I sort of hastily performed a silly "side-grade" with my GPU. I picked up a lightly used Asus ENGTX465 Voltage Tweak Edition on ebay for $51 USD shipped. I currently have an XFX HD4890 Extreme Edition in my system. My logic was "Hey, it's only $51 bucks, and I'll gain DX11 and SM 4.0 for Battlefield 3 (which I run on the 4890 right now in DX10.1), plus CUDA for Maya 2011". I originally paid $75 USD for the 4890; and I'll likely sell it (on ebay) for as close to that as I can get back on the initial investment. As I understand from reading around, the GTX465 is only marginally - if not negligibly - faster than the 4890.
I'm now reading that some of the 465's that came out can unlock to 470's if you get the luck of the draw and have one with the 10 memory chips on board. I know that Asus themselves were also even bundling software with their 465's that was supposedly there to use in trying to unlock your card if you were one of the lucky folks that got one capable of doing so.
So, my question is: Can anyone here report success with unlocking an Asus brand GTX465 to the 470? I'm not counting on it personally. It won't be a deal breaker for me if I can't, because I wasn't expecting much more than a DX11/SM4.0 capable card that was similar to the one I have already. But for $51 USD, if I end up with a GTX470 in the end, plus the cash back from selling my original card, that wouldn't be too bad in my eyes. Bear in mind that I really don't have the expendable finances to shell out for a better GPU, like a higher end 5xx series Nvidia or 6xxx ATI at the moment.
I'm hoping someone may be kind enough to assist. If so, I really appreciate it and offer my humble thanks in advance.
Did some google search, it's apparently that most reference GTX 465s unlocked to GTX 470s. So i recommend you take your GPUs brand and google it for successful unlocking process.
Thanks! In looking over the info, it appears that some people have had success with black PCB PNY-branded 465's, and most any 465 that has 10 ram chips on the board (like the reference 470's do), instead of only 8. Guess I'll have to check when mine finally arrives in the mail to know for sure. The reason I asked about the Asus brand 465's, is because Asus themselves were apparently bundling some kind of software "unlocking" utility that was supposed to attempt just that. I'll see if it's included on the software CD when it gets in and check for the two additional ram chips. If all checks out, I'll probably just run the risk of conducting a bios flash to a 470 and see if it holds stable. Then... overclock!
The other things I'm wondering are how it will measure as a trade-off for my HD4890 in terms of matters such as heat, power consumption, and performance. If it does unlock to a full-blown 470, I'll be happy and consider myself lucky. Heck, that would move my GPU capabilities up two tiers on the Tom's Hardware Graphic Cards Comparison Chart alone, for roughly $25 cheaper than what I paid for the 4890. Then there's the added bonuses of DX11, SM 4.0 and CUDA that I mentioned above. If it doesn't unlock, oh well. But I'm still wondering how even the stock 465 stacks up against the 4890. Also, especially since I have an mATX case with limited cooling expansion options, and the 4890 itself could stand to run a little cooler. Was this an unwise move in the first place, in anyone's opinion?
Perfect, ilysaml! Thank you so much! That answers many of the questions I had about how they will (should) compare. For kicks, I did a comparison of the 4890 to the GTX470, and it looks even more promising performance wise. Looks like the sacrificial trade-off will be the possibility of higher temps and definitely higher power consumption, but that's worth it for the gains I'll get out of the deal. I guess I'll just have to wait until I get the new card in, and see if it's even worth taking a shot at attempting the unlock. Keeping my fingers crossed...wish me luck. Hopefully someone else stumbles across this that has actually attempted it and/or done it and may be able to let me know a bit more ahead of time. But in the meanwhile, the info you've provided has proven more than enough to satisfy most of my initial concerns. Thank you for your help!