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Roundup: 14 GeForce GTX 460 1 GB cards!
by Damien Triolet
Published on February 16, 2011

Gigabyte GTX 460 SOC
After the excellent Gigabyte OC model, Gigabyte is now marketing an SOC version, revised for higher clocks. This GeForce GTX 460 SuperOverClock is on sale at €210 with clocks of 815 MHz for the GPU and 1 GHz for the GDDR5 memory against 675/900 MHz for the reference card.

The card

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 SOC is based on a PCB that has an entirely redesigned power stage. In addition to better quality components, it now has 6 phases for the GPU rather than 3, which should avoid too much pressure here at high clocks. This more complex power stage takes up more space and so the PCB has been lengthened from 21 to 24 cm.

At the back of the card, note the Nec-Tokin Proadlizer, a chip which replaces a whole lot of decoupling capacitors, used to reduce electronic noise, and facilitates implementation of higher clocks. Still looking at the back of the PCB, a small LED comes on for each GPU phase.

Although the cooler still uses two fans, as with the OC model, it has been entirely revisited. The radiator, which is bigger, has a copper base and 4 heatpipes running off it. With 6 phases, the power stage components suffer less and Gigabyte has therefore been able to remove the small radiator dedicated to the power stage, especially as some air is expelled straight towards them.

In contrast to all the other cards tested, this card uses Samsung memory certified at 1.25 GHz.

The bundle
As Gigabyte delivered the card to us on its own, without its box or packaging, we don’t know exactly what the bundle contains. It is however probably similar to the OC model bundle, namely: a CD for the drivers, a manual, a user guide, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor and 2 double molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertors.

Gigabyte guarantees this model for 2 years in Europe.

Infrared thermography

Graphics card at idle.

Graphics card in load.

System at idle.

System in load.

In spite of significant overclocking, the GeForce GTX 460 SOC is very well cooled, both in idle and load where it benefits from having a 6 phase power stage. It never gets any hotter than 85 °C where other cards, even cards which aren’t overclocked heat up over 100 °C.

Temperature and noise readings

The GPU is well cooled. Not much hot air is expelled from the casing, which has an impact on the temperature of the other components in the system. Although the card is very quiet at idle, in load it's slightly noisier than the reference card.

Our opinion
Gigabyte has brought out another excellent GeForce GTX 460. This SOC, or SuperOverClock, model benefits from very high clocks without excessive temperatures and noise, thanks to a sturdy power stage.

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