NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Fermi 830

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Fermi Review

A Closer Look »

The Card

Unlike previous generations, this time there is no cover on the back of the card. It is not needed anyway since there are no components on that side that need cooling.
The front is covered by an intricate cooler design which we will cover in more detail on the next page.

The card occupies two slots in the system, which is what everyone expected. In my opinion a single slot design of this card is not possible without redesign of the GPU.

The card has two DVI ports and one one mini-HDMI port. According to NVIDIA the card also supports DisplayPort if board partners want to use it. Unlike AMD's latest GPUs, the output logic design is not as flexible. On AMD cards vendors are free to combine six TMDS links into any output configuration they want (dual-link DVI consuming two links), from what we know so far, on NVIDIA, you are fixed to two DVI outputs and one HDMI/DP in addition to that. NVIDIA confirmed that you can use only two displays at the same time, so for a three monitor setup you would need two cards.

NVIDIA has included an HDMI sound device inside their GPU which does away with the requirement of connecting an external audio source to the card for HDMI audio. The HDMI interface is HDMI 1.3a compatible which includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS and up to 7.1 channel audio with 192 kHz / 24-bit. NVIDIA also claims full support for the 3D portion of the HDMI 1.4 specification which will become important later this year when we will see first Blu-Ray titles shipping with support for 3D output.

You may combine two or three cards into SLI configurations for increased performance or image quality settings. Due to the high thermal requirements of these cards NVIDIA recommends that SLI configurations only be installed in certified cases that offer additional airflow for these setups.
It should also be noted that the retail boards come with a small piece of foam on the back of the card (will add pics once I have them). The foam acts as a spacer between multiple cards in SLI, so that there is a gap for the cooler to suck in enough air to keep the card cool. Also the gap helps avoid short circuits from the conductive metal surface of the cooler touching the back of the other card.

Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
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