The GeForce GTX 460M is one of the more recent and powerful mobile GPUs from NVIDIA. Unsurprisingly, it is used widely in gaming-grade notebooks and desktop replacement systems.
However, don’t be fooled by the name though, it is not as powerful as its desktop counterpart - the GeForce GTX 460. Nevertheless, it is still a beefy mobile GPU, packing 192 CUDA cores, 32 texture filter units and 24 raster operating units. Clocks speeds are pegged at 675MHz at the core, 1350MHz at the shaders and 2500MHz DDR at the memory. For those more familiar with NVIDIA’s desktop line-up, it’s roughly the equivalent of the desktop GeForce GTS 450, which we know to be a competent card for mainstream users.
To evaluate the performance of this mid to high-end tier mobile GPU part, we’ve just gotten hold of the ASUS G73Jw, a massive 3D-ready, 17-inch, full HD, gaming notebook. It’s powered by a powerful Core i7-740QM processor, packs a whopping 8GB of memory and is of course loaded with the GeForce GTX 460M mobile GPU. Too bad this notebook edition wasn't sporting the Sandy Bridge CPU, but we'll get to that soon enough. All things considered, this notebook looks like the ideal desktop replacement system for anyone looking for a fuss-free way to hop on the 3D bandwagon. Or is it?
Some of you may know that NVIDIA’s 3D Vision is achieved using the principle of stereoscopy, more specifically, it quickly presents two slightly different images to the eye to create an illusion of depth. This is why you need special shutter glasses and ultra-fast 120Hz displays. This also means that for every scene, two images needs to be rendered and this effectively doubles the GPU’s workload. So while the GeForce GTX 460M is no doubt a beefy mobile GPU and should do well for regular gaming applications, does it have what it takes to run 3D smoothly?
This is what we want to find out, but before we do, here’s a quick look at how the GeForce GTX 460M stacks up against competitive mobile GPUs.
|Model||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470M||NVIDIA GeForce
|ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850||
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870
|Core Code||GF106||GF104||GF104||Broadway PRO||Broadway XT|
|Stream Processors||192 Stream Processors||288 Stream Processors||384 Stream Processors||800 Stream Processing Units||800 Stream Processing Units|
|Stream Processor Clock||1350MHz||1100MHz||1150MHz||800MHz||700MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||32||48||64||40||40|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||24||24||32||16||16|
|Memory Clock||2500MHz GDDR5||2500MHz GDDR5||3000MHz GDDR5||4000MHz GDDR5||4000MHz GDDR5|
|DDR Memory Bus||192-bit||192-bit||256-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
|TDP (GPU only)||45 - 50W||45 - 50W||100W (MXM module)||~39W||~50W|