A Comparison Of NVidia GTX 480 & ATI HD 5870

Nvidia just released an awesome preview video of the GTX 480, their soon to be released Fermi graphics card. In a benchmark test, the new card beat ATI’s HD 5870, albeit not by a very large amount. As Tom Petersen, Nvidia’s director of technical management, explains in the video, the GTX 480 shines when it’s tessellation time. During the tessellation-intensive parts of the benchmark, Nvidia’s card outpaces ATI’s considerably, though at other points they’re neck and neck.

It looks like you’ll need to jack in a pair of auxiliary power connectors — one 8-pin and one 6-pin — to power the first Fermi card, as well as plenty of clearance in your case to accommodate its full length (stop giggling!). NVIDIA’s benchmarking stressed the GTX 480’s superior tesselation performance over the HD 5870, but it was level pegging between the two cards during the more conventional moments. It’s all well and good being able to handle extreme amounts of tesselation, but it’ll only matter to the end user if game designers use it as extensively as this benchmark did. As ever, wait for the real benchmarks (i.e. games) before deciding who wins, but we’re slightly disappointed that NVIDIA’s latest and greatest didn’t just blow ATI’s six-month old right out of the water. Benchmarking result awaits after the break, along with video of the new graphics card and a quick look at NVIDIA’s 3D Vision Surround setup.
Watch this video.

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