I'm bloody knackered! I've got to go to work tomorrow, err, I mean today but I couldn't let this lie. So, here's my rather shoddy review. First impressions I have to say, the 480 is a damn good looking card. A solid weight and sound construction are evident; the exposed heat sink has a nice feel to it (I bet everyone who bought one of these was feeling the exposed metal bit within a few seconds of opening the package). Obligatory hardware porn shots: Noise It's a conspiracy! Everyone's actually lying and the 480 is the most quiet card you'll ever not hear (it's even quieter than passively cooled cards)! Well of course it's not quiet. It has a bloody Delta fan in it fer feck's sake. One 480 is inaudible when idle though, changing to roughly the same level of noise as my previous SLI'd 260s when under load. Three 480s produce a lot of noise under load but nothing a good pair of heaphones can't block out (I love my Beyerdynamic MMX 300s!), unfortunately even when idle the combined heat of the cards ensures that there is always a faint to medium fan noise. The fan sound itself is quite solid: no annoying whining noises or other strange effects, just a lot of air being moved. I highly recommend using a program like MSI Afterburner to set up a custom fan profile. Heat Again, no surprise here. The 480 is certainly one hot running card, but not THAT amazingly high. During the benchmarks, the highest temperature I saw for a single card was 90C and the hottest card for tri SLI was 96C. However, the exposed metal part of the cooler was hot enough to be painful to the touch. After running benchmarks for a while, the room had started to heat up a fair bit. But hey, my old 260s used to do that too. The more demanding benchmarks would require the fan of GPU 1 to be at 90% to maintain 90-95C. This is loud but there's still plenty of cooling capacity left in the card - 100% fans REALLY shifts some air. I set up a custom fan profile that allowed me to keep the cards <=81C with 90% fan - Nvidia really need to tweak the profile a bit. Unexpected extras To be honest, I'm really not interested in 3D vision, just being able to use PhysX, 16xAF and 8xAA+, as well as ambient occlusion. Two features caught my eye though (although one is just a subset of the other). Firstly, SLI'd 480s can run 64xAA through the drivers. I'll type that again just in case you think I'm making a typo. 64xAA. Why anyone would even think they needed that is beyond me but I still had fun activating it to play Homeworld 2. I'll leave it on, just because I can. Secondly, transparency AA has been improved. Depending on your settings (which are tied in to the aforementioned AA settings), it is possible to choose up to 16x transparency AA. Driver Maturity When I started running benchmarks with SLI configurations, I was expecting to run into problems. Well, there weren't any. Everything runs smoothly, even better than my previous cards. What's more, during overclocking (that's right, I overclocked these *******s) driver recovery was smooth and without incident when I inevitably ballsed up. Benchmarks Well, this is what you wanted to see, isn't it! I can't be bothered to write down every setting and do the same tests for everything so just assume that everything is on maximum everything unless otherwise stated (e.g. ambient occlusion where possible, 16xAF, high quality textures) and everything's at 2560x1600 except for the Futuremark stuff, which was at the defaults. Values are mean FPS if a single value, min/mean/max if a triple value. 'X' means it wouldn't run or I couldn't be bothered (almost always the latter). General Benches: Annoyingly Crysis doesn't completely get on with my rig and so I couldn't apply 8xAA (the game kept crashing when I applied the changes). No luck forcing it through drivers either. Stalker CoP Benches: 260s 480 DX10 480 DX11 2x480 DX11 3x480 DX11 The numbers speak for themselves, but I particularly like: 1) Batman AA only gets a boost to min framerates with 3xSLI 2) Scaleabiltiy seems to kick ass 3) Anti-aliasing can be put up to silly values at a silly resolution 4) I can put GTA4 at maximum EVERYTHING at last! Overclocking One of the reasons I chose Zotac is due to the fact that I had a 285 off them that overclocked well. The 480s were a mixed bag; I got a massive 815MHz core clock but only a 3800MHz memory clock. This was achieved using MSI Afterburner, a fantastic bit of GPU overclocking software. Still, this meant that: Crysis went from 50 to 55-56FPS Heaven Benchmark 8xAA went from 44.3 to 50.8FPS 3DMark Vantage P (PhysX) score from 40086 to 42800 No voltage tweaking was done. This is off stock voltages. Conclusions Well, here are my humble thoughts, in concise form because I'm tired: 1) The 480 is a good card but only really comes into its own when in a dual/tri SLI set up 2) Temperatures are nothing to worry about 3) The noise is considerable but not life ruining 4) The card has massive overclocking potential - Nvidia have actually been holding back FAQ Are you happy with your purchase? Absolutely. It is quite astonishing to see the Heaven benchmark zipping along at a fast framerate with AA engaged; I look forward to playing up and coming DX11 games without having to compromise on settings. Did you consider tri 5870s/dual 5970s? When the first reviews of the 480 came out, I was disappointed and did very briefly consider switching over to the red team. However, the normal versions of these cards only offered 1GB VRAM (effective) and therefore wouldn't allow me to run high AA. Luckily, reviews of SLI soon showed up and showed great promise which IMHO has been delivered. Personally I think that PhysX is a great feature to have as well - you should see the scarecrow battles in Batman AA if you don't believe me. LOL THERMI FAIL!!11!! ATI 5XXX 4EVA!1! Each to their own. I built a friend's computer recently and decided that he should have a 5850 (back when they were £200) and was impressed with its quiet running. I wanted raw power though and all the websites I've visited agree: for multiple GPU set ups the scaleability of the 480 wins out by a fair margin in the more demanding new games like Stalker CoP and Metro 2033. So, what's next? I'm going to figure out a way to activate AA in Crysis and tweak the Cvar groups to make it even harder to run.