ASUS_GTX_465_intro2.jpgImageAs one would expect, after the new GPU and the models based on it have been presented, NVIDIA traditionally presents the next step in the mainstream direction. Up to now, that’s usually been models which offer marginally weaker performance at a much more accessible price. Just remember GeForce 8800GTS 320 MB, which was very popular upon premiering on the market, with the mere difference of half the memory of the stronger model present on the card, both based on the G80 chip. However, things aren’t looking as bright for the Americans this time around. GeForce GTX 480 and 470 were tremendously late, and disappointed a little in terms of performance even then, bearing the initial expectations in mind. Speaking of which, many expected GTX 465 to be an excellent graphics card, although we must admit that we were a bit sceptical. After the release of official specifications, our doubts only became more profound. No, performance wasn’t the issue, we were only trying to establish the chances it would have on the market as an all-rounded product.

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If you concentrate on this particular element of the official specs, the GF100 chip doesn’t seem to be too “crippled” of a GPU. Yet the situation is a bit worse than it may seem, since, besides the lack of 160 CUDA cores compared to the stronger model, the number of ROP units has been reduced by 50% down to 32, which is the main guilty party for the performance drop. Texture units are also poorer here, the number being cut down by 16, which is around 25%. Cheaper models also tend to cut on the price by cutting on the memory department, and GTX 465 is no exception. The memory bus width has been nearly halved compared to GTX 480, which has around 178 GB/s, while the new model pulls no more than 103 GB/s, with its 256-bit bus and a somewhat slower GDDR5 memory. With a specifications list such as this, it’s clear that GTX 465 would have to be significantly slower than the “House of Lords”. Simply put, the texture fillrate has had to suffer a backdrop, and this is usually the first thing that impacts game performance. Power consumption seems decent, nothing out of the ordinary, although greater than what the direct competitor in the form of Radeon HD 5850 requires. Knowing that the 250 W-declared GTX 480 could go well over 300 W, we were very interested in seeing how GeForce GTX 465 would turn out to be.

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The largish packaging contains cables, documentation, accompanying adapters and little else to attract your attention. The card is practically the referent model, different only by the cooler sticker. The cooling system of GTX 465 itself is almost identical to that of the GTX 470 model. This means that the plastic cover hides aluminium ribs, riddled by five heatpipes, and contains DirectTouch technology, which means that heatpipes are in direct connection with the GPU surface, eliminating the flat surface of the cooling body as the basis. The turbine fan isn’t too noisy, and the few slits on the back of the PCB ensure better air intake. The fan isn’t set up too aggressively, which ensures moderate noise levels even under maximum load. If you own a quality soundproof enclosure, it’s likely that you won’t even get to hear GTX 465.

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The core of this card is the previously described version of the GF100 processor, with reduced performance and referent clocks. It’s made in the 40 nm production process, and since it’s a derivative product, not an entirely new GPU, it’s clear that the cooling had to remain the same as on GTX 470. The interesting thing is that the installed memory is signed by Samsung and declared to only 1 ns, which means that it can work at a clock of 1 GHz, or 4 GHz effectively. This was enough to get our hopes up as far as overclocking is concerned.

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ATI Radeon 5830 ASUS GeForce GTX 465 Sapphire Radeon 5850
1680x1050 4xAA 16xAF
3DMark Vantage GPU High 8,532 7,505 9,970
Unigine Heaven DX11 + tess [fps] 24.9 28.6 28.2
Crysis Warhead [fps] 35.3 41.4 45.8
Batman: Arkham Asylum [fps] 77 113 108
BattleForge [fps] 48.6 61.5 60.4
Metro 2033 DX11+tess [fps] 12.9 19.4 15.7
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat DX11 [fps] 54.2 77.6 73.8
DIRT 2 DX11 [fps] 58.9 62.1 71.1
1920x1080 0xAA 0xAF
3DMark Vantage GPU High 6,008 5,470 7,029
Unigine Heaven DX11 + tess [fps] 29.5 36.0 32.2
Crysis Warhead [fps] 39.8 38.8 48.9
Batman: Arkham Asylum [fps] 129 129 155
BattleForge [fps] 60.1 57.2 70.4
Metro 2033 DX11+tess [fps] 15.6 17.2 20.3
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat DX11 [fps] 96.2 101.4 126.7
DIRT 2 DX11 [fps] 63.7 66.7 72.3
Misc
System consumption idle/max [W] 130 / 278 141 / 332 127 / 257
Max. GPU temperature [°C] 78 89 68
Test machine: Intel Core i5 750 @ 4 GHz, MSI P55-GD65, 2x2 GB Kingston HyperX T1 @ 2 GHz 9-9-9-26, WD 500 GB, Cooler Master UCP 1250W, CM Z600 push-pull

 

After taking a look at the charts, it was very clear to us that, with ASUS’ announced price of around 340€, this graphics card will struggle to find its niche on the market. First and foremost, the showcased performance was very similar to that provided by the competing HD 5850, which can be bought for 220-250€. Bear in mind, though, that this is only the initial announced price that is bound to erode over time. NVIDIA will probably be the one to intervene in order to make it closer to the competing solutions. The interesting thing is that GeForce GTX 465 stands between Radeon HD 5850 and HD 5830, not in all of the tests, of course, but in general terms. However, with a price higher than certain Radeon HD 5870 models, we believe that GeForce GTX 465 is simply not competitive at all.

Performance was more or less as expected, so there isn’t much to reproach this card in that sense, but a very negative remark must be said about the power consumption. Alongside the fact that GeForce GTX 465 heated up more than both of our Radeons, NVIDIA has once again underestimated the consumption of their graphics cards. The declared 200 W couldn’t be further away from truth, as was the case with GTX 480 which was declared to 250 W (its consumption turned out to be more than 300 W). After seeing into this ourselves, we have to admit that we were disappointed by this card as well, since the consumption of the system on the whole was increased by more than 70 W with this card compared to the one when Radeon HD 5850 was present. We reproached HD 5830 for this as well, since it consumed more power than HD 5850, but GTX 465 is definitely the new “champion” in the upper middle class now. In the overclocking field, GTX 465 truly excelled at all tasks, reaching 770 MHz for the GPU and 3800 MHz for the memory, but at the price of delving into the 95 degrees Celsius segment of the thermometer. The gains are noticeable, perhaps even commendable, but this increases the card’s craving for power even further, with GTX 465 almost reaching the levels of GTX 480.

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With its current price, this card is no best buy, nor will it ever be unless major quakes happen in Nvidia’s pricing. Gamers are very likely to opt for Radeon HD 5850 instead, which absolutely dominates the 250€ price category. If you require your card to be signed by Nvidia, this is the cheapest solution available from the current generation for now, but we would still be reluctant to suggest this one, bearing in mind the small difference in price required to get a full-blown GTX 470. If the price decreases to the more acceptable 250-260€, this card could even appeal to Nvidia fans, but those who don’t have a brand preference will still be more likely to opt for ATI. This model has done some serious trespassing and went deeply into a wrong price range, where it cannot hope to battle the competition in any way, even the models that came from under the same roof.

 

ASUS GeForce GTX465
GPU GF100
Technology 45nm
GPU frequency 602 MHz
CUDA cores 352
ROP / texture units 32 / 44
RAM type / size / bus GDDR5 / 1GB / 256-bit
RAM frequency real / effective 802 MHz / 3,208 MHz
Price 340 €
Contact www.asus.com