Review by John Grabski
May 31, 2010
In February 2010, ATI answered the call of value-conscious enthusiast gamers with the Radeon HD 5830, a DirectX 11 card utilizing the same core feature set as its more powerful siblings, but at a below-$300 price. NVIDIA is now ready for a similar release with its new Geforce GTX 465. With a suggested price of $279, the 465 is jumping right into steep waters with the Radeon HD 5850 selling as low as $290, and the HD 5830 sitting as low as $219.
On paper the GTX 465 obviously is at a disadvantage vs. the GTX 470, and its theoretical performance more closely resembles that of the Radeon HD 5830 in many respects.
EVGA sent a GTX 465 1024 Mb to nVNews for review. Using an EVGA BIOS, and an EVGA designed PCB based on the NVIDIA reference design, this card is an "SC" model, meaning it has been "Overclocked by EVGA beyond factory settings for extreme performance". This "Initial Look" review will cover the gaming performance of this card, the build quality, the construction and fit/finish of the cooling system, and some of the new features brought forth by NVIDIA's new 256 series drivers. The testing environment is a real-world setting using a midrange AMD gaming system using Windows Vista x64, as although eliminating cpu-limitation altogether is a nice way to show a video card's power, it does not always properly reflect the performance attainable by the customers in the intended price bracket, especially value-oriented enthusiasts.
Creating a viable third version of the enthusiast line is something NVIDIA has been good at for a long time now. The Geforce 3 ti 200, Geforce 4 ti 4200, FX 5900 XT, 6800 Non-Ultra, 7800 GS, 7900 GS and 8800 GT are examples of this practice. By utilizing the same basic architecture of the top-of-the line card and reducing clock/memory speeds and/or disabling pipelines and/or TMUs, these cards were often popular due to their inherent overclockability and bang-for-the-buck value. It is readily apparent that the GTX 465 follows this mantra to a T. But will its price, and performance vs. the competition prove to be its downfalls? Read on to find out.
Next: A look at the EVGA GTX465 SC