The Test

For our test we are using NVIDIA’s latest 256-series drivers, currently at version 258.80. As far as performance goes these drivers are virtually identical to earlier 256-series drivers on the GTX 400 series, so performance has not significantly changed since the launch of the drivers alongside the GTX 465. As the 256-series drivers did improve performance across a number of games for the GTX 480 and GTX 470, numbers have been updated where applicable.

As for our Radeon cards, we are continuing to use the 10.3a drivers. Radeon 5000 series performance has not changed for the games in our suite since those drivers were released.

Included in our test results are our vendor cards from Asus, Zotac, and EVGA. You can read the full review for those cards in Part 2 of our launch coverage.

For testing the GTX 460 in SLI, we used our 1GB reference card in SLI with Zotac’s 1GB card. This is suitable for performance but not for noise testing. Testing the reference 768MB GTX 460 in SLI was not possible due to the lack of a suitable matching card; however we do have the EVGA GTX 460 768MB SuperClock in SLI.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 (Intel)
Hard Disk: OCZ Summit (120GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 5970
AMD Radeon HD 5870
AMD Radeon HD 5850
AMD Radeon HD 5830
AMD Radeon HD 5770
AMD Radeon HD 5750
AMD Radeon HD 4890
AMD Radeon HD 4870 1GB
AMD Radeon HD 4850
AMD Radeon HD 3870
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Asus ENGTX460 768MB
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB SuperClocked
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 197.13
NVIDIA ForceWare 257.15 Beta
NVIDIA ForceWare 258.80 Beta
AMD Catalyst 10.3a
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Meet the GTX 460 Crysis: Warhead
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  • Howard - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    What? Reply
  • Zok - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Excellent writeup! I really enjoyed you going into depth on the architectural changes. I couldn't agree more that it's superb to see NVIDIA get back into the efficiency game - whether it be performance/price or performance/watt (and, by extension, temperature). Here's to hoping that AMD was sitting on something to combat this!

    P.S. Small typo: For everything but the high-end, this year is a feature yet and not a performance year.
    Reply
  • thekimbobjones - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Let the price war begin. Reply
  • homerdog - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    "Here we use the DX11 renderer and turn on self shadowing ambient occlusion (SSAO) to its highest setting, which uses a DX11 ComputeShader."

    I don't think that's what SSAO stands for. Sorry for the nitpick.
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Yeah I believe the proper term is Screen Space Ambient Occlusion but self shadowing is how its often explained to give an idea of what it is. Reply
  • gentlearc - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    The graphs shown are leaving out too many new derivatives of cards, making is good for contrasting results, but poor for consistent data comparison. Conveniently left out are many cards in one graph that are in another. I'm disappointed in your presentation and find you've concentrated too much on the presentation of your article. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Out of curiosity, what's not in our graphs that you'd like to see? At 2560 we run a limited number of cards because most cards are too slow to post a passable framerate, otherwise at 1920 and 1680 we have the complete 5700/5800/5900 series, GTX 400 series, GTX 200 series, and Radeon 4800 series, along with a 3870 and 8800GT. Is there something else you would like? Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    What I'd like to see is the ATI card that is in direct competition with this highlighted as well. Having to search for the 5830 or 5850 out of all those bars turned me off. Reply
  • estaffer - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    need some cheese with your whine? Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Sure.. a good Gruyère please... Reply

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