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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 Review - GF100 and Fermi tackle gaming

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
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The GeForce GTX 470 1.25GB Graphics Card

The GeForce GTX 470 is going to target the high-end gaming market with a $349 price point when it becomes available in April.  This card uses the same GF100 GPU though with fewer of all the performance-inducing goodies enabled.  The GTX 470 includes 448 CUDA cores, 56 texture units and 40 ROPs - essentially this is the GTX 480 with another SM removed.  Each group of four ROPs is associated with a single 32-bit memory bus connection so by removing 8 total raster operators NVIDIA has moved the GTX 470 from a 384-bit memory bus to a 320-bit memory bus with a 1.25GB (1280MB) GDDR5 frame buffer. 

The clock speeds on the GTX 470 are noticeably slower than on the GTX 480: 607 MHz core clock, 1215 MHz shader clock and 837 MHz (3.3 GHz effective) memory clock.  Memory bandwidth drops to 133.9 MB/s and the texture filtering rate goes down to 34.0 GigaTexels/s. 

Power estimates (from NVIDIA) put the GTX 470 as a 215watt
graphics card with the same 105C thermal threshold.  It is interesting that in NVIDIA's estimates here there is only a 35 watt difference in power consumption between the GTX 480 and the GTX 470 - our testing shows otherwise. 

The GTX 470 is about an inch and half shorter in length than the new GTX 480 and seems use a less beefy heatsink.  The fan speeds and noise levels were identical.


The entire outside of the GTX 470 is plastic where as the GTX 480 has a partial metal exterior for additional cooling assistance. 


The back of the card looks much like the GTX 480; both new models from NVIDIA will apparently support two-way and three-way SLI.


The GTX 470 only requires a pair of 6-pin power connectors.

The external connections on the GTX 470 are also identical: a pair of dual-link DVI outputs and a single mini-HDMI port.

The heatsink on the GT 470 is smaller and lighter than that found on the GTX 480 - more so than I think a 35 watt power consumption difference would warrant.

June 20, 2011 | 08:31 PM - Posted by loutlet (not verified)

ation is
applied to the crowds watching the races as well as the water), it will
become more and more common to apply these effects in future games once
tessellating hardware becomes more prevalent.

To soak up all that extra performance that this generation of products
will offer gamers, NVIDIA is taking the multi-monitor gaming idea that
was originally started by Matrox, implemented correc

August 31, 2011 | 07:37 PM - Posted by Jim (not verified)

I think that the most fascinating development is how they are able to control the computational mode on the GPU by modulating the level of detail on the fly. Therefore freeing processor power which might otherwise be locked into an unnecessary frame rate setting.

Jim

March 17, 2012 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Franek

Thanks for this great review. I was not sure which one to buy but thanks to this review i will go with GT 470.

Frank

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