The Asus ENGTX460 TOP is a powerful graphics cards based around the nVidia GTX 460 chip.

The new GTX 460 chip is nVidia's attempt to improve on the GTX 465, a chip that received a muted response from gamers. While the 465 took the GF100 core that powers the GTX 480, boiled down to basics, the GTX 460 is built around a new GF104. The GTX 460 comes in two configurations, with slightly differing specifications. The Asus ENGTX460 TOP has 768MB memory with 192-bit memory interface.

A 1GB version is also coming, with a larger 256-bit interface – while the number of Raster Operations (ROPs) is increased from 24 to 32.

Asus' amendments help compensate; you get raised clock speeds and a tweaked cooling system. The standard core clock of 675MHz is boosted to 700MHz, and the 900MHz memory clock is now 920MHz. The GTX 460 takes GDDR5 memory, effectively resulting in 3680MHz.

The Asus ENGTX460 TOP's pared down memory interface means bandwidth comes to 88.3GBps – with a 256-bit interface, this figure would be a more outstanding 117.8GBps.

While the GTX 460's fill-rate of 39.2GTps still falls behind an ATI 5830's 47GTps, it does overtake the low figure of 34GTps of the more expensive GTX 470.

So from the specs, the GTX 460 looks unimpressive. Look at the Asus ENGTX460 TOP's game benchmarks, though, and you get a very different picture. In all our tests it comfortably beat the 5830, despite similar price tags.

In HAWX it also beat the £240 ATI HD 5850. At 1680x1050 resolution, for instance, it scored 140fps to the 136fps and 127fps of ATI's 5850 and 5830 respectively.

At 1920x1200 its figure of 105fps was again ahead of the 103fps and 96fps of the other two. In most tests the Asus ENGTX460 TOP fell somewhere between the two.

In the DirectX 11 Heaven benchmark, the Asus ENGTX460 TOP's 25.9fps and 21.3fps (1680x1050 and 1920x1200) beat the 5830's figures of 22.2fps and 18.9fps, but not the 5850's 27.1fps and 23.2fps.

In Crysis, the GTX 460's scores of 26.9fps and 20.8fps again beat the 5830's 22.3fps and 18.3fps, but not the 5850's 27.7fps and 22.6fps.

In most cases, the GTX 460 was far closer to the ATI HD 5850 than the 5830.

Not particularly noisy, the GTX 460 needs a couple of 6-pin power connectors to work, and isn't recommended for PSUs rated below 450 watt.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best graphics card?

See also: Group test: what's the best budget graphics card?

Asus ENGTX460 TOP: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 460
  • 768MB GDDR5 RAM
  • 700MHz core clock
  • 920MHz memory clock (3680MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 336 stream processors
  • 56 texture units
  • 24 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 2 x 6-pin power connectors
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI and mini-HDMI
  • 3-year warranty
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 460
  • 768MB GDDR5 RAM
  • 700MHz core clock
  • 920MHz memory clock (3680MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 336 stream processors
  • 56 texture units
  • 24 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 2 x 6-pin power connectors
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI and mini-HDMI
  • 3-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

From the specs, you might dismiss the nVidia GTX 460 as an unexceptional addition. However the 460’s raw speed in gaming goes beyond theoretical figures. Almost competing with the ATI Radeon HD 5850, it’s clearly a strong choice in the sub-£200 market. The Asus ENGTX460 TOP is a decent rendition from Asus, and the 1GB versions should be even more impressive.

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