Asus has a tendency to release a variation of models for each graphics card but their high-end ones are often referred to as 'top' cards.
In this review we look at Asus version of Nvidia's GTX 460 1gb, the ENGTX460 Directcu Top. Not only does it come with its own custom cooler in blue but also with a factory overclock.
Looking at it you can see that immediately that it has been overclocked, the engine clock has been increased from 675Mhz to 775MHz giving it a 100MHz overclock from the start, as well as it given a memory overclock of 1000MHz from the standard 900Mhz. Given this 460's are meant to overclock really well so we will have to see how far it can go.
Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Bus Standard PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory 1GB GDDR5
Engine Clock 775 MHz
Shader Clock 1550 MHz
Memory Clock 4000 MHz ( 1000 MHz DDR5 )
Memory Interface 256-bit
D-Sub Max Resolution 2048 x 1536
DVI Max Resolution 2560 x 1600
D-Sub Output Yes x 1 (via DVI to D-Sub adaptor x 1 )
DVI Output Yes x 2 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output Yes x 1 (via DVI to HDMI adaptor x 1 )
HDCP Support Yes
Board Dimensions The card size is 9.8” x 5.03” inch
DirectX® Support 11
At first the box shows us that it comes 115% overclocked being the top model and that it features their DirectCU heatsink design.
Now to look at the card, it shows the predominant blue colour with stripes that only comes with this model but with a black PCB. It gives me the impression that Asus put the stripes there to make people think it can go quick but still fits in with the design. You can notice their copper heat-pipe design also known as DirectCU. With the fan on top blowing cold air onto the heatsink expelling the air mainly into the case but this shouldn't be a problem with how cool 460's are. This mid-range Nvidia card is powered through two 6 pin PCI-e connectors.
Looking at their DirectCU design shows us the big copper heat-pipes, keeping it nice a cool and again the blue covering that only the top model offers.
Asus ENGTX460 1gb Top
Intel Core I7-920 @ 4GHz
Asus Rampage II Extreme
Coolermaster RealPower M1000
6GB G.Skill Trident
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Since there is a price premium on this model you expect it to be able to overclock well, the factory overclock is good but we should be able to push it a lot further. Using MSI afterburner without touching the voltage we were able to push to 880MHz on the engine clock and 1050Mhz on the memory, giving it a considerable overclock. If we were to raise the voltages it could probably be pushed a lot further since the one I have been testing is only running at 0.875v. Throughout the tests the card has been constantly quiet and has never gone above 65 degrees which is quite impressive. Now the results have been put against previous oc3d results since I have a similar system to give you an idea how well it performs compared to others available.
3D Mark Vantage
3D Mark Vantage allows us to assess just how well the 460 performs compared to other cards in today's markets. An overall mark of P18729 with an overclock is not too bad for this little card, it's matched very close to the 6950.
3D Mark 11
Due to me not having the full version of 3D Mark 11 I am unable to assess it through using the extreme settings. Using 3D Mark 11 allows us to assess just how well these cards perform using DirectX® 11, while making heavy use on shader abilities. When overclocked it is not too far off the new GTX560 Ti.
Unigine allows us to test the cards tessellation performance, as well as watching some good graphics. Like 3D Mark 11 it is not too far off the GTX560 Ti when it is overclocked, for the price it seems worth it.
Alien vs Predator
This visually appealing graphics just shows us how much performance this card actually has, again by keeping up with the GTX560 Ti when overclocked.
Crysis Warhead Gamer
Crysis is big for testing graphics out as it very visually demanding. The 460 is at the bottom of the group but still performs well.
Far Cry 2
Not sure why but they seem to out perform the GTX560 Ti but shows that they can give up to an average of 80frames per seconds.
Giving an average of 21frames per second when overclocked is not the best but for the price they are worth it.
Not forgetting folding @ Home these cards are value for PPD and many of the Redline Folding @OC3d team use them. Remember if you want to join its team 98860 and if you need help there are plenty of us to do so.
Asus are one of the biggest companies and they have really made sure this card is nice and cool and quiet as well as a really good performer. Now this card is really worth it, if you are after a quick card under the £170 budget this can be the one to go for, I have even see it go for as low as £145 but you do pay a premium for this card, if it was £145 for this card then I would award it a 10 for price but the current price is £170 so I'm having to give it a 7.
The DirectCU cooler may allow the heat to be released into the case but these cards do not run hot, I didn't see it go above 65 degrees through all the testing, I wish I could say the same for my I7 920 which was reaching as high as 85degrees with my Thermaltake frio but that's off subject, there cooler is a good design which works really well and the blue colour just adds to their presentation, giving it a 9 for presentation.
This card can overclock really well and if we were to add some more volts it could go even further but even before that it allows it to match against the GTX560 Ti in a lot of the benchmarks which is impressive, especially with the price difference, and this is why I have awarded it a 9 in performance.
Price - 7
Presentation - 9