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Régis Jehl Published on May 19, 2010
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  • Chip GF100
  • GPU frequency 607 MHz
  • Memory quantity 1280 MB
  • Memory type GDDR5
  • Memory frequency 837 MHz
  • Cooler double decker
A smaller version of the GTX 480, the GeForce GTX 470 has all the same benefits, at least on paper: DirectX 11 compatability, PhysX support and 3D Vision. Not as fast as the 480, has it also been able to cut down on noise and heat? Answers in our test!

Size, noise and heat generation

Not as long as the GTX 480, the 470 measures 24.5 cm. You'll need to make sure you have a big enough space in the casing to house it. There's a standard heat system for this double-decker card.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stay quiet and has trouble keeping the heat of the graphics chip down. In load, we're at 93°C and 59.2 dB(A). This is extremely noisy and will be annoying for anyone stationed nearby. At idle (Internet, film playback), things are much better at 42.1 dB(A). The fan is still audible but shouldn't be too troublesome.

Energy consumption

Power consumption obviously isn't the strong point of the GeForce 400 series. The GTX 470 is less demanding than the GTX 480 but still consumes a lot of electricity. At idle, the test card draws 114 W with 390 W in load. These are high scores in comparison to the Radeon HD 5870: 85 W and 325 W in the same conditions.

Gaming performance

If you look at our performance index tables, you'll see that the GeForce GTX 470 falls between the Radeon HD 5850 and 5870. A pretty good performance that allows you to play the most demanding games with all graphics settings on.

In Battleforge, a DirectX 11 game, the GTX 470 gives an average of 27 frames per second (1920 x 1200 pixels, filters activated). The Radeon HD 5870 scores an average of 42 fps under the same conditions (30 fps on the 5850).

General performance average
Click on the image to see all our readings

and compare this model to other cards

In Far Cry 2, still at 1920 x 1200 with filters activated, the positions are reversed: an average of 62 fps for the GTX 470, 54 fps for the Radeon HD 5870 and 45 fps for the HD 5850. As you can see, the scores vary depending on the games tested.

To conclude, we can say that while the GeForce GTX 470 does well in terms of pure performance, we can't recommend it 100%. For those looking for fast gameplay at an accessible price tag and with various additional possibilities (see inset), it will be an excellent solution. In contrast, for those who aren't interested in stereoscopic 3D and other physics effects available for a handful of games, best to go for an ATI card with comparable performance but much lower noise and and power consumption levels.
The card at a glance
For our tests we used the PNY GeForce GTX 470 XLR8. No extras here. This model exactly mirrors the stock card design. The only difference being the PNY sticker.

There are two DVI connectors and a mini-HDMI. There's not a great deal bundled in either: power supply adaptors, a DVI-VGA converter, a CD with drivers that will no doubt come in handy as a mug mat - go for the latest drivers on NVIDIA's site - and a rapid installation guide.

NVIDIA advantages

The strong point of NVIDIA cards is of course the compatibility with other "in-house technologies". 3D Vision first of all allows you to do your gaming in 3D. For this, you'll also need a 3D screen aswell as the 3D Vision kit that includes the obligatory glasses.

Next comes PhysX support that allows you to add more elaborate graphics effects in several compatible games.

There's also another innovation: 3D Vision Surround which is the NVIDIA version of ATI Eyefinity. It allows you to do your gaming across 3 screens simultaneously. The drivers allow you to fuse the screens you have to give a higher definition display area.

3D Surround and 3D Vision can be combined. You do however need at least two GeForce GTX 470s for a 3D three screen set up, as well as the 3D Vision kit. Only for a handful of wealthy nutters then!

Finally NVIDIA also highlights the acceleration of processing for various pieces of software that allow you to use the graphics card to carry out the processing. While individual consumers rarely use this type of application, the enterprise market does, with 3D rendering, photo and other software.


  • Good performance in games
  • DirectX 11 compatible
  • 3D Vision and 3D Surround
  • Acceleration of processing with CUDA compatible applications


  • Energy consumption too high
  • Fan noise unbearable in 3D
  • Excessively hot


Rapid and with numerous features, the GeForce GTX 470 will find plenty of 3D gamer customers. It's just a shame that power consumption, heat and noise are excessive.
4 Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1.3 GB DigitalVersus 2010-05-19 00:00:00
Compare: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1.3 GB to its competitors
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