AMD Radeon RX 470, 460 join VR-ready, budget friendly army

Virtual reality is the new black. If that wasn't yet obvious at Computex 2016 earlier this month, then it probably is now at E3. And especially at E3. Following up on its announcement at Computex, AMD is revealing two new additions to its fledgling Radeon RX roster, the Radeon RX 470 and 460. Together with the Radeon RX 480, these three are poised to democratize the VR market with powerful but affordable graphics cards to power those not so affordable rigs and headsets.

When the headsets alone cost more than $500, you'll definitely want to try saving on other things when building up your VR setup. Unfortunately, there is little room for compromise when it comes to performance, as today VR technology requires rather beefy components. AMD, who built a reputation for having more affordable alternatives to Intel's CPUs, is now doing the same for GPUs. Enter the Radeon RX series which AMD describes as offering "extraordinary VR experiences at price points never offered before." And by that, it meant a $199 starting price.

Just because it's cheap, however, doesn't mean AMD skimped on the performance. Or at least that's what the chip maker is claiming. The Radeon RX promises "console-class" performance, even for thin and light notebooks. Although it doesn't explicitly say so, the new RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards might indeed be meant for those types of computers. The Radeon RX series is based on AMD's Polaris architecture and uses the most current 14 nm FinFET manufacturing process.

On the feature side, Radeon RX supports the latest DirectX 12 API as well as Vulkan, the two APIs poised to be the future of computer graphics and gaming. HDR is also supported. Harware accelerated H.265 encoding and econding are built into the cards, allowing for 10-bit 4K video streaming at 60 fps.

AMD has already revealed the pricing and most of the details for the Radeon RX 480. So far it has only name-dropped the RX 470 and 460, though given the numbers, these two could be designed for lower end use cases, like notebooks and mini PCs. Or maybe even backpack PCs for VR.