Gigabyte have replaced the NVIDIA reference cooling component with their own Windforce. The advantages of the Windforce are, amongst others, much lower temperatures and an equally low noise level. The PWM coolers has a diameter of 75 mm, and cools down the hole PCB, which optimizes the GDDR5 memory and the performance of the components.
The so-called Ultra Durable VGA components should by all accounts improve the overclocking potential by 10 to 30 %, reduce the power consumption by 10 to 30 % and reduce the temperatures by 5 to 10 %, compared to the GTX 460 reference version.
The PCB consists of copper. Gigabyte have doubled the thickness from 1 OZ to 2 OZ, which spreads the heat better, and guarantees low temperatures at normal use, but also at overclocking. Only the best memory, which has been through various tests and gives 10 % extra performance, is used for the Ultra Durable VGA cards. Japanese capacitors give 18 x lifetime in comparison to electrolytic capacitors. Standard iron-core induction coils use 25 % more energy, compared to the Ultra Durable VGAs ferrite-core induction coils. Low RDS (on) MOSFETS are 16 % cooler than traditional MOSFETS.
One has to conclude from this information, that Gigabyte GV-N460OC-1GI is very different from a traditional GTX 460. Only the GF104 GPU is the same, but besides from that, almost everything has been changed.
GV-N460OC-1GI has a length of 210 mm. The back end does not cross the side of the ATX motherboard, which is a plus for users with a small computer case. Gigabyte did a good job keeping the card so short, for a graphics card in its class. On the picture, a Radeon HD 5870, a GV-N460OC-1GI and a GeFore GTX 260 are compared.
The connections include 2 x dual-link DVI and 1 x Mini HDMI 1.3a. Dual-link DVI gives a possible resolution of up to 1920 x 1200 @ 120 Hz or 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz.
In comparison to earlier HDMI standards, the HDMI 1.3a supports 3D. The bandwidth is 10.2 Gbit/s, and is enough for a resolution of 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz with 30 bit colors per pixel.
DisplayPort is not represented. Gigabyte includes a Mini HDMI to HDMI adaptor in the accessories, so your old HDMI cable can be reused.
2 x PCIe 6 pin power connection gives a total power consumption of up to 225 Watt. NVIDIA specifies the GeForce 460 reference version to a power consumption of 160 Watt. That takes care of the GV-N460OC-1GI’s factory overclock. The overclocker has to have access to extra power.
For the your whole system, NVIDIA recommends a power supply of at least 450 Watt.
Gigabyte use a blue PCB which corresponds to the colors of their logo. The Windforce cooling component is fixed to the PCB with four screws, and it is not possible to see any memory chips from this side of the card.