Zotac whipping up dual-GPU GTX 460?

By on October 26, 2010, 9:23 PM
Chinese tech site Expreview.com has published pictures of a Zotac-branded video card that packs not one, but two GF104 GPUs -- the same chip that powers the GTX 460. It's unclear whether the company actually plans to sell the "GTX 460 X2" or if it's just a toy prototype, but given the GTX 460's success, we'd sure like to see a dual-GPU edition in action.

Specs are pretty limited but the card has 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM (256-bit interface) per GF104 and Expreview mentions the possibility of a 4GB model. The GPUs are connected internally through an NF200 bridge chip, so it should run fine on non-SLI motherboards. There's also an external SLI connector, meaning quad-SLI should be possible.


The card is powered via two 8-pin PCIe connectors and there's an extra chunk of PCB dedicated to the MOSFETS, solid capacitors and VRMs. Connectivity includes four DVI outputs and one mini-HDMI port. There's no word on pricing, but with Nvidia's recent cuts, we'd expect the dual-GPU GTX 460 to be reasonably priced if it makes it to market.




User Comments: 86

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

And I just bought my 480's

tacobfm said:

Ho shit. I regret getting a new computer with radeon 5770s :|

posermobile89 said:

omg, that would be so incredibly awesome. I cant imagine 2 of the 4GB models, you would dominate EVERYTHING!

IAMTHESTIG said:

mmm that looks delicious! Does anyone else have an urge to lick the surface of those GPU's?

lol ok a bit weird, but I like what I see.

Regenweald said:

I doub't this will hit the market, seems like a concept ( hope i'm wrong) but dual Cayman will be out soon, nice consumer market shaping up. With rumors of a driver architecture overhaul for AMD in the near future (BSN) I think i'll stick to dual AMD solutions but this is still hot.

whiteandnerdy said:

i really hope this is real. i would buy one, maybe two in order to prepare for Crysis 2!

Guest said:

iwouldgetoneofthem

oasis789 said:

wow. imagine 2 of those on SLI. or is 1 of them SLI already?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

It's dual-GPU, so yes, it's already SLI. I also can't wait for this, or nvidias official dual-GPU beast.

Timonius Timonius said:

IAMTHESTIG said:

mmm that looks delicious! Does anyone else have an urge to lick the surface of those GPU's?

lol ok a bit weird, but I like what I see.

That has got to be one of the 'best' 'technolust' comments I've seen for a long time.

Hopefully when this card comes out I'll be able to afford it.

Cueto_99 said:

Hey Techspot guys, would you mind adding this one to the Christmas giveaway if it does go retail (I sure hope there IS a Christmas giveaway)

neowing said:

How exactly "NF200 bridge chip" support "non-SLI motherboards" ? Anyone have some information about it ?

grvalderrama said:

It's a great move from Zotac. GTX460 it's indeed an amazing card, and 2 of these lilttle monsters should satisfied incredibly well any game request. Can't wait to see a review of the 4GB version!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@Oasis789

It is SLI on one card, but also has an SLI connector so two cards can be teamed up - quad SLI capable, although if this card makes it to retail then I'd expect it to sport a variation of their (Zotac) GTX 480 Amp! cooler -a triple slot solution- which would limit motherboards able to run two cards - PCIex16 spacing, whether the chassis can accomodate the lower card, and SLI licence of course.

The biggest aspect for some would likely be the ability to run Surroundvision/3D surround from one card

How exactly "NF200 bridge chip" support "non-SLI motherboards" ? Anyone have some information about it ?

All dual-GPU nVidia cards (GTX 295, 9800GX2 etc.) utilise the SLI connection within the card. Since the card uses a single PCIe x16 slot, all data travels between CPU and graphics as would a single GPU solution. All communication (alternate frame rendering) is accomplished on the card itself.

Since multiple PCIe motherboard slots aren't required, the motherboard manufacturer does not have to purchase an SLI license to allow the GPU's to "communicate" -since no inter-GPU data travels over the motherboards chipset.

ruzveh said:

I dont understand why someone would want to go for dual 460 when they can end up buying single 480 card? Maybe for heat and noise or power consumption?

Cueto_99 said:

neowing said:

How exactly "NF200 bridge chip" support "non-SLI motherboards" ? Anyone have some information about it ?

Since the chip works internally inside the card, you won't need a SLI mobo with this card, now, if you wanna go quad-sli with two of these puppies, then you do need the SLI certified board...

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

@Oasis789

It is SLI on one card, but also has an SLI connector so two cards can be teamed up - quad SLI capable, although if this card makes it to retail then I'd expect it to sport a variation of their (Zotac) GTX 480 Amp! cooler -a triple slot solution- which would limit motherboards able to run two cards - PCIex16 spacing, whether the chassis can accomodate the lower card, and SLI licence of course.

The biggest aspect for some would likely be the ability to run Surroundvision/3D surround from one card

All dual-GPU nVidia cards (GTX 295, 9800GX2 etc.) utilise the SLI connection within the card. Since the card uses a single PCIe x16 slot, all data travels between CPU and graphics as would a single GPU solution. All communication (alternate frame rendering) is accomplished on the card itself.

Since multiple PCIe motherboard slots aren't required, the motherboard manufacturer does not have to purchase an SLI license to allow the GPU's to "communicate" -since no inter-GPU data travels over the motherboards chipset.

Would be good to note that all dual gpu's run in 8x mode which each other.

oasis789 said:

@dividebyzero

if this card does have a triple slot for cooling, then you'd need 6 pci slots to have 2 of them side-by-side. what mobo would support that?

vangrat said:

oasis789 said:

@dividebyzero

if this card does have a triple slot for cooling, then you'd need 6 pci slots to have 2 of them side-by-side. what mobo would support that?

That is when you remove the heatsinks and move to a liquid cooling solution so that you can fit these in your system. Or you know, wait for the 5970 to come out.

Guest said:

Well, I get up to the woah wagon. No need of a new mobo to have two gtx 460. It will sell like hotcakes.

motrin said:

IAMTHESTIG said:

mmm that looks delicious! Does anyone else have an urge to lick the surface of those GPU's?

lol ok a bit weird, but I like what I see.

Olivia Munn comes to mind..

vangrat said:

oh ffs, I meant 6970, I fail at being snarky...bah!

crzydave said:

mhm 6870 or dual 460's mhm

fadownjoo said:

lol thats toooo much power, when will you actually use it all?

Guest said:

^ Constant 60 fps all the time in every game. But crysis :-S

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Be interesting to see how this will compare price wise to a crossfired 6850/70 and performance wise to the 6950/70. If this card is competitively priced which I'm sure it will be it might be an good choice especially for those seeking one card for Nvidia's Surround Vision & 3D as DBZ points out.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@dividebyzero

if this card does have a triple slot for cooling, then you'd need 6 pci slots to have 2 of them side-by-side. what mobo would support that?

The ATX standard means that seven PCI slots can be accomodated on standard motherboards.

Any board (SLI capable, or vendor ID driver hack) that has it's primary and secondary PCIe x16 slots seperated by two spaces/PCI/PCIe can run dual triple-slot cards. An example here (light blue PCIe x16 slots seperated by two PCIe x1 in this case).

Some boards also allow for the bottom PCIe x16 (if the board has three x16 slots) to be used in conjuction with the primary graphics slot. Some will only work at x4 lanes electrical, but many (especially enthusiast) allow for x16 or x8 use.

oh ffs, I meant 6970, I fail at being snarky...bah!

A chagrined Aussie? You must be a recent immigrant.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Wow! If it's priced properly, it could seriously hamper GTX 480 sales methinks.

Although the HSF on the card would probably be pretty massive and sound like a jet engine or something. Unless it was liquid-cooled, which would probably make more sense IMHO.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If it is priced < 300$ it may make some sense to go with it, otherwise I am unsure it will hold much value once AMD and later nVidia refreshes their product lines.

dqdokoleda said:

Will the dual gpu card deliver the same performance as two cards in SLI mode? Is this the same or there is some difference?

After the release of the new Radeion, a single 460 doesn't seem to be a good idea.

But I hope that the Radeon is just as good in Crossfire, because the 460 was brilliant.

I hope to see here a review of the new Radeon in CF mode

bioflex said:

Guest said:

sell it ^^

best option......now that i hear the radeon 5970 is going to be 10% faster than the gtx 480

SilverCider said:

ruzveh said:

I dont understand why someone would want to go for dual 460 when they can end up buying single 480 card? Maybe for heat and noise or power consumption?

The efficiency of the gtx 460 architecture is much better, so you'll probably get better performance out of this dual setup (2 460's own 1 480 most of the time) for the power required.

Also, it opens up the option to go quad sli, which would be mental!

gokica said:

Depending on the price this product may become very interesting (in case it gets on the market). SLI out of the box. I am wondering whether this product would work on AMD chipsets (boards).

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Will the dual gpu card deliver the same performance as two cards in SLI mode? Is this the same or there is some difference?

In theory yes. In practice no.

To keep the card within some vague attempt at a reasonable power draw, either the core/memory frequency is likely to be lowered or very little overclocking headroom will be available.

After the release of the new Radeion, a single 460 doesn't seem to be a good idea.

That depends on (your) budget, pricing in your region and what you expect out of the card regarding game IQ and resolution. The GTX 460 hasn't suddenly become a bad card, and nor has the HD 6870/6850 re-invented the wheel.

But I hope that the Radeon is just as good in Crossfire, because the 460 was brilliant.

Crossfire (and SLI) scaling is in large part down to driver profiles. The latest Catalyst 10.10 drivers have improved Crossfire scaling significantly in a number of games

I hope to see here a review of the new Radeon in CF mode

I'm sure it's not too far away.

best option......now that i hear the radeon 5970 is going to be 10% faster than the gtx 480

It already is....and them some.

Depending on the price this product may become very interesting (in case it gets on the market). SLI out of the box. I am wondering whether this product would work on AMD chipsets (boards).

All any AMD and Intel board needs for this card (or any other PCI Express based card) is a functioning PCIe x16 slot.

Wow! If it's priced properly, it could seriously hamper GTX 480 sales methinks.

Not majorly. The GTX 480 is probably nearing EOL very rapidly, if reports floating around regarding the new Fermi silicon revision are true ( 512 shader/ lowered double precision (compute) emphasis, 128 TMU, 750-800MHz core/ 4000-4600MHz effective memory).

I don't think nvidia will be overly sad to see the 480 retired.

Leeky Leeky said:

Might be worth me waiting a bit for my GPU upgrade then, as this would be cool!

rizalp said:

I hope Zotac can give us more value than before with this card

alexandrionel said:

I don't know about US, but here in Europe all the X2 cards have been double the price of the normal cards. For instance 4870X2 was double the price of 4870. So, if a GTX 460 is 200$, I would expect that this GTX 460 X2 to cost 400 $. As I see a GTX 480 is about 500$.

grimm808 said:

Oh, If I could get my hands on one of these bad boys. I already have a overclocked GTX 1 gig 460 and it gives more than satisfying results with just about anything, and then two of those in one card, I just can't imagine these in SLI.

rebelinhyd said:

that'd be a seriously desirable card but i have my doubts about this card making to production because it'd certainly kill the 480!! you know what i really wanna see though...this card coming out in the market with a killer price and then AMD trying to go one up with a 6 series card!!competition is always good!!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

The TDP of a GTX 460 is 160W, so things will get lowered on this card. Therefore, it won't be as good as 2x GTX 460 SLI.

And the heatsink won't really need to be massive or tri-slot - this isn't a 5990. It's using the more power-efficient and cooler GF chip.

Look at GTX 295, 5970..

Alster37 Alster37 said:

As usual this only complicates matters when deciding which card to get for Christmas. How cheap could this thing be if it did hit the market?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

And the heatsink won't really need to be massive or tri-slot - this isn't a 5990. It's using the more power-efficient and cooler GF chip.

Look at GTX 295, 5970..

The GTX 295 (2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) and HD 5970 ( 2 x DVI, 2 x mini-DP) both have vents at the rear of the card to keep a viable airflow and expel hot air. If you look carefully at the Zotac card you will see that the whole of the dual bracket is taken up by 4 DVI and a mini-HDMI. Doesn't leave a lot of options for cooling using a dual slot solution does it?.

I doubt Zotac would drop the ball with a cooler that dumped 100% of it's hot air into the chassis after obviously spending a great deal of thought on what looks like a very well laid out pcb/power phase arrangement (the card looks to be of average length for a single gpu graphics card).

As usual this only complicates matters when deciding which card to get for Christmas. How cheap could this thing be if it did hit the market?

Probably depends on a few factors (assuming this card makes it retail), such as whether a full (384 shader) GF104 -the possible GTX 475- is likely to eventuate, and how the nvidia cards fare in the marketplace against the HD 6850. A dual GTX 460 should be cheaper that buying two seperate cards since the manufacturer is saving on materials ( one pcb, heatsink, fan/s), packaging (including adapters/cables) and most importantly, one warranty instead of two. Having said that, I doubt the saving would be huge since the Zalman VF-3000 or Arctic Cooling Accelero type cooler it would likely sport (IMO) would carry a premium over the standard heatsink and blower fan that Zotac use on their GTX 460.

jason4832 said:

Hmmmm.. I am waiting !!!!!!!!!!!!

Brodieeee said:

Capable of Quad SLI :| That's crazy talk!!

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Interesting card but I imagine the cost is going to be higher than buying two cards on sale and doing SLI. I guess if you have a single PCI-e slot and a massive PSU it might make some sense if you have tons of money laying around.

highlander84 said:

Well, this is not the first time 2 CPU's on one board. it didn't really take off then and im sure now is no different...

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Zotac has really kicked up the nVidia-cards, it seems. hopefully this will reach the market soon.

Afroaggie said:

Definite possibility when the next round of updates to my gaming rig comes around... I was just going to get a regular 460 and wait to SLI it at a later date, but we will have to see about the pricing and SLI scaling on his one. What was that site that I read all those graphics card reviews off of again, oh yeah Tehspot!

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Dual GPU Nvidia cards are a boon to those of us who use AMD CPUs but prefer Nvidia graphic cards. Currently, our only multi-GPU option is Crossfire with ATI cards. My last AMD board with SLI was back in the Socket 939 days. I hope this product makes it to market and at a competitive price. I've been using Nvidia cards since I got a Riva 128 4-MB way back in the day.

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