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Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 review

Is the GTX 480 the fastest and best graphics card ever built?

Our Verdict

So the GTX 4800 is fastest commercial single-GPU on the planet at the moment, but it comes at a price

For

  • Fastest single-GPU card Brand new architecture Tessellation-happy Only needs 8-pin and 6-pin power All the CUDA and PhysX goodness included

Against

  • Not as fast as HD 5970 Very, very hot Very, very power hungry Very, very loud Very, very expensive

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 is indeed the fastest single GPU graphics card in the world.

The air of relief is palpable as the great and the good of Nvidia gather beside this latest graphical opus in its downtown Paris office.

The relief is not just our ours at having finally gotten hold of a working sample of the GeForce GTX 480, but representing the culmination of a lot of hard work, a lot of missed launch slots and a lot of rumour-mongering in the world's tech press.

It's one hell of a relief for everyone at Nvidia associated with the GeForce brand.

The opening slide of the inevitable PowerPoint-a-thon is simply one word standing clear on a black background: finally.

So yes, finally it is here. The GF100 GPU - known as Fermi - exists outside of the rumour mill and has its first derivative card; the GTX 480.

GeForce 400-series

There will be others along very soon, most noticeably the cheaper GTX 470, but this graphical behemoth represents the top-end of Nvidia's Fermi launch.

Originally pencilled in for a pre-Christmas debut, the DX11 riposte to AMD's HD 5xxx series of graphics cards has seen innumerable delays, sparking fears that something had gone badly wrong with Nvidia's brand new silicon.

We had expected the fastest derivative of the new Fermi architecture to be around the £600 mark - putting it in direct competition with AMD's fastest graphic card, the ATI Radeon HD 5970.

Nvidia gtx 480

But with a recommended launch price of just over £400, it's immediately obvious where this card sits without even having to look at the benchmarks.

It sits slap-bang in between the two top AMD cards - the Radeon HD 5870, still topping £300, and the HD 5970, knocking on the door of £600.

Having a completely redesigned architecture and a half-year delay, there's no way Nvidia could afford to under-cut the competition with this part. So we'd already expected the performance to completely reflect the pricing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerNVIDIA
Chipset Model480
HDMIYes
Chipset LineGeForce
Chipset SeriesGTX
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameClub 3D
Standard Memory1.50 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width384 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologySLI
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height125 mm
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Length275 mm
ManufacturerClub 3D
Memory Speed3696 MHz
Product ModelCGNX-X4836
Product NameCGNX-X4836 GeForce GTX 480 Graphics Card
Manufacturer Part NumberCGNX-X4836
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.club-3d.co.uk
Marketing Information

Next-generation gaming has arrived. Club 3D nVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 gives your games an adrenaline shot with the world's fastest performance and futuristic, visually-stunning graphics. Experience heart-pounding, cinematic visuals on your favorite games with the combined power of DirectX 11, CUDA, and nVIDIA PhysX technologies. And expand your visual real estate across three HD displays in jaw-dropping stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate in immersive gaming. Club 3D nVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: pure adrenaline meets visual bliss.

Package Contents
  • CGNX-X4836 GeForce GTX 480 Graphics Card
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • CD (Includes: E-Manual)
  • Quick Install Guide
Thickness33 mm
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 3.2