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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

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU Features

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU contained in the Gigabyte GV-N480SO-15I GeForce GTX 480 Super Over Clock Video Card has all of the major technologies that the Radeon 5xxx cards have had since last September. AMD has added several new features in the interval though, and they are now available on the HD 6xxx series. The most important ones are: the new Morphological Anti-aliasing, the two DisplayPort 1.2 connections that support four monitors between them, 3rd generation UVD video acceleration, and AMD HD3D technology. The NVIDIA tech refresh with the GTX 580 and GTX 570 didn't really introduce any new customer-facing features. Full speed FP16 texture filtering and improved z-cull efficiency represent good performance enhancements, but I'm challenged to call them new "features". Just in case you are just starting your research for a new graphics card, here is the complete list of GPU features, as supplied by NVIDIA:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU Feature Summary:

3D Graphics

  • Full Microsoft DirectX 11 Shader Model 5.0 support:
    • NVIDIA PolyMorph Engine with distributed HW tessellation engines
    • BC6H and BC7 texture compression formats
    • Gather4 extensions
  • OpenGL 4.0 support
  • Advanced image quality features:
    • 32× coverage sample antialiasing
    • Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling
    • 16× angle independent anisotropic filtering
    • 128-bit floating point high dynamic-range (HDR) lighting with antialiasing; 32-bit per-component floating point texture filtering and blending
  • Interactive ray tracing support
  • Full-speed frame buffer blending
  • Advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and zdata
  • Support for normal map compression
  • Z-cull
  • Early-Z

GPU Computing NVIDIA_Black_Square_3D_Logo_250px.jpg

  • NVIDIA CUDATM technology-allows the GPU cores to provide performance improvements for applications such as video transcoding, gaming, ray tracing, and physics. API support includes:
    • CUDA C
    • CUDA C++
    • DirectCompute 5.0
    • OpenCL
    • Java, Python, and Fortran
  • Third Generation Streaming Multiprocessor (SM)
    • 32 CUDA cores per SM
    • Dual Warp Scheduler simultaneously schedules and dispatches instructions from two independent warps
    • 64 KB of RAM with a configurable partitioning of shared memory and L1 cache
  • Second Generation Parallel Thread Execution ISA
    • Unified Address Space with Full C++ Support
    • Optimized for OpenCL and DirectCompute
    • Full IEEE 754-2008 32-bit and 64-bit precision
    • Full 32-bit integer path with 64-bit extensions
    • Memory access instructions to support transition to 64-bit addressing
    • Improved Performance through Predication
  • Improved Memory Subsystem
    • NVIDIA Parallel DataCacheTM hierarchy with Configurable L1 and Unified L2 Caches
    • Greatly improved atomic memory operation performance
  • NVIDIA GigaThreadTM Engine
    • 10x faster application context switching
    • Concurrent kernel execution
    • Out of order thread block execution

NVIDIA Technology

  • NVIDIA SLI technology-patented hardware and software technology allows up to four NVIDIA GeForce GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance and enhance image quality on today's top games.
  • NVIDIA PhysXTM technology-allows advanced physics effects to be simulated and rendered on the GPU.
  • NVIDIA 3D VisionTM Ready- GeForce GPU support for NVIDIA 3D Vision, bringing a fully immersive stereoscopic 3D experience to the PC.
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision SurroundTM Ready-scale games across 3 panels by leveraging the power of multiple GPUs in an NVIDIA SLI configuration. Combine with 3D Vision technology for the ultimate 3 panel stereoscopic 3D gaming experience.

GPU Interfaces

  • Designed for PCI Express 2.0 ×16 for a peak bandwidth (counting both directions) of up to 20 gigabytes (GB) per second (PCIe 2.0 devices are backwards compatible with PCI Express 1.x devices).
  • Up to 384-bit GDDR5 memory interface (memory interface width may vary by model)

Advanced Display Functionality

  • Two pipelines for dual independent display
  • Two dual-link DVI outputs for digital flat panel display resolutions up to 2560×1600
  • Dual integrated 400 MHz RAMDACs for analog display resolutions up to and including 2048×1536 at 85 Hz
  • HDMI 1.4a support including GPU accelerated Blu-ray 3D support, x.v.Color, HDMI Deep Color, and 7.1 digital surround sound. (Blu-ray 3D playback requires compatible software player. See for more details).
  • Displayport 1.1a support
  • HDCP support up to 2560×1600 resolution on all digital outputs
  • 10-bit internal display processing, including hardware support for 10-bit scanout
  • Underscan/overscan compensation and hardware scaling


  • NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology with VP4 programmable video processor
  • Decode acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile, H.264, MVC, VC1, DivX (version 3.11 and later), and Flash (10.1 and later)
  • Blu-ray dual-stream hardware acceleration (supporting HD picture-in-picture playback)
  • Advanced spatial-temporal de-interlacing
  • Noise reduction
  • Edge enhancement
  • Bad edit correction
  • Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
  • High-quality scaling
  • Motion Compensation
  • Video color correction
  • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color stretch

Digital Audio

  • Support for the following audio modes:
    • Dolby Digital (AC3), DTS 5.1, Multi-channel (7.1) LPCM, Dolby Digital Plus (DD+), MPEG2/MPEG4 AAC
  • Data rates of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz, 88.2 KHz, 96 KHz, 176 KHz, and 192 KHz
  • Word sizes of 16bit, 20bit, and 24bit

Power Management Technology

  • Advanced power and thermal management for optimal acoustics, power, and performance based on usage:
  • ASPM power management
  • Adaptive Clocking
  • Adaptive Power States
  • Advanced fan control and temperature monitoring

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU Detail Specifications

GPU Engine Specs:Gigabyte_GTX_480_SOC_Video_Card_GF100_GPU_01.jpg

  • Fabrication Process: TSMC 40nm Bulk CMOS
  • Die Size: 526mm2
  • No. of Transistors: 3.2 Billion
  • Graphics Processing Clusters:
  • Streaming Multiprocessors: 1
  • CUDA Cores: 48
  • Texture Units: 6
  • ROP Units: 4
  • Engine Clock Speed: 820 MHz
  • Texel Fill Rate (bilinear filtered): 49.3 Gigatexels/sec
  • Pixel Fill Rate: 39.4 Gigapixels/sec
  • Maximum board power: 151 Watt
  • Minimum board power: 19 Watts

Memory Specs:

  • Memory Clock: 1900 MHz - DDR
  • Memory Configurations: 1536MB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface Width: 384-bit
  • Memory data rate: 3.8 Gbp
  • Memory Bandwidth: 182.4 GB/sec

Display Support:

  • Maximum DVI Resolution: 2560x1600
  • Maximum VGA Resolution: 2048x153
  • Maximum Display Output: 4x - 1920x1200
  • Standard Display Connectors:
    • 2x Dual-Link DVI-I
    • 1x Mini HDMI v1.4a




# 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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