I have been a PC gamer for a long time and when NVIDIA first rolled out its SLI technology, I was pumped to see the benefits that you got in video games using multiple cards. Over the years, NVIDIA has improved the tech and you can use up to four of some of the companies cards in SLI today.
One NVIDIA GTX 480 graphics card is potent; two are impressive and three, in SLI setup, is probably overkill for all but the most avid (and deep pocketed) of gamers. So, what do you call four GTX 480 boards in a single machine? CyberPower Inc. have apparently been experimenting with the EVGA GTX 480, showing a new quad-card rig on their Facebook page.
It's obviously a week for leaky video cards, as after the first sighting of Sapphire's stonking Radeon HD 5970 yesterday comes in-the-wild images of NVIDIA's rival card, the GTX 480. Based on the company's Fermi architecture, the GTX 480 is tipped to begin arriving on cards from select manufacturers this month.
One thing we can count on no matter the brand name on the video cards that gamers and enthusiasts buy for their computers is that each successive generation will offer increased performance. NVIDIA is no exception to this and the company often has some of the best performing video cards on the market in some price classes.
NVIDIA have announced their first Fermi-based GPU intended for notebooks, in the shape of the GeForce GTX 480M. Described as "DirectX 11 done right for notebooks", the GTX 480M has a dedicated Tessellation engine that apparently boosts performance 5x over that of competing mobile GPUs, and three times more CUDA cores than the previous generation of chips.
NVIDIA haven't been particularly upfront about their mobile plans for the Fermi GPUs but, according to a premature product page from gaming notebook maker Eurocom, it looks like we can expect some movement in June 2010. Eurocom are listing an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M Fermi GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory as arriving that month, a 40nm chipset that will add $380 to their 18.4-inch X8100 Leopard notebook.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 and 480 graphics cards have had somewhat of a torrid love affair with the media as of recent. Sources last month were telling us that, even if NVIDIA officially announced the cards on March 26th, that the actual number of cards would be very limited. If that's true, it doesn't seem that anyone told NVIDIA, as the company is promising "tens of thousands" of the cards available at launch. We might be willing to place bets on that being more than enough to stem the initial demand.
Early adopters beware: if you were planning on picking up one of NVIDIA's new Fermi-based GeForce GTX 480 or GTX 470 graphics cards when they go on sale later on this month, you could end up getting a less capable card than expected. According to leaks out of graphics cards manufacturers, lower than expected 40nm yields at NVIDIA's suppliers have prompted the company to block those cores with problems; as a result, the GeForce GTX 480 will only have 480 cores and the GTX 470 just 448.
How much would you pay for NVIDIA's stonking Fermi-based GeForce GTX 480 video card? Early estimates pegged the high-performing cards at around €600 or $600 for the single-GPU 480 model, but new figures leaked to Fudzilla suggest a somewhat more reasonable figure: they've heard €450 including tax when the cards come to Europe.