As would be expected with Zotac, the box artwork comprises a dragon in a fiery environment, perhaps not an ideal initial impression to be giving customers considering the GTX480’s already infamous temperature issues. 😉
The bundle is rather spartan. A VGA adapter, several power converters and installation guides.
The card itself is a brute of a thing with a hefty cooler taking centerstage. Two orange fans adorn either side of the cooler and a substantial copper cooler is seen on the GPU core.
The underside follows the reference design, a plain black PCB identical in size. Zotac have retained the six phase power delivery system, I found this a little surprising as many companies enhance this area for overclocking. That said, the reference design is impressive so we would assume no potential long term stability issues will arise.
The copper GPU block is a heatpipe design which connects to the formidable heatsink, the production quality is very high indeed. There are five thick heatpipes and they are cooled by two 92mm fans. This cooler appears to us to be a modified Zalman VF3000-N which retails for around £35 in the UK right now.
We like the twin fan design as they push air directly onto the PCB, cooling the memory and VRM heatsink. Obviously with a cooler like this we recommend a chassis with powerful air movement as all the heat with this cooler design will get dumped internally.
The card comes with a mini HDMI connector and two dual link DVI ports. The picture above shows the height of the cooler in all its glory.
The card requires a 1×6 pin and 1×8 pin power from the power supply.
Before we crack on with the review, if you wish to read about the GTX480 architecture, head over here.