So, here it begins. After the ATI Radeon 5000 invasion, everyone was waiting for a response from Nvidia. News of their newest Fermi architecture kept filtering in but we had only a tiny amount of details of what it was going to be like. So, now after months of waiting, here we have one of the first Fermi graphics cards to hit the market- the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470.
Design, Features & Usability
The ZOTAC looks similar to the GTX 200 series of cards in that it has a glossy sleek black casing that covers the cards innards. It has two DVI ports and a mini HDMI port and the top of the card has two six-pin power input slots. Next to the DVI and HDMI ports is a heat vent and the card is wide enough to fill up two bracket slots in a regular cabinet.
Overall, the GTX 470 performs almost as well as the Radeon 5870 but the ATI card manages a slim lead.
Feature-wise itâs good to see both Nvidia and ATI at the same level. For too long has ATI had the newer DirectX and Shader Model version support and now with the Fermi architecture, Nvidia has come at par. The GTX 470 supports DirectX 11 and Shader Model 5.0. It has a core clocked at 608MHz and although that might seem a bit low, the GTX 470 makes up with a 320-bit memory interface, 448 shaders and 1280MB of GDDR5 video memory.
Temperature readings from the card were somewhat inconsistent. While it measured a reasonable 48Â°C when idle, this jumped up to 88 Â°C when at full load. That is quite a high number especially taking into consideration the fact that the Radeon HD 5970 (the fastest graphics card in the market today) raked up a high of 74 Â°C and that the ZOTAC was running in an open test bed in an air-conditioned room. The GTX 470 also has an average power rating of 215W.
We tested the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470 on a test bed comprising of:
Intel Core i7 965 processor
3GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 RAM (Triple Channel)
Intel X58 motherboard
Intel X25-M SSD 80GB
Tagan BZ1300 PSU
Dell Alienware OptX AW2210 21.5" 1080p LCD Monitor
We began the tests with the synthetic 3D Mark â06 and 3D Mark Vantage tests. In 3D Mark â06, the GTX 470 scored 20,459 3D Marks. In comparison, the Radeon HD 5870 scored 20,607 while the HD 5970 managed 21,035. In 3D Mark Vantageâs "High" preset, the GTX 470 scored 10,993 marks.
In our gaming benchmarks, the GTX 470 managed Frames per Second (FPS) rates that were neck to neck with the Radeon HD 5870. In Crysis, at 1680x1050, Very High and 8xAA, the GTX 470 managed 30fps as against 34fps scored by the ATI Radeon 5870 card. In Far Cry 2 at the same resolution and AA level but at Ultra High settings, the GTX 470 scored 78fps as against the Radeon HD 5870âs 67fps. Overall, the GTX 470 performs almost as well as the HD 5870 but the Radeon 5870 card manages a slim lead.
The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470âs take no prisoners attitude towards performance is reflected in its price-tag of Rs. 21,800 as well. You can probably find an ATI Radeon HD 5870 in the market for about Rs. 22,500 and above. If that price difference of about Rs. 1K matters to you then the ZOTAC GTX 470 is a very good buy. However, do keep in mind that the Radeon 5870 will give you slightly better performance with lower power draw and cooler temperatures. Overall, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 470 is a very good graphics card and an excellent introduction to Nvidiaâs new line-up.