NVIDIA Fermi - GTX 470 - GTX 480 - GTX 480 SLI Review @ [H]

AtkinS

Gawd
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Nov 7, 2007
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811
I was sooo expecting 470 to be better, and 480 too.

Well well, im not buying this. cant say i regret buying my videocard like over half a year ago.. :D

So long suckers(those who waited for the flop).

edit: Seems like me in norway have to wait til 1st of may to be able to buy this card, thats almost 8 months after ati release. hope nvidia catches the next gen train. glad i didnt wait for this card.
 

michael.pa2

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Dec 26, 2006
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Well,I can't say this blew me away. Not really a bust,but for as long as it took for them to get here,they're hardly ATI killers either. Considering the higher temps and power usage,when I feel the need for a DX 11 card,and if BFG does indeed jump ship to ATI,there may be a 5870 in my future.
 

GHarris

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As the review said, the 5970's framebuffer seems to be holding it back. I would be interested to see a "2x 480 SLI vs. 2x 5870 2GB crossfire" comparison to see how much difference the larger framebuffer will make. I have always suspected that "1GB per card" was not an ideal configuration for the sort of people who go for SLI/Crossfire - i.e. the people who play at extreme high resolutions with AA. I would find this comparison far more interesting than 2x480 vs 2x5870 1GB since I suspect the 1GB 5870 will just bump its head on the same ceiling as the 5970 a lot of the time.

I'll only be interested from a purely academic perspective though. I am happy with my 5870 Vapor-X as it is and will only upgrade when a single GPU card that is substantially faster comes out.
 

SixtyWattMan

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That is pretty much my feeling on the subject. Though on the high end with no budget constraints, I'd consider a GeForce GTX 480 SLI or GeForce GTX 480 3-Way SLI setup.

Incoming GTX480 SLi approved 1200-1500 watt power supplies.
 

SixFootDuo

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I've decided I am just not going to jump ship over performance for a change.

I know that a lot of us do this just that to have the most bleeding edge performance possible for a hobby we love so much.

I think ATI deserves this round. I love my card. Hopefully I can get a 5970 at some point.

Hats off to AMD / ATI for all the hard work.

I'm happy to see that the performance and the price are win / win for ATI and I look forward to enjoying my 5870 for the foreseeable future.
 

Inq

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Aug 31, 2008
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It appears that, according to legitreviews, the GTX 4X0 doesn't throttle down with a dual monitor configuration. Nvidia take on the issue :

"We are currently keeping memory clock high to avoid some screen flicker when changing power states, so for now we are running higher idle power in dual-screen setups. Not sure when/if this will be changed. Also note we're trading off temps for acoustic quality at idle. We could ratchet down the temp, but need to turn up the fan to do so. Our fan control is set to not start increasing fan until we're up near the 80's, so the higher temp is actually by design to keep the acoustics lower."

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1258/15/
 

Arioch

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I am in a bit of a quandry here. I love gaming in stereo 3D and while I know ATI is getting things going in that regard I will probably let it mature before I decide to go ATI again. I am planning one final video card upgrade this year before I do a complete system rebuild next year. With that said, I currently have a 295 GTX and running the really good S3D games like Metro 2033 and Just Cause 2 is clobbering that card. I just upgraded my PSU to a Thermaltake Toughpower 1200 so I am fairly confident I have the power to run 2 GTX 480 cards in SLI but the temperatures of these cards really scare me.

I am using a Stacker 830 case with decent airflow and used to run a pair of 8800GTX in SLI before the 295. Does anyone know what the load temps HardOCP found with 8800GTX cards? I know those ran fairly hot, although not quite as high as the 480 cards apparently do. As I said, the temperatures are what is holding me back. I can live with the price point and power usage at this point. Anyone have any info to offer here? Thanks!
 

jwalk6

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Congratulations Nvidia, at least as far as this forum goes you just handed ATI the market for the conceivable future AGAIN!

I have to chuckle whenever I hear the word "future" come up in any of the marketing for computer products. Video cards in particular seem to be obsolete within a month of release and all that "future" stuff goes right out the window.

I really enjoyed the Nvidia comparison slide that beats up on their own card (GTX 285). They didn't dare show the results against the ATI peer. Yeah, I hope your newest card would do better than it's almost 2 year old predecessor.

As for the power, what the hell happened there!
It's bad enough that my 285's in SLI sufficiently raise the temperature of the room they live in. I'd expect more efficiency from a new GPU.

Oh, well, like I said before. I'll just wait till the Etailers are overstocked and slash prices down to ATI 4770 levels then pick up a few as space heaters.



Not a fanboi but I know lame marketing strategy when I see it.
 

undertheradar

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Its like the ATI 9700/9800 & nVidia FX series all over again!!! The moral of the story: when nVidia names something starting with a 'F' (fermi, fx), its going to FFFFFFAIL.
 

Dan_D

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This is actually what interests me most. Looks like there are a couple games where CrossfireX and the 5970's isn't working right at all, but in everything else it is at least on par with other offerings, and in some titles it lays the smack down on everything else.

Looks like ATI/AMD is getting much better on the multi-GPU scaling front with their latest drivers. It might be time to drop a second 5970 in my rig. :D
 

denali

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Am I the only that thinks that putting these in a case without a water cooling setup is a bad idea?
 

jonneymendoza

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I hvae said this in a another thread and i will say it again.

i am leaning more towards the 5870 card. why? because its alot cheaper, cooler and the 10-15fps gains you get on the 480 is not worth it imho especialy when the fps is near the 100's.

seriously, who cares if the 480gtx can do 120fps while the less expensive more cooler 5870 can get around 80fps on the exact same game and settings?

I tell you why the 480gtx will cost a lot for me.

first thing is the obvious starting price of £400+

2nd thing is the amount of heat and power in generates. i only have a 600w psu with about 4 hdd's an i7 quad core cpu, 1 dvd drive(going to buy another one) and about 6 120mm fans cooling my system.

For me to have a bit of peace of mind i would need to buy a new psu thats 1000w or above and a decent one of that range is over £100.

Summer is also coming along and things will only get hotter so possibly i would also need better case fans as im only using lian li stock ones or water cool the gpu which will cost another £100+

As you can see now, £100+400+100 i around 600 in total to get a 480gtx running fine without anyworrying if my psu is overloaded or the temps going above 90c in the summer.

With a 5870. i dont need a new psu and i dont need a new cooling system. i spend £300 on it and i could use the extra £200 to maybe buy more ram(only have 3gb) or maybe a 1080p monitor.

In a nutshell the 480gtx is too much for the performance gains. None economical and need to re-do my cooling and psu on my pc which adds to the cost of it.


ATI may not have the fastest card now, but for me, speed is not everything in games or else i would have bought two 4870x2 last gen but as stated above, im not interested in a gain of fps from 80-120fps. what im interested in is a gain from 30fps to maybe 50/60fps and none of the benhcmarks have produced results on that ie crysis and other demanding games that no one can play above 30fps in insane resolutions
 

tannat

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Here's what Fermi was designed to do. I love how the GPGPU capability wasn't even mentioned. Of course, most readers are only gamers?, so they wouldn't care about practical capabilities of a new generation GPU.

If Nvidia had focused their R&D on a high-end gaming GPU, we'd have a different situation on our hands. These cards are not power efficient while competing with ATI's gpus, because they were not designed solely to render modern video games.

You need to learn to spot the dud. I'ts a miss whatever the intended use was unfortunately. It needs +50w to open a webbrowser.
 

Dan_D

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i am leaning more towards the 5870 card. why? because its alot cheaper, cooler and the 10-15fps gains you get on the 480 is not worth it imho especialy when the fps is near the 100's.

seriously, who cares if the 480gtx can do 120fps while the less expensive more cooler 5870 can get around 80fps on the exact same game and settings?

This is an age old argument. It isn't getting any fresher. In any case this may be true now but with tomorrows games 10-15 FPS could very well be the difference between playable vs. unplayable. It may mean the difference between medium and high details. To me that is very significant.

I'd say that if you already had a Radeon HD 5000 series card then the GeForce GTX 470/480 are of little value and offer next to nothing over what you have now. In a new build the GTX 480 is at least worthy of consideration but obviously you'd have to be able to tolerate the caveats of the card in order to be satisfied with it.

ATI may not have the fastest card now........

Actually ATI/AMD does have the fastest card still. The Radeon HD 5970 is faster than the GeForce GTX 480.
 

Markdek

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I paid $379, no shipping, no tax for my XFX 5870 @ it's release [@ launch]. Never any hardware, heat, noise, driver, or other problems.

We get lucky some times, I guess.

Good point that the 480 should be considered for a "new" system, if the other issues can be addressed. Personally, I think Nvidia is not happy being in the gaming GPU market right now [just like their motherboards], and I'm wary where they might be taking us, or some of us, ...the gaming enthusiasts.

.
 

jonneymendoza

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This is an age old argument. It isn't getting any fresher. In any case this may be true now but with tomorrows games 10-15 FPS could very well be the difference between playable vs. unplayable. It may mean the difference between medium and high details. To me that is very significant.

I'd say that if you already had a Radeon HD 5000 series card then the GeForce GTX 470/480 are of little value and offer next to nothing over what you have now. In a new build the GTX 480 is at least worthy of consideration but obviously you'd have to be able to tolerate the caveats of the card in order to be satisfied with it.



Actually ATI/AMD does have the fastest card still. The Radeon HD 5970 is faster than the GeForce GTX 480.

i hava 260gtx card. read my post mate. the 480 will cost me nearly double compared to the ATI 5870 as i will need a new psu and re-do my cooling system.

Even on a new build, your going to have to invest in a very good cooling system and a very powerful PSU and a branded one to boot.

Also, if your going to use this on a small pc case then cooling could be a major issue and you may need to buy a new case.

thank god i got a lian li full tower case
 

ChristmasGT

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Oct 17, 2007
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340
This is looking like an exact repeat of the 4xxx line vs the 2xx line, the next inevitable question is:

When will we see a 5890 or possible 5990?

The 2 gig card updates should handle much much better at higher resolutions closing the gap even more, I wouldn't go as far as calling this an FX debacle again these cards at least have fairly decent performance, but nothing except stellar performance would've made up for the 6 long month wait plus the constant hyping that nVidia was pushing.

The most shocking thing to me personally was the fact of the 470 I really expected it to become the new great midrange card, but given how the 5850 OC's as well as how much less power it draws it looks like it's still the well deserved king of that price point. This nVidia arch will be around for awhile with constant refinement, but we probably won't see what this is capable of until the next die shrink, which is exactly when it should've been introduced.

ATi has been doing so well with their fab process design lately, and designing the 4770 to learn the 40nm process saved them much of the heartache that caused nvidia to be this late, I'm really curious to see now if we'll come across a 5890 (which I'm pretty sure it's a sure thing) and how ATi will react with their pricing structure.

This isn't OMG fail, but it's definitely something that given the hype that was built from delay after delay it couldn't possible have realistically made those claims with that die and architecture at 40nm
 

Cobalt35

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Everyone who is saying that the drivers are new etc needs to realise that these cards were due out 6 months ago. nVidia has had 6 months to tweak the drivers. I don't think we'll be seeing any genuine miraculous speed increases from driver revisions.
 

DD_nVidia

Limp Gawd
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Aug 15, 2009
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I was gonna grab a 470... but I might try stretch for the 480 since there does seem to be a fair enough performance gap.

I usually buy the first one down (4600TI, 6800GT, 8800GTS) from the top models since the gap is usually nothing that can't be mostly closed down by some light/moderate OCing. But judging by the temps I'm thinking I might forgo that haha.

My main reason for buying Nvidia, besides my sheer blind (and possibly stupid) company loyalty, is the fact I wan the GPGPU for processing video, images etc and hopefully Adobe take full advantage of this. I'd quite like to process 22MP+ RAW Images a bit faster (its pretty fast but not instant) and editing multi layer 16Bit TIFF's which easily build up to over 1GB per image could certainly be a bit faster, My i7 no likey :(
 

PrincessFrosty

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Nice review, basically what we all were expecting I think, we all know the problems manufacturing the GPUS mean they need more voltage to remain stable increasing power draw and increasing temps, and obviously increasing noise...the 480 video of power and noise actually made me laugh :)

However I'm extremely dissapointed in the SLI review, pitting it against a stock 5970 is about the most dishonest think I've seen in ages. As vjcsmoke says

I agree.

2x 480 = $1000
2x 5870 = $800
1x 5970 = $600

Clearly 2x discrete 5870 vs 2x discrete 480 would have been a more fair comparison.

Can [H] justify why this comparison was made? Strictly speaking a 2x5870 Crossfire would have been more fair. Sure the 480 SLI would have probably beaten it but it's $200 more expensive at least.

I'm also a bit confused as to why 480 SLI got the silver award, first of all its not immediately clear it was SLI specifically, reading this thread there's obviously a good few people making the same mistake, this needs to be more clear IMO. Also I dont think the 480 SLI deserves any rewards, you can slap 2 flagship GPUs together from any recent GPU release and excellent performance if you ignore power/thermals/noise/cost. It just makes the silver award meaningless.

5870 for me then£100 cheaper than the 480gtx

Hah we'll see, I'm in the UK as well and kept a very close eye on the prices and the price gouging in this country is insane, we'll be lucky to see more than a few hundred of these enter the UK and I'll wager they're going to be at least £500 a piece.
 

Evil_SPanKY

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318
Nice review overall.

I have been waiting for a while to upgrade my video cards again, and this seals the deal for me. Been running 8800GT's in SLI for a long time now, but my monitor can only do 1600 x 1200, so they still perform great even in today's latest games. With my son born 4 months ago, money has been TIGHT! But with my B-Day in 2 months, I know what to tell the wife now.

The one thing I walk away with from this review Kyle is...BUY A 5850! The performance, temps, power draw, etc is top notch for a middle of the road video card.

ATI did a hell of a job with the 5x00 series, and NV still needs to do some work on its next gen system. This launch reminds me of the FX launch....with its high temps and such (cue leaf blower jokes in 3...2...1..).
 

Udo

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So it's faster and offers more features than the 5870 but that's not good enough? Wow.... OK.

No, it was only faster in by a small amount in a couple of games and not all. Plus it uses more power than a 5870 and costs more. Overall 5870 is a better buy was the conclusion.
 

jmgt

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Mar 24, 2010
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Well I am sure that those who bought ATI instead of waiting for Fermi made a good decision. I have a feeling that Nvidia have rushed these into production and with possible future 'issues' with these cards may well have shot themselves in the foot. I hope not though because the competition is so good for us buyers!
 

AtkinS

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Messages
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I like this total price fail:

GTX 470 vs 5870 ?????
GTX470
http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=593163
HD5850
http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=579270

The 470 is almost the same as the 5870:
http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=584721

Hold off two packs of cigarettes or two hamburgers and you go from 470 to a 5870....
480 vs 5970 ?

http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=593166

http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=518528

Prices in norway never match mspr, and how nvidia intent prices to be, while ati's prices are always nice.
In usa stuff is totally diffrent.nvidia have been matching ati's pricing pretty good.
 

faugusztin

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@AtkinS, in my country (Slovakia) GTX470 pricing is same as HD5870.

Simple as that, NVIDIA positioned these cards in wrong price segments, GTX470 should be in 250€-270€ segment, and GTX480 in 400-420€ segment. But no, they put GTX470 at 330-370€ segment and GTX480 in 450-500€ segment.
 

MCRAYGSX

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Messages
501
thanks for quick review, Think I wont be upgrading again this time as I am really dissapoint for all this wait, I shoulda bought Radeon 5870 long time ago, I waited for Fermi untl now and its nothing better then 5870

"The GeForce GTX 480 consumes more power than the HD 5870, produces more heat, and costs more money (which might also include the cost of a new PSU). It doesn’t seem like the best value with all this factored in. The only thing that "blew us away" was the heat coming out of the video card and the sound of the fan. If you have not taken a look and a listen to the videos on the previous page, you should. "
 

GoldenTiger

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Everyone who is saying that the drivers are new etc needs to realise that these cards were due out 6 months ago. nVidia has had 6 months to tweak the drivers. I don't think we'll be seeing any genuine miraculous speed increases from driver revisions.

The card clearly wasn't in its final form to have drivers optimized for it, or 480 would have been out six months ago, wouldn't it ;)?
 

MasterT

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Oct 25, 2004
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Kinda knew something was up with heat for the card when I saw Kyle mention that the heatsink wasn't protuding out the side of the card.
 

R0N1

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Thanks for the review. As many have already stated 480 SLI vs 5870 CF would have been interesting, and more proper. I would have also liked more apples to apples comparisons, although I know you focus more on evaluating the whole gameplay experience, which is also really important.

These GF100 cards are late in the game, and not working optimally, or at least not as good as they were designed to. Hot and therefore quite loud. I expected them to perform better after all this waiting, and still really pricey.
We will probably see a new revision soon, with maybe more processing cores and/or better tdp.
 

qdemn7

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Folding ... isn't relevant to gaming.
Granted, but the fact is that the [H]ard|Folding team is currently, and has been the #1 Folding team for a long time. Coupled with the fact the Folding for the [H]orde is always being recruited for on the main [H] page, IMO, it's disingenuous to not include a Folding benchmark.
 

faugusztin

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@qdemn7, even if it is good at folding - do you seriously consider running your card 24/7 at 90-95C and at vacuum cleaner noise level ?
 

McKie

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Thanks for the review, loved the games used for benches. I'm relieved that the 480 was nothing earth shattering. as I went for ATI in my other rig for an upgrade instead of waiting for the 480. (Thought I'd be regretting it later)

It was nice to see the videos of wattage and actually hearing the sound of the fan.

Although it's still a good card. I'm not impressed, and it certainly doesn't live up to the hype produced by nvidia.
 

seamusmc

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This may sound funny but I may want to cry.

The most disappointing thing about this launch is that I think a lot of folks were on the fence hoping the launch would at least reduce the price of 5870 and 5850 if not provide a solid alternative.

Instead, I think a lot of us are gonna be ordering 58xx's all at once, possibly driving the price up!
 

MrLonghair

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I've been looking at the other reviews online, why were there only six or seven GTX470 in circulation? :confused:


@qdemn7, even if it is good at folding - do you seriously consider running your card 24/7 at 90-95C and at vacuum cleaner noise level ?

Dude. People WILL triple-SLI 480s for folding, you will never be get a reasonable answer as to why. If there is an Nv card people will get it for extending their e-penis folding power no matter the cost, all while AMD ATI keep getting screwed on folding because they're not paying off Stanford with tens of millions.

And today is the day of the Earth Hour when you cut your lights if you care even the slightest about power consumption. Great time to launch Fermi..
 

Michaelius

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Will there be follow up with more games tested? 4 titles with no appless to apples part is rather dissapointing.
 

Nathen

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Am I the only that thinks that putting these in a case without a water cooling setup is a bad idea?

No, I stated even before the release that I was thinking there is going to be some people whom buy the card turn out to RMA it either from OC the thing or poor ventilation once inside there case.
Guess we will see. :)
What a BEAST though, did you hear how loud that was ? LOL DAM.
 

R3MF

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cheers for the review hard-team.

leaves me in a pickle however, as i want something more modern than a 5870, more effective than a 480, and i want to buy in May! :p
 

Digital Viper-X-

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This is an age old argument. It isn't getting any fresher. In any case this may be true now but with tomorrows games 10-15 FPS could very well be the difference between playable vs. unplayable. It may mean the difference between medium and high details. To me that is very significant.

I'd say that if you already had a Radeon HD 5000 series card then the GeForce GTX 470/480 are of little value and offer next to nothing over what you have now. In a new build the GTX 480 is at least worthy of consideration but obviously you'd have to be able to tolerate the caveats of the card in order to be satisfied with it.



Actually ATI/AMD does have the fastest card still. The Radeon HD 5970 is faster than the GeForce GTX 480.

while that's true, it's probably not the case, 10-15fps difference @ 100fps would probably result in a 3-4fps in a 30fps scenario. =p
 
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