EVGA GTX 460 1GB Superclocked EE (External Exhaust) Review

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: July 21, 2010
Product Name: EVGA GTX 460 1GB Superclocked EE
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Core Temperature & Acoustics

For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at it highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.

For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.

Due to the fact that any blower-style fan has to work harder than one which is directly over the main heatsink (as in the one on the reference GTX 460) there are two things which distinguish this card: it has higher noise levels and temperatures than the stock card.

Let’s tackle the noise issues first. The main problem here is the fact that the fan EVGA used seems to have an exceptional amount of bearing noise. As the fan spins up to a mere 55-60%, the card will likely be noticeably louder than any 1200 to 1500 RPM case or heatsink fan you are using. Speeds don’t go above this (at least not in our testing) but it is more than obvious this isn’t the optimal fan for the job. However, this card is all about gaming and you’ll likely be doing that with some form of in-game sound turned up so we highly doubt this card will ever be loud enough to notice above a typical gaming sound level. It isn’t loud in the least, it just makes a plaintive whine that we don’t usually associate with the better blower style fans of this world.

The core temperatures are also slightly higher but still much, much better than most other cards on our chart. This is simply the price one has to pay for better in-case temperatures.

In Case Temperatures

For this test we compared the EVGA card to a reference version when installed into a case. We used our usual Gigabyte Aurora 570 which uses the stock fan layout as well as a Noctua NF-S12B FLX installed onto the HDD cage and pointed at the card. A Type-K thermocouple is placed roughly 4” to the right of the CPU’s stock heatsink.

As you can see, the temperatures with an external exhaust do decrease but not by an overly significant amount. Does EVGA’s solution work? Well, the numbers back up the science but only you can determine if this is enough of a drop to warrant going with the increased noise and core temperature this setup brings.

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