The Test

As the N470GTX ships at the reference clockspeeds of the GTX 470, we’re going to skip looking at reference performance. If you’d like to see the performance of a reference-clocked GTX 470, please skip ahead to our look at GTX 470 SLI performance, where the reference GTX 470 is listed among our results. Do note that due to the varying VIDs of GTX 400 series cards, power/temperature/noise data is not the same, as you will see in our overclocking section.

Also, after much demand and to go with the look at GTX 470 SLI performance, we have also added 5850CF performance to our charts.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
Hard Disk: OCZ Summit (120GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 5970
AMD Radeon HD 5870
AMD Radeon HD 5850
AMD Radeon HD 5830
AMD Radeon HD 5770
AMD Radeon HD 5750
AMD Radeon HD 4890
AMD Radeon HD 4870 1GB
AMD Radeon HD 4850
AMD Radeon HD 3870
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
MSI GeForce N470GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 197.13
NVIDIA ForceWare 257.15 Beta
NVIDIA ForceWare 258.80 Beta
AMD Catalyst 10.3a
AMD Catalyst 10.7
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Index MSI N470GTX: Power, Temperature, Noise, & Overclocking
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  • tech6 - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Is it just me getting old or have desktop PC become somewhat boring? There seems to be a lot more sizzle and innovation in mobile, server and even home theater tech.
  • lunarx3dfx - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    I have to agree, I really miss the days of Overclocking with dip switches and jumpers, and when a 100 MHz OC actually meant performance you could feel and see. It's not as much fun as it used to be. The mobile market, smartphones especially, has gotten very interesting in recent years especially if you have gotten into homebrew and seeing what these devices are really capable of.
  • araczynski - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    i wouldn't say boring, just that each new iteration of cards is becoming less and less important.

    game developers aren't pushing hardware as hard as fast as the manufacturers would want them to.

    i've had my 4850's in CF since they came out, and i'm still playing everything at 1080p to this day, granted, i don't use AA, but i never have, so don't care.

    dragon age, mass effect 2, star craft 2 all smooth as butter, why am i going to waste time/money with a new video solution?

    this is still on my E8600(?) 3.16Ghz C2D. (win7).

    people are buying too much into the marketing, so cudos to their marketing departments, or which anandtech is one i suppose.
  • 7Enigma - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    Hmm...have you checked to see if you are CPU limited in games? I have the same CPU and would guess that at 1080p resolution you could very well be CPU limited at stock E8600 speeds. I have the same proc and it is easy as pie to OC to close to 4GHz. I currently run at 3.65GHz at stock voltage and game at 3.85GHz (again stock voltage) with little more tweaking than upping the frequency (9.5X multi, 385MHz bus). And that's just with an OC'd 4870, dual 5850's surely could use the extra cpu power at such a (relatively) low resolution.

  • quibbs - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    In my humble opinion, games drove the PC market into mainstream. It spurred the development of most of the major components. This includes graphics cards. Especially graphic cards. But it seems that game development for the PC, while still major, isn't what it once was. This has to slow down the video card market as the games for PC are less numerous.
    Perhaps a major breakthrough in gaming (3d, holograms,etc) will continue the card wars, but I think it will eventually head in a different direction. A reversal if you will, energy efficient cards in smaller form factor that are very potent at pushing graphics. Think about it, the cards are getting bigger and more power hungry as they grow in capabilities. At some point this will be unsustainable (in many ways).
    Some company will realize that less is more and will produce such a product (when technology permits), and will kick off the new wars.
    Just a thought....
  • piroroadkill - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    We're getting more and more powerful hardware, but most games are being developed with consoles in mind, so the benefit of having a vastly more powerful machine is very small.

    I don't feel like I need to upgrade my 4890 and C2D @ 3.4 for gaming, at all. To be honest, my 2900XT didn't really need upgrading, but it ran really hot and started to balls up
  • softdrinkviking - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    i don't know what a 2900xt is, but i upgraded from a radeon 3870 because i couldn't play butcher bay or a couple of other titles at my screens native 1920x1200. that was without AA or MSAA or any kind of ambient occlusion or anything, it just couldn't hold the framerates at all.
    so i got a 5850, and it's been great for everything under the sun. sometimes i can even max out the AA and stuff and the games play fine. (not in crysis)

    anyway, the current gen of consoles games can usually take advantage of a regular LCDTV's 1080p, so if i can't play a game at that resolution without any extra visual enhancements selected, that sounds like there is room for improvement.

    As for the future of gaming, i personally believe that computers will supplant consoles eventually.
    maybe as soon as 15 years?
    it's just a guess, i can't back it up, but i personally can't see how sony will be able to afford losing so much money on a new generation console.
    if the current generation lasts long enough for sony to take advantage of the, only recently profitable, PS3, then home PCs will have a chance to get much faster and cheaper before a PS4 has time to come to fruition.

    it just seems like the consoles will eventually become financially untennable.
    damn, my dog just died, gotta go.
  • afkrotch - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    All depends on hardware and games. I have to turn down my game settings on Metro 2033. I use a C2D @ 3.3 ghz and a GTS 250. I get way too much framerate drops at 1920x1200 no AA/AF.

    Granted, I can still play any game out there, so long as I'm willing to lower the quality/resolutions.
  • arnavvdesai - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    I just wanted to ask if the author or the staff on AT feel that desktop graphics card are a shrinking market? Is the continued investment by ATi and Nvidia into the development of newer cards seem justified? I own a 5870 and barring a technical fault I dont plan to upgrade for another 3 years as I dont see myself upgrading my monitors.
    Is the market slowly but surely reducing or am I just wrong in assuming that? If yes, then where should these companies research into?
  • nafhan - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Well, the tech that goes into making a high end card eventually makes it into mobile, low end, integrated, cell phone, and console parts through a combination of cutting down the high end and successive silicon process improvements. So, ATI and Nvidia don't expect to make all their R&D money back from the initial run of high end GPU's. High end GPU's are basically proof of concepts for new technology. They'd certainly like to sell a bunch of them, but mostly they want to make sure the technology works.

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