Fermi done right? Absolutely.
As good as it gets? Possibly.
Why are we hedging our bets at all? Well that has to do with the price point. While the GTX460 (all flavours) certainly brings the fight to AMD for the first time since the launch of the Radeon HD 5000 series we are still painfully aware that most graphics cards will be sold in the sub £100 space. Looking at nVidia’s current ‘budget’ range, you can see that the 220 is a steaming pile of dung, while the GTS250 has been a serious competitor and certainly a thorn in AMD’s side since it launched. With YOYOTech and others selling the 1GB GTX250 at just over £100, regular gamers are being asked to spend almost double to enjoy the GTX460/Radeon HD5830 experience. This becomes a value-judgement.
From KitGuru’s point of view, this is a cracking product. The superclocked, 768MB EVGA GTX460 is the best nVidia card to hit the market since October 2006. It represents a four-year high. Bold statement? Maybe, but let’s break that down for you, so you understand we are writing from the head and not the heart.
Out of box performance? Great. Stands toe to toe with the closest Radeon card and wins in almost every situation.
Overclocked performance? Very impressive. 10 minutes of tweaking and the superclocked, 768MB EVGA GTX460 will give the Radeon HD 5850 a run for its money. It doesn’t beat the 5850, but its close enough that you’d forget the additional £50 you saved.
Build quality, stability and noise? Class leading. It looks good, works well and does its job with a minimum of dBA fuss.
Will this be the best GTX460 card? Probably not. And that’s a scary answer if you’re presently selling Radeons for AMD. Despite all of the great performance figures we’ve shared with you, it’s obvious that the memory configuration is slightly choking performance. Another 256MB of ram on a 256-bit interface and this card’s performance will jump up again – which is exactly what the 1GB version will deliver.
KitGuru Labs has seen that performance scales almost 1:1 with the GPU’s core speed. So if EVGA decided to cherry pick a small batch of ‘queen GPUs’, fit a water cooler and clock it even higher – then performance would seriously max out and the HD5850 would need to be careful ‘picking up the soap’.
KitGuru says: If nVidia’s engineers had not encountered so many issues with Fermi over the past 2 years, and Jen Hsun’s card had been real last September, then AMD would be on the run right now. But the world is a strange place. We’ve gone round the sun one more time and, in the seasons that have passed, nVidia has missed a lot of opportunities to sell – while watching AMD’s market share increase. Things will get more competitive through to Q4 this year, but nVidia has got to be ready for a revamped Northern Islands range that will move the bar much higher. For now, Jen Hsun and Co should pat themselves on the back and enjoy what EVGA has done for them with this stunningly good card. Superclocked, 768MB EVGA GTX460? It rocks!
Update: GTX 460 768MB Superclocked gets 2 years warranty plus 8 years further warranty on registration.