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MSI GeForce GTX 460 Cyclone 768MB OC Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Just Cause 2 (DX10)

Just Cause 2 (DX10)


Just Cause 2 has quickly become known as one of the best-looking games on the market and while it doesn’t include DX11 support, it uses the full stable of DX10 features to deliver a truly awe-inspiring visual experience. For this benchmark we used the car chase scene directly following the Casino Assault level. This scene includes perfectly scripted events, some of the most GPU-strenuous effects and lasts a little less than four minutes. We chose to not use the in-game benchmarking tool due to its inaccuracy when it comes to depicting actual gameplay performance.


1680 x 1050

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1920 x 1200

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2560 x 1600

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Messages
12,841
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Metro 2033 (DX11)

Metro 2033 (DX11)


There has been a lot of buzz about Metro 2033 which has mostly centered on its amazing graphics coupled with absolutely brutal framerates on even the best GPUs on the market. For this test we use a walkthrough and combat scene from The Bridge level which starts at the beginning of the level and lasts for about 5 minutes of walking, running and combat. Famerates are measured with FRAPS and Advanced PhysX is turned off.


1680 x 1050

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1920 x 1200

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2560 x 1600

MSI-GTX-460-OC-66.jpg
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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12,841
Location
Montreal
Unigine: Heaven v2.0 (DX11)

Unigine: Heaven v2.0 (DX11)


Unigine’s Heaven benchmark is currently the de-facto standard when it comes to simple, straightforward DX11 performance estimates. While it is considered a synthetic benchmark by many, it is important to remember that no less than four games based on this engine will be released within the next year or so. In this test we will be using a standard benchmark run with and without tessellation enabled at three resolutions,


1680 x 1050

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1920 x 1200

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2560 x 1600

MSI-GTX-460-OC-74.jpg


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Joined
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Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
8x MSAA Testing (BF: BC2 / DiRT 2)

8x MSAA Testing (BF: BC2 / DiRT 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.

BattleField: Bad Company 2 (DX11)

Note that 8x MSAA is enabled via the game’s config file for the NVIDIA cards since it is not a selectable option within the game menu

MSI-GTX-460-OC-42.jpg


DIRT 2 (DX11)

MSI-GTX-460-OC-49.jpg
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Joined
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Messages
12,841
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Montreal
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)

MSI-GTX-460-OC-56.jpg


Just Cause 2 (DX10)

MSI-GTX-460-OC-63.jpg
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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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.


MSI-GTX-460-OC-69.jpg

The temperatures we saw throughout the testing process were simply incredible. There really is not other way to describe it. However, we’re not seeing acoustical performance sacrificed for decreased temperatures since the Cyclone stayed amazingly quiet as well.


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.

MSI-GTX-460-OC-67.jpg

Power consumption is as expected for an overclocked GTX 460.
 
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SKYMTL

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Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results


Using the MSI AfterBurner utility in addition to our usual stability checks, both the core and memory of the GTX 460 Cyclone were pushed as far as the default voltage would allow.


Final Clock Speeds

Graphics Clock: 868Mhz
Processor Clock: 1736Mhz
Memory Clock: 4252Mhz (QDR)

MSI-GTX-460-OC-76.jpg
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Messages
12,841
Location
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Conclusion

Conclusion


There really isn’t much to say about the MSI GTX 460 Cyclone that hasn’t already been said about these new GF104 cards. It embodies all of the qualities we have come to expect from the GTX 460 (performance, excellent pricing, relative efficiency and more) and adds a healthy clock speed increases as well a custom heatsink. To say this card merely succeeds in its goals is a massive understatement.

The real star of this show is of course the Cyclone heatsink; while the reference cooler is good, this one MSI installed is simply awe-inspiring. Granted, it exhausts all of the core’s heat into the general vicinity around the card but as long as you have sufficient airflow within your case, this should be of no concern. Performance was also quite good with the increased core speed bumping framerates to somewhere between the stock and higher clocked cards.

Considering the fact that EVGA’s Superclocked edition had previously shown us how an overclocked card should perform, seeing MSI take a bit more pedestrian approach was a bit disappointing. We understand that not every card needs to reach stratospheric speeds in order to be appealing but it would definitely have been nice to see at least a moderate increase to the memory clocks on the Cyclone. The result is overall very good but we do see this MSI card running out of wind in some tests where additional memory bandwidth is sorely needed.

Another standout here is price. A mere $10 more expensive than the reference version is absolutely astounding considering the high end heatsink and increased overall performance that walk hand in hand with the Cyclone. We also love the fact that MSI allows Canadian residents to RMA their cards within Canada instead of having to send them on a lengthy journey south of the border.

Even though it isn’t the highest performing GTX 460 we have looked at, the 768MB version of the Cyclone is a good card with a simply incredible heatsink. In addition, its overall value is literally second to none. As such, it receives our Dam Good Value Award.


Pros:

- Very good performance
- High end heatsink
- Quiet
- Excellent price for this type of card
- RMAs stay within Canada (for the Canadians reading this)


Cons:

- Memory should have joined in on the overclocking fun
- Heat from the cooler stays in the case



<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Storage/F120/DGV.gif" border="0" alt="" />


http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...60-cyclone-768mb-oc-review-comment-thead.html
 
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