Conclusion: The MSI N460GTX Hawk Edition card is one of those outstanding cards that overclocks very well, with clock speeds nearing 1GHz. Considering that the standard GeForce GTX460 has a clock speed of 675MHz, the HAWK nearly overclocks by 50% which is simply amazing. Performance on the card is outstanding for this price point. The card will retail for $249.99, making it one of the better bargains on the market today.
Conclusion: Software control of a video card’s clocks and core voltage is the fastest and easiest way to improve its performance. MSI Afterburner is one of the best monitoring and control software products available, and MSI’s latest version brings voltage control to all aspects of the GTX 460 design. With so much apparent thermal headroom available on the GTX 460, the ability to bump up the core voltage on the GPU is quite useful.
Excerpt: By far the most outstanding GPU release from NVIDIA in a few years, the GeForce GTX 460 1GB card has been the best selling card on the market pretty much since its release. And what is not to like with a combination of a reasonable price and stellar performance when compared to previous generation NVIDIA technology and even current generation AMD offerings like the Radeon HD 5830. Reference cards were great upon initial release, but over time we expect pre-overclocked...
Summary: Since it launched, we have seen some truly impressive performance come out NVIDIA’s little GeForce GTX 460, and the MSI N460GTX Hawk Edition looks set to carry on that trend. MSI built this video card with an award-winning GPU, a proven cooling system, and advanced power management technology. It came out of the box with great performance for its price, and its overclocking potential is nothing to sneeze at.
Summary: MSI's N460GTX Hawk Edition has landed in its place atop the totem pole of factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 460 video cards. It has some unique new features that should definitely pique the interest of many budget-minded hardware enthusiasts.
Conclusion: So what sets the MSI N460GTX Hawk apart from all other vanilla Nvidia GTX 460 graphics card is the heatsink and overclocking potential. Attached on the main body is MSI’s creatively named Twin Frozr II heatsink that has two fans on top of an intricately laid out network of fins and heatpipes. While the thing certainly looks awesome, it designed to match the over the top performance of the card.
Conclusion: From a performance standpoint, it's impossible to argue with the numbers this card puts up, at its price point. As I hypothesized in my Final Thoughts, this is really a 5850-class card from a technology standpoint, and it performed like one. Overclocked far beyond its standard operating point, to 950 MHz on the core, it sweeps the field in its market segment and takes a surprise swing at the next level up.
Pros: Incredibly effective cooling system, Improved power supply design, Best monitoring and control S/W bundle, Excellent overclocking headroom, Outstanding price/performance ratio, 1000 MHz GDDR5 overclocks better than 1250 MHz parts, Very low idle clocks = low power consumption, Memory ICs are cooled by airflow from fan, Enthusiast-oriented fan profile, Pre-wired connectors for voltage monitoring, Second round of driver updates available now
Cons: Imagine what this card could do with binned GPUs, Why not go for the 1250 MHz memory that's readily available, Almost all heat from the card is pushed into the case, Voltage adjustments don't show actual values in Afterburner
Conclusion: Some of you may remember that a few years ago MSI was in a bit of a funk. Their products didn’t really stand out as unique when compared to their competition, the prices weren’t particularly attractive and availability was slim at best. In the past 18 months or so, a new team has essentially turned the ship around and we are now seeing unique, well priced products like the Hawk series of graphics cards.
Excerpt: As it is a non-reference design card, the MSI GeForce N460GTX Hawk manages to bring an improved cooler and a slight core speed overclock to the table. Since it is priced higher than the stock GTX460, at a level very close to that of the Radeon HD 5850 , our expectations from this card were high. Did it deliver?