512 Core GeForce GTX 480 Reviewed. Any surprises?

As the yields of GF100 chips are improving, the time is approaching to see parts with all 16 clusters, i.e. all 512 cores enabled. ExPreview got the scoop and posted the first [pre-]review of the GeForce GTX 480/512 i.e. rumored GTX 485.

nVidia GeForce GTX 480 Take Two: 512 Cores and a modified PCB to bootEven though the final production version of the GTX 480/512, "GTX 485" will likely see higher clocks, ExPreview tested the product at GTX 480 stock clocks.  The biggest difference between the two parts comes with the evolved PCB [Printed Circuit Board], which includes the highest quality power circuitry featuring KEMET Tantalum capacitors.

These costly capacitors come hand in hand with what we can call world’s first dual 8-pin PEG connector on a card with a single GPU [not necessarily a good thing].

That means this board can consume up to 375 Watts, and that passes the PCIe spec of 300W per single PCIe part. It is obvious that this part won’t enter the standard OEM manufacturers that have strict guidelines, but enthusiast vendors will probably carry the bulk of GTX 480/512 anyways.

Seeing an Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme is just a smoke and mirrors tactic: nVidia changed the look’n’feel of reference cooler, replacing its long standing "blower" with a centrally positioned large-diameter fan. Thus, that cooler can be viewed as a way to protect the source.

Performance-wise, same clocks and all 16 clusters didn’t exactly created a lot of magic: on average, the new part was only 5.67% faster than the version with 480 cores.