iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB Graphics Card

A more attractive price/performance ratio.

May 27, 2010

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Zotac GeForce GTX 480 1536MB

The cooler isn't fundamentally different from those used with the previous GTX solutions. A turbine drives air through a heatsink and ejects it out of enclosure. However, due to the extreme power consumption of GeForce GTX 480, the cooling system has been improved in the heatsink department. As you can see, the heatpipes only cool the core, while memory chips are taken care of by a plate under the cover.

They have probably run out of ideas on how to make a silent cooler powerful enough to deal with such a hot core. So have in mind that the cooler is very noisy. Even in the 2D mode it works at 44%. Compare this to the 20-25% of older graphics cards. The noise, however, becomes audible after 50%. So the idle mode feels like you're about to hear the noise. And you do in the 3D mode, when the cooler speeds up to 70-80% on average.

Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB

This cooler resembles the previous, but it has fewer and shorter heatpipes and a smaller heatsink. Noise is only audible at peak speeds and after the graphics card has been working for a long time. Thank lower clock rates and less consuming core for that.

Now take a look at temperature monitoring results.

Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB

Zotac GeForce GTX 480 1536MB

Obviously, even GeForce GTX 470 heats up very much under load -- to more than 90°C -- though its cooler doesn't work at maximum speed. Perhaps, after hearing a lot of complaints about noise, NVIDIA preferred slower fan rotation speeds to lower temperature (GPU dies can work normally at up to 120°C). Obviously, they didn't bother about one thing: that the graphics card would heat up everything around it inside the enclosure, even with hot air being driven outside.


A basic bundle for such graphics cards should include the following items: a user manual and a software CD. Now let's see what other accessories are bundled with each card.

Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB
Zotac GeForce GTX 480 1536MB

Both bundles are the same, except for power splitters. There are also bonus discs with technology demos.


Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB

A thick cardboard box painted in Zotac's traditional colors, with a window showing the graphics card. Inside are polyurethane foam compartments for the card and accessories.

Zotac GeForce GTX 480 1536MB

The box is the same. Note robot's glowing eyes. He's probably amazed by the prices.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Cooling, bundles, boxes

Page 3: Performance tests

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