Can someone explain to me why Nvidia dropped the ball with the GTX480?
I've looked at benchmarks and its easily the most powerful single GPU DX11 card.
We all know the issues that come about with dual GPU setups so I think being a single GPU is a plus. While its ~50-70 bucks more than ATI's closest single GPU card (5870)...it runs ~25% faster on most game benchmarks I've seen...
Like I use the Nvidia 3D vision so I am kind of stuck to Nvidias cards...but even that aside...I'd buy one if I could ...but they are sold out.
Hell I'm even thinking about getting a GTX470 which at $349 comes off as a great bargain.
I'm thinking that GTX470 in SLI would most likely rape the 5970 and cost the same or less.
Two issues - performance and power.
On performance, the consensus is that it is about 10% faster on average, varying between slower in half the games and 20%+ faster in the other half. The review sites I trust (Tech Report and Anandtech) conclude 'no convincing lead' and '10 to 15% faster' respectively. I haven't seen any neutral site claim a consistent 25%+ average on real games, maybe on synthetic tesselation demos that's true.
This is over seven months later and yet Nvidia hasn't delivered a better value proposition than AMD, merely an equal one at best. If you waited this long in the hope of real competition to push prices down or deliver a jump in performance you would be disappointed.
The cards are not avalable at RRP to anyone, and if the <10,000 cards shipped is accurate then they never will be. AMD had shortages, but that was due to genuine demand and they shipped several hundred thousand cards in the first week and people got cards on launch day. This was a paper launch, barely anyone has cards yet. Nvidia won't make any more because yields are abysmal, so the 480 and probably the 470 are all but vapourware.
On power, it is a monster. This translates into very high temps and noise, and is as much of a downside as the dual-card scaling is (which few reviews have said is really bad, it's mostly Nvidia fans that have claimed it, without numbers to back it up. If it was a real problem I'd expect more articles from the neutral sites on it). And if you can accept the temps/noise/power, especially of the 480, then Crossfire will get higher performance with that power use anyway.
A single GTX 470 performs like a 5850 according to most reviews I've seen, so in SLI they should match a 5970, not really beat it. But the power and noise would be far too much for anyone to be comfortable with. And you get those CF/SLI issues you just mentioned, so AMD doesn't have a downside there and you might as well get dual 5850s.
But the single most important thing I'd like to say is that this is a commercial failure. Nvidia can't sell these cards at a profit, therefore they are irrelevant and will never be in decent supply.