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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

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.

According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending May 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.

NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX460-768MB-GPUZ.gifIn each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

DX11 Cost to Performance Ratio

For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. Only the least expensive product price is calculated, and does not consider tax, freight, promotional offers, or rebates into the cost. All prices reflect product series components, and do not represent any specific manufacturer, model, or brand. These retail prices for each product were obtained from on 10-July-2010:

  • $150 Radeon HD 5770
  • $200 GeForce GTX 460
  • $200 Radeon HD 5830
  • $250 GeForce GTX 465
  • $290 Radeon HD 5850
  • $320 GeForce GTX 470

Intel X58-Express Test System

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02 (Extreme Quality, 8x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Crysis Warhead v1.1 with HOC Benchmark (DX10, Very High Quality, 4x Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Airfield Demo)
  • Far Cry 2 v1.02 (DX10, Very High Performance, Ultra-High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, HDR + Bloom)
  • Resident Evil 5 Benchmark (DX10, Super-High Quality, 8x MSAA)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2 (High Quality, HBAO, 8x Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • BattleForge v1.2 (Very High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Auto Multi-Thread)
  • Metro 2033 (Very-High Quality, DirectX-11, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Scene 1 Fraps)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1 (DX11, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA)

Video Card Test Products

Graphics Card GeForce 9800 GTX+ Radeon HD4890 GeForce GTX285 Radeon HD5770 GeForce GTX460 Radeon HD5830 GeForce GTX465 Radeon HD5850 GeForce GTX470
GPU Cores 128 800 240 800 336 1120 352 1440 448
Core Clock (MHz) 740 850 670 850 675 800 608 725 608
Shader Clock (MHz) 1836 N/A 1550 N/A 1350 N/A 1215 N/A 1215
Memory Clock (MHz) 1100 975 1300 1200 900 1000 802 1000 837
Memory Amount 512 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5 768MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 512-bit 128-bit 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ / GTS 250 (740 MHz GPU/1836 MHz Shader/1100 MHz vRAM - Forceware 257.21)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design (850 MHz GPU/975 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.6)
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 285 ENGTX285 TOP (670 MHz GPU/1550 MHz Shader/1330 MHz vRAM - Forceware 257.21)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design (850 MHz GPU/1200 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.6)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB (675 MHz GPU/1350 MHz Shader/900 MHz vRAM - Forceware 258.80)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5830 Reference Design (800 MHz GPU/1000 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.6)
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 465 (608 MHz GPU/1215 MHz Shader/802 MHz vRAM - Forceware 258.80)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design (725 MHz GPU/1000MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.6)
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470 ZT-40201-10P (608 MHz GPU/1215 MHz Shader/837 MHz vRAM - Forceware 258.80)



# 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
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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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