Published in Reviews

GTX480 is one power sucking monster



As expected the GTX480 sucks power like there is no tomorrow. At standard settings even an HD5850 gives plenty of FPS but unfortunately, we can't compare higher and better AA settings. The GTX480 was not planned as a run of the mill graphics card. It's the most complex GPU ever and it has a lot of GPGPU potential, but sadly it was heavily delayed and entered the market quite late. With The tessellation on the card will have some advantages, especially in upcoming titles, but until we see games that fully utilize this feature, AMD has more than enough time to improve its drivers or even come out with new cards.

Here we have a summary of all benches and how the HD5850 and GTX480 perform per Watt and per Euro. We have not included the HD4850 which has by far the best price/performance rating, but ran either with lower settings or lower resolution.



As usual in the high-end segment - the better the performance, the worse the price to performance ratio. The cheapest HD5850 is available at €254,90 while the cheapeset GTX480 will cost you €477,89. Of course you won't get twice the performance but at least 2/3 more power-consumption and very bad idle-power-consumption. While some might not care for power-consumption at all, an significant and still increasing number of users finds this one of the important criteria. Also the GTX480 is not that fast as we would have hoped and for nearly the same price you can get either two HD5850s or a HD5970 with much more performance and roughly the same power consumption as any GTX480.

Most interesting thing is that power-consumption in Windows XP is higher, but so is performance, at least when you do not consider DX10/DX10.1/DX11. Of course, due to obvious limitations, nobody is going to run DirectX 11 cards in XP. For some reason most game developers are unable to deliver 64-bit code which is quite easy to do, so the WOW32 system of any 64-bit Windows does have an impact on performance. While Microsoft is promoting 64bit OS it would make sense for gamers to use still a 32bit OS. If eye-candy is not that important to you, running a game in DX9 may offer a better experience especially when higher effect settings or higher Anti-Aliasing modes can be used.

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Last modified on 24 September 2010
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