Gainward GTX470 GS and reference GTX470 review
Author: Vedran Dakic
Date: 26 Jul 2010
Recently I found one of the cards that really impressed us back in the day. It was Gainward's GeForce 6600GT Golden Sample Goes Like Hell. It was one of the cards that marked the NVIDIA 6 series, and a real good performer that had even more room for overclocking. Unfortunately, the Goes Like Hell is in the current generation only present on the GeForce GTX 460 GS GLH, so in the case of 470 we will have to be content with the 'plain' Golden Sample edition, and that is the card we will be reviewing today.
NVIDIA's GTX 470 card is based on NVIDIA's GF100 chip, but in a slightly cut down configuration compared to the GTX 480. While the 480 doesn't fully utilize the GF100 512 shaders and 64 TMUs (480 and 60) the 470 gets rid of another one of the original 16 multiprocessors and has 448 shaders and 56 TMUs. If you want a detailed view of the GF100 architecture, check out our NVIDIA 480 launch review.
One downside of the GF100 is the texture performance, as the previous generation had more texture processors. The GeForce 470 also has a problem, because its memory is normally clocked at just 837 MHz, which makes the memory throughput of just 133.9 GBps, well below the Radeon 5870 at 153.6, but still better than Radeon 5850 at 128. However, since it uses a 320 bit memory bus, the memory could be left pretty low, which should leave room to clock the memory higher to achieve some better results.
The GPU is extremely efficient in saving power, as it clocks down to just 67 MHz in idle mode. Impressive.