So how has it a better value for the money ratio?
768 460s are chopped in more ways than VRAM chip count. As well as having reduced memory capacity (and cache, 384 vs 512 kB), they have less ROPs and the memory bus is 192-bit and not the full 256-bit. I just can't justify buying that over the 'proper' 1GB version when the price difference is - in most cases I have seen - so little. It's like they made a really, really nice cake, and then took away all the strawberries on top that all the tasters were so impressed with.
Thanks for digging up that review CA_Steve. It's a quick comparison that showcases how the cut-down 768 won't get going when the going gets tough. If all you play is Sims at laptop resolutions, you shouldn't be buying a 460 anyway! :D
Are you even looking at the same review? :P
In the graph, the 1GB version averaged 3 fps more at 1920x1200 and 1 fps more at 2560x1600. The only thing they said negative about the 768MB was that in some extreme situations, like running 8x AA at these high resolutions with maxed settings on certain games, the 768MB version became unplayable, due to not having enough memory for such a large framebuffer. Reducing the AA a bit resulted in framerates that would be almost indistinguishable between the two cards.
Also, it should probably be noted that the majority of gamers don't have screens at these resolutions anyway. According to the latest Steam Hardware Survey
, only around 20% of gamers using Steam have screen resolutions higher than 1680x1050. Granted, a fair portion of these may be notebooks or older systems, but I'd say there are still significantly more recent desktops with screens at 1680x1050 or below than there are above.
Games will eventually require more memory to run well with good graphics settings, but the majority of PC game releases are currently designed to look good on consoles as well. The PS3 has just 256MB of video memory, so even a 512MB video card will be capable of playing a game with higher texture quality and resolution. Certainly there will be the occasional PC exclusive that pushes the limits of what desktop video hardware can do, but most developers aren't interested in making a game that won't look or play well on most mid-range gaming systems.
As for the price, the going rate for a GTX 460 768MB at Newegg is currently around $170 shipped (in the US), with a couple models having mail-in rebates bringing them to $150. The 1GB models start at $220, and most are priced higher yet, with the best mail-in rebate resulting in a $200 final price. So currently, the 1GB models are selling for $50 more than their 768MB counterparts here. Thats around a 30% higher price, for only marginal performance gains of perhaps 5 to 10%. I wouldn't say that's exactly a "little" price difference. The prices are a bit different at the Canadian site, though the least expensive models are still priced comparably, albeit with higher shipping and taxes. While it might be different in other parts of the world, at least in North America, the 768MB model is arguably more attractive from a price/performance standpoint right now.