Buying a 12 Year Old Graphics Card in 2022: My Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 Experience

So you‘re browsing the web looking for a cheap graphics card to put together a basic gaming PC, and you stumble upon the Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 for around $50-75. At first glance it seems too good to be true – this card retailed for $349 back in 2010! As someone who vividly remembers the GTX 400 series launch, I was curious how one of Nvidia‘s old heavyweights would perform 12 years later. Could a relic from 2010 still provide decent 1080p gaming in 2022? I decided to find out.

Scoping Out the GTX 470‘s Place in History

First let‘s rewind over a decade and examine the GTX 470‘s specifications and positioning when it debuted. In the spring of 2010, Nvidia released their "Fermi" based GTX 400 series GPUs as a major architectural overhaul compared to predecessors.

The flagship GTX 480 immediately faced difficulties keeping cool and quiet, opening the door for the GTX 470 to swoop in with better thermals. With 85% of the 480‘s shader processors combined with lower clocks, Nvidia successfully trimmed power consumption under 215 watts in the GTX 470.

Here‘s a rundown of what $349 got you back in 2010:

  • 480 shader processors
  • 607 MHz core clock
  • 1.28 GB GDDR5 memory
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • 215 watt TDP

Reviews at launch praised the GTX 470 as a performance sweet spot, easily outpacing AMD‘s Radeon HD 5850 at the same $350 price point. With over 1.2 billion transistors on board, it represented a new era in Nvidia‘s graphics technology.

Now let‘s examine the modern gaming performance you can expect from this blast from the past!

Putting the Venerable GTX 470 to the Test

To measure real-world gaming results in 2022, I paired my acquired GTX 470 with a Ryzen 5 2600 CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 480GB SSD. This simulates an average budget gaming build commonly paired with used GPUs targeting 1080p gameplay.

I tested across a range of titles at 1920×1080 resolution, balancing graphics settings to aim for 30 FPS minimums.

GameSettingsAvg FPS
Rocket LeagueHigh93
Rainbow Six SiegeLow57
GTA VNormal32
Forza Horizon 4Medium35
Elder Scrolls OnlineMedium38

The GTX 470 delivered fluid framerates in eSports and less intensive games. But for contemporary AAA titles, dialing graphics down to Low or Medium was essential to hitting 30+ FPS. According to Tom‘s Hardware benchmarks, the GTX 470 scored 38.3 FPS in Metro Exodus at High settings, an impressive result at 1080p!

Thermals remained excellent as well, topping out at 72C in my small case. Power draw practically sipped electricity relative to today‘s GPUs, hovering between 120-190 watts depending on gaming intensity.

Clearly while showing its age in modern workloads, the GTX 470 proved it can still game like a champ with tempered graphical expectations.

Digging for a Diamond in the Rough – Finding a GTX 470 Today

Part of the enjoyment in revisiting ancient PC hardware is the archeological hunt to source components! When shopping for a used graphics card approaching its teenage years, eBay and /r/Hardwareswap are your best bets.

After days of monitoring listings on eBay, I scored an EVGA GTX 470 for $68 shipped. Here‘s what‘s currently available:

Key buying tips:

  • Thoroughly vet seller ratings – look for longstanding accounts with strong feedback
  • Cross reference images against reference GTX 470 photos to avoid scams
  • Ask questions about usage history and test results
  • Consider local pickup options to inspect card funcion

Brick and mortar retailers will not have 12 year old GPU stock – so eBay or Reddit is your best source for archaeologically digging up a GTX 470!

The Verdict – Does This Blast From the Past Still Cut It?

Considering its age, the GTX 470 impressed me across a variety of benchmarks. It may struggle in cutting edge titles, but it breathed new life into an aging system of mine. $60-80 nets playable framerates in many popular games at 1080p medium settings. Plus power efficiency and noise remain excellent – aspects just as crucial as speed for some.

Clearly modern GPUs like the GTX 1650 Super deliver far stronger overall performance. But they also sell for 2-4X the price of a used GTX 470. Given its miniscule cost and competence playing classic games, I wholeheartedly recommend vintage collectors give the GTX 470 a shot. It won‘t wow you, but it certainly still works!

This experiment revisiting iconic PC hardware brought me back. While no powerhouse today, coloring within the lines of its limitations, the GTX 470 gamed better than expected. For the price of a nice dinner, that sounds like a winner to me. Thanks for reading and happy PC gaming!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled