Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Video Cards arrow MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card
MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
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

Far Cry 2 Benchmark Results

Ubisoft developed Far Cry 2 as a sequel to the original, but with a very different approach to game play and story line. Far Cry 2 features a vast world built on Ubisoft's new game engine called Dunia, meaning "world", "earth" or "living" in Farci. The setting in Far Cry 2 takes place on a fictional Central African landscape, set to a modern day timeline.

The Dunia engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2, by Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers realistic semi-destructible environments, special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storms, real-time night-and-day sun light and moon light cycles, dynamic music system, and non-scripted enemy A.I. actions.

The Dunia game engine takes advantage of multi-core processors as well as multiple processors and supports DirectX 9 as well as DirectX-10. Only 2 or 3 percent of the original CryEngine code is re-used, according to Michiel Verheijdt, Senior Product Manager for Ubisoft Netherlands. Additionally, the engine is less hardware-demanding than CryEngine 2, the engine used in Crysis.

However, it should be noted that Crysis delivers greater character and object texture detail, as well as more destructible elements within the environment. For example; trees breaking into many smaller pieces and buildings breaking down to their component panels. Far Cry 2 also supports the amBX technology from Philips. With the proper hardware, this adds effects like vibrations, ambient colored lights, and fans that generate wind effects.

There is a benchmark tool in the PC version of Far Cry 2, which offers an excellent array of settings for performance testing. Benchmark Reviews used the maximum settings allowed for DirectX-10 tests, with the resolution set to 1920x1200. Performance settings were all set to 'Very High', Render Quality was set to 'Ultra High' overall quality, 8x anti-aliasing was applied. HDR and Bloom are automatically enabled in DX10 mode.

MSI_N460GTX_Cyclone_1GD5_OC_Far_Cry_2_DX10_1680.jpg

Even on a game that typically favors the Green Machine, the performance of the latest NVIDIA GPU in this test is nothing short of amazing. It's not worth even running the numbers, the advantage is so overwhelming. Using the short 'Ranch Small' time demo (which yields the lowest FPS of the three tests available), many of the midrange products we've tested are capable of producing playable frame rates with the settings all turned up. Now it seems we have a midrange video card that absolutely dominates this game. We also saw a different effect when switching our testing from DX9 to DX10. Far Cry 2 seems to have been optimized, or at least written with a clear understanding of DirectX 10 requirements. This test also generally produces one of the lighter GPU loads (thermal + power) among our benchmarks; the coding appears to be highly optimized.

MSI_N460GTX_Cyclone_1GD5_OC_Far_Cry_2_DX10_1920.jpg

The higher resolution testing doesn't change the rankings at all, and the N460GTX still produces stellar results. With these kinds of average frame rates, there is less chance of any stutter making it into game play. I was curious to see how well the GTX 460 did on minimum frame rates, given the outstanding performance on average, so here is what I learned:

MSI_N460GTX_Cyclone_1GD5_OC_Far_Cry_2_Framerate_Chart.png

The minimum frame rate never dropped below 50 FPS, and there was only one sharp dip in the chart, at the 13 second mark. It was probably one of the many explosions, the first one takes place at close range, and has more detail associated with it. I've been glancing at these charts every time I run this benchmark, even though we generally don't report the results, and this is definitely one of the smoother and flatter curves I've seen.

Our next benchmark of the series puts our collection of video cards against some fresh graphics in the recently released Resident Evil 5 benchmark.

Graphics Card

Processor
Cores

Core Clock
(MHz)

Shader Clock
(MHz)

Memory Clock
(MHz)

Memory
Amount

Memory
Interface

XFX Radeon HD5750 (HD-575X-ZNFC)

720

700

N/A

1150

1.0GB GDDR5

128-bit

ATI Radeon HD5770 (Engineering Sample)

800

850

N/A

1200

1.0GB GDDR5

128-bit

XFX Radeon HD5830 (HD-583X-ZNFV)

1120

800

N/A

1000

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

ASUS GeForce GTX 260 (ENGTX260 MATRIX)

216

576

1242

999

896MB GDDR3

448-bit

MSI GeForce GTX460 (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)

336

725

1450

900

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

XFX Radeon HD5850 (21162-00-50R)

1440

725

N/A

1000

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

MSI GeForce GTX460-OC (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)

336

850

1700

1050

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

ASUS GeForce GTX 285 (MATRIX GTX285)

240

662

1476

1242

1.0GB GDDR3

512-bit

XFX Radeon HD5870 (HD-587X-ZNFC)

1600

850

N/A

1200

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

ASUS Radeon HD5870-OC (EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2)

1600

1000

N/A

1250

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit



 

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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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 ;)
Report Comment
 
 
# :DFederico La Morgia 2010-08-11 02:12
same question as always: D this video card and RAM chips mounted?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: :DServando Silva 2010-08-11 04:49
You really want to read the "Detailed Features" section before asking.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: :DFederico La Morgia 2010-08-11 06:06
the code :)
Olin know what I mean to ask
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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!
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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...).
Report Comment
 
 
# 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)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Asus or MSI...Olin Coles 2010-08-24 17:00
Research the warranty support for each, and go from there.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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 =)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: The choice is madeWayne Manor 2010-08-25 01:00
Here in Australia that is :p
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.....
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Carddon 2011-01-03 21:27
agree

Oh, and I like your writing (style).
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter