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Show Us the Mainstream
By Kenny Yeo - on 16 Jun 2010, 10:33am

Like a big lumbering giant, Fermi has thus far proven itself to be powerful but extremely clumsy in terms of thermal and power requirements.

Recently at Computex 2010, NVIDIA announced the availability of the GeForce GTX 465 – their latest Fermi card and their newest addition to the GTX 400 class. Crucially, it's cheaper and is targeted at a more mainstream audience. However, we heard some really interesting news with regards to this new SKU.

A hardcore member of our forums, clon22, has shared some interesting information regarding how to flash your regular GeForce GTX 465 card to a full-on GeForce GTX 470. Apparently, certain GeForce GTX 465 cards can easily be turned into more powerful GeForce GTX 470 ones simply by flashing the card's BIOS.

Of course, do this at your risk, for we don't condone nor assume any responsibility from any problems arising while you attempt to flash your GeForce GTX 465 to a GTX 470.

The ease with which you can turn a GeForce GTX 465 into a GTX 470 reveals that the GeForce GTX 465 is in fact a watered down version of the latter. Or in other words, it means that physically, the GeForce GTX 465 is identical to the GTX 470 – the only thing keeping it from realizing its “full potential” is the BIOS. Which explains why the GeForce GTX 465 continues to be a power hungry card that runs hot like its siblings – it is no different from them!

If this is the direction NVIDIA wants to take, then it is worrying. With ATI having a strong lineup of DirectX 11 graphics card out in the market (for a good 6 months too, we must add), NVIDIA needs to step its game up and give us a decent mainstream Fermi card and not a diluted version of its higher end SKUs. Sure, the new NVIDIA cards are 3D-ready, something we're sure ATI will try to rectify in time to come with driver upgrades, but the Fermi cards' high operating temperatures and absurd power requirements mean that it is not for everyone.

The Fermi cards perform quite decently in raw performance and more so with DX11 games, so the only reason enthusiasts are complaining is because they want Fermi, but with more reasonable thermals and power requirements. The way we see it, a true mainstream chip that is smaller and packing less transistors is needed to keep temperatures and power consumption figures decent, and therefore appeal to the masses.

On that note, sources close to us have revealed that NVIDIA is prepping a new card soon in the near future. However, details are sketchy at the moment and we'll have to wait and see.

Kenny Yeo

Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor

Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.