When I started reviewing the GTX 460 WHDI I literally forgot how much fun the GTX 460 really is, I mean surely I would have liked to see this technology on the GTX 560, hence why we included the perf results of that one in the benchmarks, but the performance of the GTX 460 1GB models is just really well suited in the mid-range segment. Using the GTX 460 makes the product a little cheaper, and in return you get WHDI.
But let's have a look at a small video where we make a wireless connection.
Hey ladies -- handsome fellah huh ? I'm not good at videos and have the cute Dutch accent so forgive me, but it does make a clear point on how well the technology works I'd say.
So the overall game performance and features of the GTX 460 WHDI are of course baseline on par with the reference product, but that's quite an okay performance as you guys know. Overclocking wise you'll hit roughly 840 MHz (coming from 675 MHz) quite easily. And if you are balsy enough to voltage tweak the GPU a little (very possible) then we expect to see you breaking the 900 to 950 MHz threshold as well. You'll be doing so at very low noise and heat levels as not once our card peaked over 62 Degrees C.
So yeah ... performance / tweaking wise the card is a heck of a lot of fun -- but sure, I would have liked to have tested a GTX 560 WHDI and not the 460.
The little red thread definition of the basis and thesis of this article is of course WHDI, the implementation from the KFA2/Galaxy design team really works nicely. I mean, sure it does look a little weird to have 5 antennas sticking out of your graphics cards, but ironically it's also what your friends will spot, see and sympathize with as it really is something special. And we like that, its special.
WHDI in the sense of the wireless signal works pretty darn well. Advertised you get 100 Ft / 33 Meters at your disposal to work with. Now we can't 100% concur how exact that figure is, as a lot of the distance available to you will depend on how cluttered your 5 GHz band is. For example if your neighbors all love and use Wireless N routers, that might hinder the signal.
However, we have a 5G enabled router as well, and our network is cluttered and smeared with wireless signals yet that did not stop this solution to break through one concrete iron bar enforced floor and a distance of roughly 10 meters. In this environment we had a flawless signal.
Impressive stuff. I like the sheer innovation and technology here. I do struggle a little with the fact of who might actually be interested or need a solution like this. It's darn handy for presentations, gaming, showing photo's and watching a movie -- but once you sit in front of the telly ... how are you going to operate the PC ?
Well there's where the USB Hub pass-through comes in. Your graphics card can be connected to the USB port of the PC, and on the receiver box you can plug in a wireless dongle for keyboard mouse, brilliant idea! Unfortunately at this very moment that feature is not yet implemented officially giving the product a kind of disabled feeling. Initially we had the PC transmitting the signal one floor above us ... but without input control, you can't do anything other than watching at the screen unless you have a powerful RF keyboard/mouse combo of course.
Now, we have played arround with a beta Firmware upgrade for the receiver box and once you have the mouse and keyboard going, you'll gain a nice smile on your face alright as it does work. We can't stress enough that R&D needs to hurry up and issue a public firmware update as without that feature, functionality IMHO comes to a grinding halt. You hear that R&D fellah ? PRIORITY number 1.
Other than that there will only be minor inconveniences really, install a fresh driver and select 1080P. That is pretty much the baseline of knowledge you'll need to have to configure this device. And once setup, though not perfect ... it will amaze you in terms of signal quality. I'd rate the wireless quality 9 out of 10 points, as subjective as that really might sound.
Then there's the simplicity of the WHDI solution at hand, that's just magnificent. You install the graphics card, you connect the WHDI box to the telly through HDMI and boom ... you have signal. yeah, I can't say it enough, it is that effortlessness that I like very much.
What's also good is that it is transmitting audio as well, but that does come with a few limitations. Dolby Digital 5.1 is properly supported, but DD Plus and True HD will be outputted as core AC3 in 5.1 channels. Now that might be a limitation for some, but really it's still fantastic 5.1 audio. So yeah, you can hook up the device to an AV receiver over HDMI and then pass it onwards to the telly. Of course you'll need to setup your playback software properly for this to get activated.
One concern does come to mind, security. You have no influence over how secure data is transmitted, and while the box and the card make a handshake and that signal is 128-bit AES encrypted, we do wonder "what if" -- the neighbor had a similar receiver box as well. Can he or she activate it and get your monitor output ? Some might be hindered by that knowledge, others just do not care. Fact remains that the chances of someone else picking up your data-stream properly are what ... a million to one ?
Well there you have it. If you need good solid functionality like shown today, then we can definitely point you to the GTX 460 WHDI. It's great innovation and perhaps a sign of what's to come in the future, is not yet perfect but I was sincerely impressed by the overall quality on the HDTV and sure, the range. The R&D team needs to get cracking with the USB pass-through though and get that functionality public asap, once that is properly supported this invention will be sheer brilliance. Pricing wise we can't know exactly just yet what the premium will be but expect it will not be cheap.
There, that's it. I'm done for today ... gonna watch me some movies transmitted wirelessly, somehow I have the sudden urge to watch the Alien Trilogy again !
More info on this card can be found at KFA2 right here.
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