ZOTAC GeForce GTX 465 Review 94

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 465 Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The NVIDIA MSRP for the GeForce GTX 465 is $279.
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Solid performance at lower resolutions
  • Native HDMI output
  • GDDR5 memory
  • Support for DirectX 11
  • Support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround
  • Support for CUDA, PhysX and 3D Vision
  • Higher power draw than similar ATI products
  • Falls behind other cards at higher resolution
  • Price seems a bit high
  • DirectX 11 won't be relevant for quite a while
NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 465 shows some interesting benchmark results. Generally it does very well against the competition at lower resolutions but seems to run out of steam once the resolution is increased. I'm not saying that the card gets slower at higher resolutions (what all cards do, obviously), but it does so with much larger steps. For example when compared to the GTX 285 it starts out 7% faster, but once you go up in resolution, that margin evaporates to -11% (1024x768: +7%, 1280x1024: +1%, 1680x1050: -5%, 1920x1200: -8%, 2560x1600: -11%). When compared to ATI's offerings where the direct competition is the HD 5830 and HD 5850, the card sits right in the middle of these two cards performance wise - and price wise. We see the same trend here too, where performance drops with resolution increase. Another benchmark curiousity is that the results seems to differ vastly between benchmarks, sometimes the GTX 465 is much faster than the HD 5850, sometimes it ends up being slower than the HD 5830. The most probable explanation for the benchmark results is the ridiculously low number of texture units on the card, only 44. For comparison, the HD 5850 has 72 TMUs, the GTX 285 has 80. Overall the card offers decent performance for most gamers at lower resolutions up to, including 1680x1050.
If you are not afraid of some manual tweaking then it is easy to gain a nice amount of extra performance by overclocking the card. Whereas the memory overclock was quite disappointing, the GPU itself could reach the same clocks that we have seen on the GTX 480 and GTX 470. There is still the difference of the disabled sections inside the GPU, so gains from overclocking are smaller than on the other GTX 400 cards. In terms of noise, power and heat not much has changed compared to the GTX 470, NVIDIA's latest card simply behaves like a less power hungry GTX 470, proportionally to the performance it delivers.
When looking at pure price/performance, without the requirement of DirectX 11, the AMD HD 4890 and the GeForce GTX 275 seem to be the best deal right now. But if you must have DirectX 11, then the GTX 465 becomes a valid choice. Personally I find NVIDIA's price point of $279 a bit high, something like $249 or $229 would have been more appealing to many users who are torn between ATI and NVIDIA now. On the other hand I am sure that ATI has so much margins on the HD 5830 that a price war would be bad for both companies.
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