If you’re on the lookout for a GTX460, you had two choices – the 768MB versions, or the 1GB variants.  From our recent review, the 1GB versions, due to their increased memory bus width, outperformed the 768MB versions by quite a few percentage points.  This is also reflected in the price of the 1GB 460 over the 768MB 460.  So now Gainward are adding to the mix, with a 2GB GTX 460 model.

 

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The Gainward GTX 460 2GB ‘Golden Sample’ uses the same 256-bit memory bus width as the 1GB cards, giving the same rated memory bandwidth as the 1GB models.  Out of the box, the card comes pre-overclocked from 675MHz to 700Mhz on the GPU, and stock-clocked at 3600MHz (effective) for the memory.  Ports come in the form of HDMI, two DVI, and a VGA. 

Gainward’s marketing of their ‘Golden Sample’ series is to promote the overclockability of their cards through improved design and cooling – this card is promoted with 6mm water-based heatpipes and an 80mm fan.  The GPU of the 1GB version of the cards, as shown at AnandTech, overclocked to around 825MHz-835Mhz on stock voltages; the double memory on this Gainward 2GB card could ultimately limit memory overclocking.

Two questions arise from the dust – does anyone really need a 2GB frame buffer on a graphics card, and how much does it cost?  To answer the first, not many; GPU programmers who require large graphics memory and do not want to shell out money for Tesla products could take advantage.  In terms of gaming, a few gaming situations and resolutions would see an immediate benefit from the extra memory; however, with the expectation that gaming will become more detailed in the future, the 2GB could allow for a degree of future proofing.  In answer to the second, we’ve heard around $280 is the consumer price.  Looking at Newegg.com, a 1GB GTX 460 will set you back at least $230, and the 1280MB GTX 470 comes in at $330 – thus positioning the 2GB GTX 460 between the two.

Ultimately, performance and overclocking figures will show if the 2GB frame buffer, and the price, is justified.  There’s no word on release date yet, but expect Gainward to start shipping review samples as soon as they can.

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  • mcnabney - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    I am sure there are some games and applications that would benefit from the extra onboard RAM, but that RAM really isn't cheap and also has the nasty side-effect of seriously increasing power draw. Going from 1GB to 2GB of onboard RAM is going to raise the price of the card by at least 20%. Recent testing has shown performance on current video cards to be fairly linear with price. Would a 2GB card really provide 20% more frames on average? I would highly doubt it. Reply
  • smookyolo - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    Large amounts of VRAM are a *must* for working in 3D applications, such as Autodesk products. If you're just gaming, stick with the lower RAM versions. Reply
  • mcnabney - Monday, August 02, 2010 - link

    Autodesk workstations generally come with Quadros or FireGL cards. Not consumer-grade cards like this. Reply
  • Cerb - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    ...and for those people who game and use those programs?

    ...and what about future games? Not everyone upgrades every year.

    There's a real market for these things. Don't knock them, and don't assume that everyone doing professional work has thousands of dollars to spare for their PCs--especially if they couldn't get an academic deal on the software.
    Reply
  • JETninja - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    Wow, Gainward! My first upgrade card was a Gainward GF2 and it rocked in the day, they seemed to pretty much go away about 2 years later. Good to see them out there with a presence at least...not sure how 2GB is going to help much anything worth an extra $50 in the next year or two. Reply
  • Skott - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    As far as gaming goes I see the only way I'd want this is if I was running 3 screens or more. For instance three 30-inch LCDs. Personally I'd rather have the 1GB version or just step up to the GTX470 for single monitor gaming. Just my opinion. Reply
  • gorgamin - Sunday, August 01, 2010 - link

    i've still got a 4870 and it's still rocking... don't know what this obsession is with having the best card for the price... yeah sure try get the best deal when you buy, else you would be an idiot, but the point is, these cards are made for gaming, just enjoy the games and only worry when it doesn't play the game at a reasonable frame rate. Reply
  • gorgamin - Sunday, August 01, 2010 - link

    also, whats up with the random memory sizes nvidia? just stick to 1GB, 2GB and so on.... why 768MB or 1280MB? oh and please start developing cards that are completely enclosed. the open PCB thing scares me... had too many cards lose circuit mounted resistors and caps as a result of cleaning.

    Another thing, now that optical fibre is becoming viable as a system bus, just do away with plug in GPU's.... how about an enclosed GPU that fits into a 5.25 (DVD-RW drive bay) with an optical cable to the motherboard, and your 6pin/8pin power/molex. it can then even suck in air from the front of your chassis.
    Reply
  • Chaser - Monday, August 02, 2010 - link

    I agree completely. I have a single 4870 1GB and a 24 inch monitor. It handles everything I play smoothly. And I don't need Crysis at super incredulicious settings just so I can feel good.

    DX11 is in its infancy. I'll probably wait for a year from now when both have their next two series out.
    Reply
  • Acanthus - Sunday, August 01, 2010 - link

    Grand Theft Auto 4, its expansions, Everquest 2, Supreme Commander and its expansions (not supreme commander 2) Reply

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