ECS GeForce GTX 460 1GB Black Video Card ReviewFri, Sep 24, 2010 - 12:00 AM
The ECS GeForce GTX 460 1GB Black Close-up
The profile of the ECS GTX 460 1GB Black is very large even though it is only 9″ in length, because the ‘Twin Turbo’ fans make this a triple slot card. The height of the card is not limited on every board for SLI, because if you have two PCI or PCIe x1 slots in between your two PCIe x16 slots these will fit fine, although the fans will not perform optimally.
The expansion plate on the ECS GTX 460 features the standard 2x dual-link DVI-I and 1x mini-HDMI port. As you can see, the air can easily go outside the case although there is no doubt that plenty of air shall remain in the case.
Looking at the other end you can start to tell that this is a reference design PCB based on the capacitor and fan header locations. The ECS GTX 460 requires dual 6-pin PCIe power cables. Again, this is like any other GTX 460 on the market. There is ~1/2″ of space between the board components and the bottom of the heatsink fins for air to spread out.
The first thing one notices from this picture is the orientation of the heatsink, which is angled by ~1/2″ from end to end. All GTX 460’s are limited to a single SLI connector, sadly. This is likely because triple SLI’d GTX 460’s would cost around the same as a GTX 480, but perform quite a bit better. This is not ideal for the consumer, but makes sense from a business standpoint.
Notice the copper base on the heatsink does not entirely cover the GF104 heat spreader; I do not think this has any particular importance as the die is only in the center of the IHS which is more than covered. The aluminum fins are separated by roughly 1/8″ allowing a lot of air flow to go through the fins and onto the PCB and components. The PCB is definitely reference design, as its component layout is the same and even has the circular white line which ordinarily outlines the reference heatsink (the aluminum part of the heatsink, anyway).
The heat spreader is labeled GF104-325-A1 which seems to be common among the 1GB variations of the GF104 GPU. Here is a list of all the GF104 core labels that we have seen here at Legit Reviews:
- NVIDIA Reference Design 768MB – GF104-300-KB-A1 (Week 12 of 2010)
- EVGA GTX 460 SuperClocked 768MB – GF104-300-KB-A1 (Week 12 of 2010)
- ASUS ENGTX460 Top 768MB – GF104-300-KA-A1 (Week 22 of 2010)
- MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GB – GF104-325-A1 (Week 24 of 2010)
- ECS GTX 460 Black 1GB – GF104-325-A1 (Week 24 of 2010)
The ECS GeForce GTX 460 1GB video card uses eight Samsung GDDR5 memory ICs that are part number K4G10325FE-HC05. Each one of the ICs is 128MB in size and that is how the card reaches its 1024MB frame buffer. These Samsung IC’s seem to be common among all of the reference-based GTX 460 768MB as well as 1GB versions. I was surprised that the ECS GTX 460 Black did not have any form of heatsinks for the VRAM ICs- something that this type of heatsink ordinarily comes with.
The copper base of the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro heatsink is flat but not perfect by any means, and is soldered to the four copper heatpipes. The Twin Turbo Pro is rated for a 120W cooling capacity, with its 4x 6mm copper heatpipes going through the 35 aluminum fins and dual 2000RPM-max 92mm PWM-controlled fans. Looking at the mounting holes, you notice that they are slightly different than the retail TT Pros and have the thick plastic spacers firmly in place.