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

Article Index

Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Now that we have all the data, let's take a moment to analyze the numbers. First up, we'll discuss the Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470. Throughout testing, we found this card's performance was comparable to the more expensive HD 5870. Actually, it beat the 5870 in most cases. With a triple fan cooling design, the SOC never got loud, even as we pushed its GPU frequency to 820MHz. While it trailed the GTX 480, it's obvious the SOC GTX 470 is a powerful card that competes directly with AMD's fastest single GPU product, but at a lower cost.

Next, the GTX 460 Hawk from MSI did very well in our testing. It consistently led the HD 6870 in most tests, and had an edge over Zotac's 2GB card. The Hawk was fast, quiet, and ran the coolest out of the three cards we tested, thanks to MSI's superior Twin Frozr II heatsink and dual fan assembly. And although you can run MSI's Afterburner on almost any video card, the triple over voltage option provided by the Hawk is a bonus for users looking to gain an edge while overclocking.

Finally, Zotac's 2GB GTX 460 turned in a decent performance, as it remained competitive with the HD 6870. Although it never surpassed the aggressively overclocked MSI Hawk at higher resolutions, users who require the extra video memory now have a GTX 460 that fills the void. 

The Recommendation:  For $200 - $300, which mid-range GeForce card would we choose for our next build? Strictly from a performance perspective, Gigabyte's Super Overclock GTX 470 has the edge. Within the enthusiast scene, users typically consider the overall muscle of a product above all, followed by cost, design, and accessories. In this regard, the Super Overclock is the obvious choice, if you can afford it. But at $309, it costs almost $100 or 44% more than the MSI Hawk GTX 460. Consequently, we found the SOC GTX 470 was 26% faster than the Hawk throughout our testing. In other words, the GTX 460 Hawk provides 74% of the performance offered by Gigabyte's SOC GTX 470, while costing $95 less. And as you saw with our overclocking results, the performance gap narrows even further once you fire up Afterburner and massage GPU settings. With that said, it's hard to top the MSI Hawk GTX 460 with its new low price, excellent overall performance, and cooling ability. As a result, we're giving it our Editor's Choice award and highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a new graphics card in its price range.



  • MSI Hawk GTX 460

  • Gigabyte Super Overclock GTX 470
  • Zotac GTX 460 2GB


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