It’s been three and a half months sinceNvidia released its first GF100 “Fermi”DirectX 11 video card, the high-end GeForce GTX 480, and its lower-priced, lower-power siblings, the GTX 470 and the GTX 465. The cards have been the top performers of their price ranges ($500, $350, and $270), but only just—AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5000 serieshave offered similar performance for similar prices, and have been on the market since early last fall. Nvidia’s had a lot of catching up to do, with one of its primary deficits being the lack of a sub-$200 card for its lineup. With Nvidia’s release of the GeForce GTX 460, that hole is now filled.
Or at least partially. The 768MB GTX 460 is available for around $199, but if you want a 1GB version, you’ll have to shell out about $229 instead. The card is aimed, in both price and performance at AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5830, which was released earlier this year, and also currently lists for about $199. One of the feathers in AMD’s cap in this generation has been its wide variety, ranging from its highest-performance, double-GPU (and $700) 5970 at the upper end of the spectrum and the 5450 at the bottom.
Now that it’s offering a much fuller selection of cards, Nvidia would seem to be back in the game. But a lot depends on the GTX 460’s price and performance, and how they stack up to AMD’s formidable offerings.