in: Graphics Card | September 12, 2010 | by: Oik Yusuf Araya

NVIDIA GTX 460 SLI – Easy on the Wallet, High on Performance

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460 has been creating lots of fuss lately, but there’s a good reason for it. The GPU is served in two flavors: a 768 MB model, costing around US$ 199, and a 1 GB version coming with a price tag of about US$ 229. Both offer excellent performance for their price range. So, naturally, gamers all over the world are so itching to get their hands on one of these. We haven’t seen a card so interesting since the time of the venerable GeForce 8800 GT.

A single GeForce GTX 460 graphics card packs enough computing power to run all but the most demanding games with acceptable frame rates. We found such case with Metro 2033, one of the few games in which it couldn’t score anywhere near the 30 FPS mark.

So, if one is not enough, how about adding another for an extra boost of speed? We will show you just how much performance improvement you can expect from a pair of GeForce GTX 460 in SLI mode. First, let’s take a look at the technical details of both versions of GTX 460. For comparison purposes, we also brought in NVIDIA’s latest flagship, the GTX 480, which also happens to be the fastest single-GPU solution available today.

Specification

NVIDIA GTX 480 NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB NVIDIA GTX 460 768MB
Codename GF100 GF104 GF104
Fabrication Process 40 nm 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 3.2 Billion 1.95 Billion 1.95 Billion
Die Size 529 mm² 320 mm² 320 mm²
Core Clock 700 MHz 675 MHz 675 MHz
Stream Processors 480 336 336
Shader Clock 1401 MHz 1350 MHz 1350 MHz
Texture Units 60 56 56
ROPs 48 32 24
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Size 1536 MB 1024 MB 768 MB
Memory Clock (effective) 3696 MHz 3600 MHz 3600 MHz
Memory Interface 384-bit 256-bit 192-bit
DirectX Version 11 11 11
Shader Model 5 5 5
Power Connectors 8-pin + 6-pin 2x 6-pin 2x 6-pin
Min Recommended Power Supply 600 W 450 W 450 W
Bus Support PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16

SLI Setup

In order to run your system in SLI mode, you need a pair of identical GeForce cards. Also, since the additional card would require an extra PCI-Express x16 slot, make sure you have at least two of those on your motherboard. SLI options are available on motherboards based on Intel’s Series 5 chipset or AMD boards based on the nForce chipset.

To connect the two graphics card, you will need an SLI Bridge like this one.

You will also need a power supply with at least four, 6 pin PCI-Express connectors.

After installing the driver, open the NVIDIA control panel and select the “Maximize 3D Performance” option in the “Set SLI and PhysX Configuration” menu to enable SLI mode. There, you’re now set for some dual graphics actions.

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