|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Fermi Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 26 March 2010|
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Video Card Review
PC video game enthusiasts have depended on two companies to deliver graphics power for their computer system: NVIDIA and ATI. While it's convenient for NVIDIA to enjoy fan favoritism for the past decade, ATI has recently enjoyed strong sales and a decisive head-start on the growing DirectX-11 consumer market over the past six months (as evidenced by our unbelievably long list of recent video card reviews). The ATI Radeon HD 5000 series has earned AMD new respect, but many inside the industry have impatiently waited on NVIDIA to respond with their fabled GF100 Fermi DX11 architecture. At long last, NVIDIA's Fermi is a reality.
At the center of every new technology is purpose, and NVIDIA has designed their Fermi GF100 GPU with an end-goal of redefining the video game experience through significant graphics processor innovations. Disruptive technology often changes the way users interact with computers, and the GeForce GTX-480 graphics card is a complex tool built to arrive at one simple destination: immersive entertainment. Priced at $499, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 empowers DirectX-11 video games to deliver unmatched geometric realism. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests 3D frame rate performance of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480, and demonstrates how well Fermi architecture fits in with GeForce 3D Vision.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Video Card
TSMC, the largest semiconductor foundry on the planet, has had a great deal of difficulty shrinking their business. Originally intended to feature 512 CUDA cores, NVIDIA was faced with limited yields from TSMC, and decided to end the consumers wait and offer gamers and PC hardware enthusiasts a 480-core solution. Some readers may recall that AMD reacted to their yield crisis differently, and decided it would look better to announce a product with extremely-limited quantities. While this tactic works well for review samples and a pretty press release, NVIDIA knows that gamers want to actually own the video card... not just read about it.
NVIDIA presents to us the GeForce GTX-480 graphics card. Powered by 48 ROPs and 480 unified CUDA (shader) cores, the GF100 Fermi GPU has 3.2-billion transistors to help process DirectX-11 commands and render some of the most detailed graphics ever seen on the PC platform. Tessellation is the word for 2010, and DX11 brings movie-quality graphics to life on consumer-level video games.
Benchmark Reviews tests graphics frame rate performance of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 using several of the most demanding PC video game titles and benchmark software available. Old favorites such as Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5, and PCMark Vantage are all included. New to the scene are Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Stalker: Call of Pripyat, BattleForge, and the recently announced Unigine Heaven 2.0 benchmark.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since testing NVIDIA's engineering sample for this article, we've received retail GeForce GTX-480 products that perform the same but require less power and produce less heat and noise. Read more in our Zotac GeForce GTX-480 Fermi Video Card review, which also includes SLI performance results.
About NVIDIA Corporation:
NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) is the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, a high-performance processor which generates breathtaking, interactive graphics on workstations, personal computers, game consoles, and mobile devices. NVIDIA serves the entertainment and consumer market with its GeForce products, the professional design and visualization market with its Quadro products, and the high-performance computing market with its Tesla products. These products are transforming visually-rich and computationally-intensive applications such as video games, film production, broadcasting, industrial design, financial modeling, space exploration, and medical imaging.
NVIDIA Product Lines
GeForce - GPUs dedicated to graphics and video.
Quadro - A complete range of professional solutions engineered to deliver breakthrough performance and quality.
Tesla - A massively-parallel multi-threaded architecture for high-performance computing problems.