Announcing NVIDIA Fermi GTX 470 and GTX 480

Posted on March 26, 2010 by Jon Bach

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NVIDIA Fermi has been a long time in coming, and we are happy to announce the availability of the GTX 470 and GTX 480 with our computers. We expect availability on April 12th, and pre-sales begin today!

Fermi represents a new approach to how to build video cards, which essentially puts the cores and memory on a shared bus with something akin to a network switch linking them, instead of needing a direct link between each piece. They launched today at 4pm PST, so you should see a slew of reviews pop up right now! With Fermi, NVIDIA is pushing the limits of today's tech, so while it has been a tough road getting to launch, we look forward to where this technology will bring them over the coming year.

GeForce GTX 480:
CUDA Cores: 480
Graphics Clock (MHz): 700
Processor Clock (MHz): 1401
Memory Clock (MHz): 1848
Memory Amount: 1536MB
Memory Interface: 384-bit
Max Board Power: 250W

GeForce GTX 470:
CUDA Cores: 448
Graphics Clock (MHz): 607
Processor Clock (MHz): 1215
Memory Clock (MHz): 1674
Memory Amount: 1280MB
Memory Interface: 320-bit
Max Board Power: 215W

Here is my favorite review of these new cards, in terms of getting at actual game comparisons and noting some important info: http://anandtech.com/video/sho...

Highlights, to me:

- Minimum frame rates seem better on the Fermi cards than on ATI 5000-series, though average scores are nothing to be amazed by.

- These cards run hot and loud. I've heard one personally, and it is beyond anything I've ever heard in one of our desktops before. If you go for one be prepared to turn up the volume in your game to drown out the computer, and make sure you get a chassis with a lot of airflow (especially if you want two in SLI).

Posted on 2010-03-26 18:03:20
Vorbikon

Very disappointing stuff so far. Hot, loud and not nearly powerful enough compared to the 58xx ATI cards to justify it. The 480 often breaks even with the 5870, sometimes loses, sometimes pulls a little ahead and occasional gets a good increase. Glad I jumped over to the 5870's instead of waiting on a new PC until Fermi released.

Posted on 2010-03-26 18:20:06
StopBlathering

- These cards run hot and loud. I've heard one personally, and it is beyond anything I've ever heard in one of our desktops before. If you go for one be prepared to turn up the volume in your game to drown out the computer, and make sure you get a chassis with a lot of airflow (especially if you want two in SLI).

I was interested in these, but the reported noise generated by these seems silly. I thought my air-cooled 8800 GTX cards were loud (with the fan at 100%; my case then had horrible air flow.)

They don't seem to be an improvement over a 5970, unless you want PhysX, and so far I'm not missing that.

To be fair, though, I prefer Nvidia's driver control panel to ATI's CCC.

Posted on 2010-04-06 09:24:03
jeffmorris

Puget Computer Systems, Please don't sell GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480 cards with stock fans. I found out from Guru3D website that those cards run very hot. My MSI ATI R5830 card with two fans on it runs under 40 degrees C at idle.

Posted on 2010-03-29 02:47:55

@ jeffmorris - For once I think we may look at non-standard cooling. We've always offered liquid-cooling, but we usually stick to stock fan designed when air-cooling video cards: those coolers are designed by the chip maker (ATI or nVidia) and built to handle what the chips put out. In this case, though, it will be interesting to see what others come up with... but it often takes a couple of months from the release of a card before variants on the cooling solution become available.

Posted on 2010-03-29 09:16:37

We don't do thermal imaging for nothing! We've had a few cards for a week or so, and have good opportunity to test them firsthand. We put them in our chassis, with our stress testing, and all the time doing our thermal logging and imaging.

We will be offering stock cooling, but will be very particular about in what motherboards and chassis we allow when in SLI. In single card mode, it really isn't an issue of heat, but noise level. The cards do run hot, but they have powerful fans as well. If we upgrade single card coolers, it will be to quiet things down. Yes, it will do a better job cooling as well, but that's actually not the primary problem for us.

Its only a matter of time until ODMs start putting out their own coolers to address the issue. In the meantime, we'll be very deliberate with our airflow, and we'll certainly have some liquid cooling options (working closely with Koolance on over the last week -- we'll be among the first with blocks in about a week).

Posted on 2010-03-29 10:50:52