Inno3D GTX480 iChill Black Series W/C
Posted by: Dan on: 11.05.2010 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
There’s no doubt about it, the Inno3D iChill Black Series GTX480 is a faster card than ATI’s 5870. Inno3D have taken the reference GTX480 card and given it the cooling it needs. A free gaming mousepad thrown into the bundle means that along with a watercooled card you get more than just a driver CD and DVI-VGA adaptor in the box.
In general terms of the GTX480 being justifiable to buy and use (something I’d like to point out is entirely outside of Inno3D’s hands) is a completely different matter. Performance is a close call in a lot of games at high resolution, but the one thing that the GTX480 consistently has in its favour is its ability to maintain a much higher minimum fps mark, this means that in graphically intense sections of games, the game is much less likely to feel jerky.
The iChill Black Series GTX480 opens a new door for quiet extreme performance gaming and graphics processing. The reference card sells for around £450, so the iChill Black Series will probably end up topping £500 with how expensive full cover waterblocks are.
Out of the two cards tested today, personally I think I’d rather save the £100+ difference and go with the 5870. But, the Inno3D Black Series GTX480 is a very pretty card and a good implementation of no-hassle watercooling for the GTX480, and if you can justify the extra cost, and/or must have the absolute best in performance then the Inno3D iChill Black Series GTX480 is definitely the winner of the two.
On a closing note, I’d heard that the GTX480 was a rather noisy card with the stock cooler, but during my testing and general use the fan noise was actually quite bearable, and the only application that made the fan scream to a point that was unbearable was the Furmark stress test. So I was pleasantly surprised by the relative quietness of the GTX480 with a stock cooler.. Although my Editor screams at me how can you call that quiet…., but his a bit of a silence is golden person.. So a little noise is deafening to him….
- Best performing card
- Higher minimum fps
- Kicks ass at tessellation
- Sexy waterblock
- Lower system temps
- Needs a big PSU to power it
- Price will be higher than stock card
Reality Check: Inno3D have brought out a solidly performing GTX480 whose furnace of a core has been tamed by a gorgeous waterblock, if the GTX480 in general is justifiable as a purchase depends on your budget and need for speed.
Reviewed by Dan
Thanks to Inno3D for supplying the card for the review