Nvidia's mid-range Fermi derivative won't just be cheaper, smaller, and less power-hungry than the mighty GF100, according to the rumor mill. Now, word is that the upcoming GF104 graphics processor will also be a great overclocker.
The folks at Heise Online say overclocking experiments in East Asia have shown the GF104-based GeForce GTX 460 can climb from a stock 675MHz speed to 830MHz without a voltage bump. If you do raise the voltage a little bit, the card can reportedly hit 900MHz. At that speed, Heise Online claims the GTX 460 beats the existing, GF100-based GeForce GTX 470.
That sounds like quite a feat for a card that's supposed to retail at around $230. Incidentally, Heise Online's story mentions not one, but two GTX 460 variants: the $230 one we've already heard about, with 768MB of RAM and a 192-bit memory interface, as well as a more upscale, $250 model with a full 1GB of RAM and 256-bit path to memory.
If all of these rumors happen to be correct, they bode well for Nvidia return to that slice of the market. Right now, the company has pretty much nothing interesting between the old, sub-$200 GeForce GTX 260 and the new GTX 465, which sells for around $250-270. At $230, this reportedly speedy and overclockable GeForce GTX 460 would go up against AMD's Radeon HD 5830, which has proven to be a somewhat underwhelming product from a value standpoint.