With the official introduction of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 470 and 480 graphics cards just days away, the industry is getting ready to scrutinize the newcomers in every possible way. NVIDIA is preparing its advertising strategy, reviewers are preparing their benchmarks, rivals are setting up their counter moves and, naturally, partners are gearing up to debut their own versions of the same adapter. In fact, Leadtek's models were exposed
not long ago and, now, MSI's own GTX 480, called N480GTX, seems to have broken cover.
Considering that even NVIDIA's secrecy wasn't able to prevent the pre-release leak of the product specifications, it is hardly surprising to see photos of its partners' cards out in the open. Unlike in Leadtek's case, however, MSI seems to have brought more modifications to the product than a few colorful stickers.
The device will supposedly use what MSI calls military-class components, most likely special capacitors and a solid state choke. Other than that, the adapter will have the same 1,536MB GDDR5 VRAM, 480 CUDA cores, a 384-bit memory interface and dual-DVi-D and HDMI outputs. The video board will also support DirectX 11 (obviously), as well as PhysX, CUDA and 3D Vision Surround.
MSI usually uses its military class components when it wants to increase the stability and reliability of its products. Also, in most cases, this design allows for the safer use of the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility. In this card's case, even though the GF100 will likely be hot enough on its own, the card's performance will supposedly be able to increase by 15% when using the software.
The MSI N480GTX graphics adapter will most likely make its appearance around the same time as the reference card, namely at PAX 2010, on March 26. The price should not be too far from the stock model's own $499 base price.