Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The PNY GeForce GTX 470 performed well throughout our entire battery of tests. Generally speaking, the GeForce GTX 470 performs about on par with, or slightly better than, the Radeon HD 5850, depending on the application. In the DX11 Heaven benchmark, the superior tessellation performance of the GF100 GPU at the heart of the card shows, as the GTX 470 managed to pull ahead of every single-GPU powered Radeon, and the GTX 470 also performed well in FC2 and H.A.W.X., but the match was pretty tight everywhere else.
The PNY GeForce GTX 470 is a fairly well-rounded product. In terms of features, the GTX 470 is positioned well against AMD's offerings. Both offer DX11 support, while NVIDIA also has support for CUDA, PhysX, and 3DVision, while AMD has Eyefinity. NVIDIA's architecture also seems to be more forward-looking, as is evident by its stronger tessellation performance. Where the GeForce GTX 470 falters a bit, however, is in terms of price and power consumption. At $349, the GeForce GTX 470 is about 10% more expensive than the similarly performing Radeon HD 5850. Unfortunately for the GeForce, the Radeon HD 5850 also runs much cooler and quieter, and it consumes far less power as well. With that said, we found the GTX 470's acoustic profile to be much more tolerable than the higher-end GTX 480 and we would have no problem running one of these cards in our personal systems--the GTX 470 isn't as quiet (relatively speaking) as a Radeon HD 5850, but it's not very loud either.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 470 Reference Card
Ultimately, the GeForce GTX 470 is still a strong product in its price segment. It has a very complete feature set, it offers strong performance, and while it may run warm and use more power than competing offerings, it doesn't generate much noise during normal use at all. If you're in the market for a high-end DX11 graphics card, but can't afford a top-of-the-line flagship model, the GeForce GTX 470 is worthy of consideration.