Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 Evaluate: Fermi Arrives

Two years later, Nvidia is finally ready to introduce a new piece of graphics silicon aimed at consumers and avid people, based on its latest Fermi architecture. The GeForce GTX 280 was the company's last major launch that consisted of cutting edge technology. At the time, the record books were being rewritten as the fastest single GPU graphics card.

Apart from the GeForce GTX 295 with two GPUs, which went on sale months later, everything after the GTX 280 was a refurbishment of the same GT200b graphics core.

Nvidia battled the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series, which had some good performers but had a little less firepower. In short, last September ATI was already shipping brand new parts that were faster and more efficient, while Nvidia didn't give out specific details about Fermi. These new Radeons were the first products to take the performance crown from Nvidia in a long time, and in a very compelling way.

The Radeon HD 5870 took its place as the new fastest single GPU graphics card and even fitted the mighty GeForce GTX 295 at a fraction of the price, while the Radeon HD 5850 rubbed shoulders with the GeForce GTX 285. That's not to say that AMD ran flawlessly as the release was plagued by poor yields bottlenecks in TMSC's relatively new 40nm manufacturing process. On the flip side, aggressive pricing of $ 400 for the Radeon HD 5870 and $ 300 for the Radeon HD 5850 made the problem a bit more forgivable while dealing a heavy blow to Nvidia's dominance.

It wasn't until late 2009 or early this year that most consumers could actually get their hands on a new Radeon HD 5000 graphics card, and the lack of competition in the high-end spectrum has kept prices higher than originally intended.

But back to the launch of Nvidia, after a long delay, we can finally show you what Nvidia has been working on over the past few years. Their new Fermi architecture (code name GF100) is introduced with the GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 graphics cards. We are excited to see what these new boards are capable of and whether they can put Nvidia back in the spotlight.

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