The main question we need to answer is, has the ECS Black GTX 460 1GB been able to stand out amongst all the other GTX 460s we've already tested? In a word, yes. Two key bits make the Black stand out; the first is that massive cooler that ECS have opted for, it's a cut above the rest when it comes to performance.
The second is the out of the box overclock, which while not being the highest, is higher than most other cards on the market and while they are the two main stand out points for the card, it's got to be said that there's a few other things that help the cause.
The fact that ECS has put a bit of thought into the SLI connector and given us an extra long one is fantastic. It's so often we see companies that utilize these massive coolers but forget about the prospect of running two of them, and sure, while we understand that SLI and CrossFire setups are a small percentage, it doesn't hurt to put a bit of thought into it.
The other thing that stands out is the overclock; the passive cooler really helps achieve a massive overclock while keeping the card cool. That in itself is such a gift for overclockers.
The only negative would be the size of the cooler; it's essentially three slots and to be honest I wouldn't want to place another one in that third slot as it would be right up against the cooler. While no doubt SLI is an option, this card is ultimately for the person who just wants to run a single card and doesn't mind having that said card take up an extra slot than the standard GTX 460.
For the reason above the ECS Black GTX 460 won't be an option for some people. On the other hand, if you don't mind a card that's a little fatter which will cool better than most on the market and offer a greater OC than most, this is the perfect card.
You wrap all these points into a $229 US price tag and you're really onto a winner. While it's hard to point out a "best" GTX 460, the ECS Black probably gives another option to users who are a little more extreme than others, but are still working with in a budget.
Over the last few weeks I've been asked what the best GTX 460 is. While it's impossible to narrow it down to just one, what I can say is that the ECS Black GTX 460 1GB will be getting highly recommended in a short list of GTX 460s that really stand out from the pack.
Massive cooling, an excellent out of the box overclock and a very aggressive price tag ultimately make this one GTX 460 that you need to keep an eye out for, especially if you're interested in doing some overclocking as the TwinTurbo Pro helps keep those core temps right down which is just another bonus amongst a whole list of others.