Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card

We know about the Sonic series from Palit, but what about the Sonic Platinum? Let's see what it means for the GTX 460.

Published Mon, Jul 12 2010 11:36 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Palit


Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 02 |

The GTX 460 models are coming in thick and fast with the next one to go on the chopping block that is the TweakTown testbed being a version from Palit. This seems to be a new series from Palit. While we're familiar with the Sonic series which tend to revolve around the card being overclocked and the Super series letting us know the card would be carrying more memory, we're not too sure about the Sonic Platinum one that we're looking at today.

The GTX 460 is off to a great start here at TweakTown; we're extremely happy with the model. The price is super aggressive and performance on a whole is just great. The big question is, how does Palit stand out against the GIGABYTE 1GB version we've already looked at and the MSI 768MB one?

Has Palit been a bit bored lately and just decided to slap on an extra word to the known Sonic series, or does Platinum actually mean something? Are we supposed to get excited about what the Sonic Platinum offers us when compared to the other GTX 460s we've already looked at? Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret; yes, you should! - The Sonic Platinum looks to be the goods, but before we look closer at the card and its specifications, let's see the package that Palit has put together.

The Package

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 03 |

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 04 |

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 05 |

There's not a whole lot going on with the box and the bundle. While this is quite typical of Palit cards, we're at the point where it's just quite typical of video cards, period. You can see on the front of the box we've got the Sonic Platinum labeling and you can also see we're dealing with the higher end 1GB model.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 06 |

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 08 |

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 07 |

Looking at the card, the cooler is very Palit; black and orange with a single fan directly over the core. It doesn't look all that fancy, but we're sure it will do the job. As for power, Palit have moved the connectors to the top of the card instead of the back. We've also got a single SLI connector at the front of the card.

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 09 |

Palit as always like to mix it up a bit more when it comes to the connectivity and you can see we've got two Dual-Link DVI ports, a single VGA port and a single HDMI port. Hopefully that extra DVI port doesn't cause the card to run any hotter than it needs to as it's blocking up half the vent where the hot air would exhaust.


When it came to looking at the specifications of the card, it was clear that the Sonic Platinum name was well deserved. The default core on the GTX 460 is 675MHz with a 1350MHz Shader clock. The OC version we looked at from GIGABYTE came in at 715MHz with a 1430MHz Shader clock.

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 01 |

Palit have chosen to just blow this out of the water, as you can see above by offering us an 800MHz core with a 1600MHz Shader clock. The company has also decided to up the ante on the memory, moving it from the default 3600MHz QDR to 4000MHz QDR.

The GTX 460 has already shown us some good performance, but it's clear that these numbers are going to take the performance numbers to another level.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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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 seeing how the Palit version of the GTX 460, the Sonic Platinum 1GB goes against the GIGABYTE 1GB OC model, the Galaxy GTX 465 and the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample. As for the ATI front, we've thrown in the HD 5850 and HD 5830 for good measure.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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.

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Straight away we see fantastic performance from the Palit version of the GTX 460. You can see it clearly distinguishes itself from the GIGABYTE version. Hopefully these massive gains translate to the real world.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Clearly a visible difference between the two GTX 460 cards here. The Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum falls only second to the overclocked GTX 470 from Gainward.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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).

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Under CINEBENCH we don't see any real changes when it comes to performance with the card performing as you would expect.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Getting into the games, we can see some fantastic performance from the GTX 460 Sonic Platinum. The card falls again only behind the GTX 470 Golden Sample at 1920 x 1200 and lower and at 2560 x 1600. While the HD 5850 does get a win, the average is impressive and a good distance from that 60 FPS we want to see.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Under BattleForge we see strong performance again from the Palit offering. Unlike the GIGABYTE version we're able to break that 60 FPS barrier at 1920 x 1200 which is great news.

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:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Strong performance again across the board. The only time another card apart from the GTX 470 Golden Sample beats out the Palit offering is at 2560 x 1600 and that's the more expensive HD 5850. The good news is that unlike the GTX 460 from GIGABYTE and even the GTX 465 from Galaxy, we're able to break that 60 FPS average we need at the highest resolution.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 26 |

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 27 |

Very strong numbers across the board for the Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum with an average above 60 FPS at all resolutions with PhysX on.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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.

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Under Far Cry 2 the GTX 460 Platinum Sonic falls only behind the much more expensive GTX 470 Golden Sample. Unlike the GTX 460, GTX 465 and HD 5830 the GTX 460 Palit offering is able to break that 30 FPS minimum at the highest resolution which is really saying something for a card at this price.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 30 |

Batman AA sees perfect performance with PhysX off. With PhysX on we can see it's actually out performing the GTX 470 Golden Sample in this situation. While we can't get a playable number at 2560 x 1600 with PhysX on, the 1920 x 1200 numbers are perfect.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 32 |

Strong performance again across the board and when we turn PhysX on we're not only above that 30 FPS minimum at all resolutions, but again the card is able to outperform the GTX 470 in some instances.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High 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

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Turning on AA and AF and we're well away from that 30 FPS minimum; something the GIGABYTE GTX 460 and Galaxy GTX 465 could only scrape in.

Resident Evil 5

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We're close to that 60 FPS average and if we moved to 1920 x 1200 we would have it. 55 FPS at these settings is very impressive for a card at this price.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

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Unfortunately H.A.W.X. isn't so kind and the card like most others does sit a fair bit back from that 60 FPS average.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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It comes as no surprise that under WSA the Palit version of the GTX 460 is the strongest thanks to its massive clock speeds.

Benchmarks - Badaboom


Version and / or Patch Used: Release
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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BADABOOM performance is just as you would expect at around that 9 minute 20 second mark.

Temperature Test

Temperature 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.

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The Palit version of the GTX 460 did run a little warmer. This wasn't too much of a surprise, though, since it was working the hardest.

Sound Test

Sound 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).

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 39 |

Noise levels on the Palit version were again a little higher than the competition, but nothing we would be worrying about.

Power 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.

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 40 |

Power draw on the Palit version of the GTX 460 was really no more than the other GTX 460 offerings.

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.

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The TPR rating for the model is very strong with it even out performing stock clocked GTX 470s which used the older 197 driver. It's really not that far behind the GTX 470 Golden Sample which is a lot more expensive; most of those extra 2000 odd points are also coming from 3DMark Vantage more so than anything else.

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 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.

Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum Video Card 42 |

Available now (at the time of writing) at Newegg for $245, the Value of this model is fantastic. it's not quite as good as the 768MB version from MSI, but it's slightly ahead of the GIGABYTE 1GB model. Performance is a fair bit better as well, as we saw on the previous page thanks to that massive 800MHz core and 4000MHz QDR memory clock.

Final Thoughts

You're going to pay a little more for the Palit Sonic Platinum version of the GTX 460 at $245 (at the time of writing), but the performance increase justifies the cost. Normally we would see OC models offer slightly worse value than reference clocked / priced cards, but the overclock on the Sonic Platinum is just so strong that it counters the typical effect and climbs almost to the top of our TVR graph.

While the Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum 1GB lacks a little in the bundle department, so does just about every other video card we look at these days. For most the performance that Palit is offering us is going to be the stand out point.

While you can do overclocking yourself, Palit is offering us a massive out of the box overclock and for only slightly more money. If you can't be bothered learning or just overclocking, then it's a fantastic option. We're not talking about a company throwing the OC label on a model and having a 15MHz overclock. What makes this one stand out a bit more than the MSI and GIGABYTE GTX 460s we looked at is the fact the company has also decided to up the memory speed.

We had mentioned that the GTX 460 already looked like it was going to be a winner because of the aggressive pricing nature; we then saw MSI slap on a really nice cooler and up the clocks to a good level which really took the card to another level.

Palit have then upped those clocks even further, thrown a memory overclock into the mix and decided not to charge us through the roof for it taking it up another level again. You just have to look at our TPR graph to understand the performance of the card; you're talking about a card that performs better than a GTX 470 did when it first launched only a few months back. That's simply outstanding.

The only thing we really want to know now is if Palit can give us 800MHz off the bat, what can we achieve from the series with some extra core voltage?

If you don't mind paying a little more than the standard GTX 460 to get even more performance, the Palit is a fantastic card. As we mentioned as well, the overclock to price increase is also fantastic; our TVR graphs showed the value is only second to the cheaper 768MB version.

What do awards mean? Click for details!

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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