Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 SLI Performance Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 SLI Performance Analysis


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 SLI Performance Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Performance Analysis

Life for Fermi began in the form of the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470, and while both were blazing fast, they were also power hungry, extremely hot to run and pricey. The GeForce GTX 465 was supposed to rectify these powers, but as we found out, it wasn't quite what we had expected. Therefore, after the GeForce GTX 480, GTX 470 and GTX 465, no one was expecting much from the new GeForce GTX 460. But boy were we wrong.

The new card is available in both 1GB and 768MB flavors and is quite possibly one of the best things to have come from NVIDIA in recent times. The GeForce GTX 460 features a brand new GF104 chip and it surprised us with its competitive performance, decent power draw and operating temperatures. It's a really competitive mainstream to high-end card, so much so that we gave the 1GB variant our “Most Value for Money” award. Do check out our full review here.

Now, we are going to look at how the GeForce GTX 460 performs in SLI. As we've seen in our testing of the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 in SLI, NVIDIA's new cards scales well especially when going from a single to two cards in SLI. Hence, we are expecting to see some dramatic increases in performance.

Test Setup

The cards will be tested using our high-end X58 system with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 OCZ memory in triple channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

In terms of technical specifications, the GeForce GTX 460 is highly comparable to the GeForce GTX 465, so it'll be interesting to see how the two SKUs will match up. It'll also be intriguing to see where it stands against the more powerful GeForce GTX 470 too.

Considering its launch price, the GeForce GTX 460 is in the same league as the Radeon HD 5830 and close to the Radeon HD 5770, so we'll be looking at their performance closely.

To round up our analysis, we have also added the Radeon HD 5850 and the GeForce GTX 285 into our mix of results.

The full list of tested cards and their driver versions:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 SLI (ForceWare 258.80)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB GDDR5 SLI (ForceWare 258.80)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 258.80)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 258.80)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 1280MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 257.21)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1536MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 197.41)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5970 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 10.2)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 10.5)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 10.6)

The list of benchmark used are as follows:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • “Heaven" from Unigine v1.0
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat