier in designated older reviews of video cards, it will not be repeated here.
Instead, we offer to consider more updated lineup of AMD. Graphics Card AMD Radeon RX 460 is designed to replace the market AMD Radeon R7 360 and AMD Radeon R7 260X. But the main competitor from NVIDIA in the official press materials indicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, although very close to the price segment is located and more productive NVIDIA series graphics card GeForce GTX 950. That is, the victory over the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti – this is only half the story, because you also need to properly position the new product against another strong rival.
However, the comparative testing, we will come back later, but first, let’s look at the summary table with the updated internal model number of AMD:
In theory it looks great! Compared to the AMD Radeon R7 360 a novelty has turned more compact, energy efficient and productive, helped as increasing the number of structural units in the composition of the GPU, and clock speeds of the GPU and memory. Moreover, the declared level of performance indicates that the AMD Radeon RX 460 will be able to withstand an equal model AMD Radeon R7 370.
That is, compared to the previous generation model is encouraging, but a comparison with other representatives of AMD Polaris line raises some questions. Firstly, we can see at least two-fold drop in the number of structural units consisting of GPU, which leads to a proportional reduction of the stated capacity. In this regard, it would be logical to see a corresponding decrease in the price tag, but the price at the time of announcement of the 4-gigabyte version is only $ 40 (or 22%) lower than the AMD Radeon RX 470. It will be interesting to compare the performance of these new products, to make a more objective conclusion regarding their demand in the market.
And now let me introduce you to the graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5, based on which we will get acquainted with the 4-gigabyte version of the AMD Radeon RX 460. Immediately, we note that it is characterized by a pleasant appearance, the modified design of the PCB and cooling system, as well as factory overclocked graphics processor.
Graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 was kindly provided for testing AMD’s representation, so its package can be judged only through the official website. Traditionally, its products SAPPHIRE company develops two design boxes horizontally and vertically oriented. Each of them can boast of high-quality color printing and a description of the key features of the video card.
Since the AMD Radeon RX 460 is positioned as an energy-efficient graphics cards, it is not surprising that the SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 characterized by a rather modest size (235 x 124). This will allow it to take place, even in a relatively compact body.
After removing the cooling system we can take a look at the internal layout of new items. The central place traditionally reserved for the GPU and arranged around the memory chips. On the right side sheltered elements of the power subsystem. If desired, a manufacturer could further reduce the size of the circuit board, but in this case would have to move to odnoventilyatorny design cooler.
Power Subsystem SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 uses amplified 4 + 1 phase design (standard version requires 3 + 1-phase). The structure of the element base includes solid capacitors, inductors brand Black Diamond and chips DrMOS SiC780. All of this positive impact on the efficiency, stability and reliability of the graphics in general. And as a PWM controller IC performs ON NCP81022.
One of the key advantages of the model AMD Radeon RX 460 performs its relatively low power consumption (75 W), so the standard version does not require the connection of an additional power connector. But engineers decided SAPPHIRE still equip their offspring 6-pin PCIe, which guarantees the supply of adequate nutrition in terms of manual overclocking. At the same time the cooling system is in no way interferes with the connection or disconnection of the corresponding cable.
To connect monitors and other display information sources used by the reference set of interfaces. It consists of ports DVI-D, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4.
Connectors for the implementation of AMD CrossFireX technology on the top side of the PCB is traditionally lacking. If such support exists (which is not mentioned in the official materials), then it is implemented exclusively by means of PCI Express 3.0 x16 interface.
If desired, the GPU-Z utility, you can check out all the specifications claimed by the manufacturer model SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5, although the version of GPU-Z 1.9.0 can boast the presence of complete information on the GPU. In any case, it correctly identified the number of stream processors as part of the GPU (896) and the clock speed of its work (1250 MHz). Incidentally, the reference frequency formula for the GPU graphics card AMD Radeon RX 460 is 1090/1200 MHz, and in our case we have a factory overclock at 1175/1250 MHz.
Video memory subsystem recruited by four chip company Micron. Their total volume is 4 GB, and the effective rate – 7000 MHz, which matches the reference level. For communication between the GPU and memory using 128-bit bus with a bandwidth of 112 GB / s.
Not forgotten SAPPHIRE company and a popular trend – illumination. Decorative inserts on the front of light blue, and on the back – green. To set illuminations can use the item «Nitro Glow» Utility SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0.
On the question of internal components cool graphics cards SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 engineers came up with the utmost seriousness, despite the relatively low level of TDP standard version. Established branded cooler Dual-X consists of a wide nickel-plated copper base, on which via thermo transfer heat from memory chips, two nickel-plated 6-mm copper heatpipes soldered to the aluminum heatsink and two axial 86-mm fan attached to a plastic housing.
Note that the first heat pipes are lowered down from the base, and then move upward (U-shaped). It is believed that such their design is more efficient than the U-shape. And all because heat always goes up, so the U-shaped design does not provide the most effective use of the entire length of the heat pipe, in contrast to the U-shaped.
Sami fans are labeled FirstD FDC10H12S9-C. Their operating voltage is 12 V at the power current of 0.35 A (4.2 W). The manufacturer claims that they are based on reliable double ball bearings, which will last 85% longer than conventional counterparts sliding bearings. You should also pay attention to the way their attachment to the plastic frame housing. This technology is called Quick Connect. It allows you to easily replace the turntables themselves in the event of their failure. Moreover, the software integrated in the SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0 Fan Check option monitors the “health status” of fans and allows immediate contact support in case of problems.
Not without the passive mode of operation, implemented with the help of ZERO DB COOLING technology and NITRO Cool Tech. The first suspends fan operation in case of a low load on the GPU, and the second starts them again when the GPU temperature exceeds 52 ° C.
The last important element Dual-X cooling system is a low-profile heat sink for cooling the chipset DrMOS power supply subsystem.
For performance monitoring capabilities were used utility SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0. When automatic control paddle speed fan at maximum capacity, graphics core warmed to 74 ° C and worked themselves propellers 47% (1586 rev / min) of its maximum capacity. Generated faint background noise does not prevent use of the computer.
Forced increase fan speed to 100% (3311 rev / min) provided a reduction in GPU temperature to 61 ° C, indicating a solid reserve power of the cooler. However, he achieved by raising the noise level is above average, where it is no longer comfortable for everyday use.
The lack of load resulting in reduced operating performance of the graphics core and memory. In this mode, the GPU temperature dropped to 44 ° C. The cooler also worked totally silent passive mode. NITRO Cool Tech technology translates it back into active mode only after reaching the temperature level of 54 ° C.
Since this is our first series of graphics card AMD Radeon RX 460, then to compare the efficiency of the cooling system, we have nothing. The lack of official measure critical GPU temperature does not allow to fully appreciate the performance of the cooler. Therefore, we can only say that the Dual-X doing its job, because no subsidence or frequency unstability of graphics accelerator in the test loads have been recorded. At the same time it is characterized by quiet operation in automatic mode, and a good supply of power for overclocking experiments. Extraneous noise as annoying squeak chokes are not recorded.
Graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 provides a very good overclocking capabilities, what merit it as a hardware platform, as well as comfortable and functional utility SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0. First, we increased the voltage from the nominal 1140-1175 to 1200-1256 mV mV, which allowed to increase the frequency of the graphics processor from 1250 to 1380 MHz (10% increase) and the memory from 7000 to 8000 MHz (increase 14%). The voltage can be raised above, but the real impact on the GPU frequency was not. Consumption test stand with the card increased from 202 to 236 watts benchmark MSI Kombustor. In turn, the cooling system to cope with the increased load at a paddle speed at 2487 rev / min (71% of maximum). The noise level at the same time was average and quite comfortable for everyday use.
If you are afraid to raise the voltage on the GPU, the SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 allowed to increase its frequency to 1350 MHz (an increase of 8%) and without this operation. Total energy consumption increased by only 8 watts (210 watts).
SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0 utility is allowed even to reduce stress on the GPU at 108 mV while maintaining all the nominal clock frequency. As a result, up to 190 W power consumption decreased testbed. And fans all worked at 1007 r / min (36% of the maximum) for a more comfortable background noise.
Rate of maximum acceleration SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 can be as follows:
Increasing the GPU frequency to 1380 MHz and the video memory – up to 8000 MHz provided the added bonus of 8.6%, which minimizes the lag from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950.
What can we say about the 4-gigabyte graphics card AMD Radeon RX 460 as a whole an example SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5. It really lives up to its positioning as an energy-efficient tool in the computer lover online projects with which the novelty easily cope with the resolution of Full HD. The transition to finer process technology and optimization microarchitecture allowed to raise the level of performance than their predecessors, while reducing energy consumption. AMD Radeon RX 460 performs much better than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti, but loses a bit NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950. In doing so, its advantages compared to competing data can safely be written better support new generations of API, hardware decoding and translation of the gameplay using standards H.264 and H.265 (HEVC), as well as support for new interfaces for possible use in a pair with the HDR-monitors.
That is, it looks quite competitive compared to NVIDIA graphics cards of past generations. But keep in mind two things. Firstly, the game did not come graphics adapter NVIDIA Pascal in this price segment, and that they should be wary of AMD. Second, very little is as 4-gigabyte version of the AMD Radeon RX 460 on a background of AMD Radeon RX 470: the 22% difference in the price at the time of the announcement, at the level of the performance gap is an impressive 65%. Thus, to allow Full HD option appears the most interesting is AMD Radeon RX 470, which provides a more comfortable level of FPS in all projects, not just in online games.
With specific regard to the most SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5, then to equip it, we did not have any complaints. Engineers have increased its power system (4 + 1 phase design and an optional 6-pin PCIe) and use high-quality element base, ensuring stable and reliable operation even in manual overclocking. Do not forget about the efficient and quiet cooling system Dual-X, which is not only a good job with its main task, but also appreciate the high power reserves for overclocking experiments and silent operation at low loads.
Additionally SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon RX 460 4G D5 has a factory overclocked graphics processor, a pleasant appearance with the illumination of some elements and very functional utility SAPPHIRE TRIXX 3.0. It will help in the monitoring and manual overclocking. By the way, it could even help reduce the stress on the GPU, while maintaining the nominal clock frequency, leading to a decrease in overall power consumption and the load on the cooling system. In foreign stores its estimated cost is $ 143 – 150. If it is to remain at this level in our country, it will make it a good competitor to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950.