ZOTAC GTX480 Review

Test Setup, Overclocking and Temps

Zotac GTX480   Review

Test Setup, Overclocking and Temperatures

Test Setup

Motherboard : ASUS Rampage II Extreme
CPU : Intel i7 920 @ 3.6GHz
RAM : 6GB Corsair Platinum @1333mhz
PSU : OCZ 1000w Gold PSU
HDD : 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
Monitor : Samsung 2433 24" @ 1920x1200
OS : Windows 7 Ultimate 64
GPU : Zotac GTX480 using 197.41 WHQL.
           Reference HD5870 and HD5970 using Catalyst 10.3


Here came the really tight test, and something that actually caused us to depart from our standard testing procedure. As you'll see below we actually had to run our fans at 100% for testing which we will definitely get to in the conclusion.

Nobody knows for sure what nVidia planned to get out of the Fermi GTX480 core, but clearly the card has been detuned quite a bit because with maximised fans we got a huge boost in GPU and shader speeds along with the heat and performance gains we'd expect.


Normally for the purposes of fairness we run all our benchmarks and overclocking tests at 50% fans. Unfortunately nVidias reference cooler is so hopeless that within two minutes the card shut itself down, having passed 110°C. 60% fans had the same effect and it wasn't until we pushed into the deafening realm of 70% that our stock card was capable of running our tests.

We'd be very VERY dubious about running at anything under than 80% though and this is largely a fault of the fan which is barely an asthmatic mouse at 50% or below. Earplugs a must.

It has to be noticed that this is nothing to do with ZOTAC at all and solely the fault of nVidia and their inability to tame the GTX480.

Lets move on to the important tests... Some gaming results.

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Most Recent Comments

14-04-2010, 05:38:05

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

Continue ReadingQuote

14-04-2010, 06:07:06

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

14-04-2010, 07:08:26

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.Quote

14-04-2010, 09:50:39

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.Quote

14-04-2010, 13:25:23

Me wants one, watercooled ofc!

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

14-04-2010, 17:28:29

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

14-04-2010, 18:54:46

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

15-04-2010, 09:44:44

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

15-04-2010, 14:29:20

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 Quote

15-04-2010, 14:53:15

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.Quote

16-04-2010, 09:28:40

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


19-04-2010, 15:04:43

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.Quote

20-04-2010, 16:06:34

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.Quote

20-04-2010, 16:08:28

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

20-04-2010, 18:00:25

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+Quote

21-04-2010, 07:35:05

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.Quote

21-04-2010, 12:26:39

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?Quote

27-04-2010, 21:24:32

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 awesomeQuote

28-04-2010, 05:09:53

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.Quote

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