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Old 05-31-10, 02:04 AM   #1
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Arrow Official: nV News Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC


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

Last edited by ragejg; 06-03-10 at 03:43 PM. Reason: fixed switched transistor count
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Old 05-31-10, 02:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Official: nVNews Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC

Box Shots:









The card box is similar to past EVGA designs, so there's nothing too remarkable about the package design. A nice touch is the barcode sticker next to a peek inside at the card's corresponding barcode sticker, to aid in ensuring the consumer gets exactly the card they paid for.

Box Contents:



  • EVGA GTX 465 SC Video Card
  • EVGA Driver/Software Disc with EVGA Precision Tuning Utility
  • Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • (2) 6-pin PCI-E Power Cables
  • User Guide

The EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC Unboxed:



The EVGA GTX 465 ships with quite a bit of protective tape covering the piano black portions of its cooler. I'd suppose one could keep that tap on to keep the surface fresh, bit doing so removes takes the fun out of looking at such a shiny cooling system. Its looks are consistent with the appearance of other recent EVGA video cards, and as a matter of fact it... ... hey wait!! That's the GTX 470's cooler!









Regardless of the fact that the EVGA GTX 465 looks an AWFUL lot like the 470, it is still a pretty good looking card. Longer than the GTX 470 but shorter than the GTX 280, it is fairly substantial in size. On the topside picture the SLI connectors are visible as well as two PCI Express connectors. I personally like the placement of these, as with longer cards it is difficult to connect these when they are on the end of the PCB.

Size Comparison:


  • EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC - Bottom
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 - Middle
  • XFX Radeon HD 4890 - Top


The EVGA GTX 465 is not as long as the porcine HD 5830, but is a hair longer than the HD 4890, making an appearance in this review only for visual reference.



It's easy to tell which card here is the oldest. The HD 4890 lacks any HDMI output and makes use of an S-Video tv-out connector. Both the HD 5830 and the GTX 465 make use of HDMI-out, but the Geforce uses a mini-HDMI connector, which can be hooked to an HDMI-equipped visual output device using an adapter or the supplied adapting cable.

Cooling Solution:

EVGA's cooling solution for the GTX 465 is quite interesting, and I mean that in a good way.



After loosening screws on the backside of the card as well as the connector plate, the assembly is easy to remove from the board. The topside cover is bound using push clips. This leaves two other functional pieces. The almost card-length main heatsink assembly is Aluminum and serves several functions. One is a mount point for the GPU heatsink. Another is the frame for the fan. And still another is a heatsink surface for the memory chips. On the other side of the thermal tape the fins are visible, indicating that EVGA wanted to go beyond just basically cooling the memory chips with a block of Aluminum, but rather wanted their dissipated heat to exit the cooling solution in a strategic manner.









Wait... that last picture. What was that? Is the bottom of the heat sink missing something? I mean, the heat pipes are there, and the Aluminum is there, but where's the mirror-finish flat copper pad? This is interesting.... will it work though? I spoke with EVGA about this cooler, and they said that this heat sink was a "direct touch" design designed to actually enhance heat transfer.

It is interesting how this cooler fits together. It is a solid design rivaling many aftermarket units, and on first glance it appears that it has great thermal management and laminar airflow handling characteristics. The only question is regarding the noise capability of the fan, which is not a large unit, so it would seem that it probably spins at a high rpm.

Next - Test system, compare card and overclocking


Last edited by ragejg; 06-01-10 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 05-31-10, 02:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Official: nVNews Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC

Testing Environment/Overclocking:

System:
  • AMD Phenom X3 720 Black Edition at 3.5ghz
  • Cooled by Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 64
  • Asus M3A Motherboard (Socket AM2+) with 1105 BIOS
  • EVGA Geforce GTX 265 SC 1 GB at stock (625/3240)
  • EVGA Geforce GTX 265 SC 1 GB overclocked to *READ ON TO FIND OUT*
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 1 GB at stock (800/4000)
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 1 GB overclocked to 920/5000, default voltage
  • 4 GB (2 GB x2) G-Skill DDR2-800 RAM at stock timings
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue 250 GB hard drive
  • Memorex 16x DL DVD-RW drive
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Antec Earthwatts 650 W Power Supply
  • Sunbeam Tuniq 3 case
  • Sanyo 26" 720p/1080i LCD TV
  • Windows Vista X64
  • NVIDIA Driver version 257.15 BETA
  • ATI Driver version 10.5 BETA

You'll notice that this test setup is not the latest and greatest. The author, like many prospective buyers of video cards around the $200 mark, is a value-conscious gamer/hardware enthusiast. This test setup aims to show real-world performance of the EVGA GTX 465 SC vs. the HD 5830 in a slightly cpu-limited environment encountered by many other value-oriented gamers. I could have run the CPU at stock frequencies (or inversely I could have used my X4 system for even less CPU limitation), but at 3.5ghz the performance sits right in Intel Quad Core and Athlon II X4 territory.

Overclocking:


EVGA Precision:



The GTX 465 SC ships with an EVGA model-specific overclocking tool, another one based on Rivatuner, similar to MSI's Afterburner. Also available only to EVGA GTX 4XX owners is this utility:

EVGA OC Scanner:



OC Scanner is an active overclock auditing tool designed to be used in conjunction with EVGA Precision to check specified overclocked speeds for artifacts. It runs a Furmark-based visual scene and measures the amount of artifacts present in an overclock. Definitely a useful tool for overclockers.

The EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC comes from the factory pre-overclocked at 625 core/1250 shader and 3240 for the memory. In my testing environment with a decently-overclocked CPU and a midrange (Antec 650W) power supply, this card was found to be capable of 700 core/1400 shader and 3650 for the memory speed. A decent overclock by any means.

Test Suite:

Synthetic Benchmarks:
  • Unigine Heaven 2.0 (DX11)
  • Stone Giant (DX11 + Tessellation)
  • 3DMark 06 (DX9)

Gaming Benchmarks:
  • DIRT 2 (DX11)
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (DX11)
  • Metro 2033 (DX11)
  • Dark Void (DX10)
  • Far Cry 2 (DX10)
  • ... and more benchmark information will be added after the review is published...

Most games are tested at resolutions of 1280x720 and 1920x1080. The GTX 460 did encounter problems running 1920x1080i in a few games on my LCD TV, and also could not accomplish the required 1280x1024 for 3dMark 06 (which I ran using a 12x10 monitor). After completing all benchmarking it did appear that NVIDIA's drivers and cards are not as friendly to HDTVs as far as custom resolutions, refresh rates, display mode switching and general compatibility are concerned. It appears that ATI has the advantage for HDTV owners at the moment.

NVIDIA Driver 257.15:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NVIDIA
This is the first driver release from the Release 256 family of drivers (versions 256.xx to 259.xx). This driver package supports GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, and 400-series desktop GPUs as well as ION desktop GPUs. Learn more about Release 256 drivers here.

New in Version 257.15

* Adds support for Blu-ray 3D with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology. Learn more about the hardware and software requirements here .
* Increases performance for GeForce GTX 400 Series GPUs in several PC games. The following are examples of some of the most significant improvements measured with GeForce GTX 480. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:

o Up to 14% in Aliens vs. Predator (1920x1200 noAA/AF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 4% in Batman: Arkham Asylum (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF PhysX=High)
o Up to 5% in BattleForge (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Very High settings)
o Up to 5% in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 4% in Crysis: Warhead (1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Enthusiast setting)
o Up to 24% in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (1920x1200 no AA/AF)
o Up to 9% in Far Cry 2 (2560x1600 8xAA/16xAF)
o Up to 25% in Just Cause 2 (2560x1600 no AA/AF - Concrete Jungle)
o Up to 7% in Metro 2033 (1920x1200 no AA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 40% in Metro 2033 with SLI ((1920x1200 4xAA/16xAF – Tessellation on)
o Up to 8% in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (1920x1200 no AA/AF – Day)
o Up to 110% in Stone Giant with SLI (2650x1600 – Tessellation on, DoF on)
o Up to 6% in The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena (2560x1600 no AA/AF)
o Up to 9% in Unigine: Tropics (2560x1600 no AA/AF – OpenGL)
o Up to 5% in 3DMark Vantage (Performance and Extreme Presets)
o Up to 19% with Transparency AA (1920x1200 4xTrSS – measured in Crysis)

* Upgrades PhysX System Software to version 9.10.0222.
* Adds support for OpenGL 4.0 for GeForce GTX 400 Series GPUs.
* Adds support for CUDA Toolkit 3.1 which includes significant performance increases for double precision math operations. See CUDA Zone for more details.
* Adds support for new extreme Antialiasing modes for 3-way SLI PCs, including up to SLI48x AA for GeForce 200 series GPUs and up to SLI96x AA for GeForce GTX 400 series GPUs.
* Adds support for a new ‘Quality’ mode for NVIDIA’s Ambient Occlusion control panel feature.
* Adds a new NVIDIA Control Panel setup page for SLI and PhysX for ultimate control over multi-gpu configurations.
* Adds a new NVIDIA Control Panel feature for ultimate control over CUDA GPUs, allowing the user to effectively choose which GPU will power each CUDA application.
* 3D Vision customers can download the v257.15 3D Vision drivers here.
* Includes numerous bug fixes. Refer to the release notes on the documentation tab for information about the key bug fixes in this release.
* Users without US English operating systems can select their language and download the International driver here.

Additional Information:

* Installs HD Audio driver version 1.0.9.1 (for supported GPUs).
* Supports the new GPU-accelerated features in Adobe CS5.
* Supports GPU-acceleration for smoother online HD videos with Adobe Flash 10.1. Learn more here.
* Supports the new version of MotionDSP's video enhancement software, vReveal, which adds support for HD output. NVIDIA customers can download a free version of vReveal that supports up to SD output here.
* Supports DirectCompute with Windows 7 and GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports OpenCL 1.0 (Open Computing Language) for all GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports OpenGL 3.2 for GeForce 8-series and later GPUs.
* Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI technology on DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, and OpenGL, including 3-way SLI, Quad SLI, and SLI support on SLI-certified Intel X58-based motherboards.
* Supports GPU overclocking and temperature monitoring by installing NVIDIA System Tools software.
NOTE: Any time AA is mentioned in this review, Multi-Sample Adaptive (Transparency) AA was used. It incurs a heavier performance penalty than simpler AA modes but really helps IQ out. Also, NVIDIA's txture Filtering option was left at Quality, while the Radeon utilized the standard mode of Catalyst AI.

NOTE 2: Since NVIDIA is aiming th GTX 465 squarely in between the Radeon HD 5830 and HD 5850 in terms of performance, this comparison review shows stock and overclocked benchmarks for the HD 5830 compare card.

Next - Benchmark Results

Last edited by ragejg; 06-01-10 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 05-31-10, 02:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Official: nVNews Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC

Synthetic Benchmarks:



Unigine Heaven 2.0 DX11
  • 1920x1080, 4xAA/16xAF, all options at highest quality, Tessellation set to Normal


The tessellation capabilities of the GTX 465 shine in this benchmark, giving it a healthy lead over the Radeon. The HD 5830 comes close when overclocked, but when the GTX's clocks are increased it runs away with this one. This benchmark is seeing increased use lately, as tessellation strength or lack of has become important to gamers who get their video cards hoping they can handle upcoming games. It seems both cards struggle with this benchmark a little bit, but hey, these aren't GTX 480 and HD 5870 cards we're talking about here.

The Victor: EVGA GTX 465 SC




Stone Giant DX11
  • 1920x1080, 4xAA/16xAF, all options at highest quality, Tessellation set to Moderate



Even with tessellation turned down from normal to moderate, the GTX still out-powers the Radeon in this new benchmark. ... I thought that maybe with tessellation turned down the Radeon might catch up due to its superior bandwidth and texture filtering units, but in the end it may have come down to ROPs and pixel fillrate, categories which the GTX 465 outclasses the HD 5830 in.

The Victor: EVGA GTX 465 SC




3DMark 06
  • 1280x1024, 0xAA/4xAF




This was a close one. Even though the HD 5830 has higher bandwidth and more texture filtering units, the GTX 465 surpassed it, probably with the ROPs and pixel fillrate again. Not by much, but a win is a win.

The Victor: EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC




Gaming Performance:



DIRT 2 (DX11)
  • 1920x1080, 4xAA/16xAF, all settings at highest
  • In-game benchmark



The overclocked GTX 465 overtakes the stock HD 5830, but can't hold on when its clocks increase.

The Victor: Sapphire Radeon HD 5830




Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (DX11)
  • All settings at highest, HBAO on, average of 1 minute SP gameplay + 1 minute MP gameplay

1280x720


1920x1080


The lowest Radeon framerate average was 35.1, and the highest was 70.0. With the GTX however, the lowest average was 34.1 and the highest was 59.8. For some reason the GTX did not scale quite as well. I am currently looking into this issue with EVGA's assistance, and will also be trying this game out with the Geforce and Radeon in another system. For right now it looks like the HD 5830 pulled off a solid win in Bad Company 2.

The Victor: Sapphire Radeon HD 5830




Metro 2033
  • 1280x720, AAA/16xAF, all options at highest setting
  • Gameplay - Level 1



The GTX's tessellation capabilities shine again in this newer title. For what it's worth, it's well-known that tessellation will be utilized a LOT in many upcoming games. ... It is fairly apparent that for this game (using a mid-range system like the author), some settings may need to be turned down a bit to achieve enjoyable framerates at higher resolutions. I could not run this title at 1920x1080 on my HDTV with either card. If I can get ahold of another display soon I will be sure to report the performance of these cards at the 1080 resolution.

The Victor: EVGA GTX 465 SC




Dark Void (DX10)
  • 1920x1080, 4xAA/16xAF, All settings at highest, PhysX OFF
  • 1 minute gameplay + ~20 sec. cutscene



A TWIMTBP title, Dark Void uses a lot of DirectX 10 features, such as volumetric smoke shaft shades. When it can, it makes use of the CUDA particle system as well. It is the reviewers experience that this heavily-modified Unreal Engine game just runs smoother on the GTX 465.

The Victor: EVGA GTX 465 SC




Far Cry 2
  • All settings at highest
  • Benchmarking tool - Playback (Demo Ranch) - AI disabled

1280x720:


1920x1080


Both cards offer almost identical performance, with the GTX 465 closing the gaps at the higher resolutions. But the HD 5830 does offer more consistent performance with higher minimum framerate values.

The Victor: Sapphire Radeon HD 5830




Tom Clancy's HAWX
  • 1280x720, 4xAA/16xAF, all settings at highest
  • In-game benchmark



Even at the low resolution of 1280x720, HAWX manhandles the HD 5830. Gameplay was not very smooth, especially compared the 79 and 85 fps output by the GTX 465.

The Victor: EVGA GTX 465 SC



Next - Conclusion

Last edited by ragejg; 06-01-10 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Added HAWX benchmarks and some thoughts on the results...
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Old 05-31-10, 02:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Official: nVNews Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC

Heat/Power Consumption, Conclusion and Final Thoughts


This is a big card that does draw quite a bit of power, but it doesn't get too hot. During heavy gaming the GPU never went past 78 degrees C. When set on auto, the fan noise is audible as it increases past 50% but it never gets too annoying. So all in all, regarding heat and power consumption there is'n much to add here as the EVGA GTX 465 really doesn't do anything different than other enthusiast video cards of recent generations.


Conclusion:

As far as gaming performance is concerned, the GTX 465 is definitely a powerful GPU. It's really nice to be able to use high-quality AA modes on never games at high resolutions like 1920x1080 with little performance hit. NVIDIA has stated that the intended use for this GPU is around 1920x1200 with 4xAA and 16xAF, and for the most part they hit the mark. I'm sure that the results for this card would probably scale quite well as CPU horsepower increases as well, as I'm fairly certain that NVIDIA did most of their testing for this GPU on systems a little more powerful than mine. It would be interesting if NVIDIA could comment in some way on their GPU testing so we could truly know if they are considering midrange enthusiast gamers out there. I know I can't afford an i7, can you?

Judging by the benchmarks it does seem to be a match for the HD 5830 moreso than an HD 5850. It is this reviewer's opinion that the GTX 465 would not be able to match the performance of an HD 5850 in most games. It has too much of a bandwidth deficit, and not enough stream processors to keep up. Titles that use tessellation, however, are a different story. Since it's fairly certain that at least for this generation of GPUs NVIDIA has the lead in that department, titles like Metro 2033 and STALKER Call of Pripyat, and benchmarks like Heaven and Stone Giant will continue to show NVIDIA leading.

If you're a fan of NVIDIA products and you're looking for a DirectX 11 video card for under $300, the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 is a great choice. It offers a great feature set, sufficient GPU horsepower for high-IQ high-resolution gaming even when slightly CPU-limited, it looks nice, draws a little less power than its more powerful siblings, and according to NVIDIA, it scales wonderfully in SLI. The EVGA Precision and OC Scanner also add value to this package, as does EVGA's industry-leading lifetime warranty which is a BIG plus.

In the end, however, it's hard to ignore that this card fails to decisively beat the much less expensive Sapphire Radeon HD 5830. Lets hope that competition forces the prices down a little bit to level the playing field.


THE EVGA GEFORCE GTX 465 IS AVAILABLE NOW FROM SELECT ONLINE RETAILERS.

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Old 05-31-10, 05:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Official: nVNews Reviews the EVGA Geforce GTX 465 SC

Have feedback/comments? Here's a thread for that.

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