Zotac GeForce GTX 480

The GTX 480 is a high-end GPU from nVidia's 'Fermi' line and as such, Zotac's GTX 480 retails for US $654. Is it worth your cash?

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Zotac GeForce GTX 480 The GTX 480 GPU runs quite hot under load meaning the card's cooling system frequently spins up to full speed
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  November 1, 2010

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Key Specs

API supported: DirectX 11
Connections: DVI x2, mini-HDMI x1
GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 480
GPU frequency: 700MHz
Interface type: PCI-E

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The GTX 400 series - codenamed ‘Fermi'/GF100 - has been a bit of a problem child for nVidia. Low yield problems at TSMC, the chip foundry that both AMD and nVidia use, forced nVidia to delay the launch of its GPUs by six months.

nVidia launched the GTX 470 and 480 simultaneously with the latter targeting the high-end market. Our Zotac test sample is a standard card that follows nVidia's reference specifications to the letter; its GPU runs at a frequency of 700MHz whereas the 1536MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 3696MHz. In comparison the GTX 470 GPU and its 1280MB of GDDR5 memory run at frequencies of 607MHz and 3348MHz. Another difference between the two GPUs is that the GTX 480 packs 480 stream processors to the 448 on the GTX 470. DirectX 11 and nVidia's SLI multi-GPU technology are supported by both GPUs.

The GeForce GTX 480 competes with ATI's Radeon HD 5870, which was launched about six months ago whereas the less expensive GTX 470 is designed to compete with the Radeon HD 5850.

Putting the GTX 480 through our benchmarks the card performed well. Staring with our DirectX 10 tests first, the card managed figures of 167fps, 119fps and 100fps in Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X at 1024 x 768, 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 pixels. In World in Conflict the card scored numbers of 79fps, 76fps and 69fps and moving on to our DirectX 11 Heaven v2.0 benchmark, we observed scores of 87.5fps, 58.9fps and 50.0fps respectively. Comparing these figures to XFX's Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, the Zotac GTX 480 is faster across the board. In Heaven v2.0 for example the XFX managed numbers of 53.1fps, 38.5fps and 34.6fps. The GTX 480 then is a much faster graphics card and while this certainly means that the GeForce GTX 480 is the fastest single GPU on the market today, its win would have been far more pronounced had it been launched alongside the Radeon HD 5870 six months ago.

One major issue we have with the GTX 480 is that it is a power hog and consequently runs very hot under load. After our test rig booted into Windows we noted an idle temperature of 53-degrees Celsius and after running our first benchmark test, the temperature spiked to a colossal 91-degrees. That said stability was never compromised and nVidia claims its cards can run at these temperatures for extended periods of time. The only issue is that those running overclocked rigs might have problems considering the GPU sits in relatively close proximity to the Northbridge and CPU.

As we said before the GTX 480 is quite a power hog. nVidia recommends a 600-watt power supply  and we concur. If you're running an overclocked PC or one that has a lot of hard drives, you'd be wise to opt for 700-watts.

For: The fastest single GPU on the market today, five-year warranty.
Against: Power requirements, runs very hot, expensive.
Verdict: Although late to the graphics party nVidia’s GeForce GTX 480 makes up for lost time by kicking out impressive performance figures. There’s no faster single GPU available today.

2151 days ago
Johan
User rating: 3 stars

Pros: Dx11 And Open Gl 4 Nice Clock Speed And Memory Banwith

Cons: Gets Really Really Hot /never choose this card for OverClocking / have the same features of Gtx 570 But Much More Overpriced Why Well I Dont Know Do U ?

Take This Card Outta Consideration It's. waste Of Cash

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