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GeForce GTX 470: Dual and 3-way SLI Performance Analysis

GeForce GTX 470: Dual and 3-way SLI Performance Analysis



GeForce GTX 470 SLI Performance Analysis

GeForce GTX 470 SLI Performance Analysis

The GeForce GTX 470 was launched along side the more powerful GeForce GTX 480 and has been positioned as NVIDIA as the 'entry-level' Fermi graphics card. And if you've checked out our full review, you'd would agree that while it is by no means a slow card, it has one or two problems that keep it from being great. Like its more powerful sibling, the GeForce GTX 480, the GeForce GTX 470 is plagued by high operating temperatures and power consumption figures.

Fortunately, custom design versions of the GeForce GTX 470 are slowly but surely coming into the market. Already, we've reviewed two such non-reference cards – one from Galaxy and another from Palit  – and although power consumption figures are unchanged, both cards are remarkably cooler to run than NVIDIA's reference design card.

Today, however, we are going to be looking at how the GeForce GTX 470 would perform in both 2 and 3-way SLI configurations.

NVIDIA claims that the new Fermi cards offer better scaling in performance, and this has been confirmed in our GeForce GTX 480 SLI performance analysis, where, depending on benchmarks, we saw nearly 100% improvement in performance when we stacked on another a GeForce GTX 480. However, that was with two cards. So how would a third card perform? We'll be finding that out shortly, but this time with the GeForce GTX 470 model.

Test Setup

The cards will be tested using our high-end X58 system with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 OCZ memory in triple-channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Considering a single GeForce GTX 470 currently retails for around US$350 and that a single Radeon HD 5970 goes for around twice that, it'll be interesting to see how the two GeForce GTX 470 cards will compare against a lone Radeon HD 5970. Also, we'll be paying special attention to how 2 and 3-way SLI holds up against a 2 and 3-way CrossFireX Radeon HD 5870.

This is the complete list of cards/configurations used and their driver versions:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 (3-way SLI) (ForceWare 197.41)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 (2-way SLI) (ForceWare 197.75)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 (ForceWare 197.41)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 (3-way CrossFireX) (Catalyst 10.4)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 (2-way CrossFireX) (Catalyst 10.2)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 (Catalyst 10.2)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 (2-way SLI) (ForceWare 197.41)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 (ForceWare 197.41)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5970 (2-way CrossFireX) (Catalyst 10.3)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5970 (Catalyst 10.2)

The list of benchmarks used are as follows:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • "Heaven" from Unigine
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat