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Old 03-30-2010, 03:17 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 - GF100 Has Landed

We've learned a lot about NVIDIA's GF100 (Fermi) architecture over the past year, and after what seemed like an eternal wait, the company has officially announced the first two cards as part of the series; the GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480. To start, we're taking a look at the latter, so read on to see if it GF100 was worth the wait.

You can read our full look at NVIDIA's latest GF100 architecture and GTX 480 card in particular here and discuss it here.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:08 AM   #2
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me sad! this is soo not what i was expecting! power is becoming a major issue now and if Nvidia keeps going down this road i might just buy me an Ati !

liked the Extra games option! Can be very important in deciding b/w Ati or Nvidia!
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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well when Ati released 5000 series I think they accomplished lot of goals with those cards, especially energy efficiency when comparing to 4000 series. Power usage when idle, temperatures etc. I hoped that Nvidia will come with same "green" strategy. Unfortunatelly this is big let down for me. Good review
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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nice review specially the first 4 pages that explains nvidia tech...that gta4 part was the funniest.it came too late and the prices are so high and so is the power usage...
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:51 PM   #5
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Well done, Rob. My 2 cents. This is not what nVidia wanted. They scrambled for a release. Fermi was not yet ready for Prime Time! Although the design says much for the future, gamers are not their focus, Fermi was designed for number crunchers. They forgot to ask, who is willing to blow their budget on Hydro? Oh, I can't seem to comprehend why everyone feels compelled to compare the 480 to 5870. Two completely different paths. 5970 has less silicon than 480 so that is your guide! Get your heads out of the box. The new Opteron release shows that AMD is designing for scalability.(is that a word?)
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:18 PM   #6
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Unhappy Dual monitor Setup

From article : "Further proof of issues with the architecture were highlighted by our friend Nate from Legit Reviews, who discovered that while using a dual monitor setup with the GTX 480, the card draws 80W more power even without gaming, and runs at a constant 90C. That's certainly a major trade-off, and a strange issue, given neither the competition nor NVIDIA's own last-generation cards never had that issue"

Actually, my Nvidia GTX 280 did (does) the exact same thing. When you plugged in the second monitor, the frequency will remain at 600MHz (whereas with one monitor it throttles down to 300 MHz). I do not know if they fixed it with recent drivers (cause now I have 3 monitors, 2 of them being driven by a second card). So, this issue (plugging in a second card prevents the card from throttling down) appears to be perpetuated with GTX 480. A very good catch (none of the other reviews are mentioning this).
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Fermi = Windows Vista

57XX/58XX/5970 = Windows 7
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
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I have to say that alot of the other reviews I have read seem focused on something other than a real world gaming type of review for this card. Rob, as usual, you are spot on and while I am obviously going to favor the writing here, it is for a very good reason as well. I really like no-nonsense and to the point articles, not mamby pamby dribble that appeases the manufacturers.

I commend you on telling it like it is and am proud to be on staff on a site that truly cares more about making people aware of all things good and bad about a product. Great review!
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
I have to say that alot of the other reviews I have read seem focused on something other than a real world gaming type of review for this card. Rob, as usual, you are spot on and while I am obviously going to favor the writing here, it is for a very good reason as well. I really like no-nonsense and to the point articles, not mamby pamby dribble that appeases the manufacturers.

I commend you on telling it like it is and am proud to be on staff on a site that truly cares more about making people aware of all things good and bad about a product. Great review!
Aaye! That be true!
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday
liked the Extra games option! Can be very important in deciding b/w Ati or Nvidia!
That was something special for this article, because I didn't feel right in only sticking to our current fleet of titles. It's kind of sad, but some of our titles are just plain out of date. The reason it's sad is because it feels like I just revamped the entire GPU suite. Here I am needing to do it again! At least there are games out there that can actually push our GPUs, though. Metro 2033 is an incredible example of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
well when Ati released 5000 series I think they accomplished lot of goals with those cards, especially energy efficiency when comparing to 4000 series.
This impresses me a lot, too. There was a time when people were really worried about ATI, and of course AMD, but today, it's hard to not feel confident in the company. Of course, as we've seen with NVIDIA, it's truly difficult to predict the future. Hopefully ATI can keep it up, and NVIDIA get back on track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by looisboo
that gta4 part was the funniest.
I am not sure what part you are referring to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zblackrider
They forgot to ask, who is willing to blow their budget on Hydro?
This leads me to another thought... does anyone out there have a simple way of calculating how much extra a card like the GTX 480 would cost when compared to the HD 5870? I can't even think off the top of my head what my power bill is each month, but I think I'd be safe to say that the extra 100W per month could very well tack on another $5 a month to your bill, if you game often. That seems minor, but that'd be $60 per year, instantly increasing the actual cost of the GPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zblackrider
Oh, I can't seem to comprehend why everyone feels compelled to compare the 480 to 5870. Two completely different paths.
Not entirely. NVIDIA still has a major focus on gaming. It's just that it ALSO has a major focus on GPU computation, whereas ATI doesn't. If ATI had a competitive product in the computational field as NVIDIA, you could bet it would be boasting about it just as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Actually, my Nvidia GTX 280 did (does) the exact same thing. When you plugged in the second monitor, the frequency will remain at 600MHz (whereas with one monitor it throttles down to 300 MHz).
Ugh, that's strange. I would have figured Nate would have noticed that before, given he sticks to a dual-monitor setup. Does your GPU also get way hotter when using that configuration as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1
I commend you on telling it like it is and am proud to be on staff on a site that truly cares more about making people aware of all things good and bad about a product. Great review!
Thanks a lot man, I really appreciate the comment I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates hard-hitting and accurate content. If we're going to publish content, we might as well do it right!
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
That was something special for this article, because I didn't feel right in only sticking to our current fleet of titles. It's kind of sad, but some of our titles are just plain out of date. The reason it's sad is because it feels like I just revamped the entire GPU suite. Here I am needing to do it again! At least there are games out there that can actually push our GPUs, though. Metro 2033 is an incredible example of this.
I wish other types of game would push graphics like Crysis did when it came out, and Farcry 2, and now Metro 2033....something besides shooters...I mean I have no qualm with these games, I also don't know anything about Metro 2033 really. But, I haven't been able to finish either of the first two, I find them a bit dry for some reason, I guess I just can't get into realistic modern day shooters........
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Altrus View Post
I wish other types of game would push graphics like Crysis did when it came out, and Farcry 2, and now Metro 2033....something besides shooters...I mean I have no qualm with these games, I also don't know anything about Metro 2033 really. But, I haven't been able to finish either of the first two, I find them a bit dry for some reason, I guess I just can't get into realistic modern day shooters........
u should try Supreme Commander, SC: Forged Alliance, World in Conflict!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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Good objective review.
I like that ROB calls a dog a dog and a cat a cat. No BS. I know it's hard to highlight the weaknesses of a new product to a lot of people. nVidia doesn't appreciate, but HEY! That's the truth so they have to live with it!

Quote from Rob's review:

The GTX 480 is 25% more expensive than the HD 5870, but the performance gain certainly doesn't match it (except where tessellation is concerned). But, the upside still remains that performance gain. On the downside, NVIDIA's latest and greatest consumes far more power, runs far hotter, almost has a mini-vacuum noise-level, has weak video-out options, and last but not least, comes a full six months after AMD's HD 5000 series.

The HDMI thing bothered me too. Heat/noise and $$$ also.

Honest, I canceled my eVGA GTX470 SC pre-order and managed to get a XFX HD5870 from NCIX (they are rare and sell fast!). I'm a nVIDIA boy, but this time, I'll try ATI again (had a Rage pro in the old days, a X800Pro AGP and a DOA HIS x1950 pro).
Since then, I was sold to nVIDIA. I just hopw that my switch to ATI will be rewarding...
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Good objective review.
I like that ROB calls a dog a dog and a cat a cat. No BS. I know it's hard to highlight the weaknesses of a new product to a lot of people. nVidia doesn't appreciate, but HEY! That's the truth so they have to live with it!

Quote from Rob's review:

The GTX 480 is 25% more expensive than the HD 5870, but the performance gain certainly doesn't match it (except where tessellation is concerned). But, the upside still remains that performance gain. On the downside, NVIDIA's latest and greatest consumes far more power, runs far hotter, almost has a mini-vacuum noise-level, has weak video-out options, and last but not least, comes a full six months after AMD's HD 5000 series.

The HDMI thing bothered me too. Heat/noise and $$$ also.

Honest, I canceled my eVGA GTX470 SC pre-order and managed to get a XFX HD5870 from NCIX (they are rare and sell fast!). I'm a nVIDIA boy, but this time, I'll try ATI again (had a Rage pro in the old days, a X800Pro AGP and a DOA HIS x1950 pro).
Since then, I was sold to nVIDIA. I just hopw that my switch to ATI will be rewarding...
it most probably will be!
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:49 AM   #15
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Default sad day for nVidia

it's sad really; I was hoping to see a big gain from nVidia to push ATi along. I bought a 5870 pretty much on launch day and have not looked back at all. I love the cards gaming chops...MW2, BFBC2, Mass Effect...you name it the 5870 runs it and runs it with the eye candy on no less.

As was mentioned again and again in the review...power usage is a big deal these days. Im running a Q9650 overclocked to 3.6Ghz 24/7 with 8 gigs of ram and 3 hard drives...as I sit writing this reply my Kill-a-watt meter is registering 119 watts of power draw...enough said.
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