On The Bench: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW

EVGA Overclocks The GeForce GTX 460

When the Radeon HD 6800-series cards were launched in October, Nvidia representatives wanted us to include EVGA's GTX460 FTW in the benchmarks to represent the Radeon HD 6870’s competitive landscape. We didn’t go that route because the idea of benchmarking a GeForce GTX 460 with the highest available factory overclock against AMD's standard Radeon HD 6870 didn’t sit very well with us. Although EVGA’s highly overclocked GeForce GTX 460 is a perfectly valid product, it’s not a reference design, and is only offered by one company, while many manufacturers produce cards based on the Radeon HD 6870 reference standard.

With the Radeon HD 6800-series launch behind us, though, we’re certainly interested in seeing what EVGA’s top-of-the-line GeForce GTX 460 can do, and how it compares to its competition, Radeon- and GeForce-based cards alike.

From what we’ve seen, EVGA’s card boasts the highest factory overclock of any GeForce GTX 460 1 GB available to date. With 850/1700 MHz core/shader speeds and a 1000 MHz GDDR5 memory clock, this card has a significant 175/350 MHz core/shader and 100 MHz memory advantage over Nvidia's original design.

This overclock looks especially impressive when you compare stats against the reference GeForce GTX 470. EVGA’s GTX460 FTW has the potential to perform about 5% more shader operations per second than a reference GeForce GTX 470, and practical memory bandwidth is brought within 5% of the GF100-equipped card. The overclocked core and shader speeds push raster performance into an even higher realm. This suggests that EVGA’s factory overclocked GeForce GTX 460 should perform in the neighborhood of the GeForce GTX 470, and maybe even beat it in some situations. It’s no wonder Nvidia partially crippled the GF104 GPU and kept its reference clocks lower than they probably could have been—the company didn’t want its mid-range offering showing up in high-end products.

If you were expecting a magnum-force custom-cooling solution, prepare to be surprised. EVGA’s wunderkard humbly makes use of the reference cooler, tastefully arrayed in EVGA colors.

As far as we can tell from the back of the board, the PCB is reference fare, too. The only hardware upgrade that EVGA mentions in its marketing materials is an upgraded MOSFET heat sink.

This card requires two PCIe power connectors, just like every other GeForce GTX 460 we’ve seen.

The card’s outputs are also standard-issue GeForce GTX 460 equipment: two dual-link DVI outputs, complemented by a single mini-HDMI output.

The bundle includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter, two Molex-to-PCIe power-connector adapters, a user guide, a driver CD, and what appears to be a bumper sticker.

  • fstrthnu
    Heh, "FTW". Still, EVGA's done a pretty impressive job here. Still a standby till the Geforce GTX 560 comes, but this is pretty darn good heading into winter
  • macer1
    Why not use the 10.12 beta drivers from AMD ?

    The current test used a 10.10 Beta driver which was more problematic then the 10.9 AMD drivers. Makes no sense to me.
  • touchdowntexas13
    Typically I think factory overclocked cards are a waste of cash, but this seems like a pretty good value. I am very happy with my GTX 470, but if I could do it over I would of snatched up that GTX 460! The 470 is just so loud and hot. But it's whatever. The 460 didn't come out until 3 months after I bought the 470.
  • dEAne
    If I to choose I will recommend the EVGA’s GTX460 FTW.
  • Tamz_msc
    It'd be nice if Nvidia released a card sporting GF104 GPU and all eight streaming multiprocessors enabled, just to see what it can do.
    Bombard the the HD 6950? Maybe at a lesser price? Keeping my fingers crossed for the GTX 560 :D
  • duk3
    GTX550= GTX460maxcore @ 850mhz :O
  • IzzyCraft
    macer1Why not use the 10.12 beta drivers from AMD ? The current test used a 10.10 Beta driver which was more problematic then the 10.9 AMD drivers. Makes no sense to me.Because articles take time to write esp when you need to benchmark things.
  • rohitbaran
    Well, this doesn't sound too good for AMD. A fully enable GTX 460, which will probably launch as GX560 will probably come close enough, if not equal to the Radeon 6950.
  • Randomacts
    Really?? A bumper sticker??? hahah... wow..
  • IzzyCraft
    RandomactsReally?? A bumper sticker??? hahah... wow..They didn't have enough fun tricking me into putting lame stickers on my expensive case when i was young so now they want me to put lame stickers on my car.