Last night we published our Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 review. In it we made a decision to include a factory overclocked GeForce GTX 460 from EVGA (the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW). For those who aren't aware, NVIDIA has allowed a number of its partners to ship GTX 460s at higher than stock clock speeds. A practice that has been done in the past. The cards are available in retail with full warranties.

A number of you responded in the comments to the article very upset that we included the EVGA card. Even going as far to accuse us of caving to NVIDIA's pressure and demands. Ryan and I both felt it was necessary to address this front and center rather than keep the discussion in the comments.

Let's start with the obvious. NVIDIA is more aggressive than AMD with trying to get review sites to use certain games and even make certain GPU comparisons. When NVIDIA pushes, we push back. You don't ever see that here on AnandTech simply because I don't believe this is the place for it. Both sides (correction, all companies) have done nasty things in the past but you come here to read about products, not behind the scenes politics so we've mostly left it out of our reviews.

NVIDIA called asking for us to include overclocked GTX 460s in the 6800 series article. I responded by saying that our first priority is to get the standard clocked cards tested and that if NVIDIA wanted to change the specs of the GTX 460 and guarantee no lower clocked versions would be sold, we would gladly only test the factory overclocked parts. NVIDIA of course didn't change the 460's clocks and we ended the conversation at that. We gave NVIDIA no impression that we would include the card despite their insistence. The decision to include the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW was made on our own entirely.

We don't like including factory overclocked parts in our reviews for reasons we've already mentioned in the article itself. This wasn't a one off made for the purpose of reviewing only, it's available from online vendors and a valid option from a price comparison. Furthermore it presented us with an interesting circumstance where the overclock was large enough to make a significant impact - the 26% overclock pushed the card to a performance level that by all rights could have (and should have) been a new product entirely.

From my standpoint, having more information never hurts. This simply provides another data point for you to use. We put hefty disclaimers in the article when talking about the EVGA card, but I don't see not including a publicly available product in a review as a bad thing. It's not something we typically do, but in this case the race was close enough that we wanted to cover all of our bases. At the end of the day I believe our conclusion did just that:

At $179 buy the 6850. At $239 buy the 6870 for best performance/power. If you want the best overall performance, buy the GTX 470. However, as long as they are available the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW is a good alternative. You get the same warranty you would on a standard GTX 460, but you do sacrifice power consumption for the performance advantage over the 6870.

We were honestly afraid that if we didn't include at least a representative of the factory overclocked GTX 460s that we would get accused of being too favorable to AMD. As always, this is your site - you ultimately end up deciding how we do things around here. So I'm asking all of you to chime in with your thoughts - how would you like to handle these types of situations in the future? Do we never make exceptions even in the case of a great number of factory overclocked cards being available on the market? Do we keep the overclocked comparison to a single page in the review? Or does it not matter?

And if you're worried about this being tied to financial gain: I'll point out that we are one of the only sites to have a clear separation of advertising and editorial (AnandTech, Inc. doesn't employ a single ad sales person, and our 3rd party sales team has no stake in AT and vice versa). The one guarantee that I offer all of our writers here at AnandTech is you never have to worry about where your paycheck is coming from, just make sure you do the best job possible and that your conclusions are defensible.

If we've disappointed you in our decision to include the EVGA FTW in last night's review, I sincerely apologize. At the end of the day we have to maintain your trust and keep you all happy, no one else. We believed it was the right thing to do but if the overwhelming majority of you feel otherwise, please let us know. You have the ability to shape how we do things in the future so please let us know.

Whether you thought it was an issue or not, we'd love to hear from you. I do appreciate you reading the site and I want to make it better for you in the future.

GP

Take care,
Anand

POST A COMMENT

619 Comments

View All Comments

  • Sandstig - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Agree with Imperceptible's comments. I thought the article was very clear on how the card was factory overclocked and provided by NVIDIA. Reply
  • ShortyZ - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    Yep, in my mind parts are parts. I thought it was a good review of AMD's new offerings and I liked how the OC'd 460 was thrown in for comparison as a kicker. Reply
  • FATCamaro - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Props to you, been reading AT since you were a teenager. I didn't take particular offense to the 460 OC being included. It was a little bit confusing at first, but I didn't mind it too much. Please make sure you highlight its increased price versus the regular old card clearly. Not sure if this happened.

    I can also see why nvidia really wants the OC results included. People have been having good OC results from the GTX460.

    AMD/ATI shouldn't care the 6800 series is a hell of a value proposition. The 6850 cards were sold out on Newegg already today.
    Reply
  • itsmekirill - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    The vast majority of GTX 460s on the market come with hefty factory overclocks. Some products just lend themselves to that more than others, and it's been acknowledged by most I think that this particular GPU is an excellent candidate for large performance gains through overclocking.

    You already went out of your way in the original article to downplay the role of the EVGA 460. That really ought to be enough, although from a real world standpoint I don't see how that is relevant at all, if what we're after is a price/performance comparison. Yes, it's not reference clocked, and so what? If it provides X performance for Y dollars, what difference does it make?
    Reply
  • Postman802 - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - link

    I have a little addition to the above comment.
    If it provides X performance for Y dollars, out of the box with warranty, what difference does it make?

    I appreciate the effort of the reviewers on anandtech's to provide all the information required so i can best decide how to best spend my hard earned cash.
    Reply
  • computergeek485 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Seems logical to include this as long as the stock one is always listed there also. Reply
  • jaydee - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I have no problems with the way the article was presented with the EVGA overclocked card. nVidia should suck it up though and call it the GTX 461 however... Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    Agreed. If Nvidia wants an overclocked 460 to be taken seriously then they should set a standard for said overclocked cards. It's not as if other manufacturers couldn't still offer cards outside of that standard, those cards would just remain overclocked 460s instead of 461s (or even curious-er, overclocked 461s). Maybe Nvidia is just too lazy to guarantee 460s at a higher clock and wants card makers to bin their GPUs for them. Reply
  • chang3d - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Wow! Does AMD do the same thing? (I wouldn't be surprised if they did)

    I didn't notice all this issue and drama, and now I dunno who to believe anymore cause it seems like every review site used the EVGA 460 FTW.

    Let's focus on stock to stock as the primary comparison when you are talking about stock cards.

    Yes, you can be more informative by adding the factory overclocked cards comparisons; but you need to have the stock to stock comparison first.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Dear Anand and company,

    Why don't you just make an online survey and get feedback from the readers about their thoughts? If you ask any marketing student you will get the same answer: make a survey.
    Throw some thinking about what kind of data is useful for AT and ship the survey online.
    I am getting extremely curious how this issue will be resolved.

    If you ask me i see no problem in including the EVGA card in the review. Why would i see a problem? Heck it's just a card. I don't care if it's named 460 OC or 470 or 6870. It'd a card. And i want to know what cards can do. I never vote for nVidia or AMD i always vote for the winner and i don't care who that is. If the 460 can beat the 470 so be it. Maybe some day the 470OC will beat the 480 and stuff. I don't care.

    And please, keep your sanity and aim straight.....

    Respect!
    Mile
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now