ZOTAC GTX480 Review

Intro and Tech Specs

Zotac GTX480 Review

Introduction

Has anything ever needed less of an introduction than the GTX480, the Fermi, the latest generation of cards from nVidia? For a long while nVidia held the crown as pretty much the only card anyone would choose. The 8800GTX was so outstanding that it was still munching through games long after nVidia had moved onto the GTX280.

The GTX280 was a very powerful card, but the move of nVidia to CUDA and PhysX integration also meant it was very pricey and this enabled ATI to beat them with a card that concentrated solely on being blindingly fast in games at an affordable price point.

Last year ATI released their 58xx series of graphics cards that not only provided full DirectX 11 functionality, but were insanely fast. Since then everyone has been waiting for the response from nVidia.

Just in case you've been living under a rock there is a hell of a lot of information to get through about the rather tortuous development path this has gone through. It's been delayed. It's had demos that weren't actually the card running. There have been genuine demos of the card that were rumoured to be water-cooled.

However, thanks to ZOTAC we've finally got our hands on one to test and can see not only which of the early reports are accurate, but also whether nVidias decision to concentrate firmly on the "extras" of CUDA, PhysX and such-like have made this a jack of all trades, or truly a gaming maestro.

Technical Specifications

 Product Name

ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 480

ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 470

GPU

GeForce® GTX480

GeForce® GTX 480

Engine Clock speed

700 MHz

607 MHz

CUDA™ Cores

480

448

Processor Clock

1401 MHz

1215 MHz

Memory Clock speed

3696 MHz

3348 MHz

Memory

1536MB GDDR5

1280MB GDDR5

Memory interface

384-bit

320-bit

Display Outputs

Dual dual-link DVI-I, mini HDMI 1.3a

HDCP

Yes

Cooling

Active (with fan) (dual-slot)

DirectX® version

DirectX® 11 with Shader Model 5.0

Other hardware features

8-channel Digital Surround Sound (LPCM), NVIDIA® Lumenex™ Engine, Quantum Effects™ Technology

Software Features

nView® Multi-Display, NVIDIA® PureVideo HD Technology, NVIDIA® CUDA technology, NVIDIA® PhysX® technology, OpenGL® 3.2, NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ Surround technology,

Windows 7 capability

Windows® 7 with DirectCompute support


Lets head over the page for our first look.

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Most Recent Comments

14-04-2010, 05:38:05

tinytomlogan
Finally OC3D gets its hands on a GTX480, get a brew and sit down to see why its good and bad news.

Continue Reading

14-04-2010, 06:07:06

clone38
Aye its a bit of a let down by NV this time as i was really looking forward to the new cards.

14-04-2010, 07:08:26

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='clone38'
Aye its a bit of a let down by NV this time as i was really looking forward to the new cards.
I was aswell if Im honest, just have to hope they get it all sorted with the cash injection from the sales of these cards.

14-04-2010, 09:50:39

Diablo
Quite dissapointing really. 5870 is really the one to go for, or 5970, which is faster in some and clocks very well. Perhaps Fermi could be better used as a grill?

I hope the next generation brings something better to the show, because these are too hot for what they give, and when a 5970 is only 50 more, they represent very poor value.

14-04-2010, 13:25:23

lasher
Me wants one, watercooled ofc!

My 280ocx is dammed loud on air but having heard these I couldn't put up with the noise.

14-04-2010, 17:28:29

ppuff
Judging by the color of the cooler it seems that NVIDIA can use it to light their own victory cigar.

14-04-2010, 18:54:46

Socks
hmmmz..I do and dont like. I just wish the price was more reasonable.

15-04-2010, 09:44:44

thewoolard
Only if it was the price or a 5870(or even a little more) i would snap one up.

15-04-2010, 14:29:20

zillion
Cant remember, but how does the 5870 and 5890 in oc trim fit the numbers?

Coz i imagine if u would oc a nuclear-reactor u wouldnt think twice before u would oc the ATI cards

15-04-2010, 14:53:15

Diablo
The 5970s and 5870s overclock very well, with some 5870s pushing the GHz barrier on overclock. I reckon this would edge them very near the 480.

My 5970s overclock to 900MHz core very happily (haven't really pushed them much) so I reckon the 480s would have to fight pretty hard to keep up. Also, can you imagine SLI 480s overclocked...I mean hell would look like a fridge comparatively.

16-04-2010, 09:28:40

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Diablo'
Also, can you imagine SLI 480s overclocked....
Here's a pretty good review:

*removed*

19-04-2010, 15:04:43

zillion
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ppuff'
Judging by the color of the cooler it seems that NVIDIA can use it to light their own victory cigar.
Well i doubt Nvidia is celebrating anything these days, ATI shipped more then 1 million units the first 6 months of the 5xxx series and represented a 88% grow in graphics chips in 1 year while sametime provided AMD with a second consecutive quater result on the bright side, after 12 consecutive quaters of red numbers.

20-04-2010, 16:06:34

osshead
thanks for your time of testing this one for us tom. with a watercooler the noise and the temperature are points to forget about, but there is still the price and the powerconsumption.

i will stick to my 5870 and rather buy me a second one than one of the 480th.

20-04-2010, 16:08:28

osshead
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Diablo'
I mean hell would look like a fridge comparatively.
haha, your so damn right diablo.

20-04-2010, 18:00:25

Diablo
Two 5870s seem to be a good way forward, as does overclocking a 5970 to 5870 speeds with afterburner, although I'm struggling to get much more than 900MHz on 1.16V.

The Fermis apparently scale OK, but not as well as the 5870s. The fermi's are fast, but I'd be a little bit worried aout sticking them in a case with my other kit. I mean its fine for them to run hot apparently, but my processor and RAID controller are a little bit less happy with 90C+

21-04-2010, 07:35:05

Rastalovich
The SLI scaling isn't as good as it can be atm. The beta drivers are showing better results, along with profiling ofc.

Correctly installed/setup, the 480 with a voltage tweak and running at 850+ on stock cooling is breaking into 90 degrees

5870 in xfire is outstanding btw.

21-04-2010, 12:26:39

AMDFTW
will there be a review of the gtx470? this thing is mad hot,if you do a review of the gtx 470 could it be the gainward one?

27-04-2010, 21:24:32

rrjwilson
Yet again nVidia take a giant dump on ATi's face but unfortunately charge us with their cab fare. I have been waiting for these for SO long. ATi is flashy numbers not substance and my watercooling is banging. SLi 480s will be awesome

28-04-2010, 05:09:53

Diablo
How are ATi's numbers flashy, and why do they not have substance? As far as I can tell, their frame rates are above those for the 480s with the 5970 and represent better value with the 5870s.

No matter how good the nvidia cards are, I would still worry about sticking that runs so hot into my case, where all the other components will get hot. Same applies with watercooling unless you have a couple of triple or quads to cool the cards.
Reply
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