Although there was no need for non-reference cooling this time around, since the reference cooling is quiet and efficient, Gainward still strapped the card with its cooler. Furthermore, the company redesigned the PCB, which is now shorter than reference. Gainward GTX 460 1024MB GDDR5 Golden Sample Goes Like Hell runs at 800MHz for the GPU and 1600 for the shaders, whereas the memory is at 1000MHz (4000MHz effectively). Just for comparison purposes, reference clocks are 675MHz GPU and 900MHz memory (3600MHz effectively). Thankfully, with such high operating clocks, many won’t even need to overclock the card further.
So, we’re talking about a 1024MB memory on a 256-bit memory interface and with 32 ROPs. We must say that GS-Goes Like Hell fully deserves its name, as you’ll soon see for yourself. The cooler does its job well and the card is quiet in both operation modes – idle and 3D.
Gainward continued the tradition of offering many different video outs – two dual-link DVIs, VGA and HDMI (standard one, not the mini-HDMI you’ll find on reference cards). GF104 also got an updated video processor capable of bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio sountracks from Blu-ray movies.
GF100-based cards had plenty of issues with thermals, but GF104-based GTX 460 runs much cooler in comparison. Nvidia could’ve perhaps included a standard HDMI connector on the reference card’s video out panel, but they chose not to, probably in order to leave some space for the air outlet. The picture below shows how Gainward implemented their video outs (the card on the bottom is the reference GTX 465).
The following picture compares the GTX 460 GS-GLH to the reference-designed EVGA GTX 460.
Nvidia’s reference cooler uses a fan placed in the center, which means that some heat will end up in the case as well. This means that there’s not much airflow around the I/O panel, and the same goes for Gainward’s GTX 460 GS-GLH.
The reference GTX 460 is 210mm long whereas Gainward’s GS-GLH is 188mm. The reference card is powered via two 6-pin power connectors. The reference GTX 460 1GB card’s TDP stands at 160W, but you should expect Gainward to top this number as the 1GB GS-GLH comes with a significant factory overclock. Power connectors are placed on the upper side of the card, rather than at the end which is the case with reference GTX 460 cards.
Geforce GTX 460 is a mid-range product so there’s no 3-way SLI support. The card will support 2-way SLI which means that the card comes with only one SLI connector.