RX 460 Overclocking, Power Consumption, Noise, and Temps
We also spent a little time overlcocking the new ASUS Radeon RX 460 STRIX, to see what kind of additional performance we could squeeze out of it. Before we get to our results, we should talk about updates to AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver suite for Polaris GPUs that enable a host of previously unavailable overclocking features. With the update, the Overdrive tab is gone in favor of a new one called WattMan. WattMan arrived with the release of the Radeon RX 480 a few weeks back.
Like previous-gen Radeon cards, when turbo boosting, frequencies and voltages scale upwards -- power and temperature permitting -- based on the GPU's workload at the time. With Overdrive, you could overclock using a fixed percentage frequency offset and bump up the GPU power curve manually. But with WattMan, while similar tools are still available, users also have the ability to alter frequencies and voltages on a per-voltage step (or state) basis.
To overclock the Radeon RX 460, we took a straightforward approach. We upped the power and temperature targets, while also bumping up the fan speed curve and increasing the low acoustic limit. Changing these settings allows the cooler to dissipate more heat at any given voltage point, while also allowing the GPU to boost longer and use more power. While we had the card overclocked, we re-ran a couple of tests, but saw virtually no change in performance.
The settings appear to take affect in Wattman, because fan speeds were increasing properly and the GPU stayed boosted throughout the tests. The tests may have been completely memory bandwidth limited or the oversized cooler on the tiny, lower-power GPU, was already allowing it to maintain maximum boost speeds. We have to dig into this one further...
The Radeon RX 460 proved to be quite power friendly. Under both idle and load conditions, the card consumed the least amount of power in comparison to the other cards we tested.