A few days ago, Nvidia announced GTX 460 cards which are now available at €176 (768MB, 192-bit memory interface) and at €210 (1GB of memory, 256-bit memory interface).
Gamers who can’t afford pricier Nvidia DirectX 11 cards will find the small, quiet and powerful GTX 460 to be a great deal. The card is based on the Fermi architecture-based GF104 and is made with mid-range market in mind. GF104 has less transistors and runs cooler, and it definitely beats the crippled versions of GF100.
We tested 2-way SLI with two EVGA GTX 460 768MB cards – one of the Superclocked, the other running at reference clocks. We first showed results of the GTX 460 SLI at reference clocks, and we did that by downclocking EVGA’s Superclocked to reference clocks. Note however that this step is done automatically as the case of two cards at different clocks running in SLI will automatically result in the faster card downclocking to match the slower card. We then show GTX 460 SLI results at Superclocked clocks, which we made by using EVGA’s Precision to overclock the reference card to 763MHz for the GPU and 3800MHz for the memory.
As far as performance goes – this is not a good day for the GTX 480 as it loses to GTX 460 SLI at reference clocks, with Superclocked clocks extending the advantage for additional 10%. Performance scaling compared to a single card is really nice and our today’s SLI runs up to 98% better than a single card. The only weakness the GTX 460 768MB SLI showed was 2560x1600 resolution, where the advantage over the GTX 480 was lost. This is a direct result of the smaller frame-buffer.
Those sensitive to noise will simply love our today’s setup – it runs much quieter than a single GTX 480.
If you want to use three monitors but consider yourself exclusive to Nvidia, then SLI is your only option. Two GTX 460 768MB cards are priced at about €360, which is €40 less than what the GTX 480 goes for. So, if you’re keen on some high-end gaming, we’d very much advise you to think about two GTX 460 cards because our today’s test shows that this is probably the best deal Nvidia currently offers.