Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Video Cards arrow EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video Card
EVGA GTX 460 SC Superclocked Video Card E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
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

NVIDIA GTX460 Final Thoughts

I wrote earlier this year that the first Fermi cards from NVIDIA were not really "Competitors" for ATI, because they occupied different price and market segments than the existing series of Radeon HD 5xxx video cards. Well all that's changed now, with the introduction of the GF104 GPU. With 1.95 billion transistors and an estimated die size of 366 mm2, it's in the same league as the ATI Cypress chip, introduced last September on the Radeon HD 5870. On second thought, maybe NVIDIA is in the National League and ATI is in the American League. They both play the same game, but by different rules, and once a year everyone gets together and pretends that they are all the same. Then it's Football season, thank goodness.

If I allow myself to anthropomorphize these products, I thought it was a bit cruel for the GF104 to go gunning for the HD 5830, the crippled sister of the Radeon family. As fate would have it, she held on to the $200-$240 market with only a hope and a prayer by her side. There was no better point for NVIDIA to attack, with a product more clearly focused on gaming graphics, than this thinly populated market segment. Resistance was futile; there was no way the GTX 460 was going to lose this battle. That's because the GTX 460 is a wolf in sheep's clothing. To put it more plainly, and give away my conclusion to those who are reading this entire page, the GTX 460 is a 5850-class video card with a $230 price tag.

From a technology standpoint, the GTX 460 has a whole lot more in common with the Radeon HD 5850 than it does with the HD 5830. Let's compare. The HD 5850 disables one out of ten (10%) possible stream processing units, the HD 5830 disables three out of every ten (30%). The GTX 460 ships with one out of eight possible Streaming Multiprocessor blocks (12.5%) disabled. Match ‘em up.... looks like a 5850 to me. Now let's look at clock rates, the top clock rate that ATI specs out for the Cypress line is 850 MHz, and the HD 5850 ships with a 725 MHz stock clock. It's too early to guess what the highest clock will be on the GF104 chip, but Galaxy and Palit are already shipping cards with factory core clocks over 800 MHz. Almost every reviewer that bothered to overclock their GTX 460 sample got it easily up to the 850 range. The base clock for the GTX 460 is 675 MHz. Once again, the similarity to the HD 5850 is pretty plain; chop off one (presumably dead) processing cluster and downclock the core significantly, so it doesn't compete with the top model (or the lame duck GTX 465 in this case...).

Forgive me for dabbling in a bit of fairy tale economics, but I can't help myself. First of all, I'm going to make a bold assumption that an HD 5830 chip costs exactly the same amount of money to produce as an HD 5870 or HD 5850. Same amount of silicon, same pin out, same package, same testing costs - all the production costs are equal. Next, I'll extend the same bold assumption and conclude that every GF104 chip costs almost exactly the same as the Cypress chips I just mentioned. Same number of transistors, same technology node, same supplier, same production lines, same die area, etc. The only difference is the R&D and SG&A costs that have to get amortized in to establish a fully burdened cost. (I wish I could add a survey button here: agree or disagree.) The pricing model on the other hand, has you paying for performance, which seems realistic and fair for the consumer. That's where NVIDIA chose their battleground.

EVGA_GeFORCE_GTX460_SC_GF104_Close.jpg

I've come to one inescapable conclusion: the GTX460 is really comparable to an HD 5850 from a technology standpoint, and NVIDIA chose to sell it at a price point currently occupied by a lesser model, the HD 5830. Sounds like a good marketing plan to me, especially since I believe that every Cypress-based card and every GF104-based card share the same cost structure. Sure, you can add or subtract features, but the fundamental production costs are comparable, even if the performance is not. ATI has had a monopoly on DX11 hardware for what seems like ages, so you can't blame NVIDIA for throwing a spanner in the works and trying to disrupt the market. Finally, I can say, "Fermi = Competition". BTW, just like you, I can't wait to read the next chapter in this continuing battle saga.



 

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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.....
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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).
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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
Report Comment
 
 
# 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 ;)
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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|
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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).
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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?
Report Comment
 
 
# 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.....
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