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williamcll

A King of ten years past - fully unlocked GTX 480 found

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Posted · Original PosterOP

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A user from Bilibili named Morisummers  managed to get his hands on a engineering sample of the soon to be flagship ancient GTX 480 from a friend of his. There was once another of these missing GTX 480 existed in the past but the source no longer works.

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A fully unlocked GeForce GTX 480 with all 512 CUDA cores active, unofficially known as the GeForce GTX 480 Core 512 in some hardware circles, first appeared in the wild in 2010. The card lead to the speculation that Nvidia might bring it to market, but that never happened. At one time, the GeForce GTX 480 was the fastest graphics card in the world. Sadly, it will always be remembered for the wrong reasons, such as being one of the hottest and most power-hungry graphics cards that ever graced the hardware world, and the unlocked version's high power draw only underlines that assertion. In case you weren't around then, the GeForce GTX 480 dates back to the Fermi era. The graphics card was based on the enormous GF100 silicon, which TSMC manufactured on the 40nm process node. The GF100 die measures 529 mm² and houses up to 512 CUDA cores. However, the complete GF100 die didn't officially make it to the market. Despite the GeForce GTX 480 being the top dog at that time, it only came with 480 CUDA cores, meaning Nvidia had disabled 32 of them. It was unheard of for a flagship model to not feature the full silicon. On the outside, the GeForce GTX 480 Core 512 engineering sample utilizes a similar shroud as the GeForce GTX 470 with some slight aesthetic changes. The teardown reveals the same PCB design and internal components as the public GeForce GTX 480, though. What's not visible is that the GF100 die that's under the hood does come with all 512 CUDA cores enabled. Expreview's evaluation of the GeForce GTX 480 Core 512 shows a roughly 6% performance uplift over the regular GeForce GTX 480. The puny improvement comes at a very high cost, though. Back in the day, our test system consumed up to 450W when we pushed the GeForce GTX 480 to the edge. Expreview's system with the GeForce GTX 480 Core 512 pulled up to 644W under similar workloads, a difference of 194W. It's easy to see why Nvidia didn't release the GeForce GTX 480 Core 512 when you look at the math. A 6% performance increase at the cost of 43.1% higher power consumption would have only given the Fermi-based graphics card a worse reputation for high power draw

From Morisummers' description: source roughly translated to English. Please check source page for images.

Quote

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The complete GF100 core has a total of 16 SMs and six memory controllers. Each SM contains 32 stream processors, 16 load / stores, 4 SFU / textures, 64kb shared memory / L1 cache, and two Warp Scheduler and Dispatch units. GTX480's compromise of a group of SMs also means that the units in the shielded SM will not be enabled, including the texture units. However, Fermi's raster unit is not tied to the SM, so it does not affect the integrity of the common public GTX480 raster unit.

93ae3736f285fc00664569d585ab022c95e0a0d6.png@798w_1108h.webp

7f74b77722ce017e03ce62099bebbe97bc6a57e7.jpg@1320w_382h.webp

As NVIDIA's original engineering sample test card, there will be some stickers on it to tell you some information about it. The core of this graphics card is GF100-ES-DT1-A2 stepping (normal GTX480 core stepping is A3). The core speed setting is set to "Nom", which means Normal usually means a frequency lower than the standard public version (Slow , "Nom", Fast is usually equal to the default frequency of the production card, you can see my previous 9500GT disassembly). The following Lot batch number is consistent with the core, and the core picture below can be compared. The PCB of some ES graphics cards has not been certified for electromagnetic compatibility. Here, the PCB version passed by the FCC is usually displayed, so the original printing is covered by a sticker.

ad2ed3e1e08b79e9521d732fae9ffc219a95490f.jpg@1320w_388h.webp

3464338fe526d00292ef186aa8e36ae461735ab8.jpg@1320w_616h.webp

Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/rare-geforce-gtx-480-with-512-cuda-cores-emerges-10-years-later-pulls-644w

https://www.bilibili.com/read/cv5233184

Thoughts: I wonder what motivated Nvidia to change their market line from having the top core cards extremely limited to public available? For me I never really made contact with this generation of graphic cards so I don't have much personal experience with decade old Nvidias.


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You probably risk a forest fire testing that damn thing xD

 

I'm not surprised that NVIDIA shelved it to be honest. People joke about AMD cards running hot but Fermi was the original meme. 


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dam 650W a r9 295x2 is looking at it laughing.


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This isn't news. There's members here that have owned 512 core GTX 480s.


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I want one of these so bad... (I think this was based on a GTX 480)

 

Given I'm not much of a gamer, the performance wouldn't be a big deal.


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7 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

(I think this was based on a GTX 460)

FTFY.


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Just now, DildorTheDecent said:

FTFY.

Bollocks. I was off by a digit.

Still, wish it had caught on.


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25 minutes ago, DildorTheDecent said:

This isn't news. There's members here that have owned 512 core GTX 480s.

Yeah, it was basically called the GTX 580. 

 

If there really were others on the forum with this spec 480 on here that's cool, I didn't see those posts. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, corsairian said:

I didn't see those posts.

They aren't hard to find if you know who to search for:

https://linustechtips.com/main/profile/37587-ripanotha2013og/?status=213694&type=status


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4 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

You probably risk a forest fire testing that damn thing xD

 

I'm not surprised that NVIDIA shelved it to be honest. People joke about AMD cards running hot but Fermi was the original meme. 

It looks like a grill. 

 

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-gtx-480.c268


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me: has 650w PSU

 

512 core 480: no


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Why...would anyone care about this.

I had one. It was good. It warmed my feet.


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1 hour ago, dizmo said:

Why...would anyone care about this.

I had one. It was good. It warmed my feet.

Mean to say you're heart? 

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2 minutes ago, ILLUMINATY said:

Mean to say you're heart? 

No. It wasn't that good. 


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15 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

You probably risk a forest fire testing that damn thing xD

 

I'm not surprised that NVIDIA shelved it to be honest. People joke about AMD cards running hot but Thermi was the original meme. 

FTFY :)

 

Ah the good old glory days of graphics cards kicking out the same wattage as a half-bar electric heater.


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16 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

You probably risk a forest fire testing that damn thing xD

 

I'm not surprised that NVIDIA shelved it to be honest. People joke about AMD cards running hot but Fermi was the original meme. 

 

Never forget

 

 

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21 hours ago, Radium_Angel said:

I want one of these so bad... (I think this was based on a GTX 480)

 

Given I'm not much of a gamer, the performance wouldn't be a big deal.

 

21 hours ago, Radium_Angel said:

I want one of these so bad... (I think this was based on a GTX 480)

 

Given I'm not much of a gamer, the performance wouldn't be a big deal.

That was when intel introduced their WiDi feature.  Hooking up to a monitor via wireless. It didn’t take off for the desktop, but some laptops today, still has this feature.


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Can it play Crysis? Actually a serious question :P  Weren't the GTX400 series started after the GTX8800/9800 series?

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10 minutes ago, CTR640 said:

Can it play Crysis? Actually a serious question :P  Weren't the GTX400 series started after the GTX8800/9800 series?

Yes, it came well after the 8800. It was the replacement for the GTX 280 and 285. series.


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Just now, Valentyn said:

Yes, it came well after the 8800. It was the replacement for the GTX 280 and 285. series.

Yes, the GTX200 series! Forgot about them. The era where you finally can play GTA4 on high-ish settings and resolution lol

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