NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Has Landed

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Performance Summary: NVIDIA has created a powerful GPU in the GF100, as our performance data of the new GeForce GTX 480 has shown. Generally speaking, versus the single-GPU powered Radeon HD 5870, the GeForce GTX 480 is on average roughly 5% - 10% faster, give or take a few percentage points depending on the test, which technically makes it the fastest single-GPU on the market (almost). The GeForce GTX 480 held had the largest lead in the DX11-based Unigine Heaven benchmark and in Tom Clany's H.A.W.X.  Unfortunately for NVIDIA, however, the Radeon HD 5870 is cheaper to produce, consumes less power, is quieter, and it costs about 25% less ($499 vs $399). And AMD also has the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 5970 in its arsenal, which remains the fastest single-graphics card available for most current game titles.

The GeForce GTX 480's performance lead over the Radeon HD 5870 increase when paired up in a dual-GPU SLI configuration. With their current drivers, NVIDIA-power cards offered better performance scaling in multi-GPU configurations, which resulted in larger performance increases for the GeForce GTX 480.  With that in mind however, a dual-card Radeon HD 5970 quad-CrossFireX configuration was still fastest overall.

Depending on your perspective, today will either be considered a great victory or perhaps a crushing defeat for NVIDIA. On one hand, the company has produced was is undoubtedly the most powerful and complex graphics processor in the world. The 3-Billion transistor GF100 is a very capable chip, both in terms of gaming and in terms of compute performance and NVIDIA owns the single-GPU performance crown again. The GeForce GTX 480 is faster than the Radeon HD 5870 overall and its forward thinking design lays the foundation for future generations of NVIDIA processors moving forward, as the G80 did for much of the previous generation. On the other hand, the GeForce GTX 480 is late to market, the GPU consumes a lot of power and hence generates a lot of heat, even with "only" 480 of its 512 shader cores exposed, and its performance lead doesn't exactly jibe with its projected 25% price premium.


The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Reference Card

Although the company is announcing the cards tonight at the PAX event taking place in Boston, MA, widespread e-tail availability of both GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 cards, at prices of $499 and $349 respectively, won't happen until the week of April 12, 2010. Questions linger as to how many GF100-based graphics cards will ultimately hit store shelves, but NVIDIA tells us plenty are on the way. NVIDIA claims, "We are building 10s of thousands of units for initial availability, and this will ensure our partners have ample volume for what is the most anticipated GPU launch ever." If you're an NVIDIA fan and have been waiting for their next-gen GPU, your wait is almost over.

Having spent some quality time with the GeForce GTX 480, we can't help but expect the card, as we have shown it to you here today, will not be NVIDIA flagship for an extended period of time. The true potential of the Fermi architecture hasn't been fully realized just yet. We suspect a re-worked GF100 is on tap that will have all of its 512 cores available and hopefully hit higher clocks, with lower power consumption. We are only speculating at this point, of course, but we can't help but feel the GeForce GTX 480 isn't the card NVIDIA really wanted to launch to take on AMD's finest, and that its successor is priority #1 within the company. The GeForce GTX 480 is an extremely potent product, it's just not the game changer some may have expected.

  • Relatively Fast
  • DirectX 11 Support
  • PhysX + CUDA Support
  • Great SLI Scaling

 

  • High Power Consumption
  • Hot and Can Be Loud
  • Late To Market
  • Only Slightly Faster Than 5870, For Much More Money

 

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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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