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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 – GF100 Has Landed
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by Rob Williams on March 29, 2010 in NVIDIA-Based GPU

We’ve learned a lot about NVIDIA’s GF100 (Fermi) architecture over the past year, and after what seemed like an eternal wait, the company has officially announced the first two cards as part of the series; the GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480. To start, we’re taking a look at the latter, so read on to see if it GF100 was worth the wait.

Grand Theft Auto: IV

If you look up the definition for “controversy”, Grand Theft Auto should be listed. If it’s not, then that should be a crime, because throughout GTA’s many titles, there’s been more of that than you can shake your fist at. At the series’ beginning, the games were rather simple, and didn’t stir up too much passion in certain opposers. But once GTA III and its successors came along, its developers enjoyed all the controversy that came their way, and why not? It helped spur incredible sales numbers.

Grand Theft Auto IV is yet another continuation in the series, though it follows no storyline from the previous titles. Liberty City, loosely based off of New York City, is absolutely huge, with much to explore. This is so much so the case, that you could literally spend hours just wandering around, ignoring the game’s missions, if you wanted to. It also happens to be incredibly stressful on today’s computer hardware, similar to Crysis.

Manual Run-through: After the first minor mission in the game, you reach an apartment. Our benchmarking run starts from within this room. From here, we run out the door, down the stairs and into an awaiting car. We then follow a specific path through the city, driving for about three minutes total.

I found the results here to be quite interesting. The HD 5870 had an obvious lead at both 1680×1050 and 1920×1080, but the GTX 480 soared past it at 2560×1600. If I had to guess, the extra 0.5GB the GTX 480 has to juggle around helped with that difference.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 480 1.5GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – H/H/VH/H/VH Detail
35
56.840
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – H/H/VH/H/VH Detail
27
52.590
ATI HD 5770 1GB CrossFireX
2560×1600 – H/H/VH/H/VH Detail
30
51.813
ATI HD 5870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – H/H/VH/H/VH Detail
31
47.194
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – High Detail
32
45.573
NVIDIA GTX 275 896MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – High Detail
30
44.703
NVIDIA GTX 260 896MB (XFX)
2560×1600 – High Detail
24
38.492
ATI HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – High Detail
39
58.886
ATI HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
1920×1080 – High Detail
31
51.213
ATI HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
1920×1080 – High Detail
33
47.719
NVIDIA GTX 250 1GB (EVGA)
1920×1080 – High Detail
21
34.257
ATI HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – High Detail
27
39.904

Similar to Crysis Warhead, GTA IV is a game that never seems to run ideally even with a sweet PC and modest detail settings. Nature of the beast, I guess. Thanks to the raw brawn that both the GTX 480 and HD 5870 have, some detail settings could be increased resulting only in a very minor drop in performance.