Review of the graphics card ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460
Representing a line of graphics cards with chips based on the Polaris architecture, AMD offered Radeon RX 460 adapters for economical fans who like playing. The announced price of the novelty for the US market is $ 109/139. Is it really possible to manage this amount if you want to play with good performance with medium-high graphics settings? Let’s experiment with ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING.
Also see: How to choose Graphics card
AMD Radeon RX 460
Unlike the older models of the new line, for which Ellesmere graphics processors (Polaris 10) are used, the Radeon RX 460 uses the Baffin chip. It is also manufactured by GlobalFoundries on a 14-nanometer process using FinFET. In the architectural plan, there are no differences.
The difference in the number of functional units. It is not always rational to use a full-fledged GPU for cases where a significant part of calculators is disabled in terms of production cost. Therefore, it is quite logical that, a new crystal design was developed for a less rapid solution, which is initially more compact than the older version. The area of the silicon plate Baffin is 123 mm2, while Ellesmere has 232 mm2. The number of transistors is 3.0 billion, against 5.7 billion from the older GPU. As you can see, in both cases the difference is almost twofold, that indicates good scaling and advantages of modular design.
ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING
The peak frequency of the GPU in this case is increased from 1200 MHz to 1256 MHz, while the memory chips work at the recommended 7000 MHz. This formula corresponds to OC Mode. In the Gaming Mode, the chip can be accelerated to 1236 MHz. In general, the difference is small, because here there is no significant increase in productivity.
The graphics card is offered in a compact box with a customary design. The set with the adapter includes a manual, a disk with drivers and software, a pair of reusable cable ties for laying power cables, and two decorative tags in case you want to decorate the graphics card cover.
Design and layout
The adapters of STRIX family of the new generation have a similar design, although each model has its own characteristics. The graphics card looks similar to the Radeon RX 470, which was previously in our test. Although the RX 460 is much more compact than the older model, belonging to one series and can be visible with the naked eye.
The graphics card is covered with a plastic cover of graphite color, which has a special shape with chopped edges. There are no bright elements in the design of the device. Here the manufacturer made a bet on RGB-backlight, which we will discuss a little later.
To cool the graphics card, one of the variations of DirectCU II family coolers is used. The basis is a solid aluminum block with a complex profile. The design uses two nickel-plated heat pipes, which have direct contact with the GPU chip. Tubes pressed together with a diameter of 6 mm completely cover the silicon plate. Conductors of heat are very tightly pressed against each other. After the preliminary grinding of the surface, the joint between the elements is practically unnoticed. This eliminates the appearance of local overheating zones. In this case, this issue is not relevant.
The necessary contact of the remote parts of the tubes ensures the groove of the corresponding shape in the radiator profile and subsequent pressing. The soldering operation is not provided here.
For blowing out the radiator unit, a pair of 80-millimeter ventilators of the axial type is provided.
The graphics card has an original printed board. The power unit is made on a 5-phase circuit. Four phases are allocated to adjust the power of the GPU, another one is responsible for the memory subsystem.
The VRM parameters are controlled by the Digi + ASP1206 controller. The main power unit is located closer to the interface panel.
The assemblies are cooled using an additional radiator. Aluminum profile has relatively small dimensions, but the ribbed shape allows to increase the effective scattering area and to catch air flows from the ventilator.
For the graphics card the memory microcircuits Micron 6DA47 D9SXD are used. Chips in the volume of 1 GB are located in L-shaped way next to the graphics processor.
Separately, we will note a very compact crystal GPU. Even visually without additional measurements it looks much smaller than the older members of the Ellesmere family.
The claimed TDP graphics card Radeon RX 460 consists of 75 watts. This means that in the standard mode adapters can work without additional power. At the same time, even standard overclocking can already increase the consumption of the graphics card, creating an additional load on the PCI Express port. Therefore it is not surprising that the tuned version of the adapter is equipped with an additional 6-pin connector.
The connector is located in the upper right corner of the board, while the latch is deployed to the back side of the PCB for convenient connection of the power cable.
Near the connector there are two signal lights.
The white light is turned on when the power line is connected to the graphics card, the red LED reminds you that additional power is needed to operate the graphics card.
As the senior representatives of the series, the graphics card supports ASUS FanConnect technology. On the side corner of the adapter there is a 4-pin connector for connecting an external ventilator, the mode of operation of which will depend on the heating of the GPU.
ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING is also equipped with decorative lighting. The logo of the game series looms on the upper end of the graphics card. RGB-LED installed under the cover can work in several modes.
The backlight is configured in the ASUS AURA application. In addition to color, intensity and periodicity can also be specified here. There are available modes with fading, flashes, automatic color change. The backlight can be also changed by current music rhythm or visually reflect the GPU heating level.
On the back side of the PCB, there is a minimum of surface mount elements. The protective plate and an additional bracket on the upper edge that we saw with the original Radeon RX 470 from ASUS are not provided here. However, the graphics card is not very bulky, because the absence of such elements does not particularly affect the overall strength of the structure.
As you can see in the photo, the heat pipes protruding from the PCB somewhat increase the dimensions of the graphics card. However, even in this case, the total width of the device is 120 mm. And this is a very suitable option, even for narrower models of bodies.
Since we are talking about dimensions, we note that ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING has a total length of 194 mm. This model can’t be installed in a body, it is intended exclusively for platforms of mini-ITX format (170 × 170 mm).
There are three video outputs on the interface panel. They are full-format HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI-D. A large part of the plug is occupied by ventilation openings with large cells.
In the work
In the rest mode, the cooling ventilators are stopping, because the graphics card operates silently.
Consumption and heat dissipation of the chip under such conditions is small, and therefore even relatively simple design of the radiator unit is enough to keep the GPU temperature at 37 degrees.
Under the load, the graphics processor was warmed up to 64C. At the same time, ventilators speed increased up to 2100 r / s. Yes, in this case, the adapter runs quieter than a graphics card equipped with a pair of 100mm ventilators rotating at the same frequency. But we can’t call RX 460 noiseless.
The algorithm of the cooler is prescribed in the settings of the graphics card, however, thanks to the AMD WattMan tool, fans of silence can always correct it. In this case, it is sufficient to increase the set temperature limit, for example, by raising the threshold 63 degrees to 75 ° C. Thus, we increase the permissible heating of the chip to an acceptable level, but we reduce the speed of ventilators rotation.
The total values of temperatures and rotations will depend on the mode inside the system unit. On an open bench, the GPU was heated to 71 degrees at a ventilator speed of about 1400 rpm. The value is very comfortable, the graphics card in this case is very quiet.
We will note that under the load, the GPU almost always worked at the maximum specified frequency – 1256 MHz. The Power Tune mechanism is certainly also active here, but the consumption and temperature modes of the graphics card remain in acceptable norms, because the chip is almost always accelerated to the maximum possible speeds.
4.5 ASSESSMENT thecomputerfinder.com
PROS: Productivity; Effective cooler; Connector for additional ventilator; Adjustable RGB-backlight; 4 GB of memory; Factory overclocking of GPU
CONS: The high price of the Radeon RX 460 with 4 GB of memory
CONCLUSION: Radeon RX 460 fits perfectly into AMD’s new graphics line. For the basic game systems, the developer offered an economical solution with a good price / performance ratio. The power of the graphics card is enough to play in Full HD mode, even if not with the maximum, but medium or even high quality graphics settings. For a device of this class, the minimum required amount of memory is 2 GB. The presence of such models is a good opportunity to save on the purchase of a new graphics card. Of course, even for this category, 4 GB devices will not be extra, however, models with a doubled capacity require a significant increase in the budget. As for the ASUS ROG STRIX-RX460-O4G-GAMING itself, then, perhaps, the only disadvantage is the considerable starting cost of the adapter. Versions of the Radeon RX 460 with 4 GB of memory cost more than 2 GB modifications, but a significant increase in price forces us to look towards high quality graphics cards, comparing the invariably important “price / performance” ratio. With this comparison, the choice may not be in favor of Radeon RX 460.
|GPU||Radeon RX 460
|Amount of memory, GB||4|
|Interface||PCI Express 3.0 x16
|Cooling System Design||Branded (DirectCU II)|
|Operating frequencies of the GPU, MHz||1256|
|Memory frequency, MHz||7000|
|Memory bus, bit||128|
|Output Connectors||1xDual Link DVI-D (HDCP), DisplayPort, HDMI (2.0)|
|Power consumption, W||no data|
|Recommended power supply, W||no data|
|Other||Element base Super Alloy Power II, GPU: AMD Polaris 11, microarchitecture: 4th generation AMD GCN, 4 + 1 Phase Super Alloy Power II, Aura RGB Lighting|