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ASUS ENGTX465 Review

ccokeman    -   June 3, 2010
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Conclusion:

The ASUS ENGTX465 is a card that looks like it has been scaled to fit right into a specific performance target. This target is right between the HD 5850 and HD 5830 from ATI. When it comes to a comparison between the GTX 465 and the HD 5850, the green offering is behind in most categories. but does at times step up the performance when the game or benchmark plays to its strengths. A fine example of this is the Unigine 2.0 benchmark in which the tessellation performance of the GF100 architecture carries the 465 ahead of the 5850. Overclocking this card helps narrow the performance gap between it and the HD 5850 in many of the games tested, not enough to beat it at every test, but to at least make it interesting.

ASUS has thought of the enthusiast community with the ENGTX465 by including its Smart Doctor software to allow the end user to reach the highest possible overclock they can by using all of the tools that are available. The phrase on the box shouts loudly that you can go up to 50% faster by using the voltage tweaking options. I did not get to 50%, but at 33%, I was close. This 33% increase is a bump of 214MHz on the 352 CUDA cores. Not shabby by any stretch. The memory on the other hand did not benefit from any voltage tweaking and was a bit stingier when it came time to push the clock speeds, only garnering a 17.5% increase or 141MHz. Both of these clock speed increases help drive performance higher. This means just about every game in the benchmark suite is playable with high end settings. Of course Crysis and Metro 2033 are notable exceptions at 2560x1600. However the pricing and market that this card is targeting most people will be running at 1920x1200.

The reference cooling solution does a decent job of keeping the thermals in check if you take the time to bump the fan speed up a notch. When you leave the fan on auto, you get temperatures that follow the profile of the GTX 480 with load temperatures at 46°C at idle and 87°C under load. Still hot by my standards, but it is an easy fix with a couple seconds of your time. There is a line you can cross (above 72%) that starts bringing the noise from the fan, but stay under that and you can enjoy a degree (no pun intended) of comfort in knowing your card is not going to go end up like Chernobyl. 

The GTX 465 is priced a bit awkwardly at $279 when you can find the HD 5850 for as low as $289. For a scant $10 more you can get greater performance in the HD 5850. By including Just Cause 2 with the card there is added value there that may put some downward pressure on the pricing once the initial promotion is over. This could put pricing closer to the $240 to $280 you get with the HD 5830 and give the card some added value. In addition to the game, you get a couple of applications that show off the performance of the GF100 architecture in Design Garage and the Supersonic Sled demo. Not to mention the slew of applications that use GPU acceleration and CUDA technology such a vReveal, Badaboom, Photoshop CS4, TMG Express4 and more. In the near future, Nvidia will have 3DVision Surround ready for prime time to compete with ATI's Eyefinity technology. A pair of GTX465's in SLI would make a nice entry into this world.

The GTX 465 from ASUS is a card that delivers good gaming performance up to 1920x1200 with high end settings, but struggles to find that performance for price mark while fitting snugly into the sub $300 market. Overclocking opens up another level of performance that brings the performance for price  factor a bit closer to where it should be. So what's the moral of the GTX465 story? Be sure to overclock it to get your moneys worth.

 

Pros:

  • Performance
  • Overclocking
  • Voltage tweaking
  • PhysX ready
  • DirectX 11
  • 3D Vision Surround capable
  • Included Just Cause 2 game

 

Cons:

  • Price vs Performance
  • Cooling noisy at max speeds


 

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