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NVIDIA's new Fermi (GTX 470 and GTX 480) graphics cards have caused a fair bit of a stir in the video card market leading up to and post release last week; some in awe of their performance whilst others in disgust for a number of reasons.
But who would have thought one of NV's own partners, XFX would be so negative about the launch of these new cards that they'd go so far as to tell NVIDIA 'where to go', abandoning this new line-up of high-end cards altogether and refusing to give support; because that's apparently what's just happened!
It's becoming more clear that XFX has a more positive outlook on AMD/ATIs direction in the desktop graphics card market, at least at the high-end segment. In recent press content regarding XFXs Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition, it put the hurtz on NV with comments like "XFX have always developed the most powerful, versatile Gaming weapons in the world - and have just stepped up to the gaming plate and launched something spectacular that may well literally blow the current NVIDIA offerings clean away" and "GTX480 and GTX470 are upon us, but perhaps the time has come to Ferm up who really has the big Guns".
WIth that said, the company has indicated it won't be shutting the doors on NVIDIA completely and will continue to carry variants of NVIDIA's more budget-focused models into the future.
Following ATI's promise of a video card that would be capable of running six monitors using its new Eyefinity6 technology, after months of waiting that card finally arrives today based on their highest single GPU model, the HD 5870.
Dubbed the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition, the main difference about this variant compared to the standard HD 5870 is the re-arrangement of the I/O area, giving six mini DisplayPort connectors and also double the memory on board at 2GB to assist in driving this significantly extended setup.
AMD/ATI are particularly proud of this technology, knowing their direct competitor NVIDIA have just released new high-end cards to market which still lack the ability to run more than two displays, giving ATI a significant edge in multi-monitor gaming and productivity tasks.
Of course, our VGA man Shane Baxtor managed to get hooked up with one of them for testing and you can see how it goes in a bunch of multi-monitor gaming tests compared to non-Eyefinity6 variants with lesser memory.
There's also a few other Eyefinity6 articles now floating about on the web, which you can get to via the links below :-
With the lift on NVIDIA's GTX 470 and 480 graphics card taking place a couple days ago, AIBs were quick to show off their own variants of the cards, although as expected, 99% of them were all identical beneath the unique sticker/color choices on some of the cards to separate them apart.
However, eVGA is one such mob who has gone all out right off the bat and introduced no less than six models; three based on the GTX 470 and three on the 480 :-
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 (015-P3-1480-TR): 700/1401/924 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $499.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 SC (015-P3-1482-AR): 725/1450/950 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $529.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 FTW Hydro Copper (015-P3-1489-AR): 750/1500/950 MHz, Hydro Copper water-block pre-fitted, US $649.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 (012-P3-1470-TR): 607/1215/837 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $349.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 SC (012-P3-1472-AR): 625/1250/850 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $369.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 FTW Hydro Copper (012-P3-1479-AR): 650/1300/950 MHz, Hydro Copper water-block pre-fitted, US $499.99
As you can see, both eVGA's GTX 470 and GTX 480 cards can be purchased in stock reference form to save some bucks, but if you're looking for something more, they are also offering level-1 overclocked models under their Superclocked / SC naming schematic that keep the same reference cooler.
But if you want the cream of the crop, there is also "FTW Hydro Copper" GTX 470 & 480 cards that do away with the base air-cooling setup in favour of a copper-rich waterblock made specially for eVGA's new cards by Swiftech. With the superior cooling on tap with these two cards, eVGA also clocks up the cards out of the box with level-3 overclocks, hence the FTW (For The Win) tag in their naming.
With the launch of NVIDIAs first high-end DX11 desktop parts finally behind us, word has it NVIDIA is in the midst of planning its refreshment of mid-range and entry-level parts which the company aims to have ready by as early as June'10.
It's believed that there are three cards in the works dubbed the GeForce GTS 450, GTS 440 and GTS 430, all of which will use NVIDIA's 40nm GF104 core that carries with it up to 256 shader cores, 64 TMUs, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit memory bus. The GTS 450 and 440 are both said to use GF104 to the full extent, whilst the lower grade GTS 430 will be cut down with 192 shader cores, 48 TMUs, 24 ROPs and run on a 192-bit memory bus.
Pricing was also mentioned with an expectancy in the region of 200-230 for the GTS 450, 160-180 for the GTS 440 and 130-150 for the GTS 430.
Following on from the launch of these cards, it's been made apparent that NVIDIAs next point of focus will be cards based on their GF106 and GF108 cores which cater to the lower-mid and entry level market segments.
Of course, given the early nature of this information, be sure to pinch some salt.
After many months of waiting, attributed further by the fact that the launch date has been pushed back multiple times, FERMI makes its debut today, finally.
In recent weeks we've learnt a lot about what to expect from this very significant release, bar what we want to know the most, performance numbers. Today the cat's right out of the bag for all to see.
I'd be surprised if anyone reading this doesn't already know that the two cards launched today are the GTX 470 and GTX 480; NVIDIA's first generation of DirectX 11 graphics cards. Our VGA specialist Shane Baxtor has been glued to his desk all week gathering up all that there is to know about the cards and shares his findings with all of us in this article that's just gone up in a timely fashion with the NDA lift.
Further to that, we have more performance numbers than you can poke half a dozen graphics cards at now online thanks to his GTX 470 sample he's had in hand to test with throughout the past few days. The card is compared to the current crop of ATI DX11 parts and previous-gen NVIDIA parts, including the use of some new benchmarking apps on top of our existing test regimen.
We were hoping to have a GTX 480 in time for launch as well, but that wasn't to be and we're still waiting on our 480 sample to arrive. Hopefully by mid-next week we can get you those numbers.
Along with the NDA lift comes an enslaught of content slammed up left, right and centre around the web which you can get to via the below links :-
- Hardware Canucks (GTX 470)
- Hardware Canucks (GTX 480)
- Techpowerup (GTX 470)
- Techpowerup (GTX 480)
- PC Perspective
- Hardware Heaven
- Hot Hardware
- Benchmark Reviews
Stay tuned as we'll have another article online within the next 24 hours where Shane focuses on the overclocking capability of the card, squeezing as much as he can out of it before giving it another workout on the Gulftown equipped test bench.
Yesterday we showed you pictures of the MSI GTX 480 box and board, well today we have some of the ASUS flavors. But this time we have both the GTX 480 and the GTX 470.
We are expecting more information on these two cards tomorrow as that is when the curtain officially lifts on these two new DX 11 offerings from NVIDIA and Asus.
So have fun with these images for now and check back for our further coverage of the launch tomorrow.
NVIDIA's GTX 470 and 480 graphics cards will be quite the heat source with some 3 billion transistors working away, but NVIDIA's reference cooling solutions designed to suit these cards are expected to keep things stable under extended load periods.
However, Inno3D already sees limited overclockability from the models with the stock coolers and even more importantly, a decent amount of noise as the fan automatically winds up some more to combat all that heat.
The folks at EXPreview have gotten hold of pictures of Inno3D's iChiLL Black Series waterblock designed specifically for Fermi cards.
Information is limited at this stage, but it sure looks compact compared to previous waterblocks we've seen Inno3D use for some of its earlier generation GeForce cards with dimensions of just 164x104x19.6mm.
However, it does sport a decent copper base which brings the weight up to 912g and I'm sure Inno3D have done enough testing in the most challenging conditions to ensure it's got some big pluses over the reference cooler.
The launch of NVIDIA's first wave of DX11 capable desktop graphics cards is nigh and while ATI don't have any new models on the horizon to answer to it (except for Eyefinity6 variants of existing models), there has been talk of ATI combating GTX 470/480 by lowering pricing on its cards.
However, our VGA guru Shane has heard through the grapevine that while AMD/ATI had considered doing this, it has apparently decided against it and is happy where its lineup of cards sit on the market price wise.
It's likely that this close to launch ATI have a good idea of how NVIDIA's new cards perform and don't seem to be persuaded to adjust pricing on their models; not to mention stock levels not being so much of a problem for Radeon cards these days.
NVIDIA's long awaited Fermi based GXT 400 series GPUs are all set to hit the market on the 26ths of this month. However, as with many past launches of new GPUs we are beginning to see the early peaks and leaks of pictures and specs.
Today it is MSI that is showing of their new GXT 480 in the hopes that at launch time you have them firmly in mind for your NVIDIA DX11 purchase. The card in question is the N480GTX, and like the others that will hit the stores around the 26th it is a reference card.
MSI is making claims of "military-class" components for N480GTX. However, I am not sure that this is the right thing to do. After being in the Military myself, I can tell you that most of what I used was old, used and often in need of constant maintenance. Here's to hoping that they MSI GTX 480 is nothing like that at all.
No word on pricing or actual retail availability just yet.
Just a few days before launch, early press images of Leadtek's upcoming GTX 470 and GTX 480 cards have leaked onto the web and as to have been expected, they strictly follow the reference design; albeit with some colored changes via the use of their own stickers.
The first two shots are of Leadtek's GTX 470, while the following two are of the top dog 480 model.