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Written by Bruce Normann   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15I
Closer Look: Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC
Gigabyte GV-N480SO-15I Detailed Features
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU Features
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Super Overclock Final Thoughts
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Conclusion

H.A.W.X. 2 DX11 Benchmark Results

H.A.W.X. 2 has been optimized for DX11 enabled GPUs and has a number of enhancements to not only improve performance with DX11 enabled GPUs but also greatly improve the visual experience while taking to the skies.

  • Level maps are 128 Km per dimension creating a level area of 16384 Km².
    All of the terrain in this area is rendered using a powerful tessellation implementation.
  • The game uses a hardware terrain tessellation method that allows a high number of detailed triangles to be rendered entirely on the GPU when near the terrain in question. This allows for a very low memory footprint and relies on the GPU power alone to expand the low res data to highly realistic detail.
  • Quad patches with multiple displacement maps aim to render 6-pixel-wide triangles typically creating 1.5 Million triangles per frame not including planes, trees, and buildings!
  • The game uses bi-cubic height filtering and fractal noise to give realistic detail at this grand scale. The wavelength and amplitude of the fractal noise is carefully tuned for maximum realism on each level working with the complex tessellation shaders to ensure highest level detail without cracks in the terrain surface.
  • These factors make H.A.W.X. 2 the perfect title for benchmarking the current and future generation of DX11 enabled GPUs.


The H.A.W.X.2 benchmark test is not quite the tessellation monster that Unigine Heaven is. It is supposed to represent an actual game, after all. However, the developers have taken full advantage of the DirectX 11 technology to pump up the realism in this new title. The scenery on the ground in particular is very detailed and vividly portrayed, and there's a lot of it that goes by the window of the F-22 Raptor that is your point of view. The blue sky, not so much....

The enhanced ability of the newest GPU designs to handle tessellation is quite evident here. Both the Fermi and Barts GPU win the battle against other comparable cards. The big surprise is the relative failure of the GTX 460 SLI pair to scale properly. I didn't have other SLI combinations to try and see if this was strictly a GTX 460 issue, or whether all SLI configurations would be affected. This benchmark was launched by NVIDIA and AMD had limited access during development, so I expect these numbers to shift a bit in the upcoming months as AMD updates their drivers and their hardware. The GTX 480 ends up on the top of the pile in this test, because it doesn't do anything wrong. My guess is that once the GTX460 SLI gets its act together, it will out climb the GTX 480, though.

Let's take a look at another DX11 benchmark, a fast-paced scenario on a Lost Planet called E.D.N. III. The dense vegetation in "Test A" is almost as challenging as it was in Crysis, and now we have tessellation and soft shadows thrown into the mix via DirectX 11.

Graphics Card


Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock



MSI GeForce GTX 460 (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)





1.0 GB GDDR5


MSI Radeon HD 6870 (R6870-2PM2D1GD5)





1.0 GB GDDR5


PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 (PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2)





1.0 GB GDDR5


Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 (GV-N480SO-15I Super Over Clock)





1536 MB GDDR5




# geckoTony Hagger 2010-12-27 03:22
All of the 400 seeries cards have major problems with crashing Pc's think before you buy I have just wasted £128 quid on one.
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# RE: geckoServando Silva 2010-12-27 17:22
Really? I have tried several GTX400 GPUs and none of them has crashed my PC. You probably have another other problems.
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# OK,......RealNeil 2010-12-27 09:58
"The GTX 570 does it all for less"
Enough Said,...............
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# RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15IGeorgeMMM 2010-12-27 22:53
I think it would be better to had the MSIGTX 460 Tallon Attack instead of the MSI GTX460 Cyclone
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# RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15ITony Hagger 2010-12-29 00:46
Servando Silva Well just on and look up the Nvidia forums and you will see how many people are having problems with the 400 series cards.

I now have an ATI card in and all is fine.

And why would you be trying several 400 cards surley one is enough.
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# RE: RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15IOlin Coles 2011-01-01 09:59
Tony: there are many thousands of NVIDIA GeForce 400-series video card owners, and some of them will have problems. Even I've had problems. But more often than not, it isn't the video card, it's the software/driver.

Keep your comments on-topic with this article, so they can be published.
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