It's a big new year in the world of graphics cards. But not everyone has the money or the wherewithal to buy a card that can play games at 4K with all the bells and whistles on. Sometimes you just want to build a little PC that can play Dota 2, Overwatch, or one of the major competitive games at decent frame rates.
That's precisely the pitch AMD is making with the Radeon RX 460. The silicon manufacturer has been targeting the game squarely at people who enjoy esports-focused games, and they figure the best way to do that: frame rates.
If you want to target the esports crowd, you're basically looking at a handful of games. And deep within the latest press deck from AMD about their Polaris line of cards — that's the RX 480, 470 and 460 — is a couple of slides perfectly outlining what AMD wants to do with the RX 460.
It's not supposed to be a NVIDIA-beater. It's not going to play games at 4K at blistering speeds. But if you want to build a cheap PC playing Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO or even Overwatch at smooth, decent frame rates, the RX 460 is supposed to be you.
The fine print at the end of the press deck says AMD ran the tests using an Intel i7-6700K CPU, with 8GB of DDR4-2666Mhz RAM, the 16.20 Catalyst drivers and Windows 10. That's a decent enough machine, but it's also good to see that AMD ran each game at reasonably high settings as well.
Counter-Strike: Global Settings was tested using the High preset, while Dota 2 was benched under the Vulkan renderer on the High Preset. Rocket League, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Overwatch were all run at High settings too, and all games were tested at 1080p.
It's worth remembering that the R7 260X still holds up pretty well. AMD doesn't specify their testing methodology for Overwatch, but the ageing R7 260X still scored 76.673fps under the same resolution and preset. It also maintained a solid 80fps in Dota 2 and almost 140fps in CS:GO, which is worth remembering if you're building a PC on the barest of budgets.
AMD also unveiled more specifics about the hardware too:
|AMD Radeon RX 460|
|GCN Architecture||4th Generation|
|Compute Units||14 CUs|
|Base/Boost Clock Speeds||1090 MHz / 1200 MHz|
|Effective Memory Speed||7 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||112 GB/s|
|Typical Board Power||~75W|
The R7 260x is pretty cost-effective, then, but it's damn hard to find. According to StaticICE only four retailers in the country have the budget GPU in stock, starting from $155. Otherwise, you'll have to fork out $243 or more for the RX 460. AMD says it should be available from August 8, and we'll let you know if that shakes out differently in Australia.