The GeForce GTX 470 and 480 tested
Finally -- today is the day that we debunk, squash and confirm some myths. Alongside the now ancient GeForce FX series, the most discussed product series prior to release from NVIDIA ever, is being released. Yes my friends, today is the day that the first DX11 class GeForce Series 400 graphics cards sees the light -- NVIDIA has given birth to twins, and we will review them both.
You know, when I think about it, I have never seen so much speculation about graphics cards in the past. And sure, it's all for good reason. NVIDIA initially aimed to release the products we are seeing today gradually, along with the introduction of Windows 7. That OS release on its end brought along DirectX 11 and DirectCompute functionality straight from within the operating system.
When Windows 7 launched it was a bit of a surprise that ATI had their cards (though in low volume) available and NVIDIA didn't, in fact it was silent at team green, very silent. From there on things got delayed, then delayed again... and then delayed some more. After CES in January 2010 the first signs of 'Fermi family' based graphics cards surfaced. But man, did it take long or what? If we take October 2009 as what was supposed to be the officially introduction date of NVIDIA's latest and greatest, then we can do the count real quick, NVIDIA is half a year late to the market with what we are testing today. And in GPU land that is one complete refresh cycle.
Problems were to be found in the 40nm TSMC node and very likely a bug stumbled into on the chip itself, as the chips we are testing today already reached revision A3.
Now we can go back and forth about what happened, but what's the point really? The launch was delayed, tough luck, deal with it. Today is the day that NVIDIA is releasing their high end GeForce GTX 470 and 480. What we'll do today is focus on features, performance, power consumption, and heat envelopes mainly. For an in-depth technology overview of the Fermi architecture, the GF100 chip that is empowering these boards in detail, please visit this article here.
We'll get you up-to-date on all the reference and official specifications and features of the new cards. In later articles we'll look deeper into SLI and 3D Surround Vision as well (gaming on three monitors). But today we'll cover the cards themselves and what you guys intend to use them for; unadulterated hard-core gaming.
Before browsing to the next page let's have a peek at what is finally freed from Non Disclosure Agreements, the all new GeForce GTX 400 series, which is set to deliver a knockout in single-GPU performance.
Have a peek at the dark beasts that are introduced today, and then head on over to the next page where we'll start up this review.