Mid-Range NVIDIA GPU Battle: GTX 460 vs. GTX 470 - HotHardware

Mid-Range NVIDIA GPU Battle: GTX 460 vs. GTX 470

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You have to love competition. With the release of AMD's affordable HD 6870 and 6850 graphics cards, the folks over at NVIDIA decided to respond with a move of their own. In case you missed it, the same day the Radeons launched, NVIDIA dropped the price of their mid-range GeForce products to gain a competitive advantage in the market, and more importantly, to try an rain on AMD's parade. And when it comes to price wars, you won't hear us complaining.
 
Even before the Radeon launch, the GTX 460 was getting a lot of industry attention for being fast and affordable, with tons of overclocking headroom to spare. If you're planning a new system build or just want to upgrade your graphics performance, there are more options than ever at this specific market segment. DX11 cards are in full bloom, and we can only benefit from the NVIDA vs. AMD battle going on, especially with the holiday season coming up.


Today we're looking at a trio of video cards designed to give enthusiasts like you the best bang for your buck. These factory overclocked GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards are from Gigabyte, MSI, and Zotac. Each one has taken the original reference design from NVIDIA, and gone a step further so consumers have additional options to choose from. In addition to higher GPU speeds set by the manufacturer, they provide unique features such as improved cooling solutions, customized PCB layouts, and higher memory capacity. Read on to find out how well they perform, and if one of them has what it takes to be your next upgrade.



Overclocked NVIDIA GeForece Mid-Range GPU Battle
Let's Get It On!

Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470
700 MHz Core / 837 MHz Memory
$309*
MSI Hawk GTX 460
780 MHz Core / 900 MHz Memory
$214*
Zotac GTX 460 2GB
710 MHz Core / 900 MHz Memory
$269*

 

                 * Current street pricing


When compared to reference design models, these cards command a higher price due to their improved features and performance. The Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470 sells for $309 at the moment, considerably more than a stock GTX 470, which we've seen as low as $239. MSI's Hawk GTX 460 can be purchased for $214, a relative bargain in its own right, but price cuts have brought reference design 460s down to $159. The Zotac GTX 460 2GB is one of only two cards that offer more than 1GB of on board video memory on a GTX 460. It goes for $269 and targets users who want the larger frame buffers to better handle high resolutions. Now let's take a closer look at each one to see how they differ and how much of a boost you can expect to see from them in various benchmarks.

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I'm split. Right now I'm interested in dropping money in a system that'll be future-proof. So I don't have to spend money to buy the latest graphics card or something for about 4-8 years.

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First, let me say thanks HH, for another great review. Your work led me to change my mind as to what I'll be buying soon. I appreciate it too.

TaylorKarras:
I'm split. Right now I'm interested in dropping money in a system that'll be future-proof. So I don't have to spend money to buy the latest graphics card or something for about 4-8 years.

The future seems to changing faster and faster these days. Technology that is 4-8 years old usually has hair growing on it at that age. Look at the rate of advances just in the last 2 years and what do you see? It's night and day out there. I think that "Future Proof" is getting harder to do all of the time.

I've been looking at the 6870's over the past week and almost decided on them too. But the mighty little GTX460 seems to take them down too often. It's overclocking capabilities seem to be very good too. Then, there is Cuda and Phys-X to consider, and that's only gonna be enabled on the NVIDIA offerings.

So I'll buy a pair of  the MSI 1GB GTX460's and put them into an SLI configuration and let the future take care of itself. It should work out fine for me, but I'll expect it to be replaced in around two years.

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Go with one of the absolute highest end cards like the Asus ARES then, that's what I would do instead of looking at one of these mid-range cards. But personally, I would also want something that would support CUDA if/when it becomes a bigger player.

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AlanH:

Go with one of the absolute highest end cards like the Asus ARES then, that's what I would do instead of looking at one of these mid-range cards. But personally, I would also want something that would support CUDA if/when it becomes a bigger player.

I was considering that but then came the rumors about the Radeon HD 6990 and the GeForce GTX 580. If these cards are as faster as they say they are (the Radeon's in tessellation performance especially.) then I'll just buy one of those, hook them up in SLI and then I'll be future proof, the downside being that I have to get a loan to be future-proof.

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The GTX 580 isn't a new generation.  It is a tweaked GTX 480 with all cores (512) active.  I wouldn't expect anything super wonderous from it, but you never know.

The HD6970 is what I'm really interested in.  I much rather single card solutions over SLI/Crossfire or dual cards.

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InfinityzeN1:
It is a tweaked GTX 480 with all cores (512) active

If they're having heating problems with the 480's already, then what's a supercharged one gonna do? I'd never be one to buy this right after it's released. I'd wait to see what it does for (or to) it's owners first.

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realneil:
If they're having heating problems with the 480's already, then what's a supercharged one gonna do? I'd never be one to buy this right after it's released. I'd wait to see what it does for (or to) it's owners first.

Don't forget about the ridiculous power consumption. I swear if I had 2 of these babies in there my power bill would be up the roof.

I'm hoping the GTX580 will have lower power consumption then the GTX480, with a TPD of 244W I'm hoping it'll come through.

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Both of my planned MSI 1GB GTX460's together in SLI use less power than 1 GTX480 does, and the combination gets better benchmark reviews too. (they're less money as well)

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Well it is a respin on the core (the 110) so you never know.  However, there is no die shrink involved.  Of course, they did do a good job with the 460 respin.  Taking that into account, I still see it as hot and power hungry.  Were it relates to the 480 though will come down to how good their respin is.

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I can also attest to using MSI boards in my own and quite a few other builds

and have not have any issues regarding reliability and stability.on builds several old.

Found that pretty hard to beat with for the performance /price ratio as well.

Really nice unbiased review  so I would go with MSI on this one simply because of the performance /price , twin cooled and lower power requirements.

The review surprised me as to how much hotter the Gigabyte card ran overall = power draw. hence the good review......thanks

So would def recommend and install in a clients build ..MSI Hawk GTX 460 .. clock it  set it and forget it .done !  great performance & cool

On the other hand for myself  I  might go with the Gigabyte 470 card for the  higher clocks since  I may change the clock profiles occasionally [single card only]


But in reality  at checkout I would go with the MSI Hawk GTX 460.

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