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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The first GeForce graphics card we're looking at today is from Taiwan based hardware manufacturer, Gigabyte Technology. Well known for their motherboards, Gigabyte has expanded their product line up to include cases, coolers, power supplies, notebooks, and peripherals as well as graphics cards. During the past couple of years, we have seen a steady stream of reference and overclocked versions of video cards from both ATI and NVIDIA featuring Gigabyte logos. And here we get our hands on the latest release from the Super Overclock line.  


Gigabyte GTX 470 Super Overclock Graphics Card

 Gigabyte Super Overclock
 Specs and Features

Model
GV-N470SO-13I

Core Clock
700 MHz
   
Memory Clock / Size
837 MHz / 1.28 GB

Ports
Two DVI
One HDMI
Accessories
OC Guru Overclocking Utility
User Manual
Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable
DVI to VGA Adapter
Molex to 6-pin PCIe Power Adapters

Warranty
3 years

Price

$279

Gigabyte offers three different models based on the GTX 470. The base model follows the reference design from NVIDIA, sporting a dual slot, single fan cooling solution, and offers a core clock of 607MHz. We've noticed Gigabyte is normally a cost leader when it comes to their stock cards, and that's the case here. This product goes for $249 and is currently one of the most affordable GTX 470 available. There's a slightly overclocked model that bumps GPU frequency to 630MHz, and sells for $299. Of course, the fastest of the group is the Super Overclock model. As we find with almost every Super Overclock card that lands in our test bed, this one provides the highest GPU frequency available in its class. With a core clock frequency at 700 MHz, and memory at 837 MHz right out of the box, no other GTX 470 on the market can touch it.




The Super Overclock GTX 470 features a dual slot cooler with three fans sitting on a very long heatsink. We normally don't see a video card sporting three fans, but the SOC GTX 470 is able to pull it off mainly due to its extended length of 11", compared to the stock version at 9.5". Gigabyte claims this design aids in heat dissipation and is quieter. In addition, three copper heat pipes carry heat from the center of the heatsink to other areas. Like the reference design, this card requires two 6-pin PCI Express connections from the power supply.  



Furthermore, the card comes with a small bundle of accessories. Gigabyte includes two Molex to 6-pin PCI adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter, and a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. Of course, there's also an installation guide and utilities disk included.

 


On the disk, Gigabyte bundles its OC Guru software. This is an overclocking and monitoring utility  that provides three profiles for quick configuration: Gaming, Standard, and Power Saving Mode. In addition, you can modify core clock, memory clock, GPU voltage, memory voltage, and fan speeds independently, along with the ability to save up to two profiles. OC Guru also displays GPU temperature and allows for OSD adjustments.

 

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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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