Tweaktown is conducting a little experiment in what if today.  They are curious just what the GTX 480 would have performed like if it had been released with a full 512 shader instead of the 480 that were actually enabled.  To do so they took a GTX 580 and downclocked it to match the speeds of a stock GTX 480.  The power of those extra 32 shaders is obvious in the testing, sometimes resulting in a 10% jump over the GTX 480 when testing at higher resolutions.
“While the latter didn’t bother me, the first two were real issues; first we saw Galaxy attack the heat and noise with an awesome looking triple fan, triple slot cooler. We then saw GIGABYTE and MSI attack the model; in the end the GTX 480 looked like a great product and to be honest it still is, especially with some of the bargain prices it can be grabbed for now from some places. We wonder, though, what would’ve happened if the GTX 580 we looked at today launched as the GTX 480 in March; the same clocks, but the new cooler and more importantly the 512 Shaders that we had hoped to have initially.””

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