HD 6870 & HD 6850 vs. GTX 460 1GB: An Overclocking Study

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: October 28, 2010
Product Name: Radeon HD 6850 / HD 6870 / Geforce GTX 460
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HD 6870 & HD 6850 vs. GTX 460 1GB: An Overclocking Study

With AMD’s release of their HD 6800 series, one heck of a shakeup has been delivered to the GPU market. With the HD 6870 arriving on store shelves at $240 and the HD 6850 making its mark with a price tag of just $180, things weren’t looking good for NVIDIA’s GTX 460 1GB. However, the situation was turned on its head just before the launch widow for Barts opened.

Seeing an avalanche approaching in the form of two highly competitive AMD cards, NVIDIA decided to cut the prices of their most popular cards. You can now find a GTX 460 1GB for a little as $199USD and a few GTX 470 reference products for a bargain basement cost of $230USD.

One of the most important aspects of this price reduction is the fact that prices for highly overclocked versions of the GTX 460 1GB have fallen to new lows as well. One of the premier products available from NVIDIA’s board partners is of course the EVGA GTX 460 FTW which is overclocked to a stratospheric 850Mhz core speed. It’s price? $229 USD. This provides a tantalizing opening for customers who are looking at the HD 6870 and are wondering what it lines up to in NVIDIA’s current sable of products.

We can’t forget that AMD’s HD 6870 and HD 6850 can be overclocked as well and according to our conversations with board partners, we will likely see products sporting substantially higher clock speeds very soon. Some like ASUS have already provided users with overclocking tools that can push the reference speeds to new heights.

It should go without saying that NVIDIA was extremely conservative with the frequencies given to the GTX 460 cards. AMD’s new products on the other hand are a bit of an unknown when it comes to average overclocking speeds and performance.

With these two points in mind, we decided to tackle the questions of clock speeds and performance head on.


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