Power of twoThough the company would dare not admit it publicly, NVIDIA rather stumbled with the launch of its Fermi graphics card architecture in March 2010. Fast and big it certainly was, but certain other adjectives - noisy, hot, loud, expensive - came to mind when describing the finest GPU to come out of the green team's design headquarters. But NVIDIA's make-or-break card is never going to be the GeForce GTX 480, priced at over £400 at launch. Rather, the mid-range progeny will dictate just how successful the GTX 400-series is going to be.
The good news for NVIDIA is that the GeForce GTX 460, launched yesterday, hits the ground running. Indeed we commented that 'NVIDIA's taken a while to get up to speed with its DX11 Fermi. From what we've seen through a week of testing with the GTX 460 cards, NVIDIA has finally done its Fermi architecture justice in the form of GF104.'
Through the maelstrom of discontent and bemusement that surrounded the initial launch four months' ago, one beacon of light was the near-perfect scaling when two cards were used in multi-GPU SLI mode, and given just how good the new GeForce GTX 460s are in relation to their sub-£200 price point, it would have been an egregious error on our part not to look at SLI performance.
Cobbling together two GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB cards and letting rip through our test suite, brace yourselves for some SLI fun.