I've had a massive look at the GTX 465 in so many different ways; I'm at the point where I have tested the card (and cards) in so many different configurations that I wondered if it was worth even looking at the configuration we're looking at today.
The bottom line is that after overclocking the GTX 465 from MSI with the latest version of Afterburner and discovering that there was just an absolute mammoth amount of overclocking headroom when voltage came into play, it would almost be criminal not to give the same treatment to an SLI setup.
I've already stressed the importance of the GTX 465 in SLI. Apart from it offering great scaling and great value it's one of the best options for people who are interested in running Surround Gaming for the simple fact being that SLI is a requirement for the setup. I'm not about to get into a discussion of that being a pro or con; the bottom line is that if you want a triple monitor NVIDIA powered setup, SLI is needed.
With massive OC potential seen from the single card setup, what happens when we throw two cards into the mix; how's the heat going? - Can we achieve an OC of over 800MHz on the core? How's it compare to the GTX 480? - These are questions we intend to answer today and more.
First, though, let's check out how we went with overclocking. We've got our fingers crossed for big things. Let's just say that if the performance wasn't anything special, we wouldn't be here right now. So read on.
Galaxy GTX 465 in SLI Overclocked w/ Voltage AdjustmentGalaxy GTX 465 in SLI Overclocked w/ Voltage Adjustment
Using ol' faithful MSI Afterburner to do our overclocking today, we had set the bar high. When we tested the MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II we achieved some pretty awe inspiring numbers. We ended up with a core clock of 860MHz and Shader clock of 1720MHz which are no doubt massive increases from the default 608MHz and 1215MHz setup.
Memory also went through the roof from 3208MHz QDR to 4100MHz QDR. We didn't expect to get the same numbers from the Galaxy setup for the simple reason that when we throw two cards into the mix heat becomes something you have to worry about.
Last time we looked at the Galaxy GTX 465 in SLI we managed to achieve a core of 700MHz, Shader clock of 1400MHz and memory clock of 3600MHz QDR. While we didn't hope for much more on the memory, we had hoped to get the core closer to the 800MHz mark.
It became clear, and quickly that my expectations were too low. What we ended up with were some very fast clock speeds.
The core finished up at 830MHz which is over 200MHz faster than the stock core on both cards. That in turn pushed the Shader clock up over 400MHz to 1660MHz QDR and the memory decided to wake up and run at a very rounded 4000MHz QDR.
These are some big numbers and should bring with them some big performance. Let's get stuck into the benchmarks to see exactly what is going on with the cards.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.
Today we'll be looking at the GTX 465 SLI setup from Galaxy against a number of different setups including the same setup at stock speeds, the GTX 470 in SLI at stock speeds along with a single GTX 470, GTX 480 and HD 5870.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
And they're off and racing and the GTX 465 SLI Setup overclocked is leading easily.
Unigine Heaven BenchmarkUnigine Heaven Benchmark
Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.
Across the board we see massive numbers and the GTX 465 SLI setup is able to outperform everything here.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCHCINEBENCH
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
No surprises when it comes to CINEBENCH performance.
Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5Resident Evil 5
Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.
Getting into the real world games we can see at the highest resolution the Galaxy GTX 465 SLI setup is able to perform extremely strong.
Benchmarks - BattleForgeBattleForge
Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.
But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.
Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.
Across the board we see massive numbers from the Galaxy GTX 465 SLI Overclocked setup with it out performing everything here.
Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.
The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.
Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.
H.A.W.X. sees big numbers across the board with performance being the same or better than the GTX 470 SLI setup.
Benchmarks - Darkest of DaysDarkest of Days
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.
The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.
Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.
At all resolutions we see the Galaxy GTX 465 SLI setup when overclocked pull out clear wins.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
Just massive numbers across the board. You can see the setup really shines at the highest resolution, leaving everything for dead.
Benchmarks - Batman Arkham AsylumBatman Arkham Asylum
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.
Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.
Great performance in all tests. When it came to PhysX we were oh so close to that 30 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600. It wouldn't be hard to get those extra few FPS fortunately.
Benchmarks - Dark VoidDark Void
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.airtightgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/
The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.
Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.
Just huge numbers across the board when PhysX is off. When it's on, though, we're way above that 30 FPS minimum we require.
Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AFHigh Quality AA and AF
Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.
Far Cry 2
Turning on AA we see just massive numbers from the GTX 465 SLI setup when overclocked. The performance leaves everything else trailing in its dust.
Resident Evil 5
Again, an easy win for the GTX 465 SLI OC setup form Galaxy. More importantly, with playable numbers.
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
We leave our game testing with of course another win for the Galaxy GTX 465 SLI Overclocked setup.
Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security AuditorElcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/ewsa.html
ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.
Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.
No real surprises here with only a single card being made use of.
Benchmarks - BadaboomBadaboom
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 18.104.22.168
Developer Homepage: http://www.nvidia.com//
Product Homepage: http://www.badaboomit.com/
Badaboom eliminates the frustration of video conversion by providing users with speed, efficiency, quality, and a sleek interface. In a practice that used to take several hours, Badaboom converts feature-length movies in a matter of minutes while keeping the videos looking crisp and clear.
By harnessing the power of NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, Badaboom offloads the CPU to allow users to continue browsing the Internet or checking email without decreased system performance, making transcoding high-quality video fast, easy, and painless.
Note: With the requirement for a CUDA enabled graphics card to run Badaboom, this means that we can only use NVIDIA based cards for this test.
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Temperature TestTemperature Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
The temperatures we're seeing aren't much of a surprise since we're dealing with a 100% fan speed.
Sound TestSound Tests
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
Noise level as you would expect is harsh. A small price to pay for this kind of performance, however. Nothing a closed up case won't help muffle, fortunately.
Power Consumption TestsPower Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
It comes as no surprise that power draw is high under load. Fortunately idle power draw is still quite low.
Total Performance Rating (TPR)Total Performance Rating
The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.
The TPR number is a combination of:
3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.
This setup is just damn fast. It's only second to the GTX 470 SLI Overclocked setup and is clearly faster than any other single card setup.
Total Value Rating (TVR)Total Value Rating
The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.
In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.
In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.
TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.
Normally we don't see SLI setups score this well, but the massive OC potential from the model means that value really is fantastic; much better than a lot of high end single GPU cards like the GTX 470 and GTX 480.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
It would have been robbing our readership if we didn't do this article today. The bottom line is that the GTX 465 in SLI is not only damn fast, but damn good value. I've said since launch that NVIDIA priced this product right and when you throw overclocking into the mix you see just how right pricing is.
For the value rating to be where it is for an SLI setup is just outstanding. Sure, we ran the fans at 100% and noise was loud, but if you dropped down to 800MHz on the core you could probably slide the fan % down to a more acceptable level for yourself. Throw the cards into a case and hopefully you won't have too much trouble.
The GTX 460 is being praised behind the scenes as a monster overclocker. This is a bit of a worry since the GTX 465 wasn't given the same praise and you can clearly see what it's capable of. We really have to wonder what the potential of the new mid range model due out (very) soon from NVIDIA is capable of.
It's a bit of a pain that you need two cards for Surround Gaming, but with this kind of performance, scaling and value, it's not that big a deal. Power draw on these cards is better than their high end brothers and if you're running a decent Intel system the chances are you'll have a motherboard and power supply that's more than capable of handing this setup.
The main thing you have to take out of all this is when someone says SLI is a waste of money and NVIDIA has just completely missed the mark with the latest generation of cards, you can know that it's clear rubbish, because the bottom line is performance with these cards is amazing in SLI. And honestly, even by themselves it's fantastic, as we saw with the MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II.
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