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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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Overclocking]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage]
- Page 4 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - BattleForge]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Darkest of Days]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Dark Void]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor]
- Page 15 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 17 [Total Performance Rating (TPR)]
- Page 18 [Total Value Rating (TVR)]
- Page 19 [Final Thoughts]