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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 Conclusion

From a performance standpoint, it's impossible to argue with the numbers this card puts up, at its price point. As I hypothesized in my Final Thoughts, this is really a 5850-class card from a technology standpoint, and it performed like one. Overclocked up to what seems like its natural operating point, at 850 MHz on the core, it sweeps the field in its market segment. The cooling performance is perfectly adequate, including the noise required to achieve it, which was quite low. I would probably tweak the fan settings, as the default curve is not aimed at performance users. The combination of a new low-power Fermi GPU and a well designed cooler kept operating temperatures reasonably low during both intensive gaming and brutal stress testing.

The appearance of the EVGA GTX460 SC video card is somewhat limited by the fact that the physical design of the card is identical to a couple dozen other models on the market. EVGA did a nice job with the artwork, producing a subtle design that is attractive, but avoids the garish themes that often show up on products marketed at gamers. The graphic design suggests a quiet aggressiveness, but I'm not really sure why.

EVGA_GeFORCE_GTX460_SC_Full_Front_01.jpg

The build quality of the EVGA card was quite good. Everything is assembled well, everything fit when I put it back together, and the overall impression of the card was solid. The packaging was first rate and very creative in its use of recycled material for the inner enclosure. A small cutout on the rear of the package allows a purchaser to verify that the Serial Number and Model Number on the card matches the one on the box, which is a useful attempt at reducing fraud. I was impressed by the manufacturing quality of the PC board, especially compared to some recent samples I've seen. The GTX 460 is a relatively easy card to make because of its simplicity, and EVGA is smart to take advantage of the excellent design of the reference card.

I also have to give good marks to EVGA for the quality of their bundled software, EVGA Precision and OC Scanner. Between the two applications, they support most of the popular overclocking features, and they were both very reliable in operation. The lack of voltage adjustment for the GPU core and the memory knocks them out of the running for top honors, as there are more capable tools available which will work just fine on reference hardware like this.

The features of the EVGA GTX460 SC are fully comparable with the latest offerings from both camps. It has: Microsoft DirectX 11 Support, PhysX Technology, is 3D Vision Ready, also 3D Vision Surround Ready, CUDA Technology, SLI, 32x Anti-aliasing, PureVideo HD, and HDMI 1.4a support. We've been using some of these same, or competitive, technologies on a whole host of Radeon 5xxx cards since last September. Still, it's good to finally have rough parity in the features and functions arena.

As of early September 2010, the price for the EVGA GTX460 SC (01G-P3-1372-TR) is $229.99 at my favorite PC component supplier, Newegg. There is currently a $10 MIR available and EVGA is giving away free STEAM codes for Metro 2033 with every GTX460 they sell, so consider that in your purchasing decisions. It's hard to find a bad deal for any of the GTX460 cards; even if you are paying a premium for certain features, more memory, or a software bundle, the price-to-performance ratio is so good, there's not a lot of downside anywhere. This particular model comes with a two year warranty, which is one of the lower durations that EVGA offers. Some of their cards have lifetime warranties, but you generally have to pay a small premium for that.

Let's face it, almost any GTX460 card is going to get high marks at this stage of the game. NVIDIA has priced it very aggressively, and until ATI responds with some serious price cuts, or releases its next generation of video cards, this is the card to beat in the $200-$250 price range. It's pretty obvious from all the reporting that's been done already, that early production units of the GF104 have tons of overclocking headroom. I got over 900 MHz on the core clock with no trouble at all, and that's not an unusual result if you read through the enthusiast forums. I can't blame EVGA for using the reference design; they knew a good thing when they saw it, and so do I.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Attractive and effective cooling system
+ Good monitoring and control S/W bundle
+ Excellent overclocking headroom
+ Outstanding price/performance ratio
+ 1000 MHz GDDR5 overclocks better than 1250 MHz parts
+ Very low idle clocks = low power consumption
+ Full length (1m) Mini HDMI cable included
+ Memory ICs are cooled by airflow from fan
+ PCB manufacturing quality looks good
+ Driver updates with improved performance were ready at launch

Cons:

- Fan speed doesn't move off 40% when GPU is stressed
- Some heat from the card is pushed into the case interior
- Voltage adjustments not included in EVGA Precision S/W

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 9.50

Final Score: 9.15 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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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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