NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 - Mainstream Fermi Done Right

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460

The card has been billed as the first mainstream affordable Fermi and it utilizes a traditional block-like cooler unlike older NVIDIA cards, with its fan located dead centre. However, perhaps the most striking thing you'll notice about the GeForce GTX 460 is that it is significantly smaller than previous Fermi cards. The reference GeForce GTX 460 measures only 8.25 inches in length, which makes it easier for it to fit into compact mid-tower casings.

Also, the GeForce GTX 460 requires less power, with NVIDIA stating that its maximum rated TDP is only 160W. This is much lower than any other Fermi card, considering even the GeForce GTX 465's maximum rated TDP is a considerable 200W. The GeForce GTX 460 can therefore get away with a wider range of PSUs, which also means users need not purposely upgrade their PSUs to accommodate the card.

At 8.25 inches long, the GeForce GTX 460 is a compact card. As you can see, it's considerably shorter than a Radeon HD 5850.

The reference versions of the GeForce GTX 460 we got from NVIDIA, both 768MB and 1GB variants, are completely identical.

Even the back of the cards are similar. We were hoping to see extra memory chips on the rear of the 1GB card, but that's not the case. Instead, the extra memory chips were found on the front side of the card, under the cooler.

The GeForce GTX 460 retains the same twin DVI and single mini-HDMI port for video output.

Despite its more lenient power requirements, the GeForce GTX 460 (both 768MB and 1GB) still requires two 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

The reference cards only came with a single SLI connector, which means only 2-way SLI is possible.

The GeForce GTX 460 uses a radial heatsink design, and peering closely, we can see the use of copper heat pipes to quickly draw and dissipate heat away from the GPU core. On casual glances, the aluminum heatsink design resembles that of an old Intel stock cooler, but that's just a side note for techies.