NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480, GTX 470: $850 of Graphics Card Glory

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Ever since ATI released their 4XXX series cards a couple of years ago, NVIDIA has had a bit of a hard time competing. Their resurgence in popularity over big green is showing, too; Steam’s most recent hardware survey shows ATI losing overall, but possessing the top DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 GPUs. Not bad.

Everyone and their mother, then (assuming their mothers are into hardcore gaming and general technology enthusiasm), has been waiting for NVIDIA to release their next-generation gaming cards, using the code-named Fermi GPUs.  And this weekend, at the PAX East Expo in Boston, MA, they finally did.

What it comes down to: two new cards for now, the GeForce GTX 480, the new flagship, and the GeForce GTX 470, the second-in-command. The first offers up 480 processing cores and supplies 1.5GB of RAM, while the 470 features 448 cores and roughly 200MB less video memory.  The cards will cost you $500 and $350, respectively, and use almost that much power: 250W or 215W, depending.  Results from testing are mixed thus far, showing hits and misses against competitors ATI/AMD. Are these the new cards to carry NVIDIA into the next couple of years of GPU warfare, or are they just several months too late?  Find out for yourself in the second week of April, when you can expect these bad boys to start shipping.

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