Before we look at the GTX 460, lets take a moment to summarise the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample as this is the first time we have covered that card… Gainwards take on the GTX 470 is an impressive one, offering a card which improves on the reference design in two important areas, noise levels and temperatures. The redesigned PCB and cooler help the card to lower both of these even though it is using higher core and memory speeds which boosts performance over the reference model. Gainward also offer a more desirable set of outputs, catering for the majority of consumers now and in the future. With the inclusion of all the standard GTX features such as PhysX, CUDA and DirectX 11 this is one of the best 470s available.
So, what of the GTX 460?
Starting with the 768MB version of the card we have a product which is very impressive and in something which may come as a surprise to many, this is actually the model this reviewer would choose to buy for their main system. It provides near silent operation with low temperatures and the ability to game at a decent resolution when required. The ability to take advantage of CUDA also means that for productivity tasks such as video conversion we benefit from enhanced performance through use of the GPU which makes this a very well rounded product.
For those who require a little extra performance and want to game at a slightly higher level there is the choice of the Zotac GTX 460 or the Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum. Zotacs model gives a no-frills approach to the design, offering reference speeds, a good selection of outputs, free game and a 5 year warranty. Also, thanks to the enhanced audio capabilities and relatively small PCB, this is the first GeForce card in some time that consumers can give serious consideration to using in a HTPC.
The Palit card, like the Zotac, often outperforms the Radeon 5830 which makes it a very attractive proposition at this price range. In addition to this, thanks to the enhanced design and speeds, it also outperforms the Zotac model and does so with lower temperatures and noise levels. There were even occasions where the Sonic Platinum came close to the GTX 470 in performance. As with all of the other GTX 460s an excellent set of features which includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio over HDMI, Blu-Ray acceleration, 3D Vision for stereoscopic gaming and high definition content, PhysX for enhanced game image quality/realism and CUDA for enhanced productivity help to make this a great value purchase.
NVIDIAs new GTX 460 offers a huge range of features, matching or exceeding its direct competition from ATI in every way. A great, well balanced and flexible addition to the GTX 400 series.