Apart from offering a wide range of services and competitive pricing, ISPs must offer quality technical and customer support, and bill clarity.
Zotac GeForce GTX 480 graphics card
The Zotac GeForce GTX 480 is NVIDIA's fastest single-chip graphics card
- The best single-chip solution available
The NVIDIA GTX 480 is clearly the best single-chip solution around (although still not fast enough to beat the dual-chip 5970). But is that enough? The problem is that it's very, very expensive. Given the huge heat and power consumption of the GTX 480, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 remains the better choice of the two.
Price$ 784.00 (AUD)
While NVIDIA's new lower-end cards started coming out many months ago, products based around its next-generation GF100 architecture have been far longer in the making. Indeed, even now NVIDIA has held back the fully fledged GF100 – the Zotac GeForce GTX 480 is actually a slightly watered down version of the GF100. But it’s the fastest single-chip NVIDIA card we’ve seen yet – and, for that matter, the fastest single-chip card full stop.
Like ATI, NVIDIA has moved to a 40nm manufacturing process for these chips, but the chips themselves are considerably larger than their ATI counterparts. However, the actual cards aren’t gigantic, and the Zotac GeForce GTX 480 should fit into any decent-sized case – it certainly won’t cause the same problems as the ridiculously long 5970, for instance.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 480 runs very hot though and the power ratings are heady indeed. The GTX 480 theoretically puts out 250 Watts at maximum load – we’ve found the real figure can exceed 350 Watts – the 5870 generates just 188. Even when idle, 47 Watts (almost twice that of the 5870) is a pretty substantial figure. One six-pin and one eight-pin connector will be needed. A few PCs can only support a pair of six-pin connectors, so you’ll need to watch for this. The 480 is a loud card in use, so you’ll really want to be using the computer in which it’s installed room to keep it in.
Both the Zotac GeForce GTX 480 and NVIDIA Zotac Geforce GTX 470 have some rather new approaches to graphics, with better handling of raster operations, enhanced floating point calculations and improved texture units. Not all of this is obvious from the specifications though. A simple measure of Fill Rate, for instance, suggests that the 480 is vastly inferior to the 5870 – 42.0GTps (GTexels per second) rather than the 5870’s 68.0GTps. And even with attention to floating point calculations, on paper the 5870’s figure of 2.72TFlops is twice the GTX 480’s 1.35.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 480 has fewer texture units too, although it does fight back on ROPs. Perhaps more significantly, its memory bandwidth (177.4GBps to 153.6GBps) is much stronger, partly down to the 480’s 384bit memory interface being considerably wider than the 5870’s 256bit alternative. It also helps that this card has a mighty 1536B of GDDR5 memory.
However, in graphics card testing the only figures that really matter are game frame rates. And here the Zotac GeForce GTX 480 feeds the 5870 its ears, pulling off a string of victories that puts the 5870 in its place. Although the Heaven and Crysis tests show leads of just 5-9fps, the 480 wins comfortably everywhere else, beating the 5870 by between 6 and 16fps in Aliens vs Predator, and 25 to 27fps in the high framerate environment of Hawx. The card has more than enough to make short work of DirectX 11, although we didn’t find the 480 to be better at holding its pace in DX11 than the 5870.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Mad Catz strike back
- CES 2019: Razer expand PC case lineup
- CES 2019: Intel to ship new Nervana neural network processor in 2019
- Razer have announced their first console keyboard
- New AMD processor spotted in Xbox console leak
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?