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

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

A Card Unlike Any Other

Introduction

In all honesty, there aren't many graphics cards that really get our attention these days.  There are GPUs that do that - releases like the Radeon HD 6990 and the GeForce GTX 590 get our juices flowing to see what new performance and features they can offer.  But in terms of individual vendor-specific designs, there are very few that make us "perk up" much more than just seeing another reference card come across the test bed.  

The ASUS ARES dual-5870 card was probably the last one do to that - and for $1200 is better have!  EVGA is ready with another card though that definitely made us interested, and for a much more reasonable price of $419 or so.

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The EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN is a custom built card that combines a pair of GTX 460 1GB GPUs on a single PCB to create a new level of performance and pricing that we found was unmatched in the market today.  And even better, the features improved as well by utilizing the power of both GPUs in an SLI configuration.  

Read on and see why the GTX 460 2WIN might be my new favorite graphics card!

A Unique Card Design

While the basic idea of the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2WIN is easy to grasp, let's take a closer look at the card and see what design options the company took and what lies under the hood.

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The GTX 460 2WIN is just a bit longer than the GeForce GTX 590 but is shorter than the Radeon HD 6990 - if you have a very small case you will want to make sure it can fit the 11.5-in length.  There is a set of three fans that blow on a pair of heatpipes we'll show you later as well.  

You can see along the PCI Express slot that model number of "N460X2-LF" that gives us the idea that there might have been a time when NVIDIA was going to offer this design to more than one vendor.  

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Each of the two GTX 460 GPUs is given 1GB of memory and you can see half of each GPUs capacity on the back of the card but without any kind of heatspreader at work.  

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There is a single SLI connector on the card indicating that you can push the envelope even further with a second GTX 460 2WIN card for Quad SLI support or adding in another GTX 460 single GPU card.

UPDATE: After getting some feedback from EVGA on this, it turns out the SLI connection on the card is not actually working at this time.  I asked if/when it might be enabled but haven't gotten a response on it yet.  A commenter on this article actually pointed out that NVIDIA indicated in its own forums that the inclusion of the connector was a mistake completely but it was too late to have them removed.  So...it turns out you are likely going to have to stick with the performance of the GTX 460 2WIN as is.

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This board is pretty power hungry though as it requires a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connections and EVGA is recommending a 700 watt PSU!

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This is one of the cooler parts of the GTX 460 2WIN card from EVGA - there are three dual-link DVI outputs and a single mini-HDMI output, all of which can be used at the same time without any adapters or dongles.  NVIDIA Surround and 3D Vision Surround are supported as well making this one of only a handful of NVIDIA options that can do so with a single card.  

As we will see in our testing, the GTX 460 2WIN offers performance similar to that of the GTX 580 card, for less money, while offering support for 4 displays (rather than two) which should really move the card up on enthusiasts' lists.  

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Removing a handful of screws reveals the three relatively quiet fans cooling the pair of heatpipe based coolers underneath.  The coolers themselves are a nice black-ish finish that fit in well with the rest of the card design.

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Taking the heatsinks off shows us the bare PCB underneath and the dual GTX 460 GPUs slathered in some thermal paste.  Oddly, the far edges of each GPU are untouched which would seem to be counterproductive to getting the most efficient cooling out of the card but it didn't affect our performance at all.

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The GPUs are your standard GF104 offerings that stand up well to modern competition like the GTX 500 series and Radeon HD 6000 series.  To pair the two GPUs together in an SLI-on-a-card configuration EVGA is using the NVIDIA nForce 200 PCI Express bridge chip that we have seen doing this same job for years and years.  

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Along the top of the card, right in the middle, the GTX 460 2WIN actually has an EVGA logo that lights up courtesy of an LED, in a very similar fashion to the GTX 590 does with its NVIDIA logo.  Since we knew about the EVGA GTX 460 2WIN before the GTX 590 was released, I am going to give the "originality" nod to EVGA here...

May 23, 2011 | 10:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this will be the unicorn of video cards capable of running most applications for the next 5 years, while single cored gpu's will fail within 2-3.

May 25, 2011 | 08:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

With this GTX 460 2 WIN- Crysis 2 extreme settings- so smooth it is hard to believe. Much better than other game software written for single core GPU, like fable 3, 460gtx 2 win can run it good, but there's frame dragging on the highest settings, which would likely dissapear if you got the GTX 590, but I don't have an extra 300 to toss at that, better to just kick it down a setting and wait for other game developers to catch up with crytek and go full multi-core CPU and GPU support. Thanks EVGA!

May 29, 2011 | 03:51 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

I never had any slow downs with the gtx 460 2win on crysis 2. Had it maxed on extreme with vsynch on which removes any tearing. Never went below 50 - 60 fps. Which is more than enough to look buttery smooth. I dont get why people bash crysis 2 . I think it looks better than crysis 1 personally. If they used the made crysis 2 nin the forest two im sure it would seem to have more detail. I could also guarantee that with cryengine 3 it would look significally better than crysis 1.

May 29, 2011 | 03:46 AM - Posted by morphling1977 (not verified)

The gtx 460 2win performs better than two gtx 460 due to the increased clock speeds on the gtx 460 2win. I would like to also mention that for some reason when I installed the gtx 460 2win I had to install a sli patch 1.42 bet for it to recognize the card for enabling sli in the nvidia control panel. Enable sli for the dual gpu on the card not sli for two seperate cards. Not sure if this was because my board was not sli certified and I only have one pci express slot on my board. Just make sure to enable it in the nvidia control panel even though it sees both gpus when you install the latest nvidia drivers 270.61. You should have an option for sli an physics configuration and yo would set it to maximize 3d performance.

November 14, 2011 | 12:54 AM - Posted by Rudolph (not verified)

What a waste.
If the core can’t process information fast enough, doubling a card’s memory allotment won’t improve performance. Meanwhile, if bandwidth isn’t sufficient for the GPU’s output, a faster graphics engine will have no effect.

July 22, 2012 | 10:40 AM - Posted by salim (not verified)

it is the most buitufle grphique garde

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