ASUS ENGTX465 Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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When the GF100 architecture was originally announced at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in November of last year, one of the promises was that the architecture was scalable. Due to its modular design, you can take away GPU clusters to scale the performance down to fill out the product line. Looks good on paper right? Of course it does! So far the GTX 480 is a card scaled down to 480 CUDA cores (down from the original 512) with the GTX 470 coming in at 448 and now the GTX 465 that comes to market with 352. To get to 352 CUDA cores you have to do more than pull a single GPU cluster that houses 128 CUDA cores in four steaming multiprocessors. You have to pull an additional streaming multiprocessor that holds 32 CUDA cores to drop you down to the magic number. With a modular design, you can do that in order to position a card into a specific performance band. Hence we now have the GTX 465.
The DirectX 11 video card market has been pretty well saturated with everything from the top of the line cards, all the way down to the discrete card for OEM use. Just about every price and performance point has been covered by ATI with scant few openings left to capitalize on. One such gap was the area between the HD 5830 and HD 5850 that was left wide open, both on price and on performance. This is where the GTX465 is supposed to earn its keep. Priced at $279, the pricing point is covered so all that is left is the question of how will it perform? Well lets find out.
The packaging of the ENGTX465 from ASUS looks much like that which housed the ENGTX285 TOP card I looked at a while back,with a medieval knight perched upon a large stallion on a stormy night. The green background of course subliminally lets you know this is an Nvidia-based card. The front panel highlights some of the features of this card such as the 1GB of GDDR5 memory, Direct X 11 support, Nvidia PhysX capabilities and that this card is ready for overclocking via Voltage Tweak technology. The rear panel lists the features of this card, recommended system requirements and the inclusion of several Nvidia specific applications, Design Garage and the Supersonic Sled demo.
Inside the box you have a black box with the ASUS logo embossed on it. This is more aesthetically pleasing than seeing just a plain cardboard box. Opening up the inner packaging you have the ENGTX465 and the accessory bundle segregated in three compartments. To the right you have the connectivity hardware, front and center is the software, manual and underneath the ENGTX465.
The bundled accessories that come with this card includes the manual and software disk that has the latest driver at the time of the cards build that fully supports the GTX 465, two applications from Nvidia (Supersonic Sled and Design Garage) and ASUS Smart Doctor software you can use to implement your voltage tweaking. For hardware accessories you get a DVI to dsub adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter and a dual 4 pin molex to PCIe power adapter to bring in the additional juice to the card
Let's see how this scaled down version of the GF100 architecture performs.