A look at the reference card
As you will see later on in this review, NVIDIA sets very conservative fan-speed settings in an attempt to keep the card quiet. Should you desire an under-load temperature of <80°C in a regular chassis the fan-speed needs to be turned up to over 3,000rpm, resulting in a noisy card.
GeForce GTX 470 1,280MB can be thought of as the GTX 480 a few weeks into a diet. The card uses much of the cooling technology on the range-topping GPU but in a smaller form factor.
Let's crank out some benchmarks.