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Hands On: Radeon RX 460, 470, 480 Graphics Cards

The graphic card wars are on and AMD hosted an event to show off their latest crimson pixel pushers in form of the RX 470 and 460 models to match their previously announced RX 480. Luckily, the AMD graphics team hooked me up and I was able to get some private time with the new GPUs. No fancy coolers, just the raw goods. At the top of the page is the raw RX 470. Below, the RX 460 with its adorable fan and Crossfire RX 480s. 

(check out our GameCrate i5-6600k and Radeon R9 390 Build)

Now, it’s not so much a war as a difference of direction -- AMD sees 80%+ of the graphics card market spent in the $100-$300 territory. Makes sense. As much as I love talking about $5k super systems, the low end is where the bulk of PC gaming happens. So guess where the AMD cards are focused? Yup, sweet spot territory.

The RX 480 is the top of the current line and runs only $199 for 100% VR ready performance. That’s for the 4GB version, the 8GB model from the usual suspects (think MSI, GIGABYTE, Sapphire, XFX, etc.) will be more expensive with fans popping out every which way.

VR is also AMD’s big jam. VR, esports and HDR. All in, or so they say. Which is why they’re pushing the RX 480 as the new VR entry machine. I expect a lot of killer budget rigs will be sporting the 480 very shortly. 

The RX 470 drops down in price though performance is meant to stay competitive but not VR competitive. My guess is price will hit around $150.

The RX 460 is an interesting beast. While price will probably fill out that super entry level $99 territory, it looks like it’ll be 75 watts or under because, as you can see, no PCIe plugs on the top.

AMD is envisioning the entry RX 460 as the esports champ. I mean, a RX 480 or Crossfire 480s are even more champion-worthy, but specifically for games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and other ultra-popular but lightweight games the 460 makes sense.

The reason to look at Team Red over Team Green is DirectX12 and suport for HDR as well as a host of other tech. They're going out of their way to stress this isn't about gigaflops or simple numbers but real world performance. AMD beat NVIDIA to the DX12 game and AMD is hoping their new line really takes over that entry level territory.

Also, the “RX” name is also new -- it stands for Radeon Experience and is really AMD’s commitment to make gaming their number one priority going forward. As well as try to clear up some of the confusion of previous model names. Less naming confusion is always a good thing. 

Availability? Hard dates are hard to come by. But I believe the 480 in 8GB dressing is landing this month while the 460, 470 and 480/4GB are slated for a few months out. 

Overall, the AMD presentation really hit me over the head again and again how dedicated Team Red is to gaming and VR. Gotta say I'm impressed, the red kool-aid is pretty tasty. Check out more AMD graphics cards at Newegg