As you can imagine, thereís been tons of speculation surrounding GeForce GTX 480 and 470 specs. Clock speeds, shader counts, and more have been debated for months now. Today we can finally give you the full specs.
The following chart outlines everything, and how GTX 480 and 470 stack up to GTX 285:
|GeForce GPU Comparison|
|GeForce GTX 470||GeForce GTX 480||GeForce GTX 285|
|Graphics Processing Clusters||4||4|| -|
|Streaming Multiprocessors||14||15|| -|
|Graphics Core Clock||607MHz||700MHz||648MHz|
|Stream Processor Clock||1,215MHz||1,401MHz||1,476MHz|
(3,348MHz data rate)
(3,696MHz data rate)
(2,484MHz data rate)
|Video Memory Size||1280MB||1536MB||1024MB|
|Memory Interface Width||320-bit||384-bit||512-bit|
|Texture Fill-rate||34 Gigatexels/sec||42 Gigatexels/sec||51.8Gigatexels/sec |
|Pixel Fill-rate||24.28 Gigapixels/sec||33.6 Gigapixels/sec||20.736 Gigapixels/sec|
|Max Board Power||215 Watts||250 Watts||183 Watts|
|Recommended Power Supply||550 Watts||600 Watts||550 Watts|
On paper, GeForce GTX 480ís specs donít look like dramatically improved over GTX 285. At least not what youíd expect from a next-generation product. Key performance metrics like texture and pixel fill-rate, and memory bandwidth arenít an order of magnitude greater than GTX 285.
But as youíll see shortly in the benchmarks, thanks to its new architecture, which offers four times the raster engines (four versus one) and the new PolyMorph Engine, GTX 480 does indeed deliver significantly improved performance over GTX 285. (NVIDIA has made significant changes to the layout of the SMs in GTX 480, which is why we left that field blank for the GTX 285.)
As you can see in the chart above, the latest round of rumors were correct and GTX 480 ships with 480 cores instead of the 512 cores NVIDIA had initially hoped to deliver. NVIDIA says that yields just werenít high enough to produce the 512-core part with enough volume. Instead they had to drop the core count down to 480 to get a part into production that they could sufficiently supply the channel with.
NVIDIA hopes to one day bring the planned 512-core part to market (GeForce GTX 485 perhaps?), but isnít promising anything. VR-Zone says that the 512-core part was supposed to run at 725MHz core/1450MHz shader/1050MHz memory with a 295W TDP. It certainly wouldíve been a tremendous performer, but for now NVIDIA is content with the GTX 480.
When compared against the Radeon 5870, the GTX 480 delivers more memory bandwidth (177.4GB/sec versus 153.6GB/sec) and pixel fill-rate (33.6 Gigapixels/sec versus 27.2 Gigapixels/sec), but is down significantly on texture fill-rate (42 Gigatexels/sec versus 68 Gigatexels/sec). This is surprising, as texture fill rate has traditionally favored NVIDIAís architectures, so the GTX 480 is a pretty dramatic departure in this regard. NVIDIA does feel that GTX 480ís texture units are more efficient than their previous texture units though.
The other point youíll no doubt notice is power consumption. With 3 billion transistors the GTX 480 consumes up to 250W of power. Thatís considerably more juice than the Radeon 5870ís 188W, even though they both share the same 40-nm TSMC manufacturing process. Fortunately, NVIDIAís power supply recommendations arenít that extravagant, but because it consumes more power the GPU will also generate more heat. NVIDIAís done their best to keep heat at bay, employing multiple heatpipes on the coolers for both the GTX 470 and GTX 480, but itís something to consider.
NVIDIA says the GeForce GTX 480 will sell for an MSRP of $499, while the GTX 470 will go for $349. Thatís a little more than ATIís Radeon 5850 and 5870, but in exchange NVIDIA says their boards run a little faster, justifying the price premium. Weíll just have to see about that one in the benchmarks. Widespread availability at the retail/etail level will occur the week of April 12th.
While NVIDIA wonít disclose exact die sizes, we know for a fact that the GTX 480 contains more transistors, so itís naturally going to be a bigger part. Therefore even if NVIDIA and ATI were getting the same yields (which is unlikely given the added complexity of GTX 480), the NVIDIA chip would be more expensive to produce, as youíll get fewer dies per wafer. This article from Expreview
says GTX 480ís die size could be as high as 529 square millimeters based on estimates of die shots of the chip. In comparison, AMD says the 5870ís die size is 334 mm2, so GTX 480 could be 1.58 times bigger than the Radeon 5870.