You know I would have laughed at you a year ago and been like PNY LOL. Some economic changes in my life dictated that I had a very limited GPU budget, and a failing card in my box and I pulled the trigger on a PNY 560ti OCS model. The card has been fantastic and it was cheap. I can't come up with a complaint. I have been an EVGA buyer for years but the PCB and the heat sinks and the fans and plastics are all of equal quality.
The only thing I'm worried about for a GTX480 is that it's an older model, and consumes more electricity, and some since I'm in college and my place next year actually charges for the amount of electric you use, I don't want my bills to skyrocket, but maybe my fears aren't justified. Doesn't it also get quite a bit hot?
Meh, I can consider the 480 and the 580 just looked like a good deal so I was pretty shocked when I saw the price, but cautious since I couldn't find any info on it. I guess its down to the 7850 vs 480 now.
The 580 is going to be a little quieter, and is faster. I have owned both and I didn't hesitate to upgrade to the 580 for the noise issue alone. Overclocking the 480 to match the speed of the 580 will only make it that much louder. The 580 is actually pretty quiet. PNY is a good brand and better yet, they're an American company.
It's hard to beat the price of the 480, though. If you are an enthusiast, like recon, who knows how to set up your case with good airflow directed at the video card, then the 480 is worth it. It's basically the equivalent of a GTX 570, but with more memory.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen my desktop in almost a year and don't really remember the construction of it; as a matter of fact, my dad built it for me a few years back and it runs a 9600GSO. I don't think I could get quite as good airflow as Recon is haha, but the price is quite tempting.
If I had to buy a new GTX480, 580, or 680, I would go with the 480 the performance difference between the three is marginal IMO. The GTX480 is a steal these days. If you can still find an EVGA with lifetime warranty snatch it.
Ive had one for three years now. With F@H the GPU stays at 91c and 71%fan usage no matter how long i leave it on.
I really don't get all the fuss about power consumption of a gpu. Since when did gaming become economical. If you are dropping hundreds of dollars on gaming equipment, a bunch of money on the actual games, do you really care if your card is using 100 more watts than another one. And that is probably at max usuage which accounts for how many hours in your billing cycle. Its pretty small. I've done all this testing using a kill-a-watt meter at the wall for my entire system, multiple monitors, and trust me it wasn't even close to breaking the bank. Most power companies don't charge based on linear usage anyhow. Look into this more before you get so obsessed about how many watts this or that gpu uses.