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.