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Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 1 GB Review: Zotac Puts Fermi On A Diet

Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 1 GB Review: Zotac Puts Fermi On A Diet
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We've already crowned Nvidia's GeForce GTX 480 the fastest (and most power-hungry) single-GPU card we've ever seen. Now the company is launching its GeForce GTX 465, based on the same massive GF100 GPU. Can such a complex part compete with AMD's value?

GeForce GTX 480, Nvidia’s flagship, is already a bit of a derivative GPU. Its 480 CUDA cores represent almost 94% of the GF100’s full capacity, and the 448-core GeForce GTX 470 is almost 88% of GF100 running at full force (GF100 being a 512-core GPU, of course).

Today, Nvidia is both launching and making available a third card based on the 3+ billion-transistor GF100 GPU. Equipped with 352 CUDA cores, that’s a little more than two-thirds of the chip’s compute resources turned on. Using those numbers alone, we can actually get pretty close to determining how the GeForce GTX 465 performs, too. It turns out that if you average our benchmarks scores at 19x0x1200 for both cards with anti-aliasing turned on, the GeForce GTX 465 is about 66% as fast as the GTX 480.

But CUDA cores aren’t the only resources that get cut in this California budget crisis-style haircut. The GeForce GTX 465 also sits down to the table with 44 texture units and four ROP partitions capable of outputting thirty-two 32-bit integer pixels per clock. The card’s memory interface drops as well, from 320-bits on the GeForce GTX 470 to 256-bits here, hosting 1GB of GDDR5 memory.

New Kid On The Block

The GeForce GTX 465 is the high school freshman of the discrete graphics market, trying to figure out where it fits in. Nvidia is slapping a $279 recommended price tag on the card, suggesting that, in the face of $290 and $300 Radeon HD 5850s, this card is a potent performer with a strategically-lower price to draw in enthusiasts.

But we already know that the GeForce GTX 470 does battle with the Radeon HD 5850, definitely offering better performance for an extra $50 or $60. Crap. We haven’t even started in with benchmarks and this is already looking like an awkward movie moment.To be fair, Nvidia maintains that the GeForce GTX 470 hits a price/performance sweet spot in the 400-series lineup. The GeForce GTX 465 isn't intended to challenge that.

So where does the GeForce GTX 465 fit in? Is it designed to do battle with the Radeon HD 5830—a card that didn’t get us particularly hot and bothered back when it launched in February? Although the Radeon HD 5830 doesn’t offer significantly more performance than an older Radeon HD 4890, at least it’s available for $220 or so.

According to Nvidia, the GeForce GTX 465 slots right in between the Radeon HD 5850 and 5830. But with a price tag that creeps right up into the 5850’s business, the new card’s performance needs to be much closer to the GeForce GTX 470 than a first glance at specifications suggests it’ll fall.

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  • 0 Hide
    Silmarunya , 31 May 2010 22:25
    The pricing is what you'd expect given the 465's performance, so for the first time in years, Nvidia GPU's are fairly priced compared to their ATI rivals. But that's the only good thing I can say about this card..;

    It's yet another display of Fermi's weakness: hot, loud and power hungry while offering similar performance per euro (or dollar if you prefer) to the ATI cards. That's sad, as in this generation Nvidia really has to be cheaper than ATI to stand a chance imo.

    CUDA has its use in niche situations, but that's about it. 3D? Honestly, who uses it? I don't and don't want it either and many GPU buyers are with me it seems. PhysX is nice, but its real world impact limited.

    So why buy Nvidia this generation? Unless they re-release every Fermi GPU, but with better power saving in place, I think it's safe to say this generation is a failure.
  • 0 Hide
    mactronix , 31 May 2010 23:41
    Looking around other GTX 4650 reviews it seems this one has either been very unlucky with the choice of games used for benchmarks or very specific.
    Either way while the price is high, as was the 5 series at launch but then the extras that only enthusiasts would have cared about were lauded while the extras on offer here similarly will appeal to the enthusiast get the cold shoulder.
    Bottom line folks take this with a grain of salt and go read some better reviews Guru 3d do a SLI test and the scalling is out of this world.

    Mactronix
  • 0 Hide
    Silmarunya , 31 May 2010 23:45
    mactronixLooking around other GTX 4650 reviews it seems this one has either been very unlucky with the choice of games used for benchmarks or very specific. Either way while the price is high, as was the 5 series at launch but then the extras that only enthusiasts would have cared about were lauded while the extras on offer here similarly will appeal to the enthusiast get the cold shoulder. Bottom line folks take this with a grain of salt and go read some better reviews Guru 3d do a SLI test and the scalling is out of this world. Mactronix


    While AnandTech posts similar results to Tom's for example. Every review should be taken with a grain of salt, but the majority is negative, which is a good indicator it actually is a poor piece of hardware.

    Yes, Fermi scales brilliantly in SLI, that's another good point. But that's if you have a case that can keep them cool, a PSU that can keep it fed and a motherboard with 3 or more slots (with two slots you have to put them close to eachother, a bad idea with hot hardware).

    And besides, SLI is used by a small minority. Most people, including me, prefer a single high end card.
  • 0 Hide
    mactronix , 1 June 2010 01:03
    Comes down to who you trust though dosent it, Some sites are well known to lean one way or the other.


    Mactronix
  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , 1 June 2010 05:04
    Xbit's (usually seen as unbiased mainly because they have a ton of data) review shows a similar picture (usually well under the HD5850 even when OC'ed [no HD5830 to compare]) with many many more tests, and same drivers, with the only major diff being THG using the 6/12 core/thread 980X instead (not that most games will notice the difference).

    Looks pretty similar overall, especially in reviews that don't rely on synthetics and rely on actual games general outcome is +/- HD5830 performance.
  • 0 Hide
    ksampanna , 1 June 2010 23:24
    The author's right. Nvidia has priced this gpu out of the market.
  • 0 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , 2 June 2010 15:26
    Why didn't you bother benchmarking it against any GTX 2x0 cards? we knew it would be slower than the 470/480. What we need to know is is it faster than a GTX-275/285/295/etc, I don't want to pay extra for a 465 just to find out it uses less power and has lower performance than a 200 series....
  • 0 Hide
    Silmarunya , 2 June 2010 21:22
    jamesedgeuk2000Why didn't you bother benchmarking it against any GTX 2x0 cards? we knew it would be slower than the 470/480. What we need to know is is it faster than a GTX-275/285/295/etc, I don't want to pay extra for a 465 just to find out it uses less power and has lower performance than a 200 series....


    Compare the power of the 470/480 or of a comparable ATI card with that of the 2XX series...

    The 285 is slightly slower than the 5850, which is significantly faster than the 465, meaning it should be roughly in the middle of the 285 and 275. But buying an Nvidia 4XX series doesn't make sense anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , 6 June 2010 22:45
    SilmarunyaCompare the power of the 470/480 or of a comparable ATI card with that of the 2XX series...The 285 is slightly slower than the 5850, which is significantly faster than the 465, meaning it should be roughly in the middle of the 285 and 275. But buying an Nvidia 4XX series doesn't make sense anyway.


    depends what games you play, in Farcry2 and WoW the 5850 is behind the GTS-250 and in HAWX its slightly ahead of the GTX-260 and those are three of my fav games