EVGA announces dual-GF104 GTX 460 2Win
Remember the much rumoured dual-GF104 cards from way back in May 2010? After several unreleased prototypes, EVGA has finally taken the step of announcing the first retail dual-GF104 card, the EVGA GTX 460 2Win. To put it simply, the GTX 460 2Win puts two GTX 460 GF104 1GB on one PCB. EVGA goes an extra step by giving the 2Win mild overclocks over the reference GTX 460, clock speed upto 700 MHz and subsequently, shaders up to 1400 MHz. The 2Win features 2 GB GDDR5 at 3.6 GHz.
Visually, the 2Win is identical to the EVGA Dual-GPU prototype shown at CES 2011. Thought to be a dual-GF110 card, we reported the PCB footprint suggesting a dual-GF114 card. Now we know that the prototype from CES 2011 was indeed the GTX 460 2Win.
It is a dual-slot card, featuring three fans. The card uses 2×8-pin power, with a TDP somewhere between 300W and 375W. It is a long card – at 11.5" it is nearly as long as the Radeon HD 6990.
In terms of performance, the EVGA article paints a rosy picture against the GTX 580 – the GTX 460 2Win winning both 3DMark 11 and Unigine Heaven benchmarks comfortably. However, these are synthetic benchmarks which scale almost perfectly with SLI. In real world gaming tests, the GTX 460 2Win may struggle to keep up with the single GTX 580. Certainly, the 2Win will be annihialted by the HD 6990 and the upcoming GTX 590.
The 2Win has a trick up its sleeve, however, featuring 4 display outputs – 3xDVI and 1x mini HDMI. This makes it the first single NVIDIA card to feature multimonitor gaming, supporting 3D Surround. Previously, two cards in SLI were needed to enable 3D Surround. It will surely be the cheapest single NVIDIA card to support 3D Surround (the other, GTX 590, will be a lot more expensive), and this is something EVGA seems to be actively marketing.
Considering the specifications of the GTX 460 2Win, surely a GTX 560 2Win would allow for better performance in the same thermal envelope? This suggests that the 2Win – like several other dual-GF104 prototypes – have been in development for a long time and are now being released.
The most important thing now, for EVGA, is the pricing. With the single GTX 460 1GB cards now selling at around $170 (after rebates), the GTX 460 2Win, if priced right, could be an interesting alternative to the HD 6970 or GTX 570. However, if the pricing is off, it will be a simple case of too little, too late. Availability hasn't been mentioned either.