Not everybody toàn thân needs a $600 graphics card. Heông chồng, not everybody needs a $200 graphics thẻ.

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While gorgeous games grab the biggest headlines, the games that draw massive sầu crowds và televised tournaments run on far more modest hardware. Yes, I’m talking about e-sports. League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sầu, Dota 2, and even Overwatch are eating the gaming world, & a large part of their success is their ability khổng lồ run on pretty much any hardware you throw at it—even dirt-cheap PCs powered by AMD APUs.

But while gaming on integrated graphics is definitely possible, it requires visual compromise. Hitting buttery-smooth 60 frames per second often requires dialing down the resolution or graphics settings even in less-strenuous DirectX 9-based e-sports games. That’s where AMD’s new Radeon RX 460 ($109 & up) comes in.

AMD’s positioning the Radeon RX 460 as an affordable solution for e-sports gamers who want lớn blow past not just 60 frames per second, but 90 fps with High settings at 1080p resolution without breaking the ngân hàng. That’s one hell of a step up! It’s no coincidence that this thẻ is launching the very same day that Dota 2’s mammoth $trăng tròn million The International 2016 tournament kicks off.

What’s more, the RX 460’s quality blend of features could make it a viable alternative sầu khổng lồ the legendary GTX 750 Ti in trang chủ theater PCs or power-constrained computers.

Can the reality live sầu up to lớn the hype? Let’s dig in.

Meet the Radeon RX 460

As a graphics thẻ devoted lớn e-sports & entry-level gaming, the Radeon RX 460 sports much more modest internals than the Radeon RX 480 ($200 & up on Newegg) or even the Radeon RX 470 ($180 and up on Newegg).


The Radeon RX 470’s reference specifications.

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The RX 460 features a severely cut-down version of AMD’s new 14nm Polaris GPU, with half as many ROPs & less than half as many compute units và stream processors as the RX 470. The most affordable model packs 2GB of RAM—though 4GB versions will also be available—over a smaller 128-bit memory bus.

This won’t be a bridge burner, in other words. But the conservative sầu thiết kế not only allows AMD & its partners lớn offer the Radeon RX 460 at an affordable price, it also reduced the TDPhường of the reference version to a mere 75 watts—low enough that it can be powered solely by your motherboard’s PCIe slot, without any extra power connectors whatsoever. That makes the RX 460 a potentially compelling option as an tăng cấp for prebuilt big box machines (from Dell, HP, et cetera) that laông chồng extra power connectors. It could also power a kick-ass small form-factor home-theater PC, especially since the Radeon RX 460 supports HDXiaoMi MI 2.0b & high-dynamic range đoạn Clip.

Further reading: Every Radeon RX 460 you can buy

In theory, at least. Like the RX 470—& very unlike the RX 480—the Radeon RX 460 is launching with a full array of customized partner cards rather than reference models alone, with a wide array of overclocks, customized coolers, & (sometimes) six-pin power connectors. Much of the initial batch of available RX 460s seems khổng lồ lean into lớn providing a better e-sports experience rather than fulfilling the needs of low-power machines. 


The Polaris GPU’s encoding capabilities. 

Another one of the Polaris GPU’s new tricks lends itself well lớn e-sports, actually. The RX 460 (và its pricier relatives) tư vấn H.264 video clip streaming at up lớn 120 fps at 1080p, which means you’ll be able to stream your games khổng lồ Twitch easily. 

AMD sent us an XFX Radeon RX 460 for evaluation ($150 for this 4GB Model on Newegg; a $1trăng tròn, 2GB version is also available on Newegg). It’s a traditional full-length, dual-slot graphics card as opposed to lớn the Radeon Nano-esque RX 460 reference thiết kế, complete with a six-pin power connector to lớn help fuel its modest 20Hz overcloông xã, khổng lồ 1,220MHz. Notably, that’s a true on-card overclock—you don’t need lớn install any extra software to lớn enable it, unlike with some graphics cards from other manufacturers.

XFX put the extra length khổng lồ good use. The XFX Radeon RX 460 features a pair of small mid-sized fans sitting atop a basic aluminum heatsink. Those fans have sầu some nifty tricks up their sleeves, too. They tốc độ up or slow down based on load, all the way down lớn going completely idle (& silent) when you aren’t gaming. They’re also held in place by brackets that can be squeezed and released using your fingers alone, making it dead-simple lớn replace the fans if one dies—though you’ll still need khổng lồ giảm giá with the wiring connecting the tín đồ khổng lồ the graphics thẻ.

Brad Chacos

The XFX Radeon RX 460’s fans can easily be popped out without extra tools.

Beyond the HDXiaoMI 2.0b port, you’ll also find solitary DVI-D and DisplayPort 1.4 connections, the latter of which supports resolutions far beyond what you’ll realistically use this thẻ for in a gaming PC. The 4K tư vấn may come in handy with a home theater PC, however.

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As a Polaris-based card, the XFX Radeon RX 460 also delivers features like Frame Rate Target Control, H.265 encoding và decoding, the in-driver Radeon WattMan overclocking tool, glorious FreeSync tư vấn, & dedicated asynchronous shader hardware that can improve sầu performance in next-ren, “cthảm bại to the metal” DirectX 12 & Vulkan gaming APIs.

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