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Amazing SLI Scaling: Do Two GeForce GTX 460s Beat One GTX 480?


With an MSRP of $250 and a Web price around $230, GeForce GTX 460 1GB graphics cards were already known to be great mid-priced performers. Doubling these up in SLI gives us the same MSRP and Web price as a single GeForce GTX 480. But does this give us more performance? You bet!

The GeForce GTX 460 SLI configuration absolutely obliterates the GeForce GTX 480’s performance scores, landing a 26% performance coup de grace upon its big brother after continuously battering it with wins in every benchmark at every setting. That would put it in the same performance class as a certain $700 dual-GPU card, according to Don Woligroski’s recent review.  But—at less than $500—it doesn't even need to compete there. While far-more-expensive solutions do have their own particular strengths, what we really wanted to know was where our $460 would be best spent, and today’s test revealed that answer.

Because SLI scales so well, giving two GeForce GTX 460 1GB graphics cards a 90% performance boost over a single card, the value for two cards together is very similar to what earned the single GeForce GTX 460 1GB its previous Recommended Buy award. Today’s award applies in the same way to the $500 graphics category, where the only reason we can think of to purchase a GeForce GTX 480 right now is to use it in SLI for the $1000 price class.

While today’s award applies to all GeForce GTX 460 1GB models priced between $230 and $250, we’d still like to express our special thanks to Sparkle Computer Corp. for supplying the units we used to determine today’s results.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.