Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB review

The only £200 graphics card to buy

Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB
The £200 mid-range marvel

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GTX 460 reverse

In performance terms, this new card is all about the full-fat 1GB version as opposed to the semi-skimmed 768MB GTX 460.

You can see from the benchmarks the Zotac GTX 460 1GB edition is by far and away the fastest spin of this new card in any performance metric you care to throw at it.

EVGA's stock GTX 460 768MB though doesn't suffer too much by comparison, but for only a touted extra £20 for the larger memory pipes you'd be crazy not to save just that little bit longer for the better card.

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 close to 8fps.

Admittedly this is running the benchmark on its highest settings with 4x AA at the eyeball-aching resolution of 2560x1600, and these cards are not meant to be plugged into monitors with that sort of native res.

That said, the fact the 1GB card can manage it, and beat AMD's top single-GPU DirectX11 card, the HD 5870, while it's at it is impressive.

Indeed, in comparative terms, Zotac's card is easily on par with, and in most performance metrics faster than, AMD's HD 5850. And that's a card that's far more expensive still. EVGA's 768MB card though does fall some way short of the Radeon.

Overclocking friendly

One of the most impressive things about the GTX 460 in general is the overclocking potential. There is a huge amount of headroom in this chip and combined with the full 1GB GDDR5 the performance is there too.

With the overclock applied to it,the card was no longer levelling its sights at the likes of the HD 5850 and its GTX 465 brethren, it was pointing both barrels directly at the formidable shapes of the HD 5870 and GTX 470.

I couldn't quite get the card much past 800MHz compared to its 675MHz stock clock, and it was almost hitting 70 degrees at full load, but seeing such performance in a £200 card is incredible.

The GTX 470 is bested by this overclocked 1GB card across the board and the HD 5870 can just about hold its head up high only thanks to its performance at the top resolutions.