NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 SLI Testing - Fermi gets doubled up
GF100 / Fermi SLI Configuration Considerations
When we first reviewed the new GeForce GTX 480 and 470 graphics cards back in March one of the few things we left short in our discussion was the possibility of running a pair of the cards in SLI. We touched on it briefly, but only in passing and we really wanted to spend some quality time with the dual-GPU configurations to get a better feel for how the system would perform and how much actual benefit you would get going by doubling your investment cost. After all, that is what it comes right down to: is spending twice as much money really going to increase your gaming performance and experience?
After a bit of delay with other reviews and a two week journey to Japan and Taiwan, we sat down with a pair of GTX 480s, GTX 470s (and yes even the new GTX 465s that were recently launched) to do our duty and game. Sometimes it's tough, you know?
To NVIDIA's credit, they are pushing the media to test their SLI configurations inside of actual cases rather than in an open-air environment. Usually hardware reviewers are using open-air testing conditions for ease of access and to better and more reliably test the heat and noise variables. (What better way to see if a card is hot than just reaching out and touching it to see if you get branded?) We did much of our benchmarking in the same open air environment that we have traditionally used but we also spent some time with the GTX 480s shelled up inside a Silverstone Raven 2 case.
the complaints of the reviewers are unwarranted in relation to the
difference between them and the ATI Radeon 5000-series competition.
They sort of got that point
across to this reviewer but I think it still has to be said that
NVIDIA's GTX 400 cards are louder and are hotter - but how much a
difference that makes to enthusiasts might be overblown. These are not
the dust busters of GeForce FX days.
Of course what we were most interested
in seeing was the performance of the SLI configurations. Let's take a
look at the testing setup and get to the results!