MSI GTX 460 HAWK 1 GB 38

MSI GTX 460 HAWK 1 GB Review

Value & Conclusion »


To find the maximum overclock of our card we used a combination of GPUTool and our benchmarking suite.
The overclocks listed here were achieved with the default fan and voltage settings as defined in the VGA BIOS. Please note that every single sample overclocks differently, that's why our results here can only serve as a guideline for what you can expect from your card.

The overclocks of our card are 878 MHz core (12% overclock) and 1050 MHz Memory (17% overclock). These clocks are in line with our expectations for a GTX 460 SKU but not revolutionary. It should also be considered that the card comes overclocked out of the box which already represents 16% core overclock.

Compared to other GTX 460 cards, it seems that the MSI GTX 460 HAWK reaches higher core clocks but slightly lower memory clocks. Typical GTX 460 cards reach 850 / 1060 MHz.

However, MSI has another Ace up their sleeves in the form of their triple voltage control feature. You can control GPU VCore, Memory voltage and PLL voltage.

I did spend some time with it and the maximum I reached was 940 MHz core and 1070 MHz memory. Please be advised that simply dragging the sliders up to the maximum is not the way to achieve such clocks. You have to carefully try moving up and down while testing stability and clocks to reach the right maximum. Changing PLL clock did not do anything noticeable for the clocks.

The range of voltage is quite limited (measured physically at the measure points):
VCore: 1.02 V ... 1.14 V (default) ... 1.24 V (+8.7%)
VMem: 1.47 V ... 1.58 V (default) ... 1.69 V (+7.0%)
PLL: 0.98 V ... 1.08 V (default) ... 1.11 V (+2.8 %)

Overclocked Performance

Using these clock frequencies we ran a quick test of Call of Duty 4 to evaluate the gains from overclocking.

The actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 11.5%.


Temperatures are low, so is fan noise - a very good combination.

Clock Profiles

Modern graphics cards have several clock profiles that are selected to balance power draw and performance requirements.
The following table lists the clock settings for major performance scenarios and the GPU voltage that we measured. We measure on the pins of a coil or capacitor near the GPU voltage regulator.

GPU Voltage
Desktop51 MHz68 MHz0.89 V
Blu-Ray Playback405 MHz162 MHz0.92 V
3D Load781 MHz900 MHz1.14 V
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