[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The ECS GTX 460 Black Series (NBGTX460-1GPI-F) comes with 1 GB GDDR5, pre-overclocked, and with a high-end cooling solution from Arctic Cooling. Let’s check it out.

The GeForce GTX 460 comes with higher core and shader clock rates (675 MHz and 1,350 MHz) than the GeForce GTX 465 and GeForce GTX 470 (607 MHz and 1,215 MHz for both of them). The memory clock used on the GeForce GTX 460 is actually higher than the one used on the more expensive models (3,600 MHz against 3,206 MHz on GeForce GTX 465 and 3,348 MHz on GeForce GTX 470), but the memory bus width depends on the GTX 460 model you have: the 768 MB model uses a 192-bit memory interface (translating into a 86.4 GB/s maximum theoretical transfer rate), while the 1 GB model uses a 256-bit interface (115.2 GB/s maximum theoretical transfer rate). The GeForce GTX 465 has a 256-bit memory interface (102.5 GB/s), and the GeForce GTX 470 has a 320-bit memory interface (133.92 GB/s). The main difference among the GTX 460, GTX 465 and GTX 470 is the number of graphics engines (a.k.a. “shaders” or “CUDA cores”): 336, 352, and 448, respectively. On the table below we compare the main specifications of the six video cards we included in our review. The GTX 460 Black Series model from ECS comes with a 13.3% overclocking.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 675 MHz 1,350 MHz 900 MHz 3,600 MHz 192-bit 86.4 GB/s 768 GB GDDR5 336 11
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 675 MHz 1,350 MHz 900 MHz 3,600 MHz 256-bit 115.2 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 336 11
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 765 MHz 1,530 MHz 925 MHz 3,700 MHz 256-bit 118.4 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 336 11
GeForce GTX 465 607 MHz 1,215 MHz 801.5 MHz 3,206 MHz 256-bit 102.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 352 11
Radeon HD 5830 800 MHz 800 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 256-bit 128 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,120 11
Radeon HD 5850 725 MHz 725 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 256-bit 128 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,440 11

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials.

Now let’s take a complete look at this model from ECS.

[nextpage title=”The ECS GTX 460 Black Edition”]

The difference between the ECS GTX 460 Black Edition and the NVIDIA reference model is not only the factory-overclocking, but also the use of a different cooling solution. ECS decided to ship its video card with an Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro, which we have already reviewed and proved to deliver very good performance.

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 1: ECS GTX 460 Black Edition

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 2: ECS GTX 460 Black Edition

This video card has three video outputs, two DVI-D and one HDMI.

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 3: Video connectors

[nextpage title=”The ECS GTX 460 Black Edition (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 4, you can see the video card with its cooler removed. Note how it requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors. In Figures 5 and 6, you can see the cooler by itself. As already mentioned, we’ve already posted a complete review of this cooler, where you can read about it in more detail.

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 4: Video card with the cooler removed

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 5: Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro cooler

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 6: Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro cooler

The reviewed card uses eight 1 Gbit GDDR5 chips, making its 1 GB video memory (1 Gbit x 8 = 1 GB). Each chip is connected to the GPU using a 32-bit data lane, making the video card’s 256-bit memory interface (32 bits x 8 = 256).

The chips used are K4G10325FE-HC05 parts from Samsung, which support up to 1 GHz (4 GHz QDR) and since on this video card memory is accessed at 925 MHz (3,700 MHz QDR), there is a good margin for you to increase the memory clock rate while keeping the chips inside the maximum they support.

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 7: Memory chips

In Figure 8, you can see the accessories that come with the reviewed card: one power adapter, one DVI-to-VGA adapter, one DVI-to-HDMI adapter, and one SLI bridge. The product doesn’t come with any games.

ECS GTX 460 Black EditionFigure 8: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the ECS GTX 460 Black Series video card include:

  • Graphics chip: NVIDIA
    GeForce GTX 460
    running at 765 MHz
  • Memory: 1 GB GDDR5 memory (256-bit interface) from Samsung (K4G10325FE-HC05), running at 925 MHz (3,700 MHz, QDR)
  • Bus type: PCI Express x16 2.0
  • Video Connectors: Two DVI-D and one HDMI
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: One DVI-to-VGA adapter, one DVI-to-HDMI adapter, one power adapter, and one SLI bridge
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One
  • Games included: None
  • Programs included: None
  • More information: https://www.ecsusa.com
  • MSRP in the US: USD 239.00

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 10.7
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 258.96
  • Intel Inf driver version: 9.1.1.1019

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark Vantage Professional”]

3DMark Vantage measures Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supports PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Note that since we are considering only the GPU score provided by this program, physics calculations are not taken into account.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” values). The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1680×1050 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 12764  
Radeon HD 5850 12747 -0.1%
Radeon HD 5830 10481 -17.9%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 9660 -24.3%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 9008 -29.4%
GeForce GTX 465 8926 -30.1%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 10184 33.2%
Radeon HD 5830 8302 8.6%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 7645  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 7608 -0.5%
GeForce GTX 465 7043 -7.9%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 7021 -8.2%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Performance 2560×1600 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 5998 36.7%
Radeon HD 5830 4859 10.7%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 4389  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 4216 -3.9%
GeForce GTX 465 3974 -9.5%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 3466 -21.0%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 9547 19.9%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 7964  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 7894 -0.9%
Radeon HD 5830 7480 -6.1%
GeForce GTX 465 7479 -6.1%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 7412 -6.9%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 7573 19.7%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 6327  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 6289 -0.6%
Radeon HD 5830 5986 -5.4%
GeForce GTX 465 5868 -7.3%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 5811 -8.2%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 2560×1600 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 4571 24.9%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 3659  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 3641 -0.5%
Radeon HD 5830 3596 -1.7%
GeForce GTX 465 3362 -8.1%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 3177 -13.2%

[nextpage title=”Call of Duty 4″]

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, exactly what will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

To get accurate results we had to disable the 80 FPS limit in the game. To do this, input the command, “/seta com_maxfps 1000” (minus the quotes) into the console (` key). It can be set to any number greater than 200.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was set to the maximum values in the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the internal game benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo here for downloading if you want to run your own benchmarks. We ran the demo five times, and the results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each video card.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 144.8  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 141.4 -2.3%
Radeon HD 5850 141.3 -2.4%
GeForce GTX 465 120.6 -16.7%
Radeon HD 5830 116.8 -19.3%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 114.3 -21.1%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 124.4  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 121.2 -2.6%
Radeon HD 5850 119.6 -3.9%
Radeon HD 5830 102.6 -17.6%
GeForce GTX 465 102.3 -17.8%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 96.1 -22.7%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 2560×1600 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 84.6  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 83.2 -1.7%
Radeon HD 5850 82.5 -2.5%
GeForce GTX 465 70.4 -16.8%
Radeon HD 5830 69.7 -17.6%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 62.8 -25.8%

[nextpage title=”Crysis Warhead”]

Crysis Warhead is a DirectX 10 game based on the same engine as the original Crysis, but optimized (it runs under DirectX 9.0c when installed on Windows XP).

We used the HardwareOC Crysis Warhead Benchmark Tool to collect the data for this test. We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, all at medium image quality (16x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering) and using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Crysis Warhead – Medium 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 69 11.3%
GeForce GTX 465 63 1.6%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 62  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 61 -1.6%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 57 -8.1%
Radeon HD 5830 49 -21.0%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Crysis Warhead – Medium 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5850 59 1.7%
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 58  
GeForce GTX 465 57 -1.7%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 56 -3.4%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 50 -13.8%
Radeon HD 5830 44 -24.1%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Crysis Warhead – Medium 2560×1600 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 50  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 49 -2.0%
Radeon HD 5850 43 -14.0%
GeForce GTX 465 41 -18.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 36 -28.0%
Radeon HD 5830 34 -32.0%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]

Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows Vista with a DirectX 10 compatible video card.

We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to High (x8 anti-aliasing) and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series
FarCry 2 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 76.6  
Radeon HD 5850 75.8 -1.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 75.3 -1.7%
GeForce GTX 465 72.5 -5.3%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 70.0 -8.6%
Radeon HD 5830 65.6 -14.3%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

FarCry 2 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 64.5  
Radeon HD 5850 63.2 -2.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 61.0 -5.4%
GeForce GTX 465 60.4 -6.4%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 58.0 -10.0%
Radeon HD 5830 53.5 -17.0%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

FarCry 2 – Maximum 2560×1600 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 46.1  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 44.9 -2.6%
Radeon HD 5850 42.7 -7.2%
GeForce GTX 465 38.2 -17.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 26.4 -42.6%
Radeon HD 5830 23.8 -48.4%

[nextpage title=”Aliens vs. Predator”]

Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. This program reads its configuration from a text file (our configuration files can be found here). We ran this program at 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600 resolutions, with low texture settings, x8 anisotropic filtering and x4 anti-aliasing.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Aliens vs. Predator 1680×1050 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 66.2  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 63.9 -3.5%
Radeon HD 5850 59.7 -9.8%
GeForce GTX 465 55.8 -15.7%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 46 -30.5%
Radeon HD 5830 43.4 -34.4%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Aliens vs. Predator 1920×1200 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 55.2  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 53.3 -3.4%
Radeon HD 5850 51.3 -7.1%
GeForce GTX 465 44.7 -19.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 36.6 -33.7%
Radeon HD 5830 34.5 -37.5%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Aliens vs. Predator 2560×1600 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 32.4  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 30.4 -6.2%
Radeon HD 5850 27.9 -13.9%
GeForce GTX 465 26.8 -17.3%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 21.3 -34.3%
Radeon HD 5830 20.5 -36.7%

[nextpage title=”Metro 2033″]

Metro 2033 is a DirectX 11 game. To benchmark this game we used FRAPS to record the average FPS while playing part way through the Ch
ase level (the save file we used can be downloaded here). We ran this program at 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600 resolutions, setting texture quality at “Low,” anti-aliasing at “AAA,” anisotropic filtering at 4x, tessellation “on,” and DoF “off.”

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Metro 2033 1680×1050 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 86.91  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 84.68 -2.6%
Radeon HD 5850 82.37 -5.2%
GeForce GTX 465 78.56 -9.6%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 66.37 -23.6%
Radeon HD 5830 63.13 -27.4%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Metro 2033 1920×1200 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 75.27  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 74.33 -1.2%
Radeon HD 5850 71.02 -5.6%
GeForce GTX 465 66.57 -11.6%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 55.55 -26.2%
Radeon HD 5830 52.53 -30.2%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Metro 2033 2560×1600 Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 55.99  
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 53.60 -4.3%
Radeon HD 5850 49.76 -11.1%
GeForce GTX 465 42.57 -24.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 37.94 -32.2%
Radeon HD 5830 34.48 -38.4%

[nextpage title=”Darkest of Days”]

Darkest of days is a DirectX 9 game that implements a PhysX engine, moving physics calculations from the CPU to the GPU. Although it’s not very popular, we added this game because of its PhysX benchmarking feature. We ran this game at 1680×1050 with details set at “very high,” and both anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering disabled. We ran three tests, first with PhysX set at “low,” where the game makes all physics calculations using the system CPU, then increasing it to “medium” (which adds leaves, wind and weapons impact effects due to bullets and grenades), and finally increasing it to “high” (which adds fog and smoke effects). The medium and high PhysX levels move physics calculations from the CPU to the GPU. Keep in mind that only NVIDIA-based cards support PhysX.

ECS GTX 460 Black Series
Darkest of Days – 1680×1050 Low Phys X Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 99.25  
GeForce GTX 465 99.25 0.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 94.43 -4.9%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 94.49 -4.8%
Radeon HD 5850 59.43 -40.1%
Radeon HD 5830 51.69 -47.9%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Darkest of Days – 1680×1050 Medium PhysX Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 79.23  
GeForce GTX 465 78.09 -1.4%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 76.87 -3.0%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 69.41 -12.4%
Radeon HD 5850 2.96 -96.3%
Radeon HD 5830 1.44 -98.2%

ECS GTX 460 Black Series

Darkest of Days – 1680×1050 High PhysX Difference
ECS GTX 460 Black Series 47.62  
GeForce GTX 465 46.92 -1.5%
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 45.83 -3.7%
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 42.78 -10.2%
Radeon HD 5830 1.44 -97.0%
Radeon HD 5850 1.36 -97.2%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The ECS GTX 460 Black Series comes as a good competitor to Radeon HD 5850. In most games and simulations we ran, both achieve similar performance. The only exceptions were on Aliens vs. Predator, where the ECS GTX 460 Black Series was faster, and on Crysis Warhead at 1680×1050 and 3DMark Vantage (except at 1680×1050 with image quality settings disabled), where the Radeon HD 5850 was faster.

Therefore we have to declare a technical tie between the two. This model from ECS comes with two main advantages, the cooler from Arctic Cooling, which we’ve reviewed separately and proved to be a very good product, and price. If you plan to run PhysX games you will of course be better off with this video card from ECS, since PhysX is only supported by NVIDIA-based products.

The only problem with the ECS GTX 460 Black Series is finding it. If you have USD 240 to spend on a video card and are able to buy this product, go for it.