NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Has Landed - HotHardware
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Has Landed

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Has Landed

For better or worse, the launch of NVIDIA's next-generation GPU architecture codenamed Fermi, a.k.a. GF100, is one of the most highly anticipated in our industry, ever. Information about the GPU has been tricking out for many months now, some of it good and some bad. Regardless of what you have chosen to believe or ignore up to this point, one irrefutable fact remains. NVIDIA is extremely late to the DirectX-11 party. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Rival AMD has used the last few months to release a myriad of DX11-class cards ranging in price from under $100 to almost $700, fleshing out a top-to-bottom line-up that caters to virtually every market segment. Today NVIDIA is announcing two high-end cards, neither of which will be available for a couple of more weeks. So while this announcement is an important move for the company, NVIDIA would have liked to have made it sooner. C'est la vie.

NVIDIA may be late with their DX11-class cards, but launching strong products that compete favorably at their respective price points may erase some lingering concerns about the company and restore faith in prospective consumers. To that end, we can finally show you what NVIDIA has in store for the hardcore gamers out there. Today, NVIDIA is officially unveiling the GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470. We have two of the flagship GeForce GTX 480 cards in house, and have tested them alongside NVIDIA's previous-gen products and AMD's Radeon HD 5800 / 5900 series, both in single and dual-card configurations. There's a lot to cover, so grab a snack, hydrate, and strap yourself in while we take NVIDIA's latest flagship for a spin around the HotHardware lab...

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Has Landed

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And here I was just about to complain that it's Firday and no news on the GTX480 :-P

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Shouldn't "High Power Consumption" be labeled under "Hot"? ;)

 

*ducks*

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I upgraded my gateway m685e workstation from vista to windows 7. Later, I downgraded the video card drivers downloaded from windows update to the vista compatible drivers on the nvidia website. Rumor is the vista compatible drivers were not powering the fan after a reboot resulting in many dead gpus. I am blind and have already lost an IT job for lack of a working laptop.

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canyon1985:

I upgraded my gateway m685e workstation from vista to windows 7. Later, I downgraded the video card drivers downloaded from windows update to the vista compatible drivers on the nvidia website. Rumor is the vista compatible drivers were not powering the fan after a reboot resulting in many dead gpus. I am blind and have already lost an IT job for lack of a working laptop.

I'm not sure if there's an off-topic question in there or what, but if you updated/downgraded your drivers via Windows Update, then you never got the bad (196.75) drivers.

If what I read is true, Microsoft never had them available for download via Windows Update; you would have had to manually download them from nVidia to get them.

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Meh, I can't believe that after all the hype. It's only marginally faster then an ATI card and it should of been $50 less for that kind of performance. I'm thinking this is part of a marketing scheme by NVIDIA for them to buy 2 cards and run them in SLI so they can get world class performance and more money, then again I might be crazy.

I'm also surprised by the fact that it makes more heat and consumes more power. I wonder what they thinking when they made the card, at least they could of done an Intel thing and made it more efficient so that it'd leapfrog over ATI just like the Core 2 Duo did with AMD's processors back in 2006.

And a card with 512 cores unlocked... I guess it's going to be 10-20 fps faster then the ATI cards released right now but damn are they going to need a cooler that can cool this card effectively.

I'm going to wait for the GeForce GTX 470 review until I make up my mind but I think NVIDIA has a GeForce FX on it's hands.

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I'm pretty surprised with the results... IMHO GTX 480 is meh and I'm gonna buy Ati this time.

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I think it is lacking in some areas due to drivers. It's a brand new peice of hardware.

Comparing it the the previous Gen of Nvidia cards, it's hugely impressive. A single chip GTX480 is faster than a Dual Chip GTX295. On top of that, in some bench marks it can nearly hang with the 5970. When paired in SLI it really shined.

While in Single card mode in the HAWX benchmark it was 20% faster than the 5870. Then in  Dual card mode it was 40-60% faster than a pair of 5870s. On top of that, a pair of 5970 is only 20% faster while having twice as many chips to work with.

More evidence of potential for driver optimization becomes apparant here as well since scaling from single card to dual picked up 90% at one resolution, but only 70% at the other. With some optimization Nvidia could squeeze out a few more frames.

When a dual chip Nvidia card comes out.... it'll be a beast.

Also, pay close attention to the Unigine Heaven benches as they can be a bit deceiving. While it looks like the 480 is only slightly faster than the 5870s, it is in actuallity nearly twice as fast. Add to that, that it was faster than the 5970.

I think for this card DX11 is where it's at. This thing will probably, kindly, hand the ATI card it's a$$ in DX11 games w/ Tessellation. And as we all know DX11 is the future. So I don't mind if it's not the best at DX10 as long as it's great at playing the games of the future :-)

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Acarzt,

I'll hit the rest of this in the morning, but I'm going to respond to one thing you wrote now. It's physically impossible for NVIDIA to build a dual-GPU GTX 480 on a 40nm process. Board power for the single-GPU flavor of the card is 250W. The maximum amount of power you can feed a PCI-Express card is 300W. NVIDIA isn't going to break the PCI-Express specification (they'd get no support from motherboard vendors, all of whom would have to specifically vet their motherboards against a non-standard component).

It's possible that these first parts are terrible examples of 40nm, so yes, NVIDIA could re-spin the silicon. Statistically, that won't happen for at least six months; NVIDIA's already respun it (and TSMC's yields aren't exactly fabulous even now).  Farther out, Fermi probably will go through a die shrink at some point in 2011 once 28nm tech is ramping, but that's a year away.

Sure, NV could opt to build a svelte mid-range dual-GPU, but that wouldn't be a dual GTX 480. It's very likely that we'll see NVIDIA roll a full 512-core Fermi and I think it's a good bet that they'll build a Fermi 2.0 on an improved 40nm die, but you can only rearchitect so much. If we look at the GTX 285 / GTX 295 as indicative, NV would need to pull the power consumption of a GTX 480 down by 50-60W to have enough room in the PCI-E spec to build a dualie. The only time you see leaps that massive on the same process, maybe, is if you compare A0 hardware to the mature, high-yield silicon you're building 1-2 years later.

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Joel that's a good point I did not even think of. While it would be a major difficulty on what you say, I think for the first thing if you run it in SLI it is not only pulling 500 Watt's so forget Tri-SLI. I would also totally flood the PCI-X bus on anything but whats on a 1366 chip socket board as well. Well maybe a 1366 and a AM3. I don't know if the AM3 even has enough bandwidth either though, not to mention $1500 for the video cards alone for either of these with Tri-SLI. Then you get to the PSU in standard SLI the cards would be pulling 500 watts, in Tri they'd be pulling 750 watts which you could get with nothing less than a server power block which would not fit in a standard case anyway (not to mention would probably be at least 500 more dollars. On top of that I doubt a PCI-X would even have the bandwidth available to actually run it, where with 2 5970's it is still fine (greatly because of the reduced energy pull and of course heat ramp).

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Well I never expected a dual GPU card based on the GTX480. That would be pretty awesome, but ridiculous to expect.

Even the GTX 295 isn't based off the 280. It's essentially 2 260s on 1 board. And with that it's a good bit faster than any other single card offering of it's Generation at Nvidia.

I was expecting a fermi equivilent to the 260 to be part of the dual gpu card. I would expect a 40-50% increase over the current single gpu 480. I don't think that would be unreasonable to expect :-)

I also don't expect this any time soon lol The GTX 295 didn't come out for some time after the GTX 280 was launched. If i'm remembering the time line correctly, I think it actuall even came out after the refresh of those cards.

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So after all of this waiting with our breaths held in check, wondering about the magnificent surprises headed our way with these cards, they're a power hog bust? Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

That's pretty rich, isn't it?

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realneil:

So after all of this waiting with our breaths held in check, wondering about the magnificent surprises headed our way with these cards, they're a power hog bust? Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

Ha! Ha-Ha!

That's pretty rich, isn't it?

I never held my breath because I expected a result like this. I just hope Nvidia gets their act together and really releases something that will blow us away. 

Don't get me wrong guys, what they released is still amazing by most standards. But by their standards, I would have to say it's sub par.

I will still have to back up ATI until Nvidia show its stripes again. 

But yes Neil, it's pretty rich =D

 

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Overheating, more power draw than the 5970, noisy....this is what we were expecting, but like 3vi1, Bob and rapid1 mentioned, we were expecting a 20-40% performance jump over the 5870.

Yet we've seen all the manufacturers jump at the opportunity to supply the card into the system. I'll be curious to see the numbers, and where Nvidia goes from here.

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gibbersome:

Overheating, more power draw than the 5970, noisy....this is what we were expecting, but like 3vi1, Bob and rapid1 mentioned, we were expecting a 20-40% performance jump over the 5870.

Yet we've seen all the manufacturers jump at the opportunity to supply the card into the system. I'll be curious to see the numbers, and where Nvidia goes from here.

 

Don't know why you guys would expect something like that. Has any card ever seen a 40% increase over the competitor? If it was that much, I'm sure Nvidia would have shown something near those numbers during their demos to get the hype going.

 

I wonder... They probably rushed this and when they benchmarked it, it was performing slightly (or maybe more) behind the 5870. So they just overclocked it themselves. Maybe? Maybe??? How does Nvidia and ATI decide on the stock clocks anyways?

 

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Yep most of us here agrees they rushed this and aren't getting what they planed for now. Maybe the next one will be much better and then we will see where nvidia is heading!

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I just bought a 1GB XFX Radeon HD-5850 Black Edition Card for my Core i5-750 system. When I was considering what to get, I thought that maybe I should wait for the new NVIDIA cards to be released and continue to save some more cash towards one of them. I'm glad that I didn't wait.

I have DX11 capabilities and get good performance from the ATI branded card. Buying it didn't break the bank either. Of course this has been the way of it for a few years anyway, has it not?

NVIDIA is probably scratching their heads and wondering just WTF's happening right now, as they should be,.........

 

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It was because of this little graph they released around 4 months ago....

[View:http://hothardware.com/cs/members/gibbersome/files/nvidia_5F00_fermi_5F00_slide_5F00_06a.jpg.aspx]

We were promised something spectacular...the hype was a let down.

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Well, I'm glad I didn't have to learn my lesson this go around. I was very excited about the GF100's. But now look, my allegiance has respectively turned to ATI. 

I will give Nvidia another chance, but I will forever be skeptical. 

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Thanks for the link. In some of the games, the GTX 480 performs well; most of the games I care about too. But on average, I guess they are pretty close. Almost makes me want to go with that setup rather than a GTX 480 or even a 5870. Just Crossfire 5770 or 5830 if you can find a good deal (like mail-in rebates). Interesting....

 

gibbersome:

It was because of this little graph they released around 4 months ago....

[View:http://hothardware.com/cs/members/gibbersome/files/nvidia_5F00_fermi_5F00_slide_5F00_06a.jpg.aspx]

We were promised something spectacular...the hype was a let down.

As far as the graph goes, you got that performance. Almost 50% in HH's review in the Heaven benchmark. Maybe if a game came out that made heavy use of DX11, you might see a gap like that. Who knows, we'll just have to wait for that game. Crysis 2?

 

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RyuGTX:
Thanks for the link

You're welcome.

Here's one where they review the card and even overclock it a little during the testing.

They seem to like it's performance results. Confused

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That review is almost laughable in some ways realneil.  The GTX 295 beat the GTX 480 (including their OC results) in every test.  Not to meantion that they list power consumption as a Pro.  Seriously?!  We are talking about a card that pulls more than Cross Fire configrations and runs hot enough to cook the rest of your computer.

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InfinityzeN:
The GTX 295 beat the GTX 480

I thought that the GTX 295 is a dual graphics processor?

If so, then why wouldn't it beat a single?

The dual Radeon beat it too,..........Anyway, I'm not promoting this card at all. I think it's price/performance figures are way off of what we all expected.

My 2GB EVGA GTX-285 is working wonderfully, and the 1GB XFX Radeon HD5850 is too. As I said in an earlier post, I'll probably just get another 5850 and run crossfire while waiting for the next 'Holy-Grail' to be released. This one doesn't do it for me.

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I wonder how the folks over at the green camp are reacting to all the mixed reactions their new baby is getting. Seems to me that negative or at the very least, unenthusiastic reactions outweigh positive ones. Is it possible that Nvidia knows exactly what they're doing and has some sort of sinister marketing plan?! lol

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recoveringknowitall:

I wonder how the folks over at the green camp are reacting to all the mixed reactions their new baby is getting. Seems to me that negative or at the very least, unenthusiastic reactions outweigh positive ones. Is it possible that Nvidia knows exactly what they're doing and has some sort of sinister marketing plan?! lol

I don't think so. I think they just had a lot of issues with manufacturing and are playing catch up. 

Also Hardocp reviews graphics cards weird. I personally am not a fan of their reviews. My motherboard (Intel Bonetrail 2) they gave a really bad review and gave another review of a gigabyte board with the exact same issues a great review. The bonetrail board even did better in overclocking, but they praised the gigabyte board on overclocking and slammed the intel board for its poor overclocking. Same priced boards. When people started saying this not even in a bad way, just pointed it out, they started deleting the posts and banning people. We all caught up in the eXtremesystems forums about it.  The only reviews I trust from them are PSU reviews. Kyle is a cool dude and I have talked to him a few times, but he is hot headed and I find the site hard to trust.

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bob_on_the_cob:
he is hot headed and I find the site hard to trust

I just found the review whilst looking around on the net. I don't have much experience with them either. I used to swear by Tom's Hardware reviews, but they got a major slant to their site and I stopped going there. I usually 'Google' a new part's name and read the review sites that pop up.

I found a few reviews about my Intel DP55KG board that knocked it around and said it had lackluster performance. In real life, this is just not true. I read a few reviews about my EVGA GTX-285 being a card with problems,.....not true in my case. It's wonderful to game with.

If I see allot of negative reviews about a certain part, then I'll shy away from it. Allot of great reviews mean that I'll consider it for myself if I'm in the market.

The reviews concerning this new GTX480 aren't bad, but they aren't so great either.

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