Review by NV News Technical Writer
Monday, July 12, 2010
Are you noticing that your current video card isnít totally cutting it for gaming any more like it once did? Are you being required to drop detail levels down to medium or low to achieve playable framerates? Are you on your third ďoven tricked" Geforce 8800 GT, with a fourth on the horizon? ... Or do you have an interest in the newest tech, but canít quite afford costly GPUs such as the GTX 480 and HD 5870? Would something in the $199-$229 price point get your attention, and if so, what would a video card have to show you at this point in PC gamingís evolution to make a compelling case?
(Obviously, since this is a hardware review, on a PC gaming hardware-based website, itís probably already apparent to you that I, the reviewer (and terrible humorist/hopeless wordsmith) am going to evaluate that value proposition to you through a review of a new piece of hardware, namely NVIDIAís newest tech, the Geforce GTX 460. Once again, EVGA and NVIDIA have called on me of all people to deliver my impressions of a new video card and accompanying technologies so that the PC gaming community can make informed purchase decisions.
The internet has known that the GTX 460 was coming soon for a while now. Rumors floated around, postulating on whether it would utilize the GF100 GPU albeit in neutered fashion, or something slightly different and new called GF104. SM/CUDA core numbers floated around, as did memory bandwidth amounts. All of the discussions did center around a few key wants and desires of the gaming community, so I traveled far and wide, across many a hardware site, and took an informal survey asking these PC hardware enthusiasts and gamers what they wanted to see in this new technology (not in graphics cards in general, but specifically the GTX 460).
The results were clear-cut and consistent, which gave me a real glimpse into what people are hoping for with GF104. Out of the 60+ responses I got, a full third of those that responded listed price to performance ratio as their number one purchase influence. The next most important things to the respondents was heat, followed by power consumption and featureset (tessellation, audio pass-through, PhysX, 3D Vision etc.). Oddly enough, noise level was next on the list, tied with the hopes that GF104 would help foster competition in the market, helping bring prices down for other GPUs. Overclocking capabilities got a few votes as well. SLI scaling performance, PhysX performance, build quality and Folding performance got the least number of votes. What this told me is that PC gamers who purchaser video cards at the $199-$250 price point seem to be begging for a GPU of the new generation that delivers a better price to performance ratio that whatís currently available. This review will investigate as to whether or not EVGAís Geforce GTX 460 Superclocked can deliver the goods.