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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  • DominionSeraph - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    Nvidia hit a wall with the GF100, and there really isn't much demand for greater than 4870 performance so ATi can sit on its 5000 series.

    Wait till the next expansion of WoW comes out and we might see a push for more.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    I was going to post exactly this. I also built my gaming rig in Jan 09 with a 4870 that I belive was $180 after a $20 rebate, but it was a Sapphire Toxic (factory OC'd with heatpipe).

    I was shocked to see how little performance improvement could be had for the same money today. I would have expected at least a minimum of 25% and more like 50% improvement across the board.

    And I bought the 4870 when the 4890 was just coming out so it's really 2-2.5 years old tech only slightly being outperformed.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    I really appreciate the work done on the tests and especially the charts. I'm glad to see my somewhat aging 4870 on the list for comparison. Seems like I'll be handing it over to my nephews in favor of a 5870 soon. Just waiting and hoping for prices to drop in the next month or so. Crossing fingers! Reply
  • Interitus - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    This is my gripe with the reviews lately. Your aging 4870 is on that list, yet we can't get a 5850 CF number??? Really??? There's even a 3870 in some bench charts..

    Not like I can't go look it up somewhere else, but it's pretty ridiculous that 5850 CF seems to always be missing. I have one and am considering two. It would be nice to see how 460 1GB SLI fared alongside 5850 CF.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    The issue you've mentioned plagues many, if not ALL, online reviews. I truly cannot understand why they can't or won't include suitable video cards for comparisons. The only difficulty is to maintain the test setups are the same, otherwise keeping the info in a database and updating it is rational. Even with the charts here, some cards are listed and then not listed in other charts.

    I have 30" screens so I mostly view the highest resolution performance charts but even then I have to resort lower resolutions to find cards I'm interested in. I'm just thankful that if Anand is missing what I need, I can go to other sites and pray to God I can find it there AND be able to make a reasonable comparison (test setups and such differing).
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    I'm glad to see a component review on AT again. Every day for what feels like an eternity now, it's been nothing but cell phones, laptops, pre-built rigs, and all manner of factory assembled consumer electronica. I'm off to read the vendor-specific 460 article now! Reply
  • futurepastnow - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Looks like Nvidia should have called it the Geforce HD 3870 ;) Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Why does the 768MB card keep beating the 1GB card? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    On which charts are you seeing that? Reply
  • Poisoner - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    This makes me wish I had an nVidia based chipset. I guess 2 4870s will have to do. Reply

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