ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB
First up is a GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB card from the folks over at ZOTAC. One peek at the PCIe 2.0 connector and it's clear it's not a biggun. Measuring 8.25in and weighing in at 581g, the card uses a dual-slot-taking heatsink that's cooled by an offset radial fan that blows back through the shroud, much like other GeForce 4xx cards.
This time around, there's no PCB frame to speak of. The top portion is there to facilitate air movement over the enclosed two-heatpipe cooling.
Rated to a nominal 160W, the card requires a couple of six-pin PCIe power connectors. ZOTAC clocks this version in at reference speeds - 675MHz core, 1,350MHz shader, and 3,600MHz memory - but we're sure to see pre-overclocked models very soon.
NVIDIA doesn't want you running three of these budget Fermi cards in a machine, and one way to stop that is to specify only a single SLI connector on the PCB.
The 1,024MB of GDDR5 memory is all contained on the topside, arranged in eight chips, akin to the GeForce GTX 465.
Here's one section where ZOTAC does make a change. The standard rear layout consists of two dual-link DVI ports and a mini-HDMI. Making full use of a double-height backplane, the card is kitted out with a full-sized HDMI port and, added specifically by ZOTAC, a regular DisplayPort connector.
There's no way around locating a fourth output connector on the upper portion of the backplane, obviously, but it could diminish the ability of hot air to escape through the vents.
Sandwiched between a Radeon HD 5850 on the top and a Radeon HD 5770 at the bottom, the GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB is a considerably smaller than other Fermi-based cards. That's good news for folk looking to place it in smaller chassis.
Sweetening the package by including Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands - selling for £20 right now - and shipping with a two-year warranty that can be extended to five years upon registration, the package, we hope, will be available for less than £200 during the week of launch.