If you want the new GeForce GTX480 card, but don’t have a motherboard that’s capable of the new PCIe x16 standard, you might think it’s beyond your means. Many people don’t realize that the PCI-Express system is comprised of multiple independent data-paths, called “lanes” by many, and that while the GeForce GTX480 uses all 16, it still works with fewer. Surely there’s a huge performance penalty, right? That’s what TechPowerUp set to find out:
To maintain its speeds, it would hypothetically require high system bandwidth, leading one to think that lesser PCI-Express configurations would cripple it. The theory couldn’t be more wrong, as seen by the mere 2% performance loss going from x16 to x8 (which reduces bandwidth by 50%). To cite results from one of the latest and resource-heavy games in our bench, Collin McRae DiRT 2, that translates into something like 63.2 FPS vs. 62.1 FPS, at 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution – barely a difference. We also examined how much PCI-E 2.0 x4 (or PCI-E 1.1 x8, older motherboards) would affect the GTX 480. And the result coarsely put is “not much”: 8%.
Less than 2% difference when dropping it from x16 to x8. While you realistically wouldn’t run a card like that, it does bode well for people who want to run the card in SLI configurations, where it proves that the card is not starved for data.
The GeForce GTX480 is still pretty difficult to come by, but that hasn’t stopped the few lucky benchmarking sites that got one from putting it through some pretty grueling tests. Over at Geeks3d, they push it with FurMark to discover just how much the card can take. A full load, the card draws 300W (more than the 250W stated by NVidia) and emits an annoying 45dB of fan noise.
Guru3d has reported that specifications for the GeForce GTX 450, 440 and 430 have surfaced. The GTX or GTS 440 and 450 would have a 40nm GF104 core. This core has 256 shader cores and a 256-bit memory bus. The GTS 440 would have 20% slower clock speeds than the GTS 450. The GTS 430, using a cut-down version of the GF104, will have 192 shader cores and have a 192-bit memory bus. These video cards are reportedly due in June 2010. Tom’s Hardware investigated these rumors one step further:
Last week there were also reports that cheaper, DX11-capable Fermi-based GeForce graphics cards will be arriving sometime this summer, possibly June. We contacted Nvidia to find out whether this was the case or another churn in the rumor mill. According to the company, that is indeed the case, and was actually mentioned by Nvidia executives at a recent financial conference.
In a new blog post from Microsoft, you can almost hear the cheers as NVidia finally released a new video card compatible with DirectX11, removing what might be the last hurdle to users not upgrading to Windows 7.
The new features and capabilities of the GTX 480 and GTX 470 are exposed especially in Windows 7 where NVIDIA has taken advantage of the enhancements Windows 7 offers users today – such as DirectX 11. With DirectX 11, the GTX 480 and GTX 470 can offer some impressive effects through scalable hardware tessellation. Tessellation offers the ability to create rich detail in through either games or software applications with geometric realism – it’s better at doing geometric processing
While the post remains positive, it’s a bit unfortunate to see how hard they have to try to find something beneficial. At the end of the point, the really only come up with 2 things: Geometric Processing, and 3D Vision.
Nvidia has posted a video on YouTube where they interview developers for Battlefield Bad Company 2, Just Cause 2, Metro 2033 and more. They talk about 3-D Vision, and using CUDA in the latest games. The video is 8 and a half minutes long, and has some bloody violent parts to it.
Toms Hardware has their massive 20 page review online talking about everything you ever wanted to know about the new Fermi GeForce cards, and ends up breaking it down into 3 main things: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The cliff notes (reduced for size):
First, the good—performance. Fortunately for Nvidia, it had a few targets in the Radeon HD 5970, 5870, and 5850 as it was generating specs. While we’re sure the company wishes it was shipping 512-shader cards instead of pared-down boards, it’s hitting high-enough clocks to make GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 generally-faster than Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850. (…)
What about the bad? Well, getting your feet in the door here costs $350. A flagship GeForce GTX 480 runs $500. Radeon HD 5850s recently dropped back down to $300 and Radeon HD 5870s can be found around $400. Though the GeForce cards are faster than their single-GPU competition, the premium is hard to swallow if power and display connectivity are important to you, and less-so if PhysX, CUDA, or 3D Vision are more interesting. Do we expect AMD to drop its prices in response? Don’t count on it. (…)
Then there’s the ugly: power. Nvidia argues that the enthusiast space isn’t as sensitive to figures like power consumption, and that lofty load figures still only translate to a few dollars per year. (…) Of course, that power invariably gets dissipated as heat, and thus the GTX 480, in particular, becomes a very hot card, cresting 160 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface during game play.
NVidia is unveiling the new GeForce GTX400, based on the Fermi chipset, and it looks like most of the rumors were true.
I’m not going to bore you with all of the details, but I will update this post with crucial nuggets of information and links to other reviews. First off is this morning’s leaked TechARP report, which is now back online:
We’ve made it Boston and we’re finishing up our setup for PAX East! Everyone’s been working around the clock to get our booth ready in time for today’s opening. We have over 16 systems ready for gamers to get their hands on, with everything from DX11 demos to games like Starcraft 2, Metro 2033, and Just Cause 2 in 3D Vision Surround! And up in the GeForce LAN, we have 40 GTX 480 PCs waiting for the eager gamers who can play their hearts out up until 2am tonight.
In addition to the booth and LAN, we’ve been building up our main stage event, taking place tonight from 6-7pm EST. Check out this video of the set up to get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes and don’t forget- we’ll be live blogging the event here on the blog!
We’ve got three 25′ x 15′ screens being installed for our GeForce GTX 480 celebration. HUGE. 3D Vision all over.
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