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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 12 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB Video Card
Features and Specifications
NVIDIA GF104 GPU Fermi Architecture
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Video Card
GeForce GTX-460 Partner Products
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX10: Far Cry 2
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements
NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
GeForce GTX460 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
GeForce GTX 460 Overclocking
Editor's Opinion: NVIDIA Fermi
GeForce GTX 460 Conclusion

NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements

Mafia II is the first PC video game title to include the new NVIDIA APEX PhysX framework, a powerful feature set that only GeForce video cards are built do deliver. While console versions will make use of PhysX, only the PC version supports NVIDIA's APEX PhysX physics modeling engine, which adds the following features: APEX Destruction, APEX Clothing, APEX Vegetation, and APEX Turbulence. PhysX helps make object movement more fluid and lifelike, such as cloth and debris. In this section, Benchmark Reviews details the differences made with- and without APEX PhysX enabled.

We begin with a scene from the Mafia II benchmark test, which has the player pinned down behind a brick column as the enemy shoots at him. Examine the image below, which was taken with a Radeon HD 5850 configured with all settings turned to their highest and APEX PhysX support disabled:

Mafia2_Cloth_High_No-PhysX.jpg

No PhysX = Cloth Blending and Missing Debris

Notice from the image above that when PhysX is disabled there is no broken stone debris on the ground. Cloth from foreground character's trench coat blends into his leg and remains in a static position relative to his body, as does the clothing on other (AI) characters. Now inspect the image below, which uses the GeForce GTX 460 with APEX PhysX enabled:

Mafia2_Cloth_High_PhysX.jpg

Realistic Cloth and Debris - High Quality Settings With PhysX

With APEX PhysX enabled, the cloth neatly sways with the contour of a characters body, and doesn't bleed into solid objects such as body parts. Additionally, APEX Clothing features improve realism by adding gravity and wind effects onto clothing, allowing for characters to look like they would in similar real-world environments.

Mafia2_PhysX_Fire.jpg

Burning Destruction Smoke and Vapor Realism

Flames aren't exactly new to video games, but smoke plumes and heat vapor that mimic realistic movement have never looked as real as they do with APEX Turbulence. Fire and explosions added into a destructible environment is a potent combination for virtual-world mayhem, showcasing the new PhysX APEX Destruction feature.

Mafia2_PhysX_Glass.jpg

Exploding Glass Shards and Bursting Flames

NVIDIA PhysX has changed video game explosions into something worthy of cinema-level special effects. Bursting windows explode into several unique shards of glass, and destroyed crates bust into splintered kindling. Smoke swirls and moves as if there's an actual air current, and flames move out towards open space all on their own. Surprisingly, there is very little impact on FPS performance with APEX PhysX enabled on GeForce video cards, and very little penalty for changing from medium (normal) to high settings.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX-460 768MB Video CardServando Silva 2010-07-11 21:27
Finally a decent Fermi GPU. Nvidia strikes back after almost 1 year. Thanks for this great Review Olin.
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# First "Gaming" Fermi GPU...?Bruce Normann 2010-07-12 10:00
I can't help but think that the GF100-based Fermi cards were not really optimized for gaming. Engineers don't just throw a bunch of transistors into a rectangular pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. The architecture of the GF100 was designed to excel at something, it just wasn't gaming graphics. What I keep wodering is: what is the size and scope of the market that they WERE optimized for?
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# RE: First "Gaming" Fermi GPU...?Servando Silva 2010-07-12 12:56
I think they focused a lot on CUDA and features (3D, Surround, PhysX) instead of performance. This GPUs could really be super fast for other applications, just not gaming. This seems to be their first product "really" targeted to gamers.
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# It's only a matter of timeAvro Arrow 2010-07-14 06:30
We need to keep in mind that ATi's HD 5xxx series has already been out almost a year (wow, has it really been that long?) and that nVidia was supposed to have released Fermi almost exactly 1 year ago. It's unknown what exactly ATi is going to release this year but we can be sure that it's most likely going to make the GTX 4xx series look like the FX 5xxx series...lol
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# one questionFederico La Morgia 2010-08-07 05:45
what is written on the RAM chips?
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# RE: one questionOlin Coles 2010-08-07 05:56
Textures are cached and buffered to the video memory. Some games buffer only 100MB, and other buffer up to 1GB.
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