Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SLI Review

By on August 24, 2010, 6:35 AM
When wrapping up our initial GeForce GTX 460 coverage on launch day we mentioned the interesting thought of running two 1GB cards in SLI which would cost a whisker less than $500. This matches the price of a single GeForce GTX 480 that on paper would appear to be the slower alternative.

Those looking for top notch gaming performance without having to spend more than $400 will likely be interested in what the GeForce GTX 460 (768MB) SLI configuration has to offer. At $400 the GeForce duo will be slightly more expensive than a single Radeon HD 5870, which recently received a slight price drop and can now be found in the $370 range. Then further up the ATI ladder we have the Radeon HD 5970 at $670, it will be interesting to see how the GeForce GTX 460 SLI cards compare.

Despite our reluctance in recommending dual graphics cards as an upfront solution in the past, recent tests have showed SLI scales very well in a huge variety of games nowadays. So are GeForce GTX 460 SLI cards the killer combination for PC gamers today? We'll find out next.

Read the complete review.





User Comments: 20

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Very Nice Review! Just recently Bought a 1GB GTX 460, might as well get another one

Although how come the PSU can only power upto 700 Watts yet I swear the GTX 480 was under stress taking more than that?

Puiu Puiu said:

Another great review. But i'm waiting for the holiday season and for the next gen cards (that are not so next gen till 2011) from AMD.

Guest said:

good article.

i was looking at the 8600 in sli vs a single gtx 260 a while back.

as from the supplier it was same cost but gtx260 then bought out updated verison with 216 stream processors and killed the deal.

nice to know the same thing is still going on.

BlindObject said:

I love how the 465s don't even exist here. >

Guest said:

There is a good reason for that ... they are sh*t :) They should have never been released. For the same price the GeForce GTX 460 is faster, cooler, quieter and more efficient.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

IMO the 465 was a mistake. This is an excellent review and reinforces some of my previous statements about playing with these in SLI at certain resolutions.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It was time for a complete rebuild for me and I was all ready to spend my hard earned cash on an ATI card, probably the 5870. Until the 460's came out. I'd never done an SLI rig before so considering the price, performance and power consumption of a single 460, this was the time to do it. And this is the second 460 SLI article I've seen that validates my initial assumption that two 460's would smoke just about anything else out there. Haven't built my new rig yet - I have all the components but am waiting on the case (NZXT Phantom) which was just released and on backorder. But here's everything else, and I'm damn anxious to slap it all together!

Intel i7-930 processor

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Mobo

XIGMATEK Dark Knight CPU cooler

ABS SL1050 1050W modular power supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM (PC3 10666)

OCZ Agility 2 120GB SSD

Western Digitial 1TB Black Caviar HD

MSI GeForce N460GTX CYCLONE 1GD5/OC (two cards for SLI)

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound card

NZXT Phantom case

grvalderrama said:

These is good intel... im saving to get one of these cards or the 5850. Whatever I choose, it should be quite an improvement from my 8600GTS. I like nvidia, because drivers and game compatibility aren't as fleshy as ati's, but I love ati hardware in terms of value, consumption and heat (which can be a bit of a problem with my case). So, thanks for this intel!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

TomSEA said:

It was time for a complete rebuild for me and I was all ready to spend my hard earned cash on an ATI card, probably the 5870. Until the 460's came out. I'd never done an SLI rig before so considering the price, performance and power consumption of a single 460, this was the time to do it. And this is the second 460 SLI article I've seen that validates my initial assumption that two 460's would smoke just about anything else out there. Haven't built my new rig yet - I have all the components but am waiting on the case (NZXT Phantom) which was just released and on backorder. But here's everything else, and I'm damn anxious to slap it all together!

Intel i7-930 processor

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Mobo

XIGMATEK Dark Knight CPU cooler

ABS SL1050 1050W modular power supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM (PC3 10666)

OCZ Agility 2 120GB SSD

Western Digitial 1TB Black Caviar HD

MSI GeForce N460GTX CYCLONE 1GD5/OC (two cards for SLI)

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound card

NZXT Phantom case

Where is your triple-channel memory with that CPU?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oops...I have an extra stick I'll be using.

Cueto_99 said:

I bought 2x2gb of those G.Skill ripjaws 1333Mhz (10666), they're great, but now I can't find another pair, seems like they dissapeared from the market, I guess I'll be left with 4gb for some time... on the GPU subject, I believe a dual GTX460 is something possible and would be a good deal for Nvidia partners, I'm expecting it...

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

burty117 said:

how come the PSU can only power upto 700 Watts yet I swear the GTX 480 was under stress taking more than that?

787w is AC power draw

A normal somewhat modern PC powersupply will have an efficiency number of ca 80%

So actual power draw on the output DC side is; 630w

Leeky Leeky said:

Thank you for a fantastic review!

Definitely confirms my decision to go with a GTX460 (to SLI in longer term).

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Where is your triple-channel memory with that CPU?

No such thing as triple channel memory there St1ckM4n, only kits.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

This is an excellent review and reinforces some of my previous statements about playing with these in SLI at certain resolutions.

Really? I thought it would prove to be the obverse. Of the games tested at 1920 -the logical screen res for these cards, the GTX460 SLI produces an unplayable framerate in Metro 2033 -dropping the IQ a level would enable a playable fps.

Of the 2560 res -an unlikely res for two mainstream cards- you can add AvP and Just Cause 2 to 2033. Again, lowering IQ or simply dropping AA in AvP/ lowing JC2 AA to 4x, will enable a playable framerate.

While the GTX 480 SLI setup is the tessellation monster of this generation -and likely to remain so while GPU's are using the 40nm node, for the 99.9% of people who game at </=1920x1200, the GTX460 SLI would more than suffice.

The way I would look at it is, for the sake of the two most poorly coded games in living memory (Crysis & Metro 2033)-both of which can be found in bargain bins worldwide and offer little, if no replayability- a potential GTX 480 SLI user must 1. outlay for a second card which in itself is the cost of two GTX 460's, 2. have a chassis with superlative cooling, 3. invest in a kilowatt class PSU, and 4. be willing to put up with the backround noise.

If a graphics level of a GTX 480 SLI is going to be needed in the short/medium term to provide a reasonable gaming experience, then you can start writing the obituary for PC gaming right now.

Guest said:

what a nice thought...you shpuld get a promotion for this.why spend extra money on a single gpu.thanks man. it was "pettttttty" interesting.

Eddo22 said:

I don't know what all the hubbub is about. At the time of the review the 5850 was roughly $50 more and beat the 460 most of the time. SLi'ed it only beat the 5970 (think 2 - 5850's in crossfire $100 more) in about 30% of the tests (most of which were setup to favour Nvidia hardware), another 20% it roughly matched it and the other 50% the 5970 beat it hands down.

My conclusion is that compared to the 5970 yes the 460sli is a great deal. Compared to crossfired 5850's..well it's just another step down in the pricing puzzle. Now that the 6870 is out, there is no logical reason to purchase the 460 sli combo...and overclocking is a great way to drastically shorten a cards life...if not to make a brick out of it.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Amazing 20/20 hindsight there Eddo. You may notice that the HD 6850/6870 hadn't been released, nor the pricing/specs known when this thread was running.

If you will excuse me, I'm off to find a 2003 thread so that I can deride the logic of the posters who were deluded enough to think that the 9800 Pro was the height of graphics performance...poor fools.

Guest said:

First attempt at SLI. Newegg had the 460 for $165 making SLI only $330! Looks like overclocking it might require more than my 700W PS though.

Guest said:

you can get two EvGA 1GB 460's now for $280 Cnd after rebate on newegg. can't beat the price/performance now. Going to pick them up now after reading the article. Thanks for the heads up :)

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