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EVGA GeForce GTX 465 1GB Superclocked Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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8x MSAA Testing (Far Cry 2 / Just Cause 2)

8x MSAA Testing (Far Cry 2 / Just Cause 2)


In this section we take a number of games we have tested previously in this review and bring things to the next level by pushing the in-game MSAA up to 8x. All other methodologies remain the same.


Far Cry 2 (DX10)

EVGA-GTX465-56.jpg


Just Cause 2 (DX10)

EVGA-GTX465-63.jpg
 

SKYMTL

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Core Temperature & Acoustics / Power Consumption

Core Temperature & Acoustics


For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at it highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.

For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Vista desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.


EVGA-GTX465-69.jpg

We went into this review thinking the GTX 465 would exhibit the same acoustical profile as the GTX 470 but we were wrong. Instead of being moderately noticeable over the system fans, we didn’t hear a peep out of this new card even though it exhibited extremely good temperatures throughout testing. There are some fan speed increases every now and then but you likely won’t hear them unless you are playing a game without the sound enabled. EVGA’s Superclocked version sports a slightly different fan speed profile as it is actually able to keep things a bit cooler than the reference card.


System Power Consumption


For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well.

Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.

EVGA-GTX465-67.jpg

There is something very important to remember here: TDP is not max board power and vice versa. As such, the maximum amount of power a graphics card consumes can surpass its TDP values and that’s exactly what the GTX 470 and GTX 480 did in their testing. Luckily, the GTX 485 not only runs much cooler but it is much less power hungry than it bigger brothers as well. It still consumes slightly more than the higher-end HD 5870 but its numbers are more in-line with the GTX 285 and GTX 275 than past 400-series cards were. Naturally, EVGA’s overclocked version shows slightly higher numbers but they are nothing to worry about.
 

SKYMTL

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EVGA's Precision & OCScanner / Overclocking Results

EVGA Precision & OC Scanner


EVGA-GTX465-17.jpg

Along with MSI’s Afterburner software, EVGA’s Precision is known as one of the most versatile and user friendly programs around when it comes to overclocking NVIDIA cards. Not only does it allow for real-time monitoring of clock speeds, temperatures, fan speed and other parameters but it also offers robust clock speed adjustments. It this case, EVGA gave Precision a GTX 465 skin which really does make it stand out from the crowd.

EVGA-GTX465-16.jpg

The EVGA OC Scanner meanwhile is currently only available to those of you who own EVGA GTX 400-series products but the functionality it offers is currently unparalleled. Included is a benchmarking and stress testing utility with artifact scanning capability in order for you to test the stability of any overclock done in Precision. It also allows for unlocking of the GTX 400-series’ power consumption characteristics so the card can draw more power than the usual limiters will allow it to. This could in effect push overclocks to stratospheric levels if the right cooling and power supply is used.


Overclocking Results


Using the two tools we described above in addition to our usual stability checks, both the core and the memory of the EVGA GTX 465 Superclock were pushed as far as the default voltage would allow.

Final Clock Speeds

Graphics Clock: 777Mhz
Processor Clock: 1554Mhz
Memory Clock: 3472Mhz (QDR)

Much like the ASUS GTX 465 we tested, the EVGA version seems to be a strong overclocker when it comes to core speeds. The memory could be pushed to acceptable limits as well but once again nowhere near what we had hoped. Nonetheless, as you can see below the performance jump is significant.

EVGA-GTX465-76.jpg


EVGA-GTX465-77.jpg
 

SKYMTL

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Conclusion

Conclusion


With NVIDIA roaring back into the market, we were expecting the see a flurry of new releases and the GTX 465 1GB is only the latest in what will surely be a long list of new products. With it, NVIDIA is hitting directly at the $200 to $300 price bracket where ATI currently has two GPUs: the HD 5830 and the HD 5850. With a $60 price difference, the two ATI cards have a yawning price gap separating themselves and this is exactly where the GTX 465 is supposed to strike. At $280 ($300 for the EVGA Superclocked edition) and packing significantly less CUDA cores than the GTX 470, NVIDIA’s newest card does perform extremely well in certain scenarios but it falls short in others.

When you take a cross-section of all the results, it is hard not to come away impressed with what NVIDIA have accomplished here. The GTX 465’s overall performance at or below 1920 x 1200 in DX11 applications is stellar to say the least even though there are a few missteps. What impressed us the most was NVIDIA’s clear dominance in some applications (DiRT 2 and Aliens vs Predator with AA enabled) which ATI pushed when the HD 5000-series was first released. Power consumption is also down significantly over the GTX 470 which results in decreased heat and in turn an all-round quieter experience than other GTX 400-series cards are able to provide.

Unfortunately, NVIDIA’s $280 card has some shortcomings which contribute to it being unable to provide the all-round performance that ATI’s $300 HD 5850 is well known for already. This $20 difference between the two cards may imply near-equality and some does exist but for the most part the HD 5850 has its way with the lower-end NVIDIA card. As such, a small $20 investment buys you a whole lot more graphics card. To make matters even more interesting, EVGA has priced their Superclocked model at $300. Usually a $20 price premium for a pre-overclocked card sporting a lifetime warranty would be perfect but in this case the initial price of the reference version is too high to begin with. The result is the EVGA GTX 465 Superclocked edition fighting a losing battle against the HD 5850 from a price, performance and power consumption viewpoint.

While the GF100 architecture seems to be more efficient than the competition when it comes to tessellation, the large number of high detail meshes required for these DX11 draw calls do need a large amount of bandwidth. This is something the GTX 465 just doesn’t have all that much of. The caching system on newer NVIDIA cards can only go so far and with the this card so obviously starved for all things memory related, performance may very well suffer in future applications. It seems this limitation reared its ugly head in high detail games like Just Cause 2 and even Metro 2033 where the GTX 465 had issues keeping ahead of some cards it should have beat clean away.

What the GTX 465 does is highlight the many strengths and potential weaknesses of the Fermi architecture’s scaling. On the positive side it is great to see a cut-down, lower-priced GTX 400 card made available so soon after the initial launch. However, one rung down from the GTX 470’s 320-bit memory interface is a narrow 256-bit bus that would normally be shored up by higher memory speeds as ATI’s HD 5800-series has demonstrated. That didn’t happen and for whatever reason the GTX 465 is saddled with shockingly low clocked GDDR5. The result is high resolution performance that’s routinely beaten by an HD 5830.

There is no denying that the EVGA GTX 465 1GB Superclocked exhibits all the hallmarks of a great product that is backed up by a stellar lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, EVGA has been backed into a corner by the $280 starting price of a reference GTX 465 and ended up releasing a pre-overclocked card that can’t quite compete against a similarly-priced HD 5850. Granted, NVIDIA’s other technologies like CUDA and 3D Vision do add value to any card they release but CUDA now has ATI’s surging Stream to contend with and 3D Vision support requires yet more hardware to be bought. We just hope NVIDIA’s board partners can start finding ways to cut down the price of these cards because they could be exactly what people have been waiting for.


Pros:

- Excellent DX11 performance at or below 1920 x 1200
- Significantly less power hungry than a GTX 470
- Quietest of all the GTX 400-series so far
- Included Just Cause 2 game at certain retailers
- Hard launch with cards ready to ship
- Lifetime warranty
- Included 6 foot mini HDMI to HDMI cable
- Unique, well-written programs like OC Scanner included


Cons:

- Equals the price of the HD 5850 but doesn’t equal the performance
- Inconsistent performance in some games
- Still power hungry when compared to the competition



 
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