ZOTAC GTX480 Review

Tessellation and Unigine

Zotac GTX480   Review


The big technological leap that nVidia are advertising for this generation of cards is Tessellation, which is the ability to smooth out polygons without increasing the amount of them built by the 3D artist. This should lead to far greater performance scalability without sacrificing detail as can be seen from the shot below. Although the dragon greatly improves in quality the surrounding rocks remain the same.

Zotac GTX480 Review Tesselation Demo

Rather than have to hunt around the latest games in an attempt to find something that will demonstrate the usefulness of Tessellation in a non-benchmark environment, nVidia have kindly supplied a comparison screenshot of Metro 2033.

We've all had a good look, so if any of our readers can spot some jaw dropping difference we'd love to hear it, because we can't.

Zotac GTX480 Review Overclocking Difference


Unigine is a very recent benchmarking suite that will test your DirectX 11 card to the limits. We're going to use it to test how well the ZOTAC GTX480s much vaunted Tessellation feature works in practise.

Firstly we will run with Tessellation set to normal with 0 and then 8xMSAA.

With anti-aliasing off the HD5870 can just about keep up with the stock GTX480 but once it is overclocked towards its expected speed the ZOTAC GTX480 really annihilates the Radeon.

Once anti-aliasing is ramped up to 8xMSAA the ability of the GTX480 to tesselate really comes into its own as it spanks the Radeon comprehensively.

Leaving the overclocked card aside for a moment, as it clearly has the upper hand, Tessellation was set to Extreme and the tests were run with the cards at their default speeds. Any doubts about how much of a benefit Tessellation could be are instantly demolished.

Let's hope that the game coders take full advantage of it.

And finally to see the how much raw power we have available with the ZOTAC, we ran with Tessellation disabled. The brute horsepower of the GTX480 still wins out.

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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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