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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC review


1. Meet the Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC

Nvidia's GTX 460 GF104 line is the second version of the Fermi GF100 cores targeted for the midrange mainstream market. Positioned between the GTX 470 and the GTX 465 especially, the card is equipped with a the GF104 GPU specialized toward gaming and video editing. Compared to the GTX 465, the GTX 460 consumes less power and features less transistors.

The GF104 has two Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs) containing 4 SMs each, for a total of 8 SMs adding up to 384 CUDA cores. However, the GeForce GTX 460 is shipped with 1 of the 8 SMs disabled, leaving it with 336 enabled CUDA cores. Despite the cut-down, Nvidia has made significant changes to the design of the SMs for GF104 and the Fermi architecture in general. The company has added superscalar dispatch abilities to GF104, NVIDIA has also made a number of other tweaks to the Fermi architecture for this GPU.

Today we have in our labs Inno3D's overclocked version of the Nvidia GTX 460, which also comes with 1GB of memory. We have already tested the Inno3D 460 768MB model and it's interesting to see where the new card stands in terms of performance compared to the GTX 465, the GTX 470 and also AMD's 5850 solution, which retails at the same price point.

The Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC card comes pre-overclocked at 750MHz for the GPU, 1,500MHz for the 336 CUDA cores and an effective 3,800MHz for the 1GB GDDR5 frame buffer. Compared to NVIDIA's reference speeds - 675MHz, 1,350MHz and 3,600MHz, respectively - that's an average bump of nine per cent.

GeForce GTX 460 768MB (GF104)
GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC (GF104)
GeForce GTX
465
(GF100)
GeForce GTX
470
(GF100)
GeForce GTX
480
(GF100)
Stream (Shader) Processors
336
336
352
448
480
Core Clock (MHz)
675
750
607
607
700
Shader Clock (MHz)
1350
1350
1215
1215
1400
Memory Clock (data rate MHz)
3600
3600
3206
3350
3700
Memory amount
768MB
1024 MB
1024 MB
1280 MB
1536 MB
Memory Interface
192-bit
256-bit
256-bit
320-bit
384-bit
Memory Type
gDDR5
gDDR5
gDDR5
gDDR5
gDDR5

- Package

The Ino3D GTX 460 1GB OC packaging is different than the company's 400 series of graphics cards. It has a reflective metallic look to it that refracts rainbows in the light. The top left, in capitalized gold lettering, states that this card is overclocked from the factory:

Opening the package reveals the typical cardboard box inside. This design uses two containers to separate and protect the pieces inside.

 

The supplied accessories include a software disc with both the drivers and applications. A DVI to VGA adapter is included, as well as a dual female Molex to male 6-pin PCIe adapter (the card requires dual 6-pin connection to run). The GTX 460 is protected in the standard translucent anti-static bag with a sticker warning against the dangers of static and proper handling, while also sealing the bag.

The dual-slot card measures just 8.25" (length). That's smaller than the ATI 5800s cards. The card should be installed into a PCI Express x16 slot:

A single SLI connector permits two-way GTX 460 action, and at 210mm in length, the card's the same size as NVIDIA's reference design.

Inno3D's card offers a pair of dual-link DVI ports and a mini-HDMI connector.

That's all for the packaging and the card's looks. We installed the card and fired up the GPU-Z utility, which confirms the card's basic specifications:


2. Test setup
- Setup

Here is our test PC setup:

Many games and applications were used in order to measure the performance (FPS) of each card.

DirectX 9

DirectX10

DirectX11

- Testbed DirectX9

For all the tests we used the default settings for 3DMark05 as you see below:

Again we left all the settings to default:

- Testbed DirectX10

We used the three built- in benchmarks to test the performance of each graphics card. We measured the performances at various resolutions using the "Performance" and up to the "Extreme" settings.

We used the built in benchmark with all the details maxed out.

We used the FRAMEBuffer benchmark tool for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally 1920x1200. We used all the possible quality levels to get an idea what the graphic card can do at each corresponding resolution.

 

We used the built-in benchmarking utility and maxed out all visual details, under both DX9/DX10 and settings up to 16x AA/16x AF.


3. 3DMark Hall Of Fame
We start with the results coming out from Futuremark's benchmarks. These include the results of the 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06 and the 3DMark Vantage software tests.

Starting with the 3D Mark 05 benchmark, the Inno3D GT 460 1GB OC got just 16718 points, which is very close to the GTX 470's score:

At the 3DMark 06 benchmark the Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC scored an impressive 13842 score, which is very close to the score of a GTX 580 OC! Of course, this does not mean that the cards are comparable in terms of gaming performance.

The Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC is also positioned ahead the GTX 465, the GTX 470 and the HD 5770:

The 3DMark Vantage tests the performance of each card in different resolutions. We charted the GTX 460 1GB OC, the GTX 460 768MB, the GTX 470 and the HD5770 graphics cards. The GTX 460 OC performed great and clearly beats the GTX 470 and GTX 460 768MB. The card's score is excellent for the mid-range segment:


4. Crysis Warhead, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark
- Crysis Warhead (DirectX9, DirectX10)

We proceed to the "Crysis Warhead" game, which supports both DirectX9 and DirectX10 rendering modes. The popular game is still the toughest game in our benchmark suite. Below are the test results from all the possible resolutions the anti-aliasing (AA) disabled.

The Inno3D GTX 460 1Gb OC performed well considering the high demands of the Crysis Warhead benchmark. You can easily play the game at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 as long as you keep the quality settings at the the "Mainstream" level.

Let's see where the card stands card compared to some other solutions:

First of all, at full-HD 1,920x1,080, the pre-overclocked Inno3D GTX 460 OC pulls out a significant lead over the stock-clocked Inno 3D GTX 460 768MB card. The GTX 460 OC 1GB is also on par with the GTX 470 and possibly a Radeon HD 5850.

- S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark

The ' S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark' provides detailed information about a system's performance on various graphical modes. This benchmark is based on one of the in-game locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test the system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, anti-aliasing etc.This makes it another one of the highly demanding games in our benchmark suite.

For our tests we set the visual details to the highest level and tested the Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC graphics card under DX10 and DX11 at the resolution of 1920x1200:

- DX9

- DX10

- DX11


5. Company Of Heroes

The "Company Of Heroes" is a popular action/strategy game with many funs around the world. The game was the first ever to utilize DirectX10 and features great in-game physics. For this test, we used the maximum quality settings and measured the performance (FPS) of each card.

The Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC 430 was more powerful than a GTX 465 and of course the GTX 768MB. The card was also as fast as a GTX 470:


6. Far Cry 2, Left4Dead, StreetFighter IV, Unigine benchmark

- Far Cry 2 (DirectX 9/10)

Far Cry 2 supports both DirectX 9 and DirectX10 and its graphics engine is much lighter than the one the Crysis title is based on.

Under DX9, the Inno3D GTX 460 OC 1GB is well positioned between the GTX 470 and the stock GTX 460:

 

Enabling the DX10 shaders, the "Ultra high" quality settings and AA also worked well for the the Inno3D GTX 460 OC 1GB, especially with AA/AF enabled:

 

- Left4Dead (DirectX 9)

Introduced in 2004, Valve’s Source engine continues to live on in new Valve games. Although this game is not very GPU limited to a significant degree we are using it in our testbed.

We used a custom time demo and measured the performance of the graphics card for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1650x1080 and 1920x1200, with 16xAF enabled and all visual settings maxed out.

The Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC follows closely the GTX 470, leaving the GTX 465 behind:

 

- StreetFighter IV (DirectX 9)

Here are two more benchmarks from the Streetfighter IV and the Unigine Benchmark Engine (DX10) demonstrating the graphic performance of the Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC graphics card.

Unigine is a proprietary cross-platform middleware, developed by Unigine Corp. It is used as either a game engine or as an engine for VR systems. Unigine currently has support for OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11 It supports hardware tessellation and Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0.

At the StreetFighter IV game, the Inno3D GTX 460 1GB OC gave less FPS than the GT 465 and the GTX 470.

On the other hand, the Unigine benchmark was easier for the GTX 460 1GB OC and the card preformed pretty close to higher-end cards, such as the GTX 580 OC:


7. Dirt 2, Alien vs Predator, Lost Planet 2, Overclocking

- Dirt 2 (DirectX 11)

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (known as Dirt 2 outside Europe and stylised, DiRT) is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt. The game runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features an updated physics engine and makes pretty through use of the DX11’s tessellation abilities.

 

We used the latest Dirt 2 game patch and used the built-in benchmark for the resolution of 1920x1200, various quality levels and with AA enabled.

With the Inno3D GTX 460 OC 1GB, the Dirt2 game is fully playable at resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200, even in "Ultra + 16xAA" settings. DiRT 2 repeats the same story; the GTX 460 OC 1GB card is quicker than reference and slightly faster than the Radeon HD 5850.

 

 

 

- Alien vs Predator Benchmark v1.03 (DirectX 11)

Rebellion has released a standalone DirectX 11 PC benchmark test based upon its shooter Aliens vs. Predator. The benchmark test requires a graphics support supporting DirectX 11, which are used to produce such fancy features as tessellation, advanced shadow sampling and DX11 anti-aliasing.

We used the default settings of the benchmark (resolution: 1920 x 1200, Texture Quality: 2, Shadow Quality: 3, Anisotropic Filtering: 16, SSAO: ON, Vertical Sync: OFF, DX11 Tessellation: ON, DX11 Advanced Shadows: ON, DX11 MSAA Samples: 1).

- Lost Planet 2 Benchmark (DX9/DX11)

The Lost Planet 2 benchmark allows you to measure the performance of your graphics card using a a pre-configured route within the game. The benchmark can be run under both DX9 and DX11.

- Overclocking

For our overclocking tests we used the latest MSI AfterBurner utility which also allows you to unlock the card's voltages allowing further tweaking. We enabled the 'Core Voltage' slider (though the 'settings' tab). The 'Core' and 'Shader' sliders are synched and move as one, allowing you to play with the 'Memory' slider as well. The package also includes the 'MSI Kombustor' application that stresses your graphics card and test its stability.

Without changing the voltage, the GTX 460 1GB OC reached the 840MHz for the core, the memory clock reached the 1100MHz for the memory and and the shaders topped at 1680MHz. Enabling the voltage could give you an even boost, but core temperatures could destroy your GPU faster.

With our small overclocking we experienced a linear performance boost, with average frame rates in Aliens vs. Predator and DiRT 2 jumping by up to 10 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.


8. Final words

The Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 with 1GB will give you enough power to play the most of your favorite games up-to 1600x1200, and in most cases 1920x1200 quite well. As it was expected, Inno3D's pre-overclocked video card is faster than the stock GTX 1GB as well as the GTX 768MB versions, while it is offering the performance of an Nvidia GTX 470 or an s AMD HD5850. Pricewise, these three cards are actually available at the same price range as well ($230~250).

If you are looking for more power then a dual Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC configuration (SLI) would be a good choice, compared to a high-end GTX 480. The reason is that the GTX 460 is a two-slot solution measuring 8.25" long meaning that almost all systems can accommodate this card.

Overclockers would also find the Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC interesting. Despite its pre-overclocked condition out of the box, the card has potential to go even higher, especially if you try to increase the voltage. Without any voltage tweaking, the card will easily overclock and according to our tests, it will give you a linear performance boost, with average frame rates in Aliens vs. Predator and DiRT 2 jumping by up to 10 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.

Currently, the Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC is also facing competition from AMD's Radeon HD6850 graphics card. The HD6850 1GB retails at the same price range and offers a pretty close performance to the GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC. The advantage of AMD's offering could be the lower power consumption. However, the Inno3D's pre-overclocked 1GB GTX 460 is more quiet under load. And since there's little so little to split the HD 6850 1GB and GTX 460 1GB, you 'll possibly have to come down to extra features such as single card multi-monitor support (ATI) or PhysX (Nvidia) to decide between them. And since such extras will likely be down to personal preference, we cannot make any recommendation.

To sum up, Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 1GB OC is a capable mid-range graphics card. When it appeared at the market a couple of months ago is really spelled a win for NVIDIA against AMD, with a cost effective core that offered mainstream gamers what they really needed. In the meantime, AMD's response with the HD6850 1GB card cannot be neglected, and Christmas' consumers will have the final word.



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