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Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 1 GB Review: Zotac Puts Fermi On A Diet

Conclusion

Honestly, I’m not sure what Nvidia was thinking with this one. Surely, its competitive analysis team ran these very same benchmarks and found the GeForce GTX 465 and Radeon HD 5830 trading blows. Surely, the same group of folks hopped online and saw Radeon HD 5830s selling for $220, going as low as $199 with rebates. How, then, did they decide that $279 was a good starting point for suggested pricing?

With Radeon HD 5850s available at $289, just $10 more, that’s unquestionably the route we’d take today.

Top-To-Bottom GeForce Product Line-up
CardGPU
GeForce GTX 480GF100
GeForce GTX 470GF100
GeForce GTX 465GF100
GeForce GTX 260GT200
GeForce GTS 250G92b
GeForce 9800 GTG92
GeForce GT 240GT215
GeForce GT 220GT216
GeForce 9500 GTG96
GeForce 210GT218
GeForce 8400GSG98

Now, Nvidia is banking on its tessellation performance as the value-add that wins over enthusiasts, citing Metro 2033 as the poster child for what games of the future will look like. But as I demonstrated here, Metro is a beast when it comes to taxing graphics subsystems. At 1680x1050, a single Radeon HD 5870 verges on unplayable, even without MSAA turned on.

Also in Nvidia’s list of extras that AMD doesn’t have are 3D Vision, PhysX support, and CUDA. To that we’d add Blu-ray 3D support, since we know that Nvidia is going to be the only way to go, at least for a while, if you want Blu-ray 3D on your PC. Naturally, the importance of each of these varies by user—there will undoubtedly be folks who swear by stereoscopic gaming, and those who regularly utilize CUDA acceleration for transcoding tasks.

Playing devil’s advocate, there are also going to be the enthusiasts who place a higher value on AMD’s Eyefinity support and ability to bitstream DTS-HD Master and Dolby TrueHD to their HTPC. We can’t make that call for you.

Make no mistake about it: we’ve talked to architects at both Nvidia and AMD in depth; there is no doubt that the engineers designing the GPUs at both companies are brilliant individuals with a laser sight on what they’re trying to achieve. At the same time, it’s hardly a secret that Nvidia is struggling with the execution of this product generation.

GF100 is a 512-shader GPU, and the GeForce GTX 465 employs a version with 160 of those shaders turned off. We’re getting close to the point where we would have hoped to see a derivative GPU rather than a 3 billion transistor monster pared back, yet still expensive for Nvidia to manufacture. Perhaps that’s the impetus behind the $279 price tag.

Regardless, though, if you belong to the group of enthusiasts who was spoiled by $200 Radeon HD 4890s and still remembers when GeForce GTX 260s sat around $150, the GeForce GTX 465 is an expensive piece of hardware, relatively. Until DirectX 11 becomes a must-have feature for you, the best of last generation is still very much viable for gaming versus today’s derivative models.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Annisman
    Dang, it looks like Nvidia has almost no real answers for the AMD/ATI lineup of cards. However, if this card can drop in price a little it may be competitive because of some of it's Nvidia-only features. I mean, it runs cooler and uses a fair amount less power than the 470 and 480, maybe this will become the Phsyx card to get ? Espescially if they could manage a single slot version and drop the price. Anyways, no competition is bad for everyone and I hope Nvidia can get their act together asap.
    Reply
  • fatkid35
    i'll stick to my crossfire'd 5770s. same money and same power consumption.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    fatkid35i'll stick to my crossfire'd 5770s. same money and same power consumption.Or a 5870 same thing less problems but thats just me. oh and that thing got pwnd by a 5830 and thats not saying much.
    Reply
  • welshmousepk
    wow, the pricing of this thing is all wrong. given how well the the 480 and 470 sit in the market, this just seems like a pointless card.
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    How many times do I have to say that this is nothing but a marketing gimmick for defective GTX480's and possibly 470's as well. Like the 5830 which was a cut/gimped/ or limited 5850
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    sorry 5870 on the above comment
    Reply
  • bombat1994
    make it 60 cheaper and you might have a good card but i would buy a 5850 over this thing everyday of the weel
    Reply
  • dco
    retail is messed up they charge you for a brand not the product by comparison. Whats worse is that people will buy it.
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    The GTX4xx line is definitely not the way it is to be played and this latest crappy piece of hardware further proved it. Hot and expensive but poor on performance. The more cards they launch, the clearer ATI's victory becomes.
    Reply
  • km4m
    Fail, fail, fail...suitable words for Nvidia at this moment.
    Reply