Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.6GHz (180x20)
6GB Corsair Dominator @ 1600MHz
ASUS P6T Motherboard
Windows 7 64 Bit
OCZ Z1000 PSU
ASUS GTX465 using 275.15 drivers
ATI cards use Catalyst 10.4
For our testing today we'll be using the OC3D X58 rig to make sure we're not under-powered in the foundation department. We'll be putting the GTX465 up against the most likely of its two competitors. At the "bottom gaming card" end we have the ATI HD5770, which retails at half the price of this and so we don't expect it to put up any kind of a fight. In terms of £ for £ the ATI HD5850 is an absolute direct competitor being priced identically. Considering the power available to the GTX480 we hope that the GTX can use its deep feature-set to stroll into an easy first place.
Temperature Testing and Overclocking
If there is one thing that this should be good for it's overclocking. Unfortunately the GTX480 was so close to the thermal limit that there wasn't much overhead. Although the GTX465 is cut down, so has been the cooler. So to find out if we've any room left for overclocking it's time to fire up our old favourite GPU tester FurMark.
Before we discuss the results, and there is plenty to discuss, here is the graph.
We always run all of our tests at 50% fans here at OC3D. This has a multiple effect because it allows us to get a good opinion on the ability of a cooler to disperse the immense heat you get from the latest graphics cards. It also enables us to compare reference designs to any "special" ones.
With the computer left at Windows for half an hour we then took temperature readings using GPUz. As you can see our idle temperatures are at where we'd expect to see an ATI load. However after comparing the readings with the ASUS SmartDoctor program, and FurMark itself, these are accurate. It doesn't bode well.
Firstly, to enable our tests to be done in a timely manner we ran Furmark at 1920x1200 with 8xAA using the Auto fan setting. The temperatures rapidly climbed until after only three minutes we were at 92°C and the fan was making quite a racket. However despite leaving it until 15 minutes had elapsed this was our max temperature. Hmmm. The card was then left until it returned to our previously recorded idle setting.
Moving the fans to the OC3D default of 50%, the same as every graphics card review we've done, we then left idling on the desktop for a further half hour. It was a degree higher than we saw before, but nothing that isn't within rounding errors and the like.
Unfortunately when we loaded FurMark it was quickly proved that the decision to cut the cooler down along with the specifications was a woeful move. Before two minutes had elapsed our temperatures were at 99°C which is the point at which we say enough is enough and the test was halted. Hence us having no test result in our graph. However it's preferable to having no card for our test.
So this new cooler certainly is special, just not in a good way. No overclocking headroom at all.
Before anyone decides to leap in and state that FurMark is a specially designed GPU burner, we'd like to point out that many games, Crysis Warhead included, thrash the GPU just as hard and so if it failed in FurMark, it'll fail in those too.