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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...

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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