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Written by Bruce Normann   
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 GPU Features
MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Features
Closer Look: MSI N460GTX Cyclone
MSI N460GTX Cyclone Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Devel May Cry 4
DX10: Far Cry 2
DX10: Resident Evil 5
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: Unigine Heaven
DX11: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
DX11: Aliens Vs. Predator
MSI N460GTX Cyclone Temps
VGA Power Consumption
GTX 460 Final Thoughts
MSI N460GTX Cyclone Conclusion

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 GPU Features

The features of the GF104 GPU contained in the N460GTX are fully comparable with the latest offerings from both major GPU camps. We've been using most of these, or similar technologies, on Radeon 5xxx cards since last September, now we have rough parity in GPU features. Here are the Features and Specifications directly related to the GPU, as provided by the manufacturer, NVIDIA:

NVIDIA_Black_Square_3D_Logo_250px.jpg

Microsoft DirectX 11 Support

DirectX 11 GPU with Shader Model 5.0 support designed for ultra high performance in the new API's key graphics feature, GPU-accelerated tessellation.

NVIDIA PhysX Technology

Full support for NVIDIA PhysX technology, enabling a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience with GeForce.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready*

GeForce GPU support for NVIDIA 3D Vision, bringing a fully immersive stereoscopic 3D experience to the PC. A combination of high-tech wireless glasses and advanced software, 3D Vision transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D. In addition, you can watch 3D movies and 3D digital photographs in eye popping, crystal-clear quality.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready**

Expand your games across three displays in full stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate "inside the game" experience with the power of NVIDIA 3D Vision and SLI technologies. NVIDIA Surround also supports triple screen gaming with non-stereo displays.

NVIDIA CUDA Technology

CUDA technology unlocks the power of the GPU's processor cores to accelerate the most demanding tasks such as video transcoding, physics simulation, ray tracing, and more, delivering incredible performance improvements over traditional CPUs.

NVIDIA SLI Technology***

Industry leading NVIDIA SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling for the world's premier gaming solution.

32x Anti-aliasing Technology

Lightning fast, high-quality anti-aliasing at up to 32x sample rates obliterates jagged edges.

NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology****

The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.

PCI Express 2.0 Support

Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express motherboards for the broadest support.

Dual-link DVI Support

Able to drive industry's largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays up to 2560x1600 and with support for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

HDMI 1.4a Support*****

Fully integrated support for HDMI 1.4a including GPU accelerated Blu-ray 3D4 support, xvYCC, deep color, and 7.1 digital surround sound including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. Upgrade your GPU to full 3D capability with NVIDIA 3DTV Play software, enabling 3D gaming, picture viewing and 3D web video streaming. See www.nvidia.com/3dtv for more details.

* NVIDIA 3D Vision requires 3D Vision glasses and a 3D Vision-Ready monitor. See www.nvidia.com/3dvision for more information.

** NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround require two or more graphics cards in NVIDIA SLI configuration, 3D Vision glasses and three matching 3D Vision-Ready displays. See www.nvidia.com/surround for more information.

*** A GeForce GTX 460 GPU must be paired with another GeForce GTX 460 GPU (graphics card manufacturer can be different) with the same frame buffer size. SLI requires sufficient system cooling and a compatible power supply. Visit www.slizone.com for more information and a listing of SLI-Certified components.

**** Supported video software is required to experience certain features.

***** Blu-ray 3D playback requires the purchase of a compatible software player

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 GPU Specifications

GPU Engine Specs (1GB model at 725MHz):

MSI_N460GTX_Cyclone_1GD5_OC_NVIDIA_Logo_Etch_01.jpg

Fabrication Process: TSMC 40nm Bulk CMOS
Die Size: 366mm2 (estimated)
No. of Transistors: 1.95E9
Graphics Processing Clusters: 2
Streaming Multiprocessors: 7
CUDA Cores: 336
Texture Units: 56
ROP Units: 32
Engine clock speed: 725 MHz
Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered): 40.7 Gigatexels/sec
Pixel fill rate: 23.2 Gigapixels/sec
Maximum board power: 160 Watts

Memory Specs:

Memory Clock: 1800 MHz - DDR
Memory Configurations: 1 GB or 768MB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width: 256-bit or 192-bit
Memory data rate: 3.6 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth: 115.2 or 86.4 GB/sec

Display Support:

Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560x1600
Maximum VGA Resolution: 2048x1536
Standard Display Connectors: Two Dual Link DVI, Mini HDMI
Multi Monitor Capable
HDCP
HDMI 1.4a
Internal Audio Input for HDMI

Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:

Height: 4.376 inches (111 mm)
Length: 8.25 inches (210 mm)
Width: Dual-slot

Thermal and Power Specs:

Maximum GPU Temperature: 104 C
Maximum Graphics Card Power: 160 W
Minimum Recommended System Power: 450 W
Power Connectors: Two 6-pin PCI-E

Source: NVIDIA.com



 

Comments 

 
# Has anyone else noticed?Stefan 2010-08-10 22:54
The fins at the base of the heat-sink spiral in the opposite direction to the fan rotation?

Whoops.
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# RE: Has anyone else noticed?Olin Coles 2010-08-11 06:56
That removes laminar air flow through air friction, and delivers better cooling performance.
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# Good Heat TransferBruceBruce 2010-08-11 07:07
For good heat transfer, you basically want the air banging into the surface of the heatsink. Turbulence is good, impingement is even better.
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# I stand corrected!Stefan 2010-08-12 23:35
Well, I guess I should have taken an engineering class :)

I consider myself now a little more educated from your remarks, thanks ;)
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# :DFederico La Morgia 2010-08-11 02:12
same question as always: D this video card and RAM chips mounted?
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# RE: :DServando Silva 2010-08-11 04:49
You really want to read the "Detailed Features" section before asking.
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# RE: RE: :DFederico La Morgia 2010-08-11 06:06
the code :)
Olin know what I mean to ask
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# Yeah, but...BruceBruce 2010-08-11 07:22
All the information is right there, beautiful pictures of the RAM chips and everything.... Just click on the "Detailed Features" page in the table above.
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# RE: Yeah, but...Servando Silva 2010-08-11 08:29
Thanks Bruce... Unless Federico and Olin are talking different things, I think you did a great job about the ICs in the detailed section. Great review!
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# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Cardmascotzel 2010-08-11 02:16
Mini-HDMI is there on the board because of space constraints. You can't put anything else next to 2 DVI's on a single slot bracket.
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# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video CardAdam 2010-08-11 08:10
Favourite benchmarks so far! Uses an almost identical system to me and includes the GTX260 (my current card), great stuff for working out if I want to upgrade yet or not.
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# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video CardDavid Ramsey 2010-08-11 16:42
FWIW, the Porsche 911 has been water cooled for more than a decade, and the tighter temperature regulation afforded by water cooling led to major increases in power and efficiency (parts could be machined to tighter tolerances since the narrower temperature envelope limited expansion of the parts). Still, for the time, the air cooled 911 was pretty good.
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# ImagineBruceBruce 2010-08-12 19:38
Just think what the engineers could have done with heatpipes...LOL

Seriously, you don't want to get into a discussion of air cooled vs. watercooled Porsches, do you? That's just begging for an invasion of the body-snatchers! Don't you think the comment section has suffered enough lately?
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# MSI N460GTXWayne Manor 2010-08-14 00:29
Thanks for the review, very informative! I currently have 2 of these puppies in SLI. I'm curious how the Gainward 2GB version compares with the 1GB versions
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# Excellent reviewDr_b_ 2010-08-18 18:53
excellent review. glad you added the older 200 series in for comparison, there doesn't seem to be a reason to keep using the old 285 that i have now. going to SLI two of these.
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# It was a great card in its day...BruceBruce 2010-08-18 19:05
I'm sure you got lots of good use out of it, but time and progress marches on. One of the things I like about the GTX 460 cards is that there is a variety of implementations. The ASUS that was reviewd here is another example of a solid non-reference design (4 phase PWM, etc...).
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# Question for a purchaseKaelin 2010-08-23 03:58
Thank you for your very interesting article. I must change my graphics card but i hesitate between the MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC and the Asus ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5... I don't know which one to choose =( Which one do you advise ?

(Sorry for my english level)
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# Tough Choice...Bruce Bruce 2010-08-23 07:44
They each have larger fans and bigger HSF assemblies that both improve cooling and reduce noise levels. ASUS rolled their own PC board design, and it looks like they increased the PWM from 3-phase to 4-phase. MSI stuck with the reference design. I can't tell where you are located, but you may want to consider the support services that are available in your location, as well as local warranty provisions.
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# Asus or MSI...Kaelin 2010-08-23 10:03
Thank you for your reply
I am French so the support service is not a problem (usually)
to help me to decide I would like to know wich graphic card has the cooling system more efficient and wich one has the best resistance to a higher overclocking. And to finish wich one do you prefer ^^

Thanks in advance
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# RE: Asus or MSI...sportwarrior 2010-08-24 16:56
I'm also interested in the questions above... it seems that the two cards are quite similar in performance capability, though, so ultimately I'm guessing it doesn't really matter which I would select (I live in SoCal, for what it's worth). I will say I like the look of the ASUS quite a but more than the MSI, but Amazon is making me wait a ridiculously long time to get my card and I NEED to build my new rig very very soon.
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# RE: RE: Asus or MSI...Olin Coles 2010-08-24 17:00
Research the warranty support for each, and go from there.
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# French Pricing?BruceBruce 2010-08-24 18:47
What are the prices for each, locally? I don't want to say that the two cards are the same, because they are not. But.....they both do an admirable job supporting the GF104 chip, in slightly different ways. I like MSI Afterburner better than ASUS Smart Doctor, so that's how I would go... If the ASUS card supported the ASUS iTracker2 software, it might be a different story.
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# The choice is madeKaelin 2010-08-24 23:39
In France, the price difference is about 1 euro for the Asus graphics card. Moreover the Asus ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 is guaranteed 3 years against 2 for the MSI, that's the reason for why I chose the Asus.

thank you for your help =)
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# RE: The choice is madeWayne Manor 2010-08-25 00:58
I would have gone with the Asus version too if it had come out earlier as it is $35 cheaper here than the MSI cyclone, both with 3 yr warranty.
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# RE: RE: The choice is madeWayne Manor 2010-08-25 01:00
Here in Australia that is :p
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# Wacky PricesBruceBruce 2010-08-25 17:45
That's a major difference Wayne. This is exactly why I asked Kaelin about the pricing in France. You just never know.....
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# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Cardnax 2010-08-25 23:07
i like asus look kool and my mb is asus also i will go wit asus
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# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Carddon 2011-01-03 21:27
agree

Oh, and I like your writing (style).
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