The AMD Radeon RX 460 card is the closest contender to the GTX 1050 from Nvidia, with AMD offering a lower price point. Unfortunately, the 1050 does have the upper hand in the majority of performance benchmarks on like for like cards from the two manufacturers, although things are starting to get a bit closer now. This is all thanks to a BIOS flash that unlocks additional texture mapping units and stream processors, resulting in a 12.5% performance boost.
Credit goes to the overclocking legend Roman Hartung, also known as “der8auer”, who is behind the successful process. So far, the BIOS flash has only been released for the ASUS RX 460 Strix O4G and the Sapphire RX 460 Nitro 4G, although we imagine that many more will be released with most manufactures utilising the same methods of blocking. By blocking, the supplier is able to hide away any faulty stream processors which are already included on the GPU die, and result in the product specified 896 stream processors. However, it seems that the “faulty” stream processors which have been blocked might not in actual fact be faulty at all, with the suppliers not setting the correct parameters for the determination of which stream processors are not working.
This has resulted in the ability to unlock these additional 128 stream processors and 8 texture mapping units which are in full functioning order. Many might be worried about this being a complicated procedure, however it is relatively straightforward, with not physical modifications being required to the card. So for those who are interested in gaining a performance boost, you can head over to the official guide here, although we have to state that whenever it comes to modifying hardware, there is always the risk of something going wrong, resulting in a card that might not even work.