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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  • GeorgeH - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    I actually think it should be called a 460. People with a reasonable amount of tech knowledge are going to know the difference, and people without it are already trained to think that a bigger RAM number is always better (see the tons of "bargain" cards with 1GB+ of slow DDR.)

    Basically, the performance differential here is already clear from the full product name, and we have one fewer model number muddying a GPU market already overflowing with a ridiculous amount of model names that have identical, nearly identical, or completely misleading performance capabilities relative to other model names.
    Reply
  • Daeros - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    I would agree with you except for the common practice of mfg's doubling up on VRAM. When that happens, there will be 768MB, 1GB, 1.5GB, and 2GB versions, and people will have no idea the 1.5GB will probably be slower than the 1GB version. Reply
  • tigersty1e - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    This line made me read it twice.

    "This in turn means the blades of the fan sit at the same height as the lip, blocking direct airflow out the back. With this design the card is still exhausting at least some air out of the rear of the card, but it shouldn’t be as much as a fully-open card such as our custom Asus GTX 460."

    rear and back are the same thing. I think you meant to say the the cover blocks direct airflow out the front.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    I define the front of the card to be the side with the display ports, so the cover blocks airflow out of the opposite end, the back. Reply
  • fausto412 - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    While a very nice card...too little too late...i got a 5870 3 weeks ago. if you have a high end quad core and want to play BFBC2 in the highest settings only a gtx480 or 5870 will do. i chose the cheaper, cooler and more efficient card. Reply
  • kumquatsrus - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    or gtx 460 in sli for less? Reply
  • Jamahl - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Yeah look around, not just at Anand's flawed benches.

    TPU shows sli 460's losing to the 5970 by 20% at 1680 and 1920, and a massive 30% at 2560.

    They aren't even close, but keep dreaming anyway.
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    The reply was to a 5870, not 5970. Just a matter of $300 difference between the two. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    On your power consumption + noise charts (at the very least), the Zotac card's results are shown with white text superimposed over a yellow bar on the graph. This makes the white text almost completely unreadable. One can guess at the numbers based on context, but still . . . Reply
  • bobjones32 - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    The benchmarks look good at first look, but then I realized I purchased my current 4870 for $150 nearly a year and a half ago.

    Looking more closely at these benchmarks, the GTX 460 beats the 4870 in most tests, but not by that much, and at lower resolutions the 4870 actually wins.

    Shouldn't it be clear-cut that a $200 brand new card from today destroys a $150 card from nearly a year and a half ago?
    Reply

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