Temperatures, Overclocking & Conclusion
Compared to the GTX 465, the EVGA GTX 460 runs very cool. Putting m hand near the card in the case during benchmarkng, I felt heat rising from the card but nothing like the radiant blast coming from the GTX 465. It actually felt cooler than the HD 5830 as well, although the temperature charts don't reflect that. All in all, however, with its relatively low TDP, the EVGA GTX 460 is a cool-running card that doesn't appear to draw too much power, making it a possibly good choice for some heavier-duty HTPCs.
As far as sound output (oh by the way, the audio out via HDMI works fine), the EVGA GTX 460 SC might be the quietest fan-equipped gaming video card I've ever used. You pretty much can't hear it. Even with the GPU temperature pegged and the fan hovering around 50%, it is just an almost inaudible video card. Another HTPC quality, check.
.... Wait, didn't NVIDIA say this thing could overclock like the dickens?
- Reference Processor speed: 675/1350mhz
- EVGA Superclocked speed: 763/1526mhz (+13%)
- Overclocked speed: 835/1670mhz (+24%)
- Reference Memory speed: 1800/3600mhz
- EVGA Superclocked speed: 1900/3800mhz (+5%)
- Overclocked speed: 1950/3900mhz (+8%)
They weren't kidding when they said this GPU could overclock, that's for sure. But how did those enhanced clocks affect gameplay?
... Not as big of an improvement as I would have liked, but this is probably due to a light CPU limitation. It's reasonable to assume that this GPU might be able to stretch its legs a little more if it were working together with, say, a Phenom x4 at 3.6ghz or a slightly overclocked Core 2 Quad. What the overclock did do, however was allow the GTX 460 to overtake the GTX 465 on some of the remaining tests that it had been beaten on.
Simply put, this is an amazing card
. Even without knowledge of what performance-segment gamers want in a card of this price, it still impresses heavily. But if you factor in how the EVGA GTX 465 SC accurately and thoroughly addresses the wishes and wants of those who responded to my question on various hardware forums, then this star shines even brighter:
- Performance vs. other cards near its price point (HD 4890, HD 5830, GTX 260, GTX 275, GTX 465)
The GTX 460 priced starting at $199 offers performance that is on par with the $250 GTX 465 and the $230 Radeon HD 5830. It's simply a GREAT bang-for-the-buck.
This card runs MUCH cooler than it's NVIDIA counterpart, the GTX 465, and boasts similar temperatures to the Radeon HD 5830. It also has a lower TDP than both of them.
- Power Consumption
With a 150W TDP, and requiring only a 450W Power Supply, the GTX 460 consumes the least amount of power of teh three cards tested in this review.
- Feature Set/Capability
The GTX 460 CAN play modern DirectX 11 titles heavy on tessellation, it excels at handling Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering, its PhysX capabilities are impressive, and it can handle 3D Vision. What a weapon of a video card!
Quietest. Performance Segment. Video Card. Ever?
- Inciting Price Wars
Sure, the GTX 460 is going to cause some other card's prices to come down. But maybe instead of worrying about those other cards you should just pick up one or two of these!
160mhz/24% over reference core overclock. 8% over reference memory overclock. Enough said.
BOTTOM OF THE BOTTOM LINE: The EVGA Geforce GTX 460 is quite possibly the most exciting video card release in years. Whether you pick one up for a midrange build, or two up for a low power-consumption, GTX-480-beating monster rig, the weapons at this video card's disposal make it a must-have for performance-segment gamers as well as enthusiasts. It is currently available from several online retailers such as HERE.
I would like to thank EVGA for supplying this review sample, and I''d like to thank the various members of the hardware communities who supplied me with a great discussion point for this review.