Palit GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Reviewccokeman - July 16, 2010
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The Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum Overclocking edition is a card that comes right from Palit pre-overclocked so you can skip the overclocking entirely. But if you feel adventurous, the tools are available to push even further. The GTX 460 is meant to fill the price point or sweet spot currently occupied by the entrenched HD 5830 in the $200 to $250 range. The GTX 460 comes in two flavors, one with 768MB of GDDR5 memory and one with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. This change effects both the memory bus width (192 & 256bit) and amount of ROPs for each card at 24 and 32. The GTX 460 Sonic Platinum Edition video card from Palit is based on the 1GB variant. The Sonic card varies from the reference version with its custom designed PCB that is smaller around all three axises than the reference version PCB. This is a good thing going forward as it will allow you to use the card in smaller chassis in an HTPC and small form factor chassis. When you set this card down it is notably shorter than many of the current performance crop at 8.25 inches long. The front of the card uses a unique shroud with a center-mounted fan implemented to keep the card cool. The back side is blank, with the exception of the product ID and warranty details. This card is designed to be used in a 16x PCIe 2.0 slot and should easily fit smaller chassis due to its modest size.
The business end of the Platinum Sonic Edition features connectivity in the form of 2 dual link DVI ports, a single VGA port and a single HDMI port that now supports bit streaming support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio over HDMI. Only two monitors are supported on a single card. To use the latest SLI technology, you will have to get three 120hz monitors and get a second video card in an SLI setup. The rear end of the card is open to allow for unobstructed airflow out of the video card.
The Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum edition only has a single bridge connection meaning you can only run a total of two of these cards in SLI. A possible reason may be how this card is positioned in the product stack. The GTX 460 uses two 6 pin PCie power connections, suggesting over 150 watts of current usage for the board. The recommended power supply is 450 watts so you should be able to run this video card in just about any system.
To pull the Sonic Platinum edition apart, you have a total of eight screws, four for the shroud and four to hold the heat sink on. The shroud comes off easily and reveals the heat sink underneath equipped with two heat pipes leading to an aluminum/copper base plate /fin array. The fan is made by Power Logic and is 80mm in size with nine blades for higher static pressure. The heat sink uses two heat pipes and is mounted with four screws to the PCB.
Underneath all the flash, you come down to the two essential components the 40nm core comprised of 1.95 billion transistors. The 40nm GF 104 core an upgraded Fermi architecture with a total of two GPU clusters that house eight streaming multiprocessor of which only seven are active and working. In these seven streaming multiprocessors are 336 CUDA cores or 56 texture units 32 ROPs, and 512kb of L2 cache. The Sonic uses Samsung GDDR5 memory rated at 1GB. The clock speeds on this demon are 800MHz on the GPU cores, 1600MHz on the shaders and 2000MHz on the GDDR 5 memory
Now that we know what this card is equipped with, we can get to the meat and potatoes and start testing this thing out.