Gigabyte HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Review

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: May 2, 2010
Product Name: Gigabyte HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock
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Gigabyte's GPU Gauntlet

In the enthusiast and extreme overclocking community, hand-picking components which ensure the best possible overclock and durability are regular occurrences. World record holding overclockers can go through dozens of processors before they find the one that suits their needs. Graphics card manufacturers do the same thing when it comes to picking GPUs for their highly overclocked cards since they have to ensure the chips they use will run the specified clock frequencies. The rejected chips are usually used for reference-clocked products.

Gigabyte has taken things to the next level by running the cores through what they call the GPU Gauntlet before they are deemed acceptable for their Super Overclock cards. Due to the clock speeds these chips have to maintain, the binning process is really meant to find the diamonds in the rough. Here is how Gigabyte explains the way their binning system works:

Only the strongest processors survive the GPU Gauntlet.

First, our database analysis system evaluates the GPU core engine, shader engine, and
memory. If a processor doesn’t meet the pre-defined standard, it will not qualify for the Super
Overclock Series.

Then, our proprietary testing toolkit allows us to inspect and select the GPUs with the highest frequency. This program operates for 30 minutes and provides important data on the maximum overclocking ability compared to a stock GPU. Once the Super OC point has been determined, our engineers will boost the frequency to offer the highest factory default clock setting in the market.

Next, each Super Overclock Series GPU faces the Graphics benchmarks, Furmark and 3Dmark Vantage, to measure performance and stability under an intense graphics load. A GPU that passes this stage will perform at a lower temperature and fan speed compared to a standard GPU. By choosing the cream of the crop, we ensure rich rendering of intricate 3D scenes and realistic physical effects (water, gas, steam, fire, etc) for a lifelike gaming adventure.

Lastly, we test the power switching and stability. The GPUs with the best power efficiency and lowest power consumption are qualified for the Super Overclock Series. And we understand that premium graphics cards should not sound like a cement truck rolling down the freeway, so a large cooling fan provides for a quiet computing environment.

So the question remains…will your graphics card make it through the Gauntlet?

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