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ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 Geforce GTX 480 Videocard Review

ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 Geforce GTX 480 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: NVIDIA does stress that the Geforce GTX 480 is more than just a gaming card however. It's the first videocard to use NVIDIA's Fermi architecture, which is a radical departure from the design of previous Geforce videocards.
 79% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Jun 09 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536

NVIDIA's latest... too little, too late?

If NVIDIA had been first to launch a DirectX 11-class videocard and it was ATI's Radeon HD 5870 that had been delayed, it might have been easier to overlook the ugly aspects of the Geforce GTX 480. However, opposite is the reality we have before us. With the Radeon HD 5870 sitting next to the Geforce GTX480 on the test bed, I find it difficult to recommend the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 videocard. And that's ultimately a shame, since the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 and NVIDIA's GF100 'Fermi' architecture do offer some genuinely exciting new features and unique technologies...

GPGPU computing is a big focus for NVIDIA and Fermi, but for all the hype this technology is still in its infancy and the real-world applications that can take advantage of it are few and far between. To further complicate things for NVIDIA, the performance of the Geforce GTX 480 in these applications, particularly when using double-precision shaders, is inconsistent.

To be clear, in a number of synthetic and real-world benchmarks the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 comes out at the top of the heap as the fastest videocard on the PCSTATS test bed. These benchmarks tend to be older DX9 and DX10-grade tests or games, and even with all graphics and quality setting maxed out and the resolution turned up both the Radeon HD 5870 and Geforce GTX 480 are overkill.

The big exception is the Uniengine Heaven benchmark. It makes heavy use of DX11 Tessellation features and may bode well for NVIDIA if more games start making heavy use of this feature to enhance in-game geometry.


"It's really that hot."

In newer benchmarks the nVidia Geforce GTX 480 tends to fall somewhere between the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 in terms of performance. That's certainly quick enough to run most of today and tomorrow's games at high resolutions and with high quality settings, but it comes at a steep price.

Heat, noise and power consumption are all problems for the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 videocard. All three rear their ugly heads no matter how you fiddle with the Geforce GTX 480's settings. Even with the fan on at full blast, under load the GPU can still reach temperatures over 90 degrees Celsius, simultaneously radiating a lot of heat into your system chassis.

At full speed the fan is loud, enough to be an annoying distraction while you're gaming unless you happen to invest in a set of noise-canceling headphones. Add this together with high power-draw under both idle and load conditions and it seems like NVIDIA is heading back to the days of the infamous Geforce 5800 Ultra.

Given its enthusiast-grade retail price of around $535 CDN ($510 USD, £350 GBP) , the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 videocard is simply too much of a compromise for all but the most die-hard NVIDIA fan. In the future its saving grace may come in the form of application developers embracing CUDA/GPGPU and game developers getting the most out of the GF100 "Fermi" GPU's tesselator, however for today's enthusiast gamers PCSTATS sees the Radeon HD 5870 as simply the better buy.

Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCSTATS Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest reviews right here.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»

 

Contents of Article: ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536
 Pg 1.  ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 Geforce GTX 480 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  nVidia GTX480 Exposed
 Pg 3.  nVidia GTX480 Fermi Overclocking
 Pg 4.  Videocard Power Consumption
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 9.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 10.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 11.  DX11/DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: STALKER, Heaven 2
 Pg 12.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 13.  GPGPU Videocard Benchmarks: Sandra 2009
 Pg 14.  — NVIDIA's latest... too little, too late?

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