Testing OEM and no-name RX 460 graphics cards
Graphic cards try to appeal to us with impressive cooling solutions, factory overclocks or RGB, lots of RGB. But what happens when a graphics card is destined to live it days as a OEM card in an pre-built PC? Or what it won't end up in a MSI, Gigabye, Sapphire or other well known brand product? Let's take a loot at Medion OEM and Jegy RX 460 cards to find out.
OEM, parts designed to go in high quantities, to be put in a mass made
generic consumer product could be less efficient than those in flagship products. If it's not intended to go into a super OC GPU card then why bother with picking parts with high OC potential for the OEM basket? Similarly we could expect that
no name cards are either fake or some cheap bin of chips for a local market. But is it true? Are chips, in this case low end GPU chips, sorted in such way? Does silicon quality differs so much that they would have to be sorted? To some extent it will depend on the process node - how good are the yields and chips quality stability. TSMC 14 nm node is rather stable and mature so lets check what quality two non-consumer RX 460 cards will reveal to us.
Medion AG is a German company owned by Lenovo. They offer a wide range of electronics including laptops, computers and accessories. Some time ago I saw on the local ebay-alike site two sellers offering a big stock of skinny looking RX 460 cards coming from Medion PC disassembling. One of them even listed that's a MSI card made for Medion (although it could have been made by ECS instead). I got one and did some test on it.
So behold Medion RX 460 2GB single slot graphics card priced at around 75 EUR / 82 USD which is around 67% of new Sapphire Radeon RX 560 Pulse 2GB from the local shop (cheapest RX 560 2GB I could find). The card has a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI display outputs and doesn't require additional power than what it gets via PCIe lane.
You can check the GPU-Z validation entry for additional details. The card runs without problems in my custom Threadripper system and AMD drivers handle it also without any problems. The small fan is quite quiet and barely ramps up when the GPU is under heavy load. In an open test bench with FurMark stress testing the card reached 80C.
The card clocks the memory at standard 1750 MHz and the core can clock up to 1200MHz which among GPU-Z entries is the base level of clocks (Afterburner listed 1250MHz as default for it) although there are RX560 and RX560D with bit lower clocks than this. Benchmark results for this stock settings are as follow:
- Userbenchmark: 97th percentile
- Superposition: 3273 points
- 3DMark Raid: 24 582 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Time Spy: 1 736 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike: 5 996 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 2 637 Graphics Score
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: 449 score, 17,8 FPS (3440x1440)
- Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: 864 score, 20,6 FPS (3440x1440)
Using MSI Afterburner I increased the power limit and then started overclocking the GPU core. I managed to raise the clock to 1274 MHz before it got unstable (and even at 1274 there was a glitch in Unigine Valley). With no additional power connector and low efficiency fan this card won't be an overclocking dream but still the scores did improve:
- Userbenchmark: 100th percentile
- Superposition: 3527 points
- 3DMark Raid: 25 324 Graphics Score (6th result currently)
- 3DMark Time Spy: 1 784 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike: 6 284 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 2 741 Graphics Score
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: 475 score, 18,9 FPS (3440x1440)
- Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: 887 score, 21,2 FPS (3440x1440)
We gain 7,7% in Superposition or 2,7% in Time Spy benchmark. Even though it's not a performance card it doesn't seems to be of low silicon quality (or as it's a sample of one - lowest bin isn't the only thing put into those cards). Assuming that Userbenchmark dataset for 2GB RX 460 is large enough it's a pretty nice single slot (mind the fan) graphics card for
basic tasks and some retro gaming (WoW Classic anyone?). With the flood of second hand Polaris cards it may however not be the best price/performance value - but that depends on your local prices and availability.
JEGY is a Chinese brand associated with some
no-name and mining cards you can find on some online stores. On ebay I found a listing for refurbished Jegy RX 460 4GB from Greece at ~70GBP, bit cheaper than the OEM Medion card and with more VRAM.
The card has two much louder fans that seems to push noticeable amount of air through. It also requires an additional 6-pin power connector. The radiator does look very basic but it seems to get the job done as the GPU in FurmMark didn't exceeded 52C. Similarly as with Medion card this also worked without problems. You can find more details on the GPU-Z validation entry. And so the stock benchmark results are as follow:
- Userbenchmark: 72nd percentile
- Superposition: 3283 points
- 3DMark Raid: 24 580 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Time Spy: 1 754 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike: 6 024 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 2 654 Graphics Score
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: 461 score, 18,3 FPS (3440x1440)
- Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: 861 score, 20,6 FPS (3440x1440)
So the scores are just a bit better than the stock Medion card. But with two speedy fans and a bit of luck it managed to run some benchmarks at 1342 MHz and 1332 MHz for the 3DMark ones. That's a pretty nice overclock. The scores are as follow:
- Userbenchmark: 100th percentile
- Superposition: 3651 points
- 3DMark Raid: 26 989 Graphics Score (3rd result currently)
- 3DMark Time Spy: 1 933 Graphics Score (95th result currently)
- 3DMark Fire Strike: 6 748 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 2 943 Graphics Score (24th result currently)
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: 500 score, 19,9 FPS (3440x1440)
- Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: 968 score, 23,1 FPS (3440x1440)
So here performance gains are higher - 11,2% for Superposition or 10% for Time Spy. Although RX 460 isn't a hot topic on 3DMark leatherboards it's fun to reach high scores with
no-name cards. Just be warned if you see
JEGY somewhere - you should not treat it as an indication that the product is legit and that it's of good quality - there are random cards branded or referenced by this name and not everything can be what given sites says it is :)
It's 2019, DX12, Vulkan but why not check the good old CrossFire. RX 460 does support it while games or apps may not bother with it or SLI. As Threadripper offers lots of PCIe lanes you could push it up to quad CrossFire, but I just went with the humble double card CrossFire option. From mechanical side of things - the screws holding the radiator are quite long and I had to tilt the cards a bit so that screws from the second card would not hit the fans of the first one - not to mention cooling suffers a lot in such configuration for the first GPU.
I tried 1300MHz overclock at start, Fire Strike Extreme ran fine, but the normal version did crash, so I just ran everything at stock from that point to just get the results. Superposition didn't bother with the other card, while other benchmarks did.
- 3DMark Raid: 46 751 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Time Spy: 3 359 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike: 10 942 Graphics Score
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 5 689 Graphics Score at 1300MHz (best score currently)
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: 757 score, 30,1 FPS (3440x1440)
- Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0: 1306 score, 31.2 FPS (3440x1440)
The scaling looks good, like 191% on Time Spy, just note that synthetic benchmarks that support multiple GPUs do that more efficiently than average game (you may get very good or very bad scaling, stuttering - nothing is guaranteed). For actual game benchmark check YouTube - doing CrossFire with RX 460 / 560 as a cheap card seems to have been popular.
I tested two RX 460 cards that normally would not hit the retail market and also would not be tested by review sites or channels. It could be a lucky sample but it's good to see that OEM or those
no-name cards don't get clearly worst silicon quality. The older nodes should be so perfected that the yields are high and silicon quality stable.
Is RX460 worth for something? For multi-monitor setups, one high resolution DisplayPort display maybe? You can play a bit on less demanding games, use OpenCL/AMD specific acceleration in some apps but on the second hand market there is a lot of AMD cards (and Nvidia Pascal cards aren't that rare too) that have very low prices - you can get RX 470/570 or maybe RX 480/580 in a similar price - although it will be a used card so you never know how and if it will work, but at least you will get much more practical gaming capabilities.