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Considering SLI 480s, curious about performance, temp, and noise

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October 18, 2010 8:54:56 PM

I am considering an SLI 480 GTX setup for a home-built gaming system, partially so i can game on three monitors (either 24, 27, or 30 inch) in the future. I have a 30" monitor now, and would like to run games at max settings at 2560x1600 resolution.

Can those who are running 480 GTX in SLI comment on performance, hopefully at 2560x1600 or across three monitors, as well as how high your temperatures are (and how you are cooling the system) and the noise level?

I'm currently playing a very heavily modified Oblivion The Elder Scrolls, which partially brings my current system to its knees (lots graphics modes, draw distance increases, etc. etc.). I also enjoy flight sims, and will be playing the upcoming A-10 simulator, which will likely be pretty taxing (http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/index.php?end_pos...).

Finally, do folks know if NVIDIA is planning to release a newer-generation, more powerful card in the next four months or so? I plan to build over the holidays, but would consider waiting if something awesome is around the corner (mainly for the hopeful price drop on the 480).

Thanks.
a c 333 Î Nvidia
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October 18, 2010 9:39:23 PM

My understanding is that the GTX480 in SLI is the fastest graphics option available versus other dual card/dual GPU systems. It should eat up a three monitor, high-resolution setup at full detail settings with no problems. There is literally nothing you can throw at a GTX480 SLI setup that it can't handle with ease.

As a GTX480 owner, I have been pleasantly surprised that the heat and noise are not nearly as bad as some of the early reviews suggested. Something as simple as replacing the thermal paste made a dramatic difference on my card. As time has gone by, newer bios revisions and drivers have managed to compensate for the initial problems, and recent reviews have shown these issues to be much more within comfortable limits:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

There have recently been released several GTX480 variants with custom coolers and designs. If you live in Europe, check out the KFA2 with an Arctic Cooling Acelero Extreme cooler. MSI has also released a Lightning version with a Twin Frozr II cooler. These coolers vent heat inside the case (versus the reference cooler, which vents outside the case), so plan your case ventilation accordingly (they may also be three slot coolers, so they may be too big for SLI).

The latest rumors I have read have a GTX580 (older rumors called it the GTX485) coming out by December. I would not count on that release date, but we should definitely know more within 4 months if an actual card doesn't show up. The GTX580 should have the full 512 shader processors, versus 480 on the GTX480, and 2gb of DDR5.
http://videocardz.com/27360/nvidia-geforce-gtx-580-rumo...
October 18, 2010 9:50:19 PM

Thanks
Related resources
a c 168 Î Nvidia
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October 18, 2010 10:07:03 PM

17seconds said:
The latest rumors I have read have a GTX580 (older rumors called it the GTX485) coming out by December. I would not count on that release date, but we should definitely know more within 4 months if an actual card doesn't show up. The GTX580 should have the full 512 shader processors, versus 480 on the GTX480, and 2gb of DDR5.
http://videocardz.com/27360/nvidia-geforce-gtx-580-rumo...

The way I read that would suggest that the GTX580 (if it gets called that) would use the G110 GPU so there could still be a GTX485 using the G100b GPU.
a c 333 Î Nvidia
a b C Monitor
October 18, 2010 10:12:13 PM

Mousemonkey said:
The way I read that would suggest that the GTX580 (if it gets called that) would use the G110 GPU so there could still be a GTX485 using the G100b GPU.

I think you might be right. In any event, Nvidia is supposed to have some aces up their sleeves over the next few months.
October 18, 2010 10:26:46 PM

They might, but they kinda need a full deck hiding up their too. Halo products, as these seem to be, wont carry the day. These just got stirred up to rain on 6xxx release, and while they might be true, 20 guesses why. A 485 would just be hotter and use more energy, and likely wouldnt reclaim the crown from the 6970, atleast if current things hold true. Then a 580 is an entirely new arch, so is basically either Kepler, or coming no time soon. The best thing they can do is release Kepler as early as possible, and make sure it beats 6xxx easily.
a c 333 Î Nvidia
a b C Monitor
October 18, 2010 11:48:20 PM

I just read that Galaxy (the parent company of KFA2) is coming out with a Superoverclock version of the GTX480 for sale in the U.S. It will be clocked at (Edit:)  760mhz (vs. 700mhz reference) and come with the Arctic Cooling Acelero Extreme cooler. Despite the fact that it has a 3 slot cooler, this article mentions that you can pair it with a reference model GTX480 in SLI.
http://alienbabeltech.com/main/?p=20800
a b Î Nvidia
October 18, 2010 11:56:57 PM

Further proof they are running cooler than early parts. At 810mhz that thing is a monster. With driver improvements, that card will test about 20% faster than launch cards did.
October 19, 2010 1:26:53 AM

notty22 said:
Further proof they are running cooler than early parts. At 810mhz that thing is a monster. With driver improvements, that card will test about 20% faster than launch cards did.


While you are right, fermi has cooled a little, once again, overclock a card, it gets better performance.
a b Î Nvidia
October 19, 2010 1:30:56 AM

ares1214 said:
While you are right, fermi has cooled a little, once again, overclock a card, it gets better performance.


NO, its only true IF the card has overhead and is designed to allow higher clock speeds with or without voltage adjustment. 2) IF that architecture scales well .
You can't understand this it seems.
Your want to trivialize a edge one card might have over another.
edit: explaining further. Currently AMD went with smaller dies, less transistors. This allows it to use less power based on transistor count alone. So they compensate for less muscle through higher clock speeds. Being more efficient also allows this.
In the case of the 5770/5870/5830 they are nearer to their max clock speed.
As compared to the 5850
Out of the current ATI cards , its a good overclocking example.
The gtx 460/470/480 even the 465 are very good overclockers.
October 19, 2010 1:41:34 AM

notty22 said:
NO, its only true IF the card has overhead and is designed to allow higher clock speeds with or without voltage adjustment. 2) IF that architecture scales well .
You can't understand this it seems.
Your want to trivialize a edge one card might have over another.


The 480 and 5870 can both OC about the same. Around 15% generally i believe. Scaling is hard to figure without a review dedicated to it, which there are very few, or step by step incriments with your own cards, so scaling is up for grabs.
a b Î Nvidia
October 19, 2010 1:49:54 AM

ares1214 said:
The 480 and 5870 can both OC about the same. Around 15% generally i believe. Scaling is hard to figure without a review dedicated to it, which there are very few, or step by step incriments with your own cards, so scaling is up for grabs.

This is incorrect.
Also the fps or power does not scale the same with AA involved or tesselation performance in the case of the 5870.
Its been this way the last couple of generations.
The 4890 is clocked for all its worth by ATI, whether its heat or just the limits of the gpu, there's nobody home after 900mhz , they came at 850mhz.
October 19, 2010 2:21:31 AM

From a 4890 user, not true, but what does the 4890 have to do with ANYTHING?! You show me proof the 5870 scales horridly, and ill accept it.
October 19, 2010 2:59:38 AM

Many thanks folks, especially to you Matt, for the links about the Galaxy card (I might buy two of them--going to need a HUGE case and big mobo, I'd imagine) and triple monitor gaming w/ 2 480s.
October 19, 2010 10:50:37 AM

Sigh, OP, apologies, went a bit off topic. I guess notty just cant provide hard evidence, otherwise he would have already. You might as well wait for 6xxx at this point.
!