My friend's birthday is coming up in a week and I got him a gpu, not just any ol' gpu I got him the new ROG Strix RX 460. He's not a gamer he does music recording, track dubbing and things like that, before I give it to him I'm curious to see how well this gpu performs with games. The price was very attractive and is what drew me to it but before we get to that, let's see what's in the box. We have the ROG Strix RX 460, a driver DVD, a quick setup guide, two cool little stickers, a cable tie and a 15 day trial of world of warships. Nice, if you don't have any games Asus gives you one to play !
The ROG Strix 460 is built on the Polaris 14 FinFET technology which uses less power, it requires only a single 6-pin pcie power cable and draws about 100 watts under full load. It's a small gpu measuring 7 3/4" long and 4 3/4" high and is suitable for small cases and mini itx builds, with the DirectCU II cooling you can feel confident it won't overheat in smaller cases.
Some features of the ROG Strix RX 460:
DirectCU II cooling RGB lighting Asus fan connect technology - 1 fan header rated at 1 amp which should allow you to connect up to 4 fans that are controlled by gpu temp. Freesync DisplayPort 1.4 - HDMI 2.0 - DVI - Will connect to most if not all monitors. Radeon Wattman (previously AMD Overdrive) Auto extreme technology with super alloy II 2-way crossfire 14 days of Xsplit Gamecaster
RGB lighting - There isn't much to say here, you get an ROG logo at the top near the center of the fans but it's enough to let everyone know you have an ROG gpu, by keeping it to a minimum I imagine this helped cut down on the cost. There is no backplate, a backplate would have made it look nicer but with it being so short there's no sag and this likely helped cut down on the cost too which I still haven't mentioned yet.
The ROG Strix RX 460 is an entry level gaming gpu, it's a cut down version of the RX 470 with half as many ROP's and less than half as many compute units and stream processors, how will this affect gaming? We'll find out shortly. It's said to give a better gaming experience with e-sports games, I don't have any e-sports games so we're going to test it with Doom, it will be interesting to see how much vulkan improves performance.
Unfortunately Xsplit Gamecaster doesn't work with vulkan enabled which is a big bummer so I'll use screenshots.
The ROG Strix RX 460 can be overclocked with Radeon Wattman or GPU Tweak II, I'll be using GPU Tweak II for overclocking and we'll start with the GPU Tweak II modes. Silent Mode runs at 1216MHz, by default it runs in Gaming Mode at 1236MHz, OC Mode runs at 1256MHz and the memory runs at 7000MHz on a 128 bit bus. The tests are done at 1920 x 1080 resolution with all game settings to the highest with no antialiasing.
We'll test each mode with Open GL first. With Silent Mode we get 44 FPS, that's pretty respectable for an entry level gaming gpu running a new AAA game.
Next is Gaming Mode, with a 20MHz boost there was no gain.
And OC Mode, with another 20MHz we do see a 1 FPS increase. Now let's see what's really under the hood.
We're striving for 60 FPS for the smoothest gameplay and when you're below that every FPS counts, overclocked to the max we get 51 FPS which is a gain of 7 FPS going from gaming mode. I was able to overclock the GPU Clock to 1384MHz and the Memory Clock to 7840MHz, a 7 FPS increase is quite impressive and it overclocks as well as the flagship gpu's.
I'm going to cut to the chase and do a test with the maximum overclock and vulkan enabled. Enabling vulkan we get 72 FPS for a gain of 21 FPS, if there was ever a feature added to games vulkan is it. If we look at this from gaming mode that's almost a 50% performance increase.
I did a run through on this level and the lowest I saw was 54 FPS and the highest was up to 95 FPS. I set a very aggressive fan curve with GPU Tweak II to keep it from thermal throttling and the maximum temperature was a very low 61c.
This is the first time I ever used an AMD gpu, I always read they were power hungry and can run hot up to 90c - 95c. This is not the case with the ROG Strix RX 460. With the gpu fans and fan header on auto they're at 0% until the gpu temp hits 60c then they'll spin up, you can set a fan curve for both or set them manually.
GPU tweak settings after playing the level.
Overclocked to the max with unigine valley 1080p, ultra settings with no antialiasing we get 46.8 FPS, pretty much what we got with Doom with Open GL in OC mode. I had to back down the overclock a notch on both the core clock and the memory clock to pass the benchmark.
Overclocked to the max Far Cry 3 co-op Lights Out mission 1080p, ultra settings, no AA was getting us in the 50's. GPU Usage is at 100% with the gpu temp at 53c, that is almost water cooling temps ! Although we're not at 60 FPS, 53 FPS is still very playable.
The ROG Strix RX 460 is a great overclocker and packs quite a punch for an entry level gaming gpu, it does well with AAA games at the highest settings at 1080p. It runs cool and quiet, I can hear the fans at 100% but they're not overly loud, not any louder than my psu. It's small and will fit virtually into any pc case, it's like parking a compact sports car in your garage and it looks and runs like one too until...
We add vulkan which is nitrous for your gpu and turns this sports car into a race car, games that support it greatly increase performance as you can see. You'll have a great gaming experience at 1080p exceeding 60 FPS with the highest game settings just don't expect 60 FPS with the highest settings in the newer games that don't support it. If you're building a budget gaming pc, game at 1080p or into e-sports games this ROG gpu is affordable for all at a mere $135.67.
Thanks for the detailed guide Nate152. I am never sure what to buy, and friends often give me conflicting advice. Reading your guide to the ROG Strix RX460 has made my choice easy. You answered every question I would have, without quoting overly technical stats that I really dont understand. Getting a new game to play isa bonus and the price is right. I prefer racing cars to sports cars so I guess this is right for me. Please do more guides like this, your style is easy to read and follow.