Overclocking, Features and Conclusions
Even with the power consumption and the temperatures as they were, we needed to overclock the card to see what else we could stretch out of this cooler and heatsink combination. The results were decent though slightly lower than single GPU GTX 460 cards we have seen recently.
Hitting 800 MHz was as far as I could get without running into stability issues and without the ability to tweak the voltage. Still, a solid 14% frequency increase should result in a good amount of performance improvement for little cost to the user.
The new EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN graphics card performed very well in our series of games and benchmarks, so much so that it should become a favorite for gamers looking for a new GPU purchase. This new card that combines a pair of GTX 460 1GB configurations on a single PCB was able take on the likes of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB and AMD’s Radeon HD 6970 2GB and come out at or near the very top. Though both of those are only single GPU based designs, in terms of pricing and comparisons, they were the best options.
There were several games where the GTX 460 2WIN was actually the fastest of the cards tested: Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Unigine Heaven and the 3DMark tests all put the EVGA custom design at the top of the pack. Other titles like Metro 2033 and Lost Planet had the GTX 460 2WIN performing very well and falling just behind the GTX 580 flagship card at one or more resolutions. Metro 2033 in particular showed a problem with the "small" 1GB frame buffer per card of the GTX 460 2WIN though our other tests ran just fine.
There were also instances like F1 2010 and Left 4 Dead 2 where the Radeon HD 6970 was able to take the top performance spot but was FOLLOWED by the GTX 460 2WIN rather than the GTX 580 card.
Overall, the performance of the EVGA GTX 460 2WIN proved to be quite competitive with the best cards from NVIDIA and AMD under the $600 price point.
If the performance of the card didn’t impress you, then maybe the feature set will. When I concluded in the GeForce GTX 590 review that it was one of the very few graphics card to support four displays and NVIDIA Surround technology on a single card, I knew in the back of my mind that this EVGA offering was going to match those very same features.
We have become accustomed to the great flexibility that AMD users get with support for three displays on every graphics card, 5 on the Radeon HD 6990 and even 6 on the older Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition, and we are glad to see NVIDIA is finally entering that realm. Of course, technologically speaking they haven’t changed anything – this is just one of the side benefits of having a pair of GPUs on the
GTX 590 GTX 460 2WIN.
EVGA’s card does use more power and make a bit more noise than the other three cards but overall nothing in our results screamed to me (literally or figuratively) that this should drastically affect my opinion.
Pricing and Availability
As we mentioned on an earlier page of this review, one of the keys to a custom card like this is pricing. The ASUS ARES HD 5870 card was impressive but very few people wanted to pay $1200 just because it was a fast, custom design. EVGA seems to have taken the better route and priced the GTX 460 2WIN aggressively in the NVIDIA market.
- EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN 2GB – $409
- GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB – $479
- Radeon HD 6970 2GB – $349
- GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB – $329
At $410 or so, the GTX 460 2WIN is a good $70 less than the GTX 580 card that it sometimes outperforms and always offers more features than. At $80 more than the GTX 570, the EVGA card is able to put up enough of a performance delta and feature difference to warrant the price jump.
The Radeon HD 6970 is a bit of a different beast though – it does support 3 displays out of the box and has its instances where it rivals the more expensive GTX 460 2WIN in performance. In my opinion, of the four cards here, the HD 6970 2GB is the GPU that puts up the best overall argument against the EVGA option.
Don’t forget what I mentioned earlier as well: you can buy a pair of GTX 460 1GB graphics cards and get the same performance and features (though in a larger space) for less money. A quick check at Newegg indicated that GTX 460 1GB cards are going for as little as $150 with a pair in SLI running only $300. In fact you can even go the route of a pair of GTX 560 Ti cards which should offer slightly more performance than this EVGA GTX 460 2WIN card for about $50 more: $230 each. Still, the combination of performance and features in the single card configuration that hte GTX 460 2WIN offers seems more compelling to me.
What might have originally looked like a Franken-card being created by EVGA has turned out to be one of the best graphics cards we have reviewed all year. By combining a pair of GeForce GTX 460 GF104 GPUs on a single PCB and pricing it lower than the GTX 580, EVGA has built a card that offers similar performance and more features than NVIDIA’s own flagship single-GPU card. By adding support for four monitors, NVIDIA Surround and 3D Vision Surround to the single card scenario (similarly to the GTX 590), the GTX 460 2WIN card offers up a lot to gamers looking for a graphics solution around $400. Despite the obviously "1337" and cliché name, EVGA has a winner on its hands.