To be honest, I'm not too sure why we've got two versions of the GTX 460 and I mean that in the sense of two versions with clearly different specifications in some key areas and not just a 768MB and 1GB model.
Due to the core on the GIGABYTE card being slightly lower when compared to the MSI one, we can see that its performance is almost identical. A few more MHz on the 768MB version and it's clear that it would outperform a 1GB model which was 20MHz lower. Of course, you can overclock the 1GB version and gain even more performance; it's a little disappointing that GIGABYTE opted for 715MHz. While it's a very impressive overclock, it would have been nice to see an extra 10 or so MHz on it.
As for my issues with the card, they're the same as the MSI one and it's not so much the GIGABYTE version, but just the decisions NVIDIA chose to make. Two 6-Pin PCI-E connectors on a $229 video card seems a little excessive. On the topic of $229 as well, it completely kills the value of the GTX 465. In saying that, though, as we mentioned in our MSI review we've heard rumors of a GTX 465 price drop.
The cooler on the GIGABYTE card looks strong and no doubt will perform better than the standard GTX 460 cooler. It's not the best GTX 460 cooler we've looked at, though, which is saying something since we've only looked at one other. The extra heat and noise coming from the card is something you wouldn't really notice as it's only a small difference.
At $229 the card seems a little over priced compared to the 768MB version. We can see that with only a 10MHz higher core on the 768MB version we're able to perform very close to the 1GB card. The extra bus width comes in handy at the higher 2560 x 1600 resolution, but these cards aren't designed so much for this resolution; at 1920 x 1200 and below you can see both variants perform very similar.
Saying that, we're not trying to take anything away from the 1GB version we're looking at from GIGABYTE. $229 is still a very strong price and unlike previously where most ATI cards killed the value of the NVIDIA ones, the only card that affects the value of this version is the cheaper 768MB one. Of course, some people are going to want 1GB of memory and really for an extra $30, why not?
What's particularly great is people who have a hard $200 budget can get the 768MB version and easily achieve very similar performance to the 1GB one with very little effort. If your budget is a little more open, though, and you want the extra memory, the 1GB version like the one we're looking at from GIGABYTE today is a nice little buy. These two cards have pretty much made the HD 5770 and HD 5830 from ATI redundant. Outside of wanting a triple screen setup off a single card, we're not sure why you would buy that model now the GTX 460 is here.