Last month AMD launched their latest graphics card, the Radeon RX 480. It was quickly dubbed the king of its price bracket, a $200 card capable of powerful 1080p, 1440p, and VR performance. Today, AMD has publically revealed new additions to the Radeon RX family, the RX 470 and RX 460, and several days ago I was invited to learn more about this upcoming lineup built for 1080p and eSports gaming.
AMD’s product marketing manager, Adam Kozak, opened the briefing by discussing the company’s vision for the Radeon RX series and Polaris architecture. As exciting as expensive components can be, the majority of graphics card purchases are found within the $100 to $300 market. But according to Kozak, that’s been a segment where you often see a “mish mash of different technologies and generations of hardware.” AMD is pushing to change that with their Polaris architecture, unifying features “in price segments today that really haven’t had the latest and greatest.” Regardless of how much you spend, the Radeon RX cards are all equipped with the same future-proof technologies.
Some of the most promising performance developments are coming out of the new APIs, DirectX 12 and Vulkan, and AMD has been leading the charge in supporting them. AMD’s unique hardware implementation of asynchronous compute, a DirectX 12 and Vulkan feature that allows for compute and graphics workloads to be handled at the same time rather than inefficiently queued, often translates into significant gains. For example, the Radeon RX 480 saw a 30% increase in DOOM with Vulkan versus OpenGL. Additional games optimized for Radeon graphics include Hitman, Ashes of the Singularity, Total War: Warhammer, and the upcoming titles Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Civilization VI, and Battlefield 1.
Kozak went on to say that gamers are also game watchers and streamers. To that end, the Radeon RX series is 10-bit HEVC ready and features high quality 2-pass encoding, which allocates more bits to the image to help with fast moving scenes. “We’ve pretty much doubled the speed and rate of encoding video,” he concluded.
The latest display specifications and technologies are supported across the entire lineup of Radeon RX cards, as well. That includes DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, HDMI 2.0, High-Dynamic Range HDR for expanded colors and higher contrast ratios, and AMD FreeSync. There are more than 80 FreeSync monitors currently available with more on the way later this year.
Finally, we moved onto the reveal of the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460. The Radeon RX 470 has been designed for “brilliant HD gaming.” It’s targeting 60+ FPS at 1080p with anti-aliasing and ultra settings for the latest games. The provided benchmarks showed it reaching 107 FPS in DOOM (2.4x the results of the Radeon R9 270), 77 FPS in Fallout 4, 66 FPS in Total War: Warhammer, 66 FPS in Hitman, and 64 FPS in Battlefield 4. Kozak mentioned that we can expect “some larger and smaller [board] sizes.”
Expected availability for the Radeon RX 470 is set for August 4, 2016. It will retail for $149 for the 4 GB variant and $179 for 8 GB.
Radeon RX 470 specifications:
|GCN Architecture||4th Generation|
|Compute Units||32 CUs|
|Clock Speeds (Boost / Base)||1206 / 926 MHz|
|Peak Performance||Up to 4.9 TFLOPs|
|Memory Speed (Effective)||6.6 Gbps|
|Peak Texture Fill-Rate||154.4 GT/s|
|Peak Pixel Fill-Rate||38.6 GP/s|
|Memory Bandwidth||211 GB/s|
|Memory Interface||256 bit|
|Memory Size||4/8 GB GDDR5|
|Typical Board Power||120W|
Meanwhile, the Radeon RX 460 is targeted towards eSports gamers. It’s aiming for 90+ FPS at 1080p high settings in games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Team Fortress 2, World of Warships, and more. The benchmarks saw it reach 109 FPS in Overwatch, 1.3x that of the Radeon R7 260X. It will also be launching in mobile with no name change. “We’re keeping the same brand,” Kozak stated, because “these parts do very well at different TDPs.” And compared to the GTX 960M, AMD is advertising a 20% increase in performance over its competitor.
The Radeon RX 460 is set for an August 8, 2016 launch. Its MSRP is $99 for the 2 GB and $119 for 4 GB.
Radeon RX 460 specifications:
|GCN Architecture||4th Generation|
|Compute Units||14 CUs|
|Clock Speeds (Boost / Base)||1200 / 1090 MHz|
|Peak Performance||Up to 2.2 TFLOPS|
|Memory Speed (Effective)||7 Gbps|
|Peak Texture Fill-Rate||57.6 GT/s|
|Peak Pixel Fill-Rate||19.2 GP/s|
|Memory Bandwidth||112 GB/s|
|Memory Interface||128 bit|
|Memory Size||2/4 GB GDDR5|
|Typical Board Power||<75W|
The majority of the market fills the $100 to $300 price bracket, and it’s great to see AMD isn’t leaving it behind, confused, or crippled. Gamers wanting high performance at 1080p to 1440p and VR may have some great and low-cost options with the Radeon RX lineup. We can’t wait to explore these cards further, and we should have more to say in the future.