As I mentioned in the introduction, I'm a big fan of the Super Overclock series from GIGABYTE and while I liked the HD 5770 SOC, this model is really what the series is about; those higher end cards that can really pack a punch. You're ultimately able to play just about any game at 2560 x 1600 or below with game settings maxed out. The only time you might run into problems is playing at that res with AA turned on. Even then, though, we can see games like Far Cry 2 still give us the numbers we need at these high settings.
It would've been nice to see a retail package just so we could see exactly what GIGABYTE had going on, but let's be honest, it's going to follow the same structure as most other GIGABYTE SOC cards and just generally speaking, most other video cards period, which means it's going to have the manual, driver CD and a cable or two. Nothing to get excited about, but it helps keep the price down a little and really, the hero of the package is the card itself.
Onto the card itself; it's the best GTX 470 we've seen to date. Its cooler is quiet and performs well, and the three fans just look mean. The overall finish on the cooler is really nice; this card has really received the SOC treatment.
Our biggest issue is the decision for GIGABYTE not to overclock the memory. While the core is indeed overclocked nicely, it would've been nice to see the memory bumped up. Even if they just rounded off that odd 3348MHz DDR to 3500MHz DDR it would come much appreciated.
Of course, that's something you can do yourself, but if you're going to fork out the extra dollars for a model that is marketed as the Super Overclock, it would've been nice to not have to do it. Really outside of that and even if you're happy to overclock, we would recommend this card in a heartbeat for the simple fact that the cooler is fantastic and significantly better than the reference one and better than other GTX 470s we've seen to date that have moved away from the stock cooler.
The GTX 470 continues to have better value than its big brother, the GTX 480 and here today you can see that for the most part it lags less than 10% behind the more expensive model. And while it doesn't hold the same value as a model like the GTX 460, if you just want that faster out of the box performance that doesn't involve a massive overclock, a model like the GTX 470 is a better option. If you want even more performance and a really nicely upgraded cooler, then the Super Overclock version from GIGABYTE is the one to buy.
If you're in the market for a GTX 480, maybe step back for a second and think about saving some coin. Ultimately the GTX 470 SOC from GIGABYTE would be money better spent.