Originally Posted by staryoshi
The GTX 470 was a high-end card during its time, being the second-fastest single-GPU offering in the GeForce 400 series. It's still a very capable card, but it has been supplanted by cards with similar (gaming) performance with lower power consumption. However, it's still a very strong GPGPU and crunching performer.
GK104 should outproduce GF104/114 in terms of GPGPU performance, but it will likely be behind the GF100/GF110, as this is not a card purposed for GPGPU processes. When GK110 comes along later this year we should see a GPGPU MONSTER.
You can check out my GTX470 vs GTX570 comparison from a year or two back to give you an idea of its performance relative to last year's #2 in nVidia's lineup: http://www.overclock.net/nvidia/895590-gtx470-vs-gtx570-comparison.html
Its a difficult on how to classify the GTX 470. Even though it was the 2nd fastest single GPU that Nvidia offered, it was quite slow at stock speeds (clocked at around 600MHz, it was destined to fall short to the 5850/5870).
Another thing to take account of is how well the drivers matured. Mature drivers really such huge impact on performance to a point where a overclocked 470 could easily match an overclocked 5870.
Overclocked, the 470s were beastly. I have used eight 470s in my time, and I still wish I had them. Unfortunately, when I upgraded to a higher resolution screen, I needed the extra VRAM.