A quick look at the performance benchmarks on the previous page tells you almost everything you need to know about EVGA's GTX 460 FTW Edition. It is simply the fastest GTX 460 you can buy.
The Zotac card comes in with a clockspeed of 810MHz and the MSI with a not inconsiderable 780MHz. The EVGA card's core speed of 850MHz drags though it past the competition. It's not a massive speed boost, only a couple of frames per second at most, but it's enough to give it the 'fastest' accolade.
That's not to say though that it is the fastest GTX 460 full stop.
When you factor in overclocking it's not a bad card thanks to the specifically picked GPU, but because it's still lumbered with the more basic reference cooler it can't be pushed that far.
The winner in the overclocking stakes is still the MSI GTX 460 Hawk.
Thanks to it's excellent Frozr II twin-fan, cooling technology the Hawk is able to go much farther than EVGA's FTW, and stay cooler doing it.
The EVGA card was hitting a rather concerning 80degreesC under full load, while even when hitting a lightening-fast 925MHz core speed the MSI card was only hitting 54degreesC at most.
That brings up the question of whether the FTW card can really last running that hot, but EVGA is committed to its products with a 2 year limited warranty covering this factory overclocked chip.
At the top levels of the GF 104's capabilities though the margins are slight. The Hawk may be faster than the FTW when it's overclocked fully, but again we are only talking by a few frames per second.
But as I said before, that's still enough to make that the fastest.
There is also the fact that despite how incredibly easy, and how relatively safe, it is to overclock your GPU, there are still very few of us that will actually make the effort to delve into the card's innards and tweak.
Far more of us will spend the extra little bit of cash on a pre-overclocked card to take the hassle out of it for us. And if you've got a well ventilated case then the EVGA FTW Edition will do the business for you and no mistake.
If you're running a machine in a smaller case though, with more limited airflow then you might want to reconsider. And if you've got more than a passing interest in getting your hands dirty overclocking then the GTX 460 Hawk from MSI is still my recommendation for these factory-overclocked cards.
The FTW Edition, despite the rather ridiculous, MMO-inspired 'For The Win' acronym, is still the fastest out-of-the-box GTX 460 card around. It churns through the benchmarks beautifully, and in SLI trim the performance will be incredible.
Unfortunately the heat created by the cooked chip is not inconsiderable either.
The stock cooler just doesn't have the same sort of heat-dissipation capabilities as the superior third-party cooler on the MSI Hawk.