GeForce GTX 480 And 470: From Fermi And GF100 To Actual Cards!

Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 (DirectX 9)

This one almost had to be trashed altogether. Our DiRT 2 testing centers on the game demo, which includes a built-in benchmarking mode (the retail game does not come with this, and instead needs to be tested manually via FRAPS and a human pilot).

We noticed that the GF100-based cards were generating really high scores compared to the Radeon HD 5000-series cards, which seemed a little odd since both architectures are able to run the game in DirectX 11 mode. As it turns out, the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 aren’t properly detected as DX11 cards by the demo (though they function as expected in the retail game). So, we forced all of the boards into DX9 mode in order to get a look at performance in a DX9 title (rather than toss DiRT 2 as a benchmark altogether) .

Without anti-aliasing applied, the dual-GPU ATI cards take first-place finishes at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 performs well against ATI’s Radeon HD 5870, though its advantage slowly evaporates in moving from 16x10 to 19x12 to 25x16. The GeForce GTX 470 starts in front of the Radeon HD 5870, slips between ATI’s two fastest single-GPU cards at 1920x1200, and then falls behind the 5850 at 2560x1600.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • restatement3dofted
    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.
  • tipoo
    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.
  • tpi2007
    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...
  • not at all impressed
  • Godhatesusall
    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
  • Pei-chen
    Wow, it seems Nvidia actually went ahead and designed a DX11 card and found out how difficult it is to design. ATI/AMD just slapped a DX11 sticker on their DX10 card and sells it as DX11. In half a year HD 5000 will be so outdated that all it can play is DX10 games.
  • outlw6669
    Kinda impressed :/

    The minimum frame rates are quite nice at least...
    Lets talk again when a version with the full 512 SP is released.
  • djtronika
  • The way we're meant to be dismayed, gg infirmi
  • randomizer
    I'll keep my GTX275.