PNY GeForce GTX 470 Review

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In terms of features and capabilities, the GeForce GTX 470 and more powerful, flagship GeForce GTX 480 are identical. The GTX 470, however, has fewer stream processors / CUDA cores enabled, 448 to be exact versus 480 in its higher-end counterpart. The GeForce GTX 470 also  has a smaller memory interface and its clock speeds are a bit lower. More specifically, the GeForce GTX 470 has a 320-bit wide memory interface with 1.28GB of frame buffer memory running at 837MHz (3.348GHz effective). Its GPU is clocked at 607MHz and has 56 texture units and 40 ROPs available. 

      


      
The PNY GeForce GTX 470

With the sole exception being its custom "XLR8" decal, the PNY GeForce GTX 470 looks just like NVIDIA's reference GeForce GTX 470, or just about every other GeForce GTX 470 currently available for that matter. The card's GPU and memory reside on the front of the PCB and are cooled by a large heatsink and fan assembly that covers the whole front side of the card. On the back, there are notches cut into the PCB to allow more air to flow into the cooler's barrel-type fan, where the air is ten forced over the heatsink and expelled from the system through vents in the card's mounting bracket. Unlike the GTX 480, which has a large metal portion of its heatsink exposed, the GeForce GTX 470's heatsink is completely covered by a shroud. Also unlike the GTX 480, we found the GTX 470's cooler to operate at much more tolerable noise levels, even after many hours of testing.  With the GPU takes an running at a 90'C, the fan on this card doesn't spin any higher than 40% of its maximum speed.

As for the GeForce GTX 470's output configuration, there are two dual-link DVI outputs on the card, along with a mini HDMI output with audio. The GeForce GTX 470 required two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors and max board power hovers around 215 watts, about 35 watts less than the GeForce GTX 480. More information about the GF100 GPU itself is available here and we'll give some more detail on the card's power consumption characteristics on a later page.

Since we're talking specifically about PNY's GeForce GTX 470 offering, we should also talk a bit about its accessory bundle. PNY includes a users manual and installation guide with their GeForce GTX 470, along with the obligatory driver CD, a VGA-to-DVI adapter, a dual-Molex-to-PCI Express 6-Pin adapter, and a mini-HDMI to full-sized HDMI adapter. We should also note, however, that a promotion is currently running that will net buyers of this, and most other GeForce GTX 400 series cards, a coupon good for the full version of Just Cause 2, which is a pretty cool game we'll be incorporating into our test routing moving forward.

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The heat aspects are what would keep me away from one of these. The price premium doesn't help much either.

Tessellation hasn't proven to be a real game changer yet, but may be a factor in the future.

Remember the Cooking Times Graphic?

 

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Dude, that is a fantastic diagram.  Where did you find that?

In reference to the review, I can't really believe how much power these babies need.  You'd think as we progress into the future we'd be creating cards that are faster and use less power.

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I just built a new rig(pics to come soon)and started out with a 5850 which impressed me with it's performance:heat:power:price, but driver issues scared me off and I went back to the green side since it's what I've always used. The 470 impressed me as well despite being hotter and more power hungry. I feel like the tradeoff is worth it honestly since the louder fan and greater power draw don't bother me. I've only run 2 benchmarks so far, but the results speak for themselves. Tried & true 3Dmark06 went from 18184 to 19569 and Unigine Heaven went from 29.9fps to 39.6. Default settings were used in both tests @ 1080P.  I'm running an 860 on a Gigabyte board with 4gb of 1333 and nothing is OC'ed yet.

The difference in temps is pretty astounding though in fairness. The 5850 barely breaks 50c under load while the 470 hits the mid 70s.

I'm probably just an impatient fool, but... oh well. :P

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I agree with realneil, 100%. I'm really wanting a newer nVidia card, but I think I will wait for something a little more refined.

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That's just Evil that you don't like your free ATI 5K series :P
 
Some of the Nvidia's need to have the MSI makeovers. You know put all that chrome pipeing with twin radiators, to keep them cool!
 
Either way I feel that in six months all of these will be obsolete, and we will have the option of paying the same price for something that is supposedly twice as powerful.

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HD 5850 is bang for you buck! GTX 470 consumes more electricity and performs faster than HD 5850 by a small margin...

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I still got to give that crown to the ATI!

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I know it makes me shallow, but I'm spoiled by physx, so I'll be sticking with Nvidia (though not at launch prices).  Judging by the comments posted in sites like Guru3d, the new drivers have somewhat improved things for the 480 and 470, from speed, IQ, to even temps.  Anyone know if there's a 're-review' of the gtx 480 with the latest drivers?

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