The nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470 is one of the first Fermi graphics cards to hit the market. We put the Geforce GTX 470 through its paces.

So, here it begins. After the ATI Radeon 5000 invasion, everyone was waiting for a response from nVidia. News of its newest Fermi architecture kept filtering in but we had only 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 cards to hit the market - the Zotac GeForce GTX 470.

nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470: Design, Features & Usability

The nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470 looks similar to the nVidia GeForce GTX 200 Series of cards in that it has a glossy sleek black casing that covers the card 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.

Feature-wise it's 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 Shade 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 and 448 shaders and 1280MB of GDDR5 video memory.

Temperature readings from the card were somewhat inconsistent. While it measured a reasonable 48°C when idle, this jumped up to 88 °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 °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.

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nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470: Performance

Our sister title PCWorld.in tested the Zotac GeForce GTX 470 on a test bed comprising:

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" LCD Monitor

We began the tests with the synthetic 3D Mark '06 and 3D Mark Vantage tests. In '06, the GTX 470 scored 20,459. In comparison, the Radeon HD 5870 scored 20,607 while the HD 5970 managed 21,035. In Vantage's High preset, the GTX 470 scored 10,993 marks.

In our gaming benchmarks, the nVidia Zotac Geforce 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 card. In Far Cry 2 at the same resolution and AA but at Ultra High settings, the 78fps as against the Radeon HD 5870's 67fps. Overall, the GTX 470 performs almost as well as the HD 5870 but the ATI card manages a slim lead.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470: Specs

  • Graphics Engine: GTX470 (40nm)
  • PCI-Express 2.0
  • 1280MB DDR5
  • Core clock: 607Mhz
  • Memory clock: 3348Mhz
  • Shader clock: 1215Mhz
  • 448 processor cores
  • 320 bit
  • 400Mhz RAMDAC
  • DVI-I: 2x dual link
  • HDMI: 1x mini-HDMI
  • Active cooling
  • Graphics Engine: GTX470 (40nm)
  • PCI-Express 2.0
  • 1280MB DDR5
  • Core clock: 607Mhz
  • Memory clock: 3348Mhz
  • Shader clock: 1215Mhz
  • 448 processor cores
  • 320 bit
  • 400Mhz RAMDAC
  • DVI-I: 2x dual link
  • HDMI: 1x mini-HDMI
  • Active cooling

OUR VERDICT

The nVidia Zotac Geforce GTX 470's take-no-prisoners attitude towards performance is reflected in its price-tag, although it is a few pounds less than you'll pay for an ATI Radeon HD 5870, making the Zotac GTX 470 a very good buy. However, do keep in mind that the ATI 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 nVidia's new line-up.

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