GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher

We fire up the new OC Guru software from GIGABYTE and see how it works with their very impressive HD 5870 SOC.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Tue, May 18 2010 12:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction




GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 02 | TweakTown.com
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Overclocking on video cards has become a really big deal lately thanks to companies like MSI offering us simply awesome overclocking software that is easy to use and is compatible with all brands and models. Combine this with the release of new models from NVIDIA and fancier versions of models from ATI partners in regards to its higher end models and you find yourself looking at the OC potential of cards a lot more.

Today we're once again firing up the HD 5870 SOC we looked at recently and seeing the OC potential of the model. Since overclocking in itself is a big deal to the SOC series, it seemed clear that we had to look at it in some detail and see how it compares to the model not only in stock form, but also the stock clocked HD 5870. At the same time, we can't forget about the new GTX 400 series of which we've already looked at when overclocked in great detail. Looking at our Total Performance and Total Value Rating graphs, there's a clear hole missing when it comes to overclocking the high end single GPU model from ATI.

Today we're going to fill that hole and we're going to fill it in fashion. While not only looking at the OC potential and the performance of the HD 5870 SOC, we'll also be having a closer look at the new OC Guru software that GIGABYTE has included in the package. The question we ask ourselves; is it going to replace Afterburner from MSI?

Overclocking




What made overclocking this card a bit more special than recent offerings that we've overclocked is the fact that we've got some new software to play with. The problem for not just GIGABYTE, but all other companies out there is that MSI have set the bar high with its own Afterburner software; a simple easy to use setup that supports all brands and models and gets regularly updated, making it a stand out product.

GIGABYTE has come to the party with OC Guru and at first glance it's not too bad. To overclock we need to go down and select one of the profiles. In our case we selected Profile 1. We clicked the Adjustments button which dropped down a bunch of options and we took the time to start overclocking.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 500 | TweakTown.com


The big stand out here is the inclusion of a memory voltage function alongside the standard GPU one which we've given much love to in MSIs own software. We chose to max out both settings to 1.287v and 1.677v respectively, which can be seen in the screen shot.

To make sure we were on an even playing field when compared to the recent overclocked NVIDIA offerings, the fan speed was set to manual and raised to 100%.

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What we ended up with was a further 50MHz clock on the core to 1GHz and a further 50MHz clock on the memory which gave us a total memory clock of 5200MHz QDR.

While this might not seem like a huge overclock, from the default HD 5870 clocks of 850MHz on the core and 4800MHz QDR on the memory, the gains look a lot more impressive.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.

Today we'll be mainly looking at how the heavily overclocked HD 5870 SOC from GIGABYTE compares against the card in its stock overclocked form. We've also included the HD 5870 in stock form along with the GTX 470.

Let's get started!


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Looking at Vantage, we can see a small bump in performance; nothing huge, but the X preset is able to break 10k which is no doubt impressive.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark




Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.

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Heaven sees a little bump in all our tests.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


CINEBENCH

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).

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It comes as no surprise that we really see no movement under CINEBENCH.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 23 | TweakTown.com


Across the board we see a bump. A little one compared to the SOC at its default OC, but no doubts a nice one when compared to the standard HD 5870.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


BattleForge

Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/





The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.

But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.

Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 24 | TweakTown.com


Again, across the board we've got a bump just as we expect.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/





Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 25 | TweakTown.com


Thanks to the 1GHz core and 5200MHz QDR memory clock, that performance increase continues to be seen.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days


Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php





Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.

The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.

Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 26 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 27 | TweakTown.com


DOD acts a little silly at 1680 x 1050, but you can see a small FPS bump as we climb up to 1920 x 1200 and beyond.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Across the board we see a few FPS bump when compared to the SOC at its stock clocks. That bump is of course bigger when compared to a stock clocked HD 5870, though.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/





Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.

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GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 30 | TweakTown.com


Batman AA performance is a little wobbly, but it's nothing that we're concerned about as we've already got big numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - Dark Void


Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.airtightgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/




The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.

Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.

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GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 32 | TweakTown.com


Dark Void with its already huge numbers sees a little bit of movement, but nothing major; definitely nothing that will make a difference to your overall game play.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

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A small bump, but well below that 30 FPS minimum we need to see.


Resident Evil 5

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 34 | TweakTown.com


A single FPS bump, but nothing to get excited about.


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 35 | TweakTown.com


A nice little boost that helps us get over that 60 FPS average we need to see.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor


Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/ewsa.html




ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.

Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 36 | TweakTown.com


The extra MHz helps push out a few more passwords every second.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 38 | TweakTown.com


While the fan might be running faster, the extra voltages is causing the card to heat up a bit.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 39 | TweakTown.com


The best thing is that at 100% the fan is extremely bearable which is saying something when compared to not only the GTX 400 series at 100%, but even when on auto.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 40 | TweakTown.com


Power draw is a little up, but nothing too serious.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)


Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 1GB Super Overclock Video Card Overclocked Higher 41 | TweakTown.com


Overall we see a nice little boost to our TPR score. It does fall a little behind the GTX 480 when overclocked, though.

Total Value Rating (TVR)


Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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The value does improve, but it's nothing really serious.

Final Thoughts




Compared to the standard SOC clocks, the overclock we achieved wasn't amazing. The biggest reason for that is because out of the gates the SOC at its default clocks is already extremely impressive.

GIGABYTE could've released the model with a 900MHz core clock instead of a 950MHz one and getting to 1000MHz would have given the feeling that we had better OC potential. What's so great about the model is that you don't really need to overclock. Compared to the stock model you're already seeing an impressive performance increase.

OC Guru has to be discussed, though, and as much as I hate to say it, as I love GIGABYTE and have a huge amount of respect for them and what they're doing with these enthusiast cards, the bottom line is that the software just feels clunky.

For starters, we really have to press too many buttons just to get to the area which gives us the ability to adjust the clocks. It's also annoying that we have to move to the different profiles; we should be able to just edit from the first page and then save the clocks as a profile.

While the inclusion of memory voltage is fantastic, the limited range given on it and the core voltage is also a little disappointing. The card cools well and we're sure that on the stock cooling a little bit more voltage could've been offered and a slightly higher overclock could've been achieved.

The thing is that the issues with OC Guru are only really cosmetic. What it's able to do as overclocking software is perfect. We don't need more options; we just really need them in front of us as soon as we fire up the program. It also doesn't need to be so big. A little bit of re-decorating would fix most of the issues we have with the program.

The only other issues relating to voltage options aren't such a big deal as we understand that companies need to protect themselves from people who don't know what they're doing, putting too much V through the card. But it would be nice to have an options menu that gave us an advanced option area that opened up these two things a little more.

At the end of it, the HD 5870 SOC is probably no better than it was in our initial review. Yes, it was faster than the card at stock clocks, but there was nothing that was a massive stand out that takes the card up a level. In saying that, though, the card was already at such a high level because of the clocks on offer when pulled out of the box.

If we had a scale, the best way to explain it would be that when we looked at the card in its stock form it sat at 9 out of 10. When we overclocked it might have gone to 9.1, but nothing major. While that might not seem impressive, GIGABYTE could've given us a core 50MHz down and the memory 100MHz down and in this article the card would've still ended up at that same 9.1 score, but in stock form it would've been 8.5.

Not having to overclock something to be at the near edge of its maximum potential is great and for people who can't be bothered overclocking and fiddling about, it's a fantastic option.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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