The mysterious countdown had many of us questioning what the surprise was. It turns out that it wasn’t a refresh or a dual card. Instead, the surprise was a product that some of us probably knew about before the announcement. That’s right, it’s the mainstream GTX 460 based on the new GF104 core.
This is is a much needed launch for nvidia since it’s previous mainstream GPU, the GTX 465, failed to deliver. The 465 had performance hovering around a high end 2 series (nvidia’s previous generation), but the power usage of the higher end 4 series. So, basically you had a decent performer, but a card that outputted too much heat and used too much power for the performance. It was a lesson to Nvidia that they can’t keep cutting down their own existing technologies. That’s why the 460 is different. It has a new core and it has its eyes on the mainstream market. Here are some reviews:
Considering that the card is aimed to compete with ATi’s HD5830, Nvidia managed to do a pretty good job with the 460. In addition, according to these reviews the GTX 460 runs much cooler than the GTX 465. Also, the price point for the GTX 460 is competitve with the HD5830. Here in the states, on newegg.com, the GTX 460 and HD 5830 are both priced at $200.
However, their higher end still has heat and power issues. Hopefully, nvidia’s next area of interest will be a refresh of their current high end line up, but there are still rumors of a dual card based on this new core (GF104). So, perhaps we will see a dual core variant in the next few months instead of a refresh.