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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 GTX480 Exposed

Measuring in at 10.5" long and two expansion slots wide, the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 is a videocard that you'll need to measure your system out for. It's also quite heavy thanks to a very substantial heatsink, so make sure to have it securely insterted and locked into a PCI Express x16 slot, as well as screwed snugly in place in your system chassis. It puts out a lot of heat so the usual cautions about good case airflow are doubly important.

While nVidia's Geforce GTX 480 reference design is rated at a 250W TDP, NVIDIA specs the Geforce GTX 480 as having a maximum operating temperature of 105 degrees celsius. That doesn't quite cover the question of how much heat the ENGTX480-2D1-1536 actually generates... the answer is a lot of heat.

It gets hot enough that you don't want to be touching the heatsink of this thing while the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 is under load. Average GPU temperatures under load reached 95 degrees celsius, more than enough to raise the ambient system temperature if this videocard is mounted inside of a computer case.

No matter how you slice it, being able to feel a blast of heat radiating off your videocard from a few inches away does not bode well. If you are going to be fitting the ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 inside your case be prepared to invest in some serious system cooling case fans.

The NVIDIA reference design heatsink is quite impressive. Four heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU and are connected to a hefty array of cooling fins.

To keep this videocard's performance competitive, NVIDIA had to push the ENGTX480-2D1-1536 to the limit. It has a high-RPM fan that makes a lot of noise. While acceptable noise levels are subjective and depend a lot on where you do your computing, in the PCSTATS test labs I found the ENGTX480-2D1-1536 to be loud enough to be distracting when the fan ramped up under load. It's noticeably louder than any other videocard PCSTATS has tested from the NVIDIA Geforce 200-series or Radeon HD 4000 or 5000 series.

A 250W TDP means the Geforce GTX 480 requires both an eight-pin and a six-pin PCI Express power adapter to maintain stable power under load.

Both AMD and NVIDIA make videocards that essentially team up two GPUs onto a single PCB (like the Radeon HD 5970 or Geforce GTX 295), it's unlikely that NVIDIA will be able to manage a single videocard that harnesses two Geforce GTX 480 GPUs.

With its 250W TDP, a single Geforce GTX 480 GPU is already approaching the 300W TDP limit outlined for the ATX form factor. To make two of these GPUs work on a single videocard, NVIDIA would have to lower the clocks of the GF100 GPU significantly, or transition to a more energy efficient 32nm production process.

If you're an extreme enthusiast you can connect as many as three ASUS ENGTX480-2D1-1536 videocards together in three-way SLI mode. To run two Geforce GTX 480s together NVIDIA recommends power supplies with 950W load capacities or greater, for three-way SLI systems you should be using a PSU with at least 1200W load capacity, and expect peak system draw loads to exceed one kilowatt.

With all that out of the way, let's see how this little beastie from ASUS overclocks!

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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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