GTX470 Performance Test Part 1: Windows XP


After a long wait nVidia’s GF100 is here, and I decided to pick up a GTX470 as an upgrade for my GTX285 since I absolutely could not stomach the horrific noise levels from a GTX480. I have nothing against ATi, but I do prefer nVidia’s cards for gaming.

This article will conduct the tests on Windows XP, while a future article will retest everything on Windows 7 (64 bit), which I plan on installing soon.

But first, here are the specs for the two cards I’ll be comparing today:


Compared to the GTX285, we can see the GTX470 has a higher pixel fillrate and more shader performance, but it has less memory bandwidth, and seemingly less texturing performance too. In practice actual texturing performance should be better than the GTX285 due to improvements to the TMUs and caching. This was covered in our architectural analysis of the GF100, which I co-wrote.

With regards to estimated die sizes, the GTX470 is bigger than the already big GTX285, so it’s truly a beast. I think it’s safe to say that at least some of the delay in getting the GF100 to the market was because of manufacturing difficulties due to the chip’s extraordinary size and complexity.

Enough theory; let’s talk about the benchmarks. As usual my settings are somewhat unorthodox compared to the standard fare, because in most cases they’re the actual game settings I use when playing these games. There will be a total of 36 different games tested today.


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  • Pinky Floyd

    Surely this is a driver issue. As gamers we want to play our old games as well as our new one’s.

    Part of the fun of upgrading is that we get to see an FPS boost in our old games.

    Tesselation is all well and good, but no-body is using it yet and I hope there is a higher take up of DX11 than there was of DX10.

    Gearing a card for the future is all well and good but predicting the future isn’t exactly an exact science!

  • BFG10K

    I agree completely. Fortunately I’ve seen this issue many times before, and the good news is that driver improvements can fix things.

    The GTX285 has “gold standard” driver performance, so it’s tough for any new release driver to compete with it initially.

    What will be really interesting is how Windows 7 compares.

  • Bakes

    To the above – but the GTX470 performs well on Windows 7. It seems that nVidia have rightfully given up on xp.

  • BFG10K

    We’ll see about that, Bakes. :)

    Windows 7 might not change things at all because I don’t benchmark like the standard fare. I use far more games, along with unorthodox gaming settings compared to regular reviews.

  • hansmuff

    As always, outstanding job BFG10K.
    Any “early leaks” from the Win7 results? ;)

  • BFG10K

    Yeah, so far Windows 7 is behaving differently in some of the games.

  • Bo_Fox

    It seems that many of the older games are so dependent on the TMU muscle for performance.

    After looking at the “Part 2″ Win7 comparison, I see that Prey, Doom 3, and Far Cry 2 perform so much better but UT2004, one of my favorites, performs considerably worse (maybe after Nvidia fixed it thanks to you pointing out the stuttering issue on Vista a while ago, so it’s still a driver problem?). Overall, Win7 is much better though (except for a few unrelated sound issues).

    thanks, great article!

  • BFG10K

    The Unreal 2 engine stuttering was only present on XP, and was later fixed. I don’t think the low UT2004 performance is related in any way, but rather the problem is specific to the GF100, on both OSes.