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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

Super Overclock Final Thoughts

Every technology reaches its zenith after it is already obsolete. A perfect example is LP record playback, AKA the "turntable", which now offers the highest quality playback of any consumer medium. Don't believe me? Find your local audio society, stop by one of their monthly meetings and prepare to be amazed, both at the cost and quality of the modern analog music source. As improbable as it may seem, the highest quality system of music reproduction available in the year 2010 was introduced commercially in 1889.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King. Just a few short months ago, the first Fermi cards launched onto a market that had been waiting with baited breath for the Wunder Chip. In many ways, the product that finally made it out of production trials was stunning in its overall concept and its scale. GPU computing had arrived in a huge way, and no one was sure what the full impact was going to be of the new micro architecture. In retrospect, it's now clear that NVIDIA saw a chance to completely own a very particular market that uses the massively parallel architecture of the modern GPU to solve math problems. It sounds simple, but the real-world implications are pretty wide ranging. Want to break 128-bit security codes? Want to break into your neighbor's Wi-Fi? It doesn't take days anymore to use brute-force hacking methods; the dirty deed can be done in 10 minutes if the password is 12 characters or less.

Of course the availability of all this parallel computing power doesn't have to be directed at nefarious schemes. There's weather modeling, medical imaging, genetic decoding, and all manner of scientific endeavors that have nothing to do with breaking into your bank account. But then there's nuclear blast simulation.... Oh, did I mention that China just built the world's fastest super-computer with multiple GPUs? It's just a coincidence that 99.999% of all video cards are built in China, right? My guess is that there are other countries doing it as well; it just hasn't shown up in Wiki Leaks yet. Oh well, our common curse is that we live in interesting times.


Back to what most of us are here for, PC gaming. Let's be honest; the GeForce GTX 480 is a big enough chip to satisfy almost every gaming application out there. If you really need more graphics horsepower, the GTX 580 probably isn't going to cut it. If one 480 can't do it, one 580 can't either; the only real answer is SLI. So let's dispense with the myth that this old warhorse is now suddenly useless. If the pricing drops enough, it will be the cheapest gateway to incredible SLI performance that will absolutely kill any gaming application. If the GeForce GTX 570 continues to undercut it in price, then it certainly makes sense to jump on the newest, fastest, coolest, radial fan rocket sled that is also selling for less. Unless of course, you want to overclock the thing until it begs for mercy, or you care about minimizing noise, or you just want to support a company that tried (and succeeded) to improve the breed with a more focused design approach. You get the picture....people buy last year's Audi instead of this year's VW all the time, for the same reason.



# 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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