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Performance Summary

The first pair of summary diagrams show the performance growth delivered by the GeForce GTX 480 relative to the fastest single-processor graphics card of Nvidia's previous generation, the GeForce GTX 285. The latter's performance is the reference point and the GeForce GTX 480's performance is calculated in percent to it (DX10 and DX9 renderers, respectively, were used in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat and Colin McRae: DiRT 2).

Everything is clear enough. The GeForce GTX 480 enjoys an average advantage of 30-37%, depending on the resolution, over the previous-generation flagship GeForce GTX 285. When full-screen antialiasing is turned on, the difference is 46-48%. I must note, however, that the Radeon 5 series brought about bigger performance benefits in comparison with the previous-generation card from AMD. The biggest performance growth can be observed in such games as Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2 and Metro 2033. It is in the undemanding applications like Call of Duty 5: World at War or Wolfenstein that the two cards differ less. 

The next diagrams show the performance of the dual-processor GeForce GTX 295 in comparison with the new single-processor flagship GeForce GTX 480. The GTX 295 is the reference point (DX10 and DX9 renderers, respectively, were used in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat and Colin McRae: DiRT 2).

So, the GeForce GTX 480 is faster in some games while the GeForce GTX 295, in others. There is no definite leader. I can recall the Radeon HD 5870 being nearly always faster than the previous-generation dual-processor Radeon HD 4870 X2. Anyway, the GeForce GTX 480 enjoys a large advantage in the newest games Metro 2033 and Just Cause 2 because SLI technology does not yet work correctly in them. 

Now, let's see how the new GeForce GTX 480 compares with the Radeon HD 5870. The performance of the Radeon HD 5870 is taken as the reference point.

Again, we've got no definite winner as both cards win some tests and lose others. The GeForce GTX 480 proves to be ahead in twelve games, namely World in Conflict, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, Lost Planet: Colonies, Far Cry 2, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (!), Batman: Arkham Asylum (the Radeon working without a PPU), Resident Evil 5, Borderlands, Colin McRae: DiRT 2 and Metro 2033. The Radeon HD 5870, on its part, is faster in five games: BattleForge, Stormrise, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Left 4 Dead 2 and Just Cause 2. So, I can say it quite definitely that the GeForce GTX 480 does not enjoy an overwhelming advantage over the Radeon HD 5870 as many gamers anticipated. 

And the last pair of diagrams show how slower the GeForce GTX 480 is in comparison with today's fastest graphics card Radeon HD 5970.

The GeForce GTX 480 is ahead of the dual-processor Radeon HD 5970 in Wings of Prey (because CrossFireX technology does not work there) and Batman: Arkham Asylum (because the Radeon does not have PhysX support). The cards are equals in Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. and Resident Evil 5. In the rest of the games the Radeon HD 5970 is faster than the GeForce GTX 480. 

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