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Test Setup And Benchmarks

GeForce GTX 480 And 470: From Fermi And GF100 To Actual Cards!
By , Fedy Abi-Chahla and Florian Charpentier
Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s, 12MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled
Motherboard
Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS F5
Memory
Kingston HyperX T1 Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3-2000 8-8-8-24 @ 1,600 MHz
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2MH160G2C1 160GB SATA 3 Gb/s
Networking
Realtek RTC8111D, 1 Gb/s
Graphics CardsNvidia GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1.25GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 1.79GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 1GB

ATI Radeon HD 5970 2GB

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB

ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB

ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100W
CPU Cooler
Intel DBX-B Thermal Solution
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Platform Driver
Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1019
Graphics Driver
Nvidia GeForce 197.17 (GTX 480/470)

Nvidia GeForce 197.13 (GTX 295/285)

AMD Catalyst 10.3a
Games
Crysis
Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1900x1200 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Extreme Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, DX10 Rendering, Benchmark Tool
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Second Sun, 45 second sequence, FRAPS
DiRT 2
Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, In-Game Benchmark (Demo), Forced DX9 Rendering
Metro 2033
High Quality Settings, AAA / No AF, 4x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, PhysX off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Chapter 1: Chase, 150 second sequence, FRAPS
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 1xAA / No AF, 8x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
3DMark Vantage
Performance Default, High Quality, Extreme Quality; PPU Disabled
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Top Comments
  • 45 Hide
    tipoo , March 26, 2010 10:39 PM
    Completely unimpressed. 6 months late. Too expensive. Power hog. Performance not particularly impressive. The Radeon 5k series has been delivering a near identical experience for 6 months now, at a lower price.
  • 45 Hide
    restatement3dofted , March 26, 2010 10:38 PM
    I have been waiting for this review since freaking January. Tom's Hardware, I love you.

    With official reviews available, the GTX 480 certainly doesn't seem like the rampaging ATI-killer they boasted it would be, especially six months after ATI started rolling out 5xxx cards. Now I suppose I'll just cross my fingers that this causes prices for the 5xxx cards to shift a bit (a guy can dream, can't he?), and wait to see what ATI rolls out next. Unless something drastic happens, I don't see myself choosing a GF100 card over an ATI alternative, at least not for this generation of GPUs.
  • 39 Hide
    jennyh , March 26, 2010 10:59 PM
    They held it back for 6 months, but it still can't play Crysis lol. :D 
Other Comments
  • 45 Hide
    restatement3dofted , March 26, 2010 10:38 PM
    I have been waiting for this review since freaking January. Tom's Hardware, I love you.

    With official reviews available, the GTX 480 certainly doesn't seem like the rampaging ATI-killer they boasted it would be, especially six months after ATI started rolling out 5xxx cards. Now I suppose I'll just cross my fingers that this causes prices for the 5xxx cards to shift a bit (a guy can dream, can't he?), and wait to see what ATI rolls out next. Unless something drastic happens, I don't see myself choosing a GF100 card over an ATI alternative, at least not for this generation of GPUs.
  • 45 Hide
    tipoo , March 26, 2010 10:39 PM
    Completely unimpressed. 6 months late. Too expensive. Power hog. Performance not particularly impressive. The Radeon 5k series has been delivering a near identical experience for 6 months now, at a lower price.
  • 33 Hide
    tpi2007 , March 26, 2010 10:39 PM
    hmmm.. so this is a paper launch... six months after and they do a paper launch on a friday evening, after the stock exchange has closed.. smart move by Nvidia, that way people will cool off during the weekend, but I think their stocks won't perform that brilliantly on monday...
  • 28 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2010 10:40 PM
    not at all impressed
  • 34 Hide
    Godhatesusall , March 26, 2010 10:41 PM
    high power consumption, high prices along with a (small, all things considered) performance edge over ATI is all there is. Are 100$ more for a gtx 480 really worth 5-10% increase in performance?

    Though the big downside of fermi are temps. 97 is a very large(and totally unacceptable) temperature level. IMO fermi cards will start dying from thermal death some months from now.

    I just wanted competition,so that prices would be lower and we(the consumers) could get more bang for our buck. Surely fermi doesnt help alot in that direction(a modest 30$ cut for 5870 and 5850 from ATI and fermi wont stand a chance). It seems AMD/ATI clearly won this round
  • 26 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 26, 2010 10:43 PM
    Kinda impressed :/ 

    The minimum frame rates are quite nice at least...
    Lets talk again when a version with the full 512 SP is released.
  • 13 Hide
    djtronika , March 26, 2010 10:45 PM
    yawn
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2010 10:48 PM
    The way we're meant to be dismayed, gg infirmi
  • 23 Hide
    randomizer , March 26, 2010 10:49 PM
    I'll keep my GTX275.
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2010 10:57 PM
    Traditionally I have been a big nVidia loyalist. Why? Because I think they have better drivers. This however makes me question whether I will stick with them this time around. Its a huge letdown. The performance is not anywhere close to good enough. At this late point in the game ATi likely has something newer than the 5000 series close to launch. It will make people physically sick that they spent the big bucks on these nVidia cards if in 3 months or so there are faster cards from ATi.
  • 39 Hide
    jennyh , March 26, 2010 10:59 PM
    They held it back for 6 months, but it still can't play Crysis lol. :D 
  • 34 Hide
    Derbixrace , March 26, 2010 11:00 PM
    im glad i bought the 5850, im not even a little impressed :/  ati won this round.
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2010 11:03 PM
    So... We better start talking about Fermi 2...
  • 27 Hide
    Honis , March 26, 2010 11:03 PM
    I think I'll stick with my 4870s...
  • 3 Hide
    eodeo , March 26, 2010 11:04 PM
    gotta love the competition. prices will surely go down and costumer will only benefit. sad that it took nvidia 6 months to get here though..
  • 26 Hide
    tpi2007 , March 26, 2010 11:04 PM
    GTX 480: 10%-15% more performance than a 5870 for a power consumption akin to a 5970, at much higher temperatures, and for 100$ more. More than likely available in limited quantities in two weeks (let's see about that). I have a word for this: faillure.

    Oh, it seems that ATI already has a preview of Catalyst 10.3a, which add another few frames to the already very respcatable 10.3.

    I admit Tom's want to be polite, although I do have to say, from the reviews I've read so far, you seem to be the most objctive, so you deserve congratulations for that, but anyway, to me, it simply is not worth the money. Efficiency is not just a fashion word, it has real world implications, and Nvidia has a lot of homework to do on redesigning their chip.
  • 25 Hide
    rage machine , March 26, 2010 11:05 PM
    I am so disappointed. I have been using Nvidia since the 6000 series and, unfortunately for them, i will be purchasing an ATI card next. I have a GTX280 and there is really no performance gain big enough to justify the cost, power, and heat levels of the card. I have really gained some newfound respect for ATI though, I look forward to purchasing a card from them. I also believe that eyefinity is going to be the way to go.
  • 25 Hide
    brett1042002 , March 26, 2010 11:06 PM
    Too little, too late.
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