Rather confused - My GTX 460 1GB is worse than GTX 280?

By Leeky · 18 replies
Mar 23, 2011
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  1. Hello all. :)

    As per title, I'm kind of confused - I decided with Crysis 2 out now, and still being unsure as to what GPUs to go for, I'd just plop for a GTX460 1GB for now, safe in the knowledge I'll easily be able to sell it on later.

    So I recieved it earlier. Its a Gainwood GTX 460 1GB GS (Golden Sample?) version. So I uninistalled the current nVidia drivers, and then rebooted, without internet connected, and then ran drivesweeper to remove all traces of GPU drivers.

    I then turned off computer, and removed the GTX280 and fitted the new GTX460 - Rebooted, then downloaded a new copy of the latest stable, 266.58 and installed it, then rebooted once install was completed.

    Once installed I then fired up L4D2, and it threw up a warning box saying it didn't recognise my card and therefore couldn't guarantee it works perfectly. I thought it was odd, but double checked and the card is configured fine, and recognised as a gTX 460. So I started it up again, and then set the video settings to full max at 1920x1080. It held the very same 60FPS as the GTX280 - It never moves from that, which I've always thought was odd given its up and down nonstop in other games.

    Anyway, I then fired up TF2. set it up exactly as before (max settings 1920x1080, full AA and the other one next to it ma?) and started playing.

    I'm average 20 FPS during gameplay. The GTX280 manages 40-50 with the same detail and load, in fact the settings are absolutely identical. I've even swapped them back around twice to confirm the FPS is correct.

    So my GTX280 is actually faster at max settings @ 1920x1080. How can this be?

    Is my CPU (LGA775 Intel Core2Quad Q8300 @ 3.36GHz enough to bottleneck the GTX460 GPU? I personally thought I'd need to be hitting a HD69xx to hit a bottle neck.

    I really don't get whats going on, or whether this should be right or not. Every bone in my body says the GTX460 should be better, but everything I try its slower at than the GTX280.

    Spec is in my profile, but is Asus Maximus-Extreme mobo, Q8300, OCZ gold 8GB DDR3 - which I'd have thought is more than enough to handle the full power of a GTX460. Oh PSU is a 3-4 month old Corsair HX750 so plenty fine enough for both cards.

    Any advice would be thoroughly appreciated, as right now I'm really not sure if these results are correct, or whether I have some issue or something. Might just return the GPU if it makes such little difference tbh.
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I'd be surprised if LFD2 didn't have a config file somewhere with MaxFPS = 60 or similar. Worth checking out. Other than that I thought the 4XX fermi series cards were basically cooler, less power hungry versions of the 2XX fermi ones. Wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't that much different in performance.

    In fact Tomshardware gpu chart for LFD2 shows the 1GB 460 only about 5 fps faster than the 1GB 280, although I think the source engine stuff does use CPU a lot so that might be a more limiting factor than the card. Looking at BF2 it looks like it's within 5 fps difference too. I think you've sidegraded to a quieter, cooler card with not much different performance :(

    Although you do now have a DX11 card. Buy another 460 and SLI them :D (or return the card).

    Should have posted here first before buying it ;)
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    :haha: at the should have posted here first! I don't mind too much, I got a good deal, and looking at it, the GTX460 uses considerably less power than the GTX280, so its not all bad. Still not sure what to do about it tbh, might as well keep it til I can upgrade to dual HD6970's once her indoors lets me later in the year. :( But the GTX460 is worth more to me if I return it... So not sure all round really.

    I struggled to find any real information to begin with, now I've found a new bits, you are correct - its pretty much the cooler running, quieter, less power consuming replacement for it given how closely they're matched.

    I only got this because the missus has vetoed any major computer component purchases until after we move, so thought I'd get something to fill me in for now. haha. Didn't work as planned and I now think maybe I'd have been better off getting a HD5850 instead.

    I don't trust this motherboard in the slightest, so I guess I was kinda hoping someone could blame it on that - looks like it wasn't to be. :haha:
  4. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Could have sorted you out with one of those for £90 a few months ago...

    So you sending the 460 back? Maybe you could pickup a 2nd hand 280 and SLI them instead to keep you going until a proper upgrade?
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    A secondhand GTX280 might be an option, and would probably be a cheaper option for now, but according to this information I might be pushing the power envelope of my HX750 running in SLI with GTX280s.

    It could however handle SLI GTX460's, but wouldn't handle a Dell 30" LCD very well, or 24" eyefinity setups - And since I can't decide which route to take it kinda makes me wish I'd not even bothered getting it to begin with. :haha:

    Time to return, or sell on me thinks - One has to go, but not sure which one tbh - Maybe the GTX280 should go, and I can save a few pennies in the meantime.
  6. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Might get a decent overclock out of the 460 that the 280 wouldn't have be able to achieve. From what I remember they were meant to overclock fairly nicely.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thats my next avenue of pursuit if you fancy helping out wiht some advice? :D

    My god my previous AMD GPU's were so much easier to overclock. Whats recommended for vNidia's?
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Think there is a version of MSI Afterburner for Nvidia cards, would have a look for that.
  9. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Hey Leeky, as Arris already pointed out the GTX 460 is more of a side-grade than a real upgrade from your GTX 280. From benchmarks I've seen it usually hoovers between the GTX 280 & GTX 285 in terms of performance but sometimes lags a bit behind. However as you already know it is much more efficient it terms of power and cooling.

    The issues you are having with L4D2 is that V-Sync is enabled which caps the frame rates at 60, turning it off will let you see the real number. I personally have it disabled on my setup and average around 120 FPS at 1680x1050. Regarding TF2 I'm not sure what is going on, both of those performances are pretty low. With my setup I'm averaging around 150 FPS with no OC and everything maxed out. Shoot my 4770 performed similarly if not better than your GTX 280 on TF2. I'm gonna guess this is more of a configuration issue than hardware.

    Now for overclocking I say give Afterburner a try like Arris suggested, it's pretty much the same deal as Radeon cards just you have a shader clock now to alter. And if I'm not mistaken the GTX 460 can be pushed pretty high without having to deal with voltage settings.
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    EVGA Precision or Afterburner.
    Overclocking on Nvidia or AMD is dependant upon the architecture of the GPU. As example, the Evergreen (HD5000) cards overclocked well, and that overclock translates into tangible framerate gains. The Cayman (HD69xx) cards also overclock reasonably well- the difference being that the overclock doesn't translate into anything tangible.
    A snapshot of the relative performance afforded by both current architectures >>here<<
    The GTX460 literally begs to be overclocked since it has been effectively downclocked at reference settings to fit within a marketing segment (150-160w TDP) -which is why reference clocked GTX460's are relatively rare. A performance comparison between stock, 800MHz and 900MHz clockrates >>here<< ( Don't be put off by the "extreme overclocking" in the title- there are a number of vendor cards which come standard at far higher).

    A word on the GTX 280...
    It may seem like an old card, but bear in mind that it still a more than capable performer- especially in DX9 titles. The 512-bit memory bus is as wide as it gets with graphics cards, and the architecture puts the fillrate to good use.
    You will note with the Tom's charts (as with everyone else's) that the GTX460 will shade the GTX280/285 at lower IQ settings (0 and 4xAA) - crank the IQ and the screen resolution higher (at least until you start OC'ing the 460) and the 280 starts asserting itself-more so if using multisampling (MSAA) or transparency supersampling (TrSSAA) and the minimum framerate with the 280 is relatively high also, which will- for the most part- translate into very smooth gameplay.
    The best way to ensure that all settings are consistant to to check the game profile in the control panel. If the Nvidia CP is overriding the in-game settings than it is possible that you are actually playing the game with higher levels of game IQ than what is indicated in the game menu, which would probably be to the detriment of the 460 for the most part in many DirectX9.0c games.
  11. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Forgot to mention that pops-up too for me every time I play L4D2, so far haven't noticed any real impact /shurg.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thank you for the advice Relic, and DBZ - Thank you to you again Relic for the last couple of hours on Steam, going through settings with me. I've confirmed nVidia's settings aren't messing with the games as well.

    It seems slightly better now though, but still seems to be struggling with TF2. Apparently Relic has found quite a few possible references to issues with that particular game and less than impressed GTX460 customers - so maybe its a bit of both on this occasion.

    Time to overclock the GPU now then, and see if I can make those Framerates slightly higher.
  13. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I'm a proud 460 owner ;)

    I've overclocked mine (using Afterburner [Using an EVGA SC card]) to 810 core, 1950 memory, 1050 voltage. Obviously, you're going to have to find your max over clock, but that was from 726 core clock, 1900 memory, and 1025 voltage.

    This increases my FPS greatly, and it is what made me happy that I purchased this and not the 470. My friend has a 470 he overclocked and, not only did it overclock worse, he didn't get as much as a gain as I did FPS wise.

    I'm running Crysis 2 (highest settings) at 40-60 fps, 1920 x 1080. (X6 1100T rated at 3.8 after OC, before Turboboost, 4.0 with Turbo on.
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    I've taken it out now anyway. I've slept on it (regarding what to do, not physically slept on the card!) and I've decided to sell it on, and get another GTX280 and just SLI them instead.

    I got the card for a great price, so I'm not losing any money, and the benefit of SLI GTX280's are going to far outweigh anything the GTX460 can bring to the table. The games I'm playing right now, the GTX280 is better - It has higher average framerates, the gameplay is smoother, and although it runs a lot hotter (and louder) it seems more dependable.

    SLI GTX460's won't fit in my plans anyway, it was only meant as a stop gap til later in the year (you guys call it the fall don't you?). so not fussed overall - a lesson learnt. :haha:
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

  16. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    No problem Leeky, glad to try and help at least :grinthumb .

    You did basically steal that GTX 460 so no matter what you'll be coming out ahead. I hope those configuration improvements will translate nicely on the GTX 280 too.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    That is true... I've been overclocking the GTX280 as well, and so far its really liking being overclocked, and seems to be making huge improvements in game with framerates all round. I am in fact actually quite surprised how much it can overclock.

    It'll be nice to see this up and running with a second GTX280 in the mix - not that its slow now anyway. :haha: Lets hope my 750w PSU can cope with SLI on these though, because it is cutting it rather fine I think.
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I was running my GTX 280 SLI setup on what is now my secondary rig (Q9400@3.4G / P45 with SLI hack ) using a TX750w Corsair unit with no adserse effects. Most of the time they ran at default settings -mine are EVGA SSC's- 648core/1404shader/1161mem- but even running at 700+ didn't tax the system too much.

    If you're planning on SLI then I presume you either already have the xDev's SLI hack/patch, or are conversant with it. If you aren't (or didn't realise that pre-X58 Intel chipsets don't natively support SLI) then check this forum out:
    TPU's forum thread.
  19. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Each series of cards has higher end cards. And the 280 is a great card in the 200 series. Btw if anything directx 11 would make your card work harder. As cranky said look at the specs.

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