The lack of graphics memory grunt is most evident when you come to compare the tessellation-heavy Heaven 2.0 framerates. The Zotac GTX 460 comes in at a thoroughly respectable 13 frames per second, while the 768MB EVGA card struggles to even get up to 8 fps.
The issue with the 768MB version is the fact that it is running at the very limit of its graphics memory capabilities if you throw too much graphical work its way.
The cut-down 192bit memory bus is horrifically limiting at the higher resolutions and introduces a bit of a bottleneck at the lower end too.
The saving grace for the GTX 460 768MB cards though lies in the overclocking headroom available to it. If you avoid the high resolutions the card isn't specced to run at then a simple overclock will garner you the sort of framerates a stock-clocked 1GB card can manage.
I managed a hefty 175MHz boost to the core clockspeed and 200MHz on the memory clock.
At those speeds the EVGA GTX 460 768MB card was running quite happily under the reference cooler, still only hitting 57degreesC at full graphical load.
The fanspeed too stayed pretty constant, barely raising a whisper despite the heavy pixel-pushing grunt it was being expected to run.
The difficulty is the full-fat 1GB version of the card is reportedly only £20 more expensive than the cut-down model and delivers far superior results.
Sure the overclocking headroom in the 768MB card is immense, but so it is with the 1GB version too. The only chance the 768MB card has is with system integrators hoping to save a few quid on a rig build.
Though if there are supply shortages of the more memory-heavy GTX 460 then the 768MB card could stand a chance.
Which is more than can be said for the poor GTX 465. Poor thing…
The massive overclocking headroom is a huge bonus for a sub-£200 card. EVGA's cards carry a full three year warranty so long as you register the unit at purchase, which is as good a reason as any to opt for EVGA's version over the others.
The fact the GTX 460 1GB card is only £20 more than this memory-hobbled version makes it tough to recommend the 768MB card.
Even with a standard 22" monitor the extra memory of the marginally more expensive card will still pay dividends.
We can't see past the 1GB version of the GTX 460 when it comes to these cards. It's got the same huge headroom for overclocking and a far more capable specs list to boot.