MSI Radeon RX 460s are small and slot-powered

At some point in the last couple of days, MSI quietly updated its website with a pair of new Radeon graphics cards, called simply the MSI Radeon RX 460 2GB OC and RX 460 4GB OC. The company already has a plethora of Polaris parts, but these are RX 460s, and thus use the smaller Polaris 11 processor. Normally, the stealthy launch of some entry-level graphics cards might not be worth a lot of fuss, but these are the first single-fan RX 460s we've seen that don't require a PCIe power connector.

Before the RX 460 was released, AMD—or at least its fans—made a lot of noise about the slot-powered nature of the card. Now that the cards are on the table, though, the majority of them do seem to come with a single six-pin power connector on board, just like their Polaris 10 brethren. They also tend to be similar in size to the RX 470 and 480 cards, which is contrary to the expectations set by Lisa Su at E3.

These new cards from MSI, on the other hand, are similar in size to the diminutive Radeon R9 Nano, at just 6.7 inches long. Some of that length comes from the fan shroud, too—the card itself is barely longer than the slot it occupies. Aside from the capacity of their 7GT/s GDDR5 memory, the cards are identical, with the same 1210 MHz boost clock and cooler. They also have the same display output configuration: one each of DisplayPort, HDMI, and dual-link DVI-D ports.

We're not quite done with our RX 460 review yet due to a fault in our testbed, but looking around the web it seems like the RX 460 could make a fine add-in for OEM systems lacking the proper power supplies to drive more potent processors. The small size of these cards will help, too. Unfortunately for mini-PC enthusiasts, it seems the Dragon Army's new lightweights aren't quite ready for service, as there are no listings at e-tail yet. We've contacted MSI to see when and for how much these cards will be available.

Comments closed
    • TravelMug
    • 4 years ago

    WHERE ARE THE LOW PROFILE VERSIONS OF THESE CARDS???

    (or the 75W editions of the 950 cards?)

      • Ivanek
      • 4 years ago

      75W editions of the 950 cards are here, although I think there was another manufacturer besides Asus making them:

      [url<]https://tweakers.net/categorie/49/videokaarten/producten/#filter:q1YqSExPDc6sSlWyMjQw0FEqKMpMTvXNzFOyAnKKC1KT3TJzSlKLipWsqpWMjEBkWWKOklW0kqWhsalSbK2OkrGBhSlIPBekSclMz0BJRyk3sQLINjcFcmprawE[/url<] For the 75W versions of the 460, MSI's own site claims their card uses 84W, so they are NOT slot powered or they use more power than the PCI-E specification permits(?): [url<]https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/Radeon-RX-460-2G-OC.html#hero-specification[/url<] The Gigabyte Windforce OC (1% OC :P) -both 2GB and 4GB- should stick to 75W

    • chµck
    • 4 years ago

    It’s amazing to see this level of performance in 75W.
    A 75W GPU fits in a <1″ notebook just fine and can be powered by a 120-130W adapter.
    I would love to see a full RX460 4GB in notebooks in the future.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Someone should pit a GTX 460 against the RX 460.

    Edit – love, love, love autocorrect!!!

    • OneShotOneKill
    • 4 years ago

    This card is so amazing!

    Wait, wait, wait… I am starting to sound like everyone on this site.

    Does not even beat an r9 270x 2GB in many tests. Hell even the 270 edges it out is some tests.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      Whilst I agree with you, it would seem that GCN is GCN, regardless of whether it’s 2011 or 2016. AMD seem incapable of making any worthwhile IPC gains whilst Nvidia keep making giant leaps forward every generation.

      So yes, it’s disappointingly slow because 896 polaris shaders at 1.2GHz is about the same speed as 1024 old pitcairn shaders at 1GHz.

      At the same time this is a 75W card and 270X was a 180W card (or more if it was a factory OC model) so I think you have to look at it not from a raw performance perspective but from the perspective of a casual gamer who doesn’t have any 6 or 8-pin power connectors in their PC.

      It would be a great achievement if Nvidia board partners hadn’t released downclocked versions of the GTX 950 in 75W versions earlier in the year that outperformed the new RX 460 several months ago. The fact that AMD’s new generation is barely matching Nvidia’s previous-gen 28nm products in performance/Watt is really quite disturbing 🙁

        • AnotherReader
        • 4 years ago

        GCN has improved over time. Pitcairn has 32 ROPs compared to Polaris 11’s 16. To gauge architectural improvements, we should compare the RX 470 to the R9 380X; they have the same resource balance. The PowerColor RX 470 Red Devil, when in OC mode, is about 35% faster than the reference 380X. Since the boost clock varies by game, we can see if any games offer greater improvements than the boost clock ratio. In GTA V, the PowerColor stays at maximum boost clock consistently so we should have a 31% improvement in fps if there are no architectural improvements: [url=http://www.computerbase.de/2016-08/radeon-rx-470-test/3/#diagramm-gta-v-1920-1080<]the actual increase is 43%[/url<]. Moreover, Nvidia hasn't always improved shader utilization with each generation. Fermi achieved greater shader utilization than Kepler. Maxwell is almost as efficient as Fermi when it comes to shader utilization and that allows it to trounce Kepler. However, Maxwell also improved the resource balance. The 780 Ti had 48 ROPs while the 980 has 64 and the 980 Ti has 96. I agree that the performance per watt is disappointing especially when you compare it to 28 nm Maxwell. I was expecting the 460 to do better as it is much smaller than the 480. Perhaps all of the chips capable of 1200 MHz at lower voltages have been reserved for Apple or laptops.

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah I suppose I’m putting too much stress on “shaders x clocks” because the shaders are responsible for the lion’s share of the die area.

          rom a purely shader-based perspective, a fourth-gen GCN shader performs no better than a GCN 1.0 Pitcairn shader. The progress has been elsewhere, like XDNA crossfire, memory compression yada yada. It’s all good stuff but IPC is what ultimately limits game performance in most cases.

          Like you, I hope that the 14CU, partially-disabled Polaris 11 chips for desktop 460s are the runt chips that didn’t pass muster for mobile parts which are ultimately a far more profitable segment. Let’s face it, AMD need to make some goddamned profit somehow because their CPUs sure aren’t up to the job!

            • AnotherReader
            • 4 years ago

            A single compute unit may not perform any better if used optimally, but that isn’t what determines game performance. Instruction prefetching, [url=http://images.anandtech.com/doci/10446/P9.png<]among other features[/url<], improves shader utilization for the 480. I think that the 480 to 380X comparison shows that, in many cases, the 480 has greater shader utilization than Tonga. You are right in saying that work on other parts of the GPU has yielded many benefits and that is ok. In the 480, GCN isn't being held back by shaders, but by a resource imbalance. To date, Pitcairn and Hawaii seem to have the optimal resource balance. Essentially, AMD has bet on shader performance becoming increasingly important.

        • OneShotOneKill
        • 4 years ago

        AMD is in a sad state when it comes to competing for market share, next hope is a surprisingly capable Rx 490.

        Enough $200~$300 over-hyped strategic non-sense. A performance Card that beats the previous gen at a lower price has been and will always be what the gamers are looking for.

        Release a $301 card that blows out a 1070 and see what market share you will gain.

          • Voldenuit
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]Release a $301 card that blows out a 1070 and see what market share you will gain.[/quote<] Pretty much what amd did with the 4850/4870, $100 cheaper than nvidia alternative. And what nvidia did with the 970 ($100 cheaper than 290 at the time). Both cards were huge successes, but in both cases, nvidia and amd got cocky and raised MSRP for the next gen (5850/5870, 1070).

            • OneShotOneKill
            • 4 years ago

            Oh the good old 4850. I felt guilty with the performance/$ it offered I ended up getting the overpriced 4890 once those came out.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 4 years ago

      The low end market is underwhelming. Always has been, always will be. Fine for last gen games and mmorpgs, nothing modern. Neither AMD or Nvidia has ever offered a low end card that I would be interested in buying.

      The only positive thing I can say about this card is that it is probably one of the better low end cards AMD has released in a while.

    • SoundChaos
    • 4 years ago

    Like many others, a 6pin-less next gen GPU is what I’ve been waiting for. However.. I am not at all impressed by the RX 460. The old 2gb GTX 950 has no 6pin versions, and handily beats the 4gb 460 by 20-40% in any non-dx12/vulcan game, and the AMD 2gb version even loses in some of those.

    Price/performance aside, Polaris just isn’t as power efficient as I’d hoped.. I guess ill stick with my 750 TI

      • maxxcool
      • 4 years ago

      But for a HTPC it would be better with updated support for hdcp/hdmi and better hardware decoders. I would not consider gaming in a 460 but that’s me ..

      • RAGEPRO
      • 4 years ago

      20-40%? I haven’t seen such a delta. You got some links for me to peruse?

        • SoundChaos
        • 4 years ago

        [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx-460,4707-4.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2016/08/08/gigabyte-radeon-rx-460-windforce-2x-oc-2gb/1[/url<] Waiting for techreport, and anandtech for more definitive results. Also just recently read techpowerup's and techspot, and they paint a pretty different picture where the two trade blows a lot. It seems the GTX 950 does better with older games.

      • AnotherReader
      • 4 years ago

      I think you’re overstating the difference. [url=http://www.computerbase.de/2016-08/radeon-rx-460-test/3/#diagramm-the-witcher-3-1920-1080_2<]At Computerbase.de[/url<], Sapphire's 460 and a reference 950 are equal when compared across 21 DX11 games (click the gears icon and unselect Doom and all of the DX12 games). An overclocked 950, an Asus Strix, is 13% faster. They are calculating an average fps across the games. Taking a geomean of the ratios would be better, but the point stands. As an example, in GTA V, the gap is 9%.

        • SoundChaos
        • 4 years ago

        Thats a cool system for benchmarks, props to them!
        I didn’t take into account the difference between overlclocked versions of the cards when I found the 20-40% from tomshardware. Their 950 was a EVGA FTW gaming edition with a very beefy 115mhz OC on the core… Looks like the battle is a lot closer than I’d thought at first, but I wish the next gen would get a better lead.

        edit: also just noticed even the 2gb RX 460 in that review is an OC version, so its comparison to the OC 950 is a little less unfair.

          • Ivanek
          • 4 years ago

          950 EVGA FTW is a 125W card,
          I can’t find the power consumption for their tested 460
          [url<]http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2016/08/08/gigabyte-radeon-rx-460-windforce-2x-oc-2gb/1[/url<] (<-- this is a 75W card). I think you are comparing a 125W card with a 75W card! In addition to your remarks of the 950 being without 6-pin your post seems to just spread misinformation about the 460, to put it mildly. Please check your outrageous claims. I don't understand why the board partners are releasing so many expensive cards which require a 6 pin connection though, if power consumption is not an issue, then surely the MUCH better price/perf ratio of the 470 would make more sense?

      • Ivanek
      • 4 years ago

      The old 2gb GTX 950 certainly has 6 pin versions, in fact most of them since the card requires 90W. A few months ago some 75W versions have been released, and their performance has dropped by about 15% compared to the 90W version. Still a nice card though at 75W.

    • selfnoise
    • 4 years ago

    So I guess there’s no market for single-slot cards now? If even these are dual?

    The fans are certainly annoying, so I get it.

    • AnotherReader
    • 4 years ago

    This is what the majority of RX 460 cards should be aspiring to.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]Before the RX 460 was released, AMD—or at least its fans—made a lot of noise[/quote<] That statement is true on so many levels.

      • Wirko
      • 4 years ago

      Ten to be exact, and that’s binary.

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