Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 OC review

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Setup | Noise | Power consumption | Heat levels


Hardware installation

Installation of any of the GeForce GTX 460 cards is really easy. Once the card is installed and seated into the PC we connect the two 6-pin PEG power connectors to the graphics card. Preferably your power supply is compatible, most PSUs after 2008 have these connectors as standard:

  • GeForce GTX 460 needs two 6-pin PEG connectors
  • GeForce GTX 460 SLI needs four 6-pin PEG connectors.

Preferably the PEG headers come directly from the power supply and are not converted from the 4-pin Molex peripheral connectors.

You can now turn on your PC, boot into Windows, install the latest NVIDIA Forceware driver and after a reboot all should be working. No further configuration is required or needed.


Power consumption

inno3d-IMG_2007.jpgLets have a look at how much power draw we measure with this graphics card installed.

The methodology: We have a device constantly monitoring the power draw from the PC. We simply stress the GPU, not the processor. The before and after wattage will tell us roughly how much power a graphics card is consuming under load.

Our test system is based on a power hungry Core i7 965 / X58 based. This setup is overclocked to 3.75 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results). On average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, water-cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc.
Keep that in mind. Our normal system power consumption is higher than your average system.

Measured power consumption

  1. Advertised GeForce GTX 460 TDP = 150W (768MB) 160W (1024MB)
  2. System in IDLE = 169W
  3. System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 372W
  4. Difference (GPU load) = 203 W
  5. Add average IDLE wattage ~ 25W
  6. Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 228 Watts

Mind you that the System Wattage is measured from the wall socket and is for the entire PC. Below a chart of measured Wattages per card.

The 1024MB models have more active ROPs and memory to feed, their power consumption as such is a little higher. Next to that you can clearly see that the faster clocked models have a higher power consumption. This Inno3D card definitely topped them all, likely some more GPU voltage was applied, we think we received an early sample and some BIOS tweaking needs to be finalized.

Here is Guru3D's power supply recommendation:

GeForce GTX 460

  • On your average system the card requires you to have a 500 Watt power supply unit.

GeForce GTX 460 in SLI

  • A second card requires you to add another ~200 Watts. You need a 700 Watt power supply unit.

There are many good PSUs out there, please do have a look at our many PSU reviews as we have loads of recommended PSUs for you to check out in there. What would happen if your PSU can't cope with the load?:

  • bad 3D performance
  • crashing games
  • spontaneous reset or imminent shutdown of the PC
  • freezing during gameplay
  • PSU overload can cause it to break down

The graphics card cooler performance examined

Let's have a look at the temperatures the reference based custom cooler offers.

We now fire off a hefty shader application at the GPU and start monitoring temperature behavior as it would be when you are gaming intensely and continuously, we literally stress the GPUs 100% here, as you can see in the graph.

Graphics card (reference) Load TEMP C
GeForce GT 240 512MB 47
eVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB 56
MSI GeForce GTX 465 Cyclone OC 58
Radeon HD 5570 1024MB 60
Gigabyte  GeForce GTX 460 768MB 60
HIS 5850 iCooler Turbo 61
MSI GeForce GTX 465 1024MB Cyclone OC 64
eVGA GTX 460 768MB SC edition 65
GBT R5870 SOC 68
Radeon HD 5670 512MB 70
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 72
Zotac GTX 460 1024MB 72
Radeon HD 5750 1024MB 73
Palit GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum 74
Radeon HD 5870 1024MB 75
Radeon HD 5850 1024MB 77
Radeon HD 5830 1024MB 78
GeForce GTX 465 1024MB 79
Inno3D GTX 465 1024MB OC edition 81
eVGA SC GTX 465 1024MB 81
GeForce GTX 275 896MB 82
Radeon HD 5970 2048MB 83
GeForce GTX 285  83
GeForce GTX 260 SP216 84
GeForce GTX 480 nw BIOS 88
GeForce GTX 470 94
GeForce GTX 480 reference 95

Above, an overview of peak / maximum measured temperatures in comparison with other cards. These temperatures with your average game will typically be lower.

This card ran 32 degrees C in IDLE and stressed it reached 81 degrees C, which confirms my suspicion. The board we received was rushed out to us, and as such, BIOS tweaking needs to be done. Temps, wattage and noise levels will go down with the finalized product for sure, as right now we see results that are out of the ordinary. Yet they still fall within safe limits.

We measured at a room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. These products now run at 81 degrees C (roughly). IDLE temps where hovering at 31 and 35 Degrees C. Overall very respectable results

Noise Levels coming from the graphics card

When graphics cards produce a lot of heat, usually that heat needs to be transported away from the hot core as fast as possible. Often you'll see massive active fan solutions that can indeed get rid of the heat, yet all the fans these days make the PC a noisy son of a gun. I'm doing a little try out today with noise monitoring, so basically the test we do is extremely subjective. We bought a certified dBA meter and will start measuring how many dBA originate from the PC. Why is this subjective you ask? Well, there is always noise in the background, from the streets, from the HD, PSU fan etc etc, so this is by a mile or two an imprecise measurement. You could only achieve objective measurement in a sound test chamber.

The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That's why we measure the dBA level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement. Frequencies below 1kHz and above 6kHz are attenuated, whereas frequencies between 1kHz and 6kHz are amplified by the A weighting.

Jet takeoff (200 feet) 120 dBA  
Construction Site 110 dBA  Intolerable
Shout (5 feet) 100 dBA  
Heavy truck (50 feet)  90 dBA  Very noisy
Urban street  80 dBA  
Automobile interior  70 dBA  Noisy
Normal conversation (3 feet)  60 dBA  
Office, classroom  50 dBA  Moderate
Living room  40 dBA  
Bedroom at night  30 dBA  Quiet
Broadcast studio  20 dBA  
Rustling leaves  10 dBA  Barely audible

For each dBA test we close the PC/chassis and move the dBA gun 75 cm away from the PC. Roughly the same proximity you'll have a PC in a real-world situation.

The 1GB version of thee GTX 460 runs hotter and as such the cooler RPM goes up alright. This means that the card is more noisy than the 768MB models. We measure 43 DBa when the GPU is massively under stress. This means you can clearly hear the cooler. It however is not an annoying noise level. To put it in words, you can hear the airflow but no other residual noises ore anything bad. We'll classify the noise level as 'okay'.

If your PC is in IDLE or you are working in desktop mode then DBa levels drop back to 36~37 Dba, a noise level you will not be able to hear whatsoever.

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