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Asus GTX 465 review

Asus GTX 465

More affordable than previous cards, but the GTX 465 still can’t compete with equivalent cards from ATI’s now long-established 5000-series.

Nvidia took a long time to release the first cards in its new 400 series. We reviewed the less expensive of the two, the GTX 470, but were unimpressed with its performance, especially when considering its high price and long gestation. Now Nvidia has released two further cards in its 400 series – the GTX 465 and GTX 460.

This Asus version is based directly on the reference design, so as with other recent Nvidia cards, it has two DVI outputs, plus a mini HDMI output. All the new 400-series cards support HD audio over HDMI, so you can output full-quality Blu-ray movie soundtracks in Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio. Nvidia has also done away with the additional cabling required on older cards.

The GTX 465 is closely related to the more powerful GTX 470 and 480 cards. Although considerably cheaper than those monsters, the GTX 465 is still aimed firmly at gaming enthusiasts. It takes up two slots in your PC and at 242mm long it’s a pretty hefty card, though it should still fit in most PC chassis. More importantly, it still requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors, and Nvidia recommends you have a 550W rated power supply.

It has the same 607MHz GPU click speed as the GTX 470. It has 1GB of memory running at 802MHz, compared to the 470’s 1,280MB at 837MHz. The reduction in memory also creates a comparable drop in the memory bus, from 320-bit to 256-bit (as the memory channels on the new Nvidia cards are directly related to the number of memory chips). However, all of this should only have a small impact on the card’s performance.

The key change here is a reduction from 448 to 352 processing cores. This is a fairly large drop in the cards capabilities, and it showed up clearly in our benchmarks. It managed a smooth 39.2fps in our Crysis test, but this is down from 50.4fps from the GTX 470. Further testing using 3DMark Vantage gave a score of 7,687, another big drop from the 9,378 on the 470.

Things start to look worse still when you compare these scores against the ATI Radeon HD 5850. The Radeon card beats the GTX 465 in every test by a significant margin, and can be bought for around the same money if you shop about. What’s more, the HD 5850 is quieter and cooler in operation.

Coming to market six months after its competition and being comparatively lacklustre, we’re disappointed with the three high-end 400 series cards and only the GTX 460 is Nvidia’s saving grace at the moment. The choice is between the GTX 460 and ATI’s Radeon HD 5850 – there’s no point wasting money on the GTX 465.

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