Testing Methodology and System Setup
NVIDIA provided us with an early look at new version of GPU-Z that properly recognizes and reports on the GF100-based parts we were testing.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 Review - GF100 and Fermi tackle gaming - Graphics Cards  1
GeForce GTX 480

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 Review - GF100 and Fermi tackle gaming - Graphics Cards  2
GeForce GTX 470

It appears that all of our specs are validated and verified here.  On to the testing!

There was quite a debate between NVIDIA and AMD on what should be compared here in our review.  NVIDIA was pushing the fact that the GTX 480 and GTX 470 are both single-GPU graphics cards and should be compared with the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 respectively.  AMD said that the power consumption results pushed the GTX 480 into a different segment than the HD 5870 and that it should be the direct competition of the dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970.  For us, I decided to look at price.

The estimated pricing of our comparison cards looks like this:
  • GeForce GTX 480 – $499
  • GeForce GTX 470 – $349
  • Radeon HD 5970 – $699 (if you can find them)
  • Radeon HD 5870 – $429
  • Radeon HD 5850 – $299
Now, clearly the GTX 480 should be compared with the Radeon HD 5870 and the 5970 though the pricing and availability of that card are really disappointing.  The $349 price tag on the GTX 470 puts is squarely between the HD 5870 and the HD 5850 so those are also the best options for a fair comparison.  We will also make comments as we go about the validity of a single GPU graphics card versus a dual-GPU graphics card and how the competition looks in our eyes come the beginning of April. 

I also took this opportunity to add in a couple of DirectX 11 gaming titles to our test suite.  Now that both NVIDIA and AMD have DX11 options available we can do a real apples-to-apples comparison that we just couldn’t do before.  Towards the end of our benchmarks be on the lookout for both DiRT 2 and the new Metro 2033 pages.
  • Testing Configuration
  • ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution X58 + nForce 200
  • Intel Core i7-965 @ 3.33 GHz
  • 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz
  • Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD
  • PC Power and Cooling 1200w Turbo Cool PSU 

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