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EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN 2GB dual-GPU Graphics Card Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: EVGA
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 460, gpu, evga, 2win

Specifications and Testing Configuration

The clock speeds and feeds on the EVGA GTX 460 2WIN are going to be pretty much what you would expect; there isn't any out-of-the-box overclocking or anything going on here:

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EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN 2GB Specifications

Each of the GTX 460 GPUs is running at 700 MHz core clock and 1400 MHz shader clock with a GDDR5 memory speed of 900 MHz.  Each GPU sports a total of 336 shader processors and a 256-bit memory bus to a 1GB frame buffer.  That brings the total to 672 shaders, 512-bit memory bus, and 2GB for the whole card with an effective memory bandwidth of 230.4 GB/s and a texture fill rate of 78.4 GT/s.  These are obviously theoretical numbers and we will have to see how the card performs in our real-world tests.

The good news is that we have seen GTX 460 1GB SLI configurations countless times before so we have a good idea of what to expect.  What we haven't looked at before is how a pair of GTX 460 1GB GPUs stands up against the best single card solutions on the market as of April 2011.  Here is the route we are taking:

The GTX 460 2WIN will be going against the best single-GPU graphics cards on the market including even the GeForce GTX 580.  We left the Radeon HD 6990 and GeForce GTX 590 out of the equation simply because the prices were SO MUCH higher than the others listed here; try $700+.  

Also, keep in mind that you can buy a pair of GTX 460 1GB graphics cards and get the same performance and features (though in a larger space) for less money.  A quick check at Newegg indicated that GTX 460 1GB cards are going for as little as $150 with a pair in SLI running only $300.  In fact you can even go the route of a pair of GTX 560 Ti cards which should offer slightly more performance than this EVGA GTX 460 2WIN card for about $50 more: $230 each.

Our benchmarking and testing setup remains pretty much unchanged:

  • Testing Configuration
  • ASUS P6X58D Premium Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-965 @ 3.33 GHz Processor
  • 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz Memory
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB HDD
  • Corsair Professional Series 1200w PSU
  • Benchmarks used: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark11, Metro 2033, Lost Planet 2, Civilization V, F1 2010, Left 4 Dead 2, 3DMark11
  • NVIDIA Driver: 270.61
  • AMD Driver: 11.3

I did run into one hiccup with this card that I thought I should point out: SLI wasn't enabled initially after installing the driver and rebooting:

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This is likely a driver bug of some kind (or maybe it is by design) but be sure you change this to the maximum performance mode to get the multi-GPU scaling you'd expect.

Let's dive into our performance testing and see how the EVGA GTX 460 2WIN stands up to this kind of competition!

April 27, 2011 | 09:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

nVidia stated on their forum you can't run this in SLI with any other card, and the SLI prong on the card was a design error which wasn't fixable before the card went to mass production.

April 27, 2011 | 11:06 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yup, I just got this information from EVGA as well. Updating the article now, thanks for the heads up!

April 27, 2011 | 01:44 PM - Posted by James (not verified)

out of brain picking curiosity, how does 2 460s in sli compare to 2 460 on a card? From what I can gleam from previous reviews of 460s in sli, 2win does better than vanilla sli.

Also, does this card require sli on the board that uses it? Like an AMD board?

April 27, 2011 | 03:20 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It should perform identically to a system running regular old SLI. Hardware-wise there is very little that is different.

As for the chipset requirement - that is another good point! You can use this card on an AMD-based platform without issues!

May 6, 2011 | 08:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you're asking if this particular GPU will work on a AMD board, I say, yes. Because it's two GPUs in one PCB. However, you can't run SLI on a AMD board that is not SLI certified. You can only use one Nvidia card on a non-SLI certified AMD board. Is that what you were asking for? I plan on getting this card, instead of two 6870s.

May 29, 2011 | 01:20 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

In my opinion I think the 2win does better and runs a bit smoother. Ive seen the setup both ways and the 2win wins!!! You do not need a sli motherboard for this card to work. You may need a patch though for the sli on the card directly to work for the second gpu like I did. sli patch 1.42 beta to activate the sli configurations settings in the nvidia control panel.

April 27, 2011 | 02:00 PM - Posted by cyow

Sweat I think me like one.

is it just me or does any one else not real care about power consumption? I look at what the cards going to do for me I never wrong about power consumption.

Temperatures I do keep a bit of a eye on but if it meant have a little more heat to have a great card that a trade off I can make if need. EVGA done a great job on this one. I just hope when I have some money to look getting a new card this is still going to be easy to find.

Great review Ryan thanks.

April 27, 2011 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks!

Yes, for this class of card I think power consumption is less important than PR folks at NVIDIA and AMD want to admit.

April 27, 2011 | 02:33 PM - Posted by HeavyG_TPG (not verified)

Everyone keeps referring to this card as "to win", but I keep calling it "twin" as in twin GPUs. Am I the only one?

April 27, 2011 | 03:22 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Interesting...hadn't thought about that pronunciation.

April 27, 2011 | 04:07 PM - Posted by redcandle

I had the same thoughts Heavy, seems odd that they would 2Win and not try to link it to twin (GPUS).

May 6, 2011 | 08:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Same here guys. Clever idea.

April 27, 2011 | 04:04 PM - Posted by @chefbenito (not verified)

Very good article and interesting card, I do have to say that in EVGA's B-stock listings http://www.evga.com/products/prodlist.asp?switch=20 You can buy a gtx 470 for 209 shipped. With increased frame buffer size and a coming in at about only 10 dollars more. Something tells me that GTX 470s in SLI would would this dual 460 card to shame. I myself have GTX 480s in SLI and am obv in GPU heaven :) -good article guys- extra points for hardest captcha online

April 28, 2011 | 07:36 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks for the comments!

Captcha and commenting SHOULD be better now to. Email me r-s-h-r-o-u-t@p-c-p-e-r.c-o-m if not!

April 27, 2011 | 05:07 PM - Posted by Onzerc (not verified)

People seem to forget the benefits of this card. It is understandable that 2 470GTX in sli or 2 480GTX in sli would out perform this. However, cards in SLI are only 2 monitor Dual link. Also, you can only utilize 2 monitors at a time in any of the SLIs.

With the 2WIN you get to use 4 monitors, and you get tri-link capabilities. An evga administrator had already noted that the 2WIN was faster than 2 460GTX in SLI due to increased clock speeds.

Another big plus, is for many of the AMD users that do not have SLI capable motherboards, they are able to utilize SLI capability and unlock the 3D Vision aspect. Most of the AMD motherboards are only compatible with Crossfire. And for people that only have 1 PCI-E slot on their mobo.

April 28, 2011 | 07:37 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I should note the clock speeds on the GTX 460 2WIN are NOT faster than reference - higher clocked single GPU cards in SLI would likely be faster.

May 29, 2011 | 01:16 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

The gtx 460 2win can overclock pretty nicely too. but A standard gtx 460 comes at 675 mhz while a gtx 2win at 700 mhz. unless you get a overclocked addition from msi or another company then I see your point. I had my gtx 460 2win at 850 mhz stable . I pretty much keep it at 800 oc to keep the heat down but I heard them getting over 900 mhz with voltage tweak. I dont recommend over clocking any of them that high if you want your card to last a longer life. Didnt really see much point to oc to much more than 800 because i most likely already suffering from a slight bottleneck sometimes with my amd phenom II x4 965 3.4 ghz.

July 17, 2012 | 08:44 PM - Posted by rf76cce (not verified)

I am hoping you are correct on the aspect of using this card in SLI mode even though I have a crosfire motherboard. I just ordered one and I am just waiting to receive it. Just wondering where you found the information saying that an AMD Crossfire board could Utilize the SLI on this card. I figured it could be done because it is only in one PCI-e slot. I tried looking on NVidia for more information about it... If you do know where there is more information, please post a link. :) Ty and happy Gamming!

April 28, 2011 | 03:39 AM - Posted by arkanic

It is a nice solution for 1 slot pci-e 16x mb owners and amd guys who wish to try sli and have some modern features on their mb but, it is way over priced ,not even talking about rebate i can get a 1gb 460 GTX for 140.If the price gets near the cost of 2 460's I might consider it.I still pin my hopes on a amd chipset with sli support ,as lucid for the time being has let me down
ps currently i am pronouncing it twin if the price comes in line i shall refer to it as To Win

May 29, 2011 | 01:07 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

The card is a custom card from evga directly. Everything about the card is custom pretty much. The gtx 460 2win out of the box is faster than 2 gtx 460 in sli due to the increased clock speeds. The sli chip on the the pcb also raises the price a little. You have to remember that this card really was targeted for people that don't have sli certified board or just one pci express slot. It a wonderful solution if you dont want to buy a new mobo and have to reload windows. Well with the price in my opinion. you can get a gtx 460 2win for 369 after rebate and I heard of someone getting a 2win as low as 330. A gtx 460 1gig for 140? Must be the worst brand out there because i haven't seen a decent one for under 189.00

April 28, 2011 | 09:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No limited Lifetime warranty on this one. It is a three year one reserved for SKUs ending in 'KR'.

April 29, 2011 | 09:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you order it directly off the EVGA site ($429), they provide a lifetime limited warranty. Authorized retailers are only getting the 3 year limited.

May 29, 2011 | 01:00 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

If you register one before a certain date with evga they are offering a 10 year warranty on it for free right now. Who needs more than 10 years of warranty. It like a lifetime in the gaming industry. Even three is enough really.

April 28, 2011 | 10:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't like how this card has only 1 GB effective memory.

April 30, 2011 | 03:11 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So you can use this SLI internal card on a crossfire MB?
Neat. That is a good selling point. if so I will have to get one. Will the Sli be active or will only one be active?

The 600+ cores alone will keep me ahead for a while. Maxed settings on crysis 2? love to see it in action, lifetime warranty? for sure!
You know for us non-AMD guys- would this card work to bridge the gap for Intel quads?

How does the internal SLi work?

May 5, 2011 | 12:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

answers:

Crossfire board support= YES, kinda you can use one of them
Maxed Setting on crysis 2 = YES
Bridge gap for single slot Intel Boards that want to use SLI NVIDIA POWER = YES
On-board Internal SLI = YES

Cooks Fries and serves popcorn = No but I can do that.

Thanks.

May 22, 2011 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Holy Macaroni I just got this video card on ebay brand new for $330. Yessssssssssssss!

May 29, 2011 | 12:53 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

nice well worth it.. make sure to register the card with evga before the end of June I believe to get your free 10 year warranty

July 13, 2011 | 12:13 PM - Posted by WildCat

Unless they've changed their policy EVGA does NOT honor lifetime warranty on any of their products purchased on eBay. I should know because it happened to me. Can check out my review here--> http://reviews.ebay.com/Lifetime-Warranty-NOT-if-it-apos-s-EVGA_W0QQugid...

September 7, 2011 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I obtained a 10 year warranty with my evga 2win card...

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