Gtx 460 se overclock: Overclocking Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460

Overclocking Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460

GeForce GTX 460 768MB Overclocking

The cheaper of the two GTX 460s is the 768MB version, which has a 192-bit memory interface rather than the 256-bit of the GTX 460 1GB. This means that there are fewer active memory controller units in the GTX 460 768MB GPU; the fewer the sub-units in a chip, the less to flake out when overclocking, so we expected the GTX 460 768MB to overclock further than the 1GB version. That said, the greater amount of memory (quite a few games want to use 1GB) and fatter memory interface of the 1GB version might still give it the edge over even an overclocked GTX 460 768MB. We were therefore looking forward to a session in the labs to see what would happen.

By incrementally increasing the clock speed of the GPU and memory we found the maximum stable speeds of our EVGA card. The results were mind-boggling.

Our GTX 460 768MB was insanely overclockable, with extremely high frequencies easily attainable. Our final GPU overclock took it from 675MHz to 858MHz, with the stream processors therefore overclocked from 1,350MHz to 1,716MHz. This is a huge overclock — 27 per cent. While not every card will hit these lofty heights, manufacturers have already started releasing cards with clock speeds as high as 800MHz — this bodes well for the general level of overclockability in the GTX 460.

The GDDR5 memory was also very overclockable. Unlike system memory, graphics memory can make a large difference to game performance — the overclock from 900MHz (3.6GHz effective) to 1,095MHz (4.38GHz effective) represents a relative large 22 per cent boost, and netted us a healthy increase in performance.

It was relatively easy to hit this massive 20-odd per cent overclock with the GTX 460 768MB card. Click to enlarge

Most graphics card overclocks give only small increases in performance, which meant we expected more of the same with the GTX 460. However, we were taken aback when we saw the results — the overclocked GTX 460 768MB was significantly faster than at stock speeds. The minimum frame rate increased by 4fps to 19fps while the average increased by 6fps to 32fps at 1,680 x 1,050. Not only did this mean that the GTX 460 powered past its 1GB namesake, but it also outpaced the considerably more expensive, £270 GeForce GTX 470.

  • Overclocked Nvidia GeForce 460 768MB (£150)
  • Nvidia GeForce 470 1,280MB (£270)
  • Nvidia GeForce 460 1GB (£185)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB (£230)
  • Nvidia GeForce 460 768MB (£150)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 1GB (£190)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5830 1GB (£175)
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What was more impressive was that the GPU temperature was extremely low with this overclock applied. The card peaked at a delta T 40oC, which is much lower than other cards in the same price range. Furthermore, whilst the fan was almost at full speed (according to GPU-Z), it was reasonably quiet and was barely louder than our CPU cooler.

Conclusion

Overclocking the GTX 460 768MB proved very fruitful, with a large jump in performance that made our £175 EVGA card faster than a £270 GTX 470. The overclock was straightforward to apply – MSI’s Afterburner worked flawlessly, and by using Crysis we could stress both the GPU and memory and problem-spot failed overclocks quickly.

However, the best result from our testing was that the maximum overclock can probably be run every day – it’s not just a theoretical maximum that we hit with the use of many case fans and a set of noise-mufflers to protect our ears. The fan remained quiet despite the overclock and the GPU didn’t heat up much either. That many manufacturers have started shipping GTX 460s with a core frequency of 800MHz or more indicates that our sample card is indicative of how overclockable GTX 460s are, rather than ours just being freakishly good. If you’ve got yourself a GTX 460 card by now, it would be criminal not to overclock it.

1 — GeForce GTX 460 Overclocking Intro2 — GeForce GTX 460 768MB Overclocking3 — GeForce GTX 460 1GB Overclocking

How to overclock the GeForce GTX 460

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Overclocking the GeForce GTX 460 is quick and easy

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Is Nvidia’s new Geforce GTX 460 the finest pixel pumper you can buy?

It’s certainly the most cost effective performance graphics card of the moment. But did you know it has hidden performance reserves ready and waiting to be unlocked?

Put simply, the GTX 460 overclocks better than any high performance in recent memory. Here’s how to overclock the GeForce GTX 460.

1. Tool up

Overclocking the GTX 460 is easy. Even better, it’s free. All you need is a pair of software tools, one to tweak the card’s settings, the other to make sure they’ve been properly applied. A number of options are available to achieve the first.

Our current favourite is MSI’s Afterburner utility. It’s a nicely put together app which makes all the necessary controls available and provides a handy visual aid in the form of graphs which track changes in frequency and operating temperature – and yes, it does work on non-MSI boards. The other item you want GPU-Z, the essential tool for identifying and analysing graphics chips.

2. Getting to know you

Fire up Afterburner and you’ll be presented with a number of sliders for settings including core voltage, core clock, shader clock, memory clock and fan speed. However, GTX 460 features vary from vendor to vendor and some options may be greyed out.

At bare minimum, the core and memory clock will be available. Frankly, that’s all you really need. In any case the following warning applies to all cards. Safe overclocking is all about baby steps. In other words, only make changes in small increments. We’d recommend increasing the core clockspeed in steps no larger than 25MHz.

3. Crank up the clocks

The drill goes something like this. Knock the core clock slider up by 25MHz, hit apply, confirm in GPU-Z and then hop into your favourite game. If all is well, jump back to Afterburner and rinse and repeat until you begin to see weird artefacts in-game or your PC crashes. Then do it all again for the memory.

As for the core voltage, dicing with that is more hazardous to your card’s health. We’d steer clear unless you know what you are doing. Overclocking mileages will vary, but we’d be surprised if your GTX 460 didn’t hit a core clockspeed of at least 825MHz. That’s a boost of around 25 per cent. Nice.

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Folk Trinity. GeForce GTX 460 1024MB, GTX 460 SE, GTX 460 768MB (page 2)



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