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Written by Bruce Normann   
Saturday, 04 September 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 GPU Features
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC Features
Closer Look: EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC Detailed Features 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
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC Temps
VGA Power Consumption
NVIDIA GTX460 Final Thoughts
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC Conclusion

EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC Temperatures

It's hard to know exactly when the first video card got overclocked, and by whom. What we do know is that it's hard to imagine a computer enthusiast or gamer today that doesn't overclock their hardware. Of course, not every video card has the head room. Some products run so hot that they can't suffer any higher temperatures than they generate straight from the factory. This is why we measure the operating temperature of the video card products we test.

To begin testing, I use GPU-Z to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU. Next I use FurMark 1.8.2 to generate maximum thermal load and record GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature remained stable at 26C throughout testing. I know this is a bit higher than the average American household, but we had a massive heat wave this summer and my testing is done in an upstairs room that doesn't get as much of the central A/C as I would like... Besides, I know some of you are not living in iceboxes and would be interested in how well the GTX 460 handles high ambient temps. I do have a ton of airflow into the video card section of my benchmarking case, with a 200mm side fan blowing directly inward, so that helps alleviate the high ambient temps.

The EVGA GeForce GTX460 SC video card recorded 28C in idle 2D mode, and increased to 63C after 30 minutes of stability testing in full 3D mode, at 1920x1200 resolution, and the maximum MSAA setting of 8X. With the fan set on Automatic, the speed never rose above 40% under full load. Before we talk about the temps under load, it's worth paying attention to the idle temperatures. I rarely see idle temps this low above ambient, but if you follow along into the next section on power consumption, I think you'll see the explanation.

Load

Fan Speed

GPU Temperature

Idle

40% - AUTO (1600 RPM)

28C

Furmark

40% - AUTO (1600 RPM)

63C

Furmark

100% - Manual (4200 RPM)

51C

63C is a good result for temperature stress testing, especially with such a powerful GPU, stock fan settings, a moderately high ambient of 26C, and fan speeds controlled by the card. I'm used to seeing video card manufacturers keeping the fan speeds low and letting GPU temps get into higher temperature regions. In this case, the fan controller didn't want to budge off of the 40% mark when running on auto. With a high quality PWM-controlled fan that runs fairly quiet, I don't know why the engineers didn't ramp it up a bit. There is definitely some benefit to running the fan harder, as you can see from the results above.

I rarely do my benchmarking tests with fans set on Automatic, preferring to give the GPU or CPU the best shot at surviving the day intact. With an integrated temperature controller in play though, I want to show how the manufacturer has programmed the system. This is one video card where I would put some effort into creating a custom fan profile, as I don't like the standard settings, which are basically: stuck on 40%.

Load temps never got higher than 60C when running continuous gaming benchmarks with automatic fan speeds, so the cooling system definitely does the job, and there is a lot of temperature headroom left for the GPU. The noise at 100% speed was much lower than some other products I've tested recently that had squirrel cage blowers. For me, this type of fan noise is less irritating than what a radial fan produces, but I still prefer a design that pushes all the heated air out the back of the case. For normal usage patterns including gaming, I'd leave the fan settings on Auto. For benchmarking, it's worth putting up with a tiny little bit more noise, and drive the fan at 100%.

FurMark is an OpenGL benchmark that heavily stresses and overheats the graphics card with fur rendering. The benchmark offers several options allowing the user to tweak the rendering: fullscreen / windowed mode, MSAA selection, window size, duration. The benchmark also includes a GPU Burner mode (stability test). FurMark requires an OpenGL 2.0 compliant graphics card with lot of GPU power!

EVGA_GeFORCE_GTX460_SC_furmark_temp.jpg

FurMark does do two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than any other application or video game, and it does so with consistency every time. While FurMark is not a true benchmark tool for comparing different video cards, it still works well to compare one product against itself using different drivers or clock speeds, or testing the stability of a GPU, as it raises the temperatures higher than any program. But in the end, it's a rather limited tool.

In our next section, we discuss electrical power consumption and learn how well (or poorly) each video card will impact your utility bill...



 

Comments 

 
# RE: EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video CardDoug 2010-09-06 21:52
You've probably been asked this before, but how would a stock 460 in SLI mode compare to the 480 series top of the line with turbo and supercharger? I'm asking because this card right now is 179.00 at Amazon:
EVGA GeForce GTX460 768MB DDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 768-P3-1360-TR

And this one is 189.00
EVGA 768-P3-1362-TR GeForce GTX460 768 MB Superclocked DDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

So for under 380.00US you can have two 460s. Also, would it help to have a MB with two PCIE x16 slots instead of 1 x16 and 1 x8?
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# EVGA GTX 460 SC Video CardRobert Johnson 2010-09-06 22:22
Doug, I think you'll find an SLI of two EVGA GTX 460 SC video cards will perform better than a GTX 480. However than difference might narrow or go away altogether if you are using very high resolution monitors, let's say beyond 1920 x 1080 with anything beyond 24 inches. This is well worth the money. Two of these video cards should run relatively cool inside your chassis.
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# RE: EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video CardDoug 2010-09-06 23:10
That's nice. My mother board, the Gig x58 UD5 rev.1, is laid out so I can plug them both into x16 PCI slots. I have three monitors. One 23" 1900 x 1080; one 23" at 1920 x 1200; and a 26" at 1920x1200. But I don't need all three to play games. I do need all three for graphics and work. I'm running all three right now with a single GTX 295, and I can play Eve on the 26" windowed with no slowdown. But Eve isn't a graphics intensive game.
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# RE: RE: EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video CardOlin Coles 2010-09-07 07:27
Sorry, but we're not 'big enough' for a manufacturer to send two of each card. The best we could do is two 768MB GeForce GTS 460's in SLI: benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=576&Itemid=72

You'll see about 10% better performance with two 1GB versions in SLI, and maybe 15% better with two overclocked versions.
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# Bang For The Buck, Chuckrealneil 2010-09-07 04:51
These things seem to be golden in their segment right now. I'll be building another gaming computer at the end of the year, so I have some time to see if ATI responds in a meaningful way to this threat. If they don't then I'll be buying two GTX460's to SLI in that Box. Thanks for the concise reviews of all of the different GTX-460's, helping me in choosing the ones that are right for my circumstances.
I like the price performance ratio of this card and two together should do what I want them to handily.
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# Price Drop Already...?!?BruceBruce 2010-09-07 15:56
I'm heairing that NVIDIA is already dropping the price on these. They can't be making much money on 'em.....
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# Lower power usage than the PNY?Jeff 2010-09-14 21:34
With almost identical overclocks the EVGA consumes 176w vs 199w for the PNY GTX 460 you recently reviewed. Fairly sizable difference. Looks like they were tested on different PCs, but do you try to isolate the GPU power usage regardless of the test rig?
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# RE: Lower power usage than the PNY?Olin Coles 2010-09-15 06:32
You're correct: they were tested on different machines (and by different people). We do TRY to isolate power, but it always works out differently. My suggestion is that you look around for a median reading... not everyone tests using FurMark (I do).
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# Other factors, too...BruceBruce 2010-09-15 13:42
The Fermi cards all seem to be shipping with differing GPU core voltages. I'm not sure what the default GPU voltage was for the PNY card, but it definitely has an influence on temperature and power draw. Temperature by itself also has an effect on power. When doing the power tests, I see a gradual increase in current as the GPU heats up. I always wait for the temps to reach steady state before I take the power measurement. So, there are a couple factors, including ambient temps, that have too much influence for my liking.
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# Mines hot?James 2010-09-19 09:14
I got the 768M SC version of this card but my idle temp is 36C? Using a Thermaltake Armor 90 Case so have plenty of fans and air flow.

Was wondering if anyone could post some of their Overclock settings for this card as I've never tried overclocking before. Everything is running good but I'm hoping to squeeze more power out of FFXIV.

Running a single card, not SLI.
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# RE: Mines hot?Olin Coles 2010-09-19 09:25
Hello James:

That temperature is fine, very low in fact. As for overclocking, take a look here: benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=416&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=21
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# RE: RE: Mines hot?James 2010-09-19 09:42
Thanks! I went to check that link and that is for the 450? I have the 460 768 SC
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# RE: RE: RE: Mines hot?Olin Coles 2010-09-19 10:35
I pointed you there so you could read about the software options, how they work, and which one is better. You can use the same technique with the GTX 460, but if you want our results take a look here: benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=559&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=19
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Mines hot?James 2010-09-19 12:27
Oh ok! Thanks for the help. First time overclocking so kind of nervous of course ;)
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Mines hot?Olin Coles 2010-09-19 12:29
The good news is that the worst that can happen is you overclock too much and your video driver crashes. It will either recover, or you'll restart the computer and try again.

I suggest overclocking the GPU first, and worry about the video RAM last.
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# Unfair Review - Driver Favouritsm!!!Bob 2010-09-29 18:41
nVidia KISSER-UPer => LOOK @ the nVida (latest & ATI (old) driver versions used in the benchmarks. FFS grow up >:o|
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# Get a grip time.Jeff 2010-09-29 19:36
I doubt they still have all those cards and it isn't feasible for them to retest them all for every new review. As with most sites older benchmarking gets recycled for new reviews. Add 10% to the ATI/AMD cards (and older Nvidia for that matter) if it salves your bruised sense of justice or whatever.
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# RE: Unfair Review - Driver Favouritsm!!!Olin Coles 2010-09-29 19:59
Bob: you should visit AMD's website and read-up on the change log between 10.5 and 10.8 (latest available at the time this article was published). There's no difference in performance for these games, and I can personally tell you that my re-tests have shown less than 3% difference (in both directions).
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# 10.5 vs. 10.8BruceBruce 2010-09-30 04:12
I also took the extra step to personally verify that there was no change in performance between Catalyst 10.5 and 10.8 on my system. I retested every single benchmark with an HD5870 card and saw no reason to retest any other cards or update the benchmark scores.
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# GTX 460 SSC+Emil Tovar 2011-02-13 07:46
Viewing your resume with a clock of 763 and 900MHz memory is almost comparable with the ati 5850, if the SSC is a clock of 850 MHz and memory at 3900 mhz overlokeado would be less than the ati 5870?

Viendo tu resumen con un reloj de 763 y memoria de 900mhz practicamente es comparable con la ati 5850, si la ssc viene con reloj de 850 mhz y memoria overlokeado a 3900 mhz estaria igual o superior a la ati 5870?
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# GTX 460 SSC+Emil Tovar 2011-03-21 05:52
I have received no response, it will be because no one knows? that card is already super overclok, you can climb over or is not advisable to do so? that people say benchmarkreviews?
no he recibido ninguna respuesta, sera porque nadie sabe? esa tarjeta ya viene super overclok, se puede subir mas o no es aconsejable hacerlo? que dice la gente de benchmarkreviews?
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# OverclockBruceBruce 2011-03-21 07:48
The GTX 460 chip is generally capable of some extreme overclocks. There have been several reviews on this site that demonstrate that. I got the MSI Hawk up to 950 MHZ, IIRC. Take a look at that review to see how it compares to the HD 5870 at super high clocks. YOUR card may not overclock that high, but it's worth trying.....
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