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Nvidia GTX 480 3-Way SLI Tested Against Radeons

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 93 comments

Fight!

Hardware.Info managed to snag not one, but three Nvidia GTX 480 cards and mashed them together (translated) in a 3-way SLI shootout against three ATI Radeon HD 5870 in triple-CrossFire. A dual-CrossFire 5970 was thrown in for good measure too.

For a large number of tests, even the dual-CrossFire 5970 configuration held its own, as well as the triple-CrossFire. As of this writing, GTX 480's are available in very low quantities and many gamers will find it difficult to snag one until Nvidia ramps up production.

After looking through the benchmarks, it's still very clear that the best bang for the buck title remains squarely in ATI's corner of the ring. While both ATI and Nvidia count on high yields to bring prices down, it's still unclear when consumers can see the results.

Hardware.Info ran its test with Intel's latest Core i7 980X 6-core processor. What they found was that ATI's triple-CrossFire scales far better than Nvidia's solution. According to the tests, adding a fourth GTX 480 will only give gamers roughly a 12.7% performance increase, which doesn't justify the cost as well as increased power consumption.

In fact, during load, the triple-CrossFire 5870 setup was running at 641 watts while the GTX 480 setup was consuming a whopping 937 watts--just shy of one kilowatt.

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    ohim , April 20, 2010 11:59 AM
    Impressive, they need 46% more juice than the radeons and they can`t even keep beeing the best overall in the games, they shine only in sponsored nvidia titles from what i see on that site. This reminds me of Adobe and their CS5 suite wich not only forces the consumer to get an nvidia CUDA capable card, they force you to buy only Specific high priced nvidia CUDA cards. I'm starting to feel sick of this nvidia bullshit.
  • 34 Hide
    JerseyFirefighter , April 20, 2010 11:51 AM
    1.21 kilowatts! Great Scott! lol
  • 19 Hide
    Lmeow , April 20, 2010 12:03 PM
    Hot oven is hot.
Other Comments
    Display all 93 comments.
  • 34 Hide
    JerseyFirefighter , April 20, 2010 11:51 AM
    1.21 kilowatts! Great Scott! lol
  • 34 Hide
    ohim , April 20, 2010 11:59 AM
    Impressive, they need 46% more juice than the radeons and they can`t even keep beeing the best overall in the games, they shine only in sponsored nvidia titles from what i see on that site. This reminds me of Adobe and their CS5 suite wich not only forces the consumer to get an nvidia CUDA capable card, they force you to buy only Specific high priced nvidia CUDA cards. I'm starting to feel sick of this nvidia bullshit.
  • 17 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 20, 2010 12:02 PM
    caskachanAND I MEANT ATI will be coming otu with the refresh. XD how te f do i edit messages?

    Click "Read the comments on the Forums" then proceed to edit from there.
  • 19 Hide
    Lmeow , April 20, 2010 12:03 PM
    Hot oven is hot.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 20, 2010 12:22 PM
    Surely we are likely to see some performance boosts once the drivers have matured?
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 20, 2010 12:23 PM
    Man the problem with SLI and crossfire X is finding mobos with 3 PCI-E slots that can run at full 16x speeds, and having the cards actually fit in there... also when are ATI going to fix their 5970s? those cards are acting really strange, sometimes giving the performance of a single 5870 or worse..... would love to see them at their full potential, or near it!!
  • 7 Hide
    ohim , April 20, 2010 12:24 PM
    shinmalotharSurely we are likely to see some performance boosts once the drivers have matured?

    I don`t wanna imply that they don`t bring new tweaks to their drivers but usually it`s about some numbers in the most used benchmarks out there since on my card i never saw the boost that they talk about in their driver updates, is more like lets see how good we can tweak the driver to perform as best as it can for these particular benchmarks. It happened in the past to bouth the companies be it ATI or Nvidia.
  • 14 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , April 20, 2010 12:24 PM
    I bet that can fry eggs!

    who is seriously in the right mind to do such a thing though? I mean, 3 GTX480s? Who needs so much power?

    not to mention you need a small nuclear power plant to power that rig...
  • 2 Hide
    shinmalothar , April 20, 2010 12:38 PM
    Im sure fermi will come good at some point in the future, I'm sure the benchmarks proved that the architecture was better suited to the stresses of DX11, until we start to see games that really use DX11 though you would have to be rich/a moron/both to buy one....if you can actually get your hands on one that is.
  • 5 Hide
    asdf634 , April 20, 2010 12:46 PM
    On the bright side, you can save money from buying and using a heater during the winter, 3 Fermis will be more than adequate, so it's not so bad. I bet that's nVidia's bonus feature to their customers!! :) 
  • -6 Hide
    weakerthans4 , April 20, 2010 12:56 PM
    Nvidia is turning into netburst Intel...
  • -6 Hide
    weakerthans4 , April 20, 2010 12:58 PM
    Nvidia is beginning to ferment into Netburst Intel...
  • 4 Hide
    mavroxur , April 20, 2010 1:00 PM
    I was actually expecting to see some charts and numbers.... silly me
  • -6 Hide
    weakerthans4 , April 20, 2010 1:00 PM
    crap. i double posted. sorry guys, i didn't realize.
  • -2 Hide
    hixbot , April 20, 2010 1:02 PM
    wow tri crossfire 5870 beats "quad" crossfire 5970 in alot of tests. seems to be no point to the 5970.
    tri sli 480 holds its own, people are so negative.
  • 5 Hide
    rambo117 , April 20, 2010 1:09 PM
    Nvidia = Fail
  • 6 Hide
    ohim , April 20, 2010 1:11 PM
    mavroxurI was actually expecting to see some charts and numbers.... silly me

    Usually blue text in a browser means a link, try to click it in the article, and your wish will be done, here you go maybe you won't be able to locate that in the article above.

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=nl&tl=en&u=http://www.hardware.info/nl-NL/articles/amdnampoZGCa/Clash_of_the_Titans_3way_SLI_GTX_480_test/&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&usg=ALkJrhjH3P-YDZsg6IqiMeNmuf_iell90g
  • 0 Hide
    awaken688 , April 20, 2010 1:12 PM
    Does this page load incorrectly for any other Chrome users out there? The image and arrows at the top look weird. Did the same thing to me on FF.
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