The ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 is about the same size as the ATI Radeon HD 5770. Its front is completely covered by a plastic case with an embedded fan. It requires two six pin power inputs to power the card.

The card's rear has a couple of ports including a Display Port, an HDMI port and dual DVI ports. The average power rating of the ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 is about 200W and we would suggest at least a genuine 400W PSU to power this card. The rear also has two sets of heat vents and is wide enough to occupy two slots of a PC chassis. In our temperature tests, the GTX 460 gave us an idle temperature of 47 °C, while at full load this number jumped to 70°C. Although the idle temperatures look okay, it was clear that the card was under some duress at full load. Not only did the core temperature reach 70 °C, the fan also became considerably louder.

Zotac GeForce 460

The ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 has 1GB of video memory (it's also available in a 768MB version) and a core clocked at 675MHz. It has a 256-bit memory interface, 336 shaders and supports DirectX 11. The ZOTAC card comes with a bunch of bundled Video-In, Video-Out connectors, a DVI-VGA adaptor and the requisite manuals and documentation. Its driver CD also has other tools such as a video editor and a GPU monitoring/tweaking tool among others. A neat addition to the bundle is the full version of the latest Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands PC game.

The ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 really impressed us with its performance. It might not come up with performance figures to match the HD 5870s or the GTX 480s of the world but it sure does enough to warrant its price-point.

In 3D Mark '06, the ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 posted 19,462 marks, a jump of 4 percent over the HD 5850's 18,788 marks. In 3D Mark Vantage's High preset, the GTX 460 got 9,991 marks. Over in our benchmarks, the GTX 460 kept the fight close against the HD 5850. In Crysis, it posted 21 fps at 1920x1080, 8xAA and Very High settings. At the same resolution and AA but Ultra High settings in Far Cry 2, the GTX 460 was able to give 67 fps. In Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., the fps count was 66.

Overall, the tests showed that there isn't more than a 10-15 percent difference in performance between the GTX 460 and the HD 5850.

OUR VERDICT

The ZOTAC Geforce GTX 460 is available for around £169 inc VAT (despite a putative RRP of £199) and that's not a price point we can argue with. Although it's a close contest, the price and performance difference between the GTX 460 and the HD 5850 make it easy to pick a card according to need. If you don't mind paying about 15 percent more for 10-15 percent performance hike and a better cooled and quieter running card, the HD 5850 wins out. However, if you don't mind the 10-15 percent performance drop, then you can't go wrong with the GTX 460.