Inno3D GTX 480 iChill Review

By on May 21, 2010, 5:15 AM
Inno3D offers an impressive range of graphics cards based solely on Nvidia GPUs and that's the reason we haven't seen a lot of action from them in recent months. With the delay of the GeForce GTX 400 series, Nvidia’s exclusive board partners were left hanging for a while there. Although older GeForce models were still pretty competitive, ATI successive launches kept pushing the efficiency and price envelope release after release. Either way, if that was reason enough to have manufacturers looking into custom board designs and cooling offerings out of the box, then you won't hear us complaining. Besides your run of the mill reference-based boards, Inno3D produced a number of impressive GeForce GTX 200-based products, such as their GTX Accelero line and the flagship of them all, the GTX 295 Black Series that added a large water-cooling block for heavy overclocking.
Since then we haven't seen any similar products added to Inno3D's elite “Black Series,” until now. Without a doubt a perfect candidate for the water treatment, today we present to you the Inno3D GTX 480 iChill Black Series. You assumed correctly, water-cooling is the key component here and it could make all the difference. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 20

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Great review. I'm waiting for them to stick two of those 465/470's on one board for their upgrade to the 295. Should be interesting at least.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So in a nutshell, everything taken into consideration (power consumption, cost, o/c capabilities, etc.,) Radeon is still the way to go.

Guest said:

how about you use settings for your benches which push the 480s you are using instead of toadying to ati.

also it'd be nice to see minimum frames in all your benches as well as an outlining of how you obtained results with games that don't have built in benchmark utilities.

this isn't a review it's an ad for ati cards. in particular the ati lightning.

also i can't find inno3d products past or present on any online vendor in the USA.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@ Guest

Sorry, but nvidia went the wrong way with this card. Instead of going smaller and more efficient, it went with bigger, hotter, faster.

Sure you can shoehorn a V12 into your car, and you'll get awesome horsepower, but at what cost?

When you need to invest in a new $200 PSU just to use this card, its not a good sign.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

But the Guest does have one good point, Techspot should show minimum FPS.

If you look at a lot of other review sites, Minimum FPS is usually present and do show that the 480 has more power. If you compare it to the ATI offering anyway. The FPS on the ATI go alot lower on games like Crysis, while the 480GTX doesn't bounce round quite so much.

autotechfreak said:

Lets just hope that the competition between two spearheads of two GPU manufacturers, nVidia and ATI will bring out the best from them and at a competitive price.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Well at least that will keep the card cool, here's hoping the next generation can be a little lighter on the power requirements.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Tt BigWater 760i .......really?

I think you guys really need to angle for some reviews regarding Swiftech/EK/Koolance/Enzotech/DD etc. (non-returnable of course) products.

As far as the 760i is concerned, I'm pretty sure I could build a better WC loop from Lego.

Nice review though.

Still prefer the EVGA/Danger Den waterblocks.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

....When you need to invest in a new $200 PSU just to use this card, its not a good sign.

Technically, you'll need a pump, radiator, reservoir, tubing, fittings and/or clamps as well. And unless you're upgrading from some entry level card (unlikely) then there's a good possibility that your existing PSU is up to the job.

And if it isn't....well $70 buys you more than enough PSU for the job.

So gwailo, it seems like either you:

(a) Like to spread FUD thicker than manure at a mushroom farm, or

(b) Have no idea about computer component compatibility.

Guest said:

The first "Guest" post is idiotic...

Minimum frames are pointless unless you show frame rate time lines which is very difficult to do with so many cards. Most of the time th minimum frame rate only represents a few quick 1 second or less drop in performance that is created by something else going on. The averages are far more accurate. At the end of the day if the Radeon HD 5870 has a much lower minimum frame rate that is seen often than the average is going to be much lower, is that not the idea of an average? :S

Also dividebyzero I am pretty sure when reading the review the reviewer said that the Tt BigWater 760i is a poor solution but it is all they had. The reviewer said he got over water-cooling years ago and has not chased after the more serious stuff and I can understand that. In any case the temperatures were pretty good for a GTX 480 were they not?

Nice review overall I thought.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

... In any case the temperatures were pretty good for a GTX 480 were they not?

Not really

(Temps based on 120.3 rad, low-speed fans, 1/2" tubing with CPU block also in the loop). 49C seems about right for an OC'ed card with a DD or Swiftech block.

How about 47C under Furmark with a hot-as-hades Q9650 @ 4GHz for good measure.

As for the Tt BW760...that's more a good natured dig at what amounts to a basic giveaway to sell Armor/Xaser chassis to the I-love-factory-mod crowd. Anyone buying "The World's Fastest GPU"? with watercooling probably is going to integrate it into a loop commensurate with the cards ability and pricing. It's basically the same rationale that stops reviews of the TRUE/Megahalem/NH-D14 being evaluated by popping them atop a Celeron E1400.

***EDIT*** Timing! Legit Reviews the DD GTX 480 copper block (EVGA watercooled cards use the same blocks under their own branding)

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Techspot, Just wondering but would you be able to do like a sort of "Water-cooling Round up"??

I really want to get a whole new rig and want water cooling as i'm fairly fed up of having to turns all the fans right the way up during hot seasons and stuff like that.

Is this something you guys could do?

Guest said:

Well those frame rates are pretty crap to be honest, from most of the cards my stock speed watercooled gtx280 gives higher or around the same frame rates as most of those cards and when i was running sli, then they were allot higher, i game at 1920x1080 cod 4 fps 200, crysis 45fps, battlefield not sure dont play that much but i suspect about 100-150.

i will be getting 2 gtx480's with 2 DD waterblocks and throwing them in sli, and watch them piss all over the ati 5970.

the fact is that while yes the nvidia cards are more expensive and run hotter and use more power, when you combine them with a pc that is set up properly and you have the games set up to use that power and also, you use software that will utilise those cards the ati cards just cannot compete.

anyone with half a brain who wants the fastest card or 2 cards will go for the nvidia's simple as that the ati have not been able to compete with nvidia on performance since the 8800 series came out, as the ati cards have driver issue's, slow load times in games caused by the card when loading in a identical machine but with nvidia card in it, fact is if it were not for the fact that 2 gtx480's walk all over a 5970 and only get beat sometimes by 3 5870's then i would go for ati but nvidia win hands down out of 90% of tests when sli'd.

if the nvidia cards were the same price as the ati cards then no one in there right mind would buy ati, they would all buy nvidia for the better performance for the same price.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Wow, another "Guest" with bestest most powerful rig! can't wait to see it in..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

WOW! you sure are cool.....I think I threw up a little....

Wow, another "Guest" with bestest most powerful rig! can't wait to see it in..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Amen.....

.....is this the same complex that accounts for most of the muscle cars out there?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

No, but probably accounts for the sales of "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Fast and the Furious" dvd's.

Most serious admirers of both tech and auto's I'm acquainted with appreciate performance regardless of the badge.

Guest said:

You want to see inside my pc then here you go

this is it in my old case

http://img189.imageshack.us/i/dscn1985a.jpg/

and this is it in my new case

http://img42.imageshack.us/i/img0030ji.jpg/

fact is i will not buy ati untill they can perform the same as nvidia, and be cheaper but for the last few years they cannot and have not and will not for a while to come.

look at the facts a single gtx 480 is close to the performance of a 5970 and is better in most things than the 5870, 2 gtx 480's slaughter the 5970 and beat the 5870 in crossfire.

i just cannot wait till i have the money for nvidia cards.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Looks like a huge mess in my opinion. I think it is more the fact that you are coming in boasting about what you have or are going to have when know one asked or even cares. I have a gaming system with dual Radeon HD 5870 cards and another with dual GeForce GTX 480 cards, still know one cares

As for the performance claims I think you are missing the point for 99.9% of the consumers out there. The Radeon HD 5870 performs very closely to the GeForce GTX 480 in "most" games using "most" quality settings, yet it costs considerably less. It is the same, even more so with the Radeon HD 5850 vs. GeForce GTX 470 comparison.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Wow! AWESUM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just needs a (teeny, tiny) bit more tubing and CCFL's ......and maybe something like this to set it off!

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

dbz do they shoot you up with acid before you go in?

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