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Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking

He's on a mission to break 800MHz Core. Can it be done with the Galaxy GTX 470 GC and Xtreme Tuner HD software? Step inside and find out!

Manufacturer: Galaxy
15 minutes & 46 seconds read time


Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 02

We don't intend to make a habit out of overclocking loads of cards. Recently, though, we've offered overclocking articles alongside the standalone reviews that we normally offer. We have two reasons for doing this.

The first is that we're seeing a lot of new models and a lot of new series' from companies. The focus has also shifted heavily to overclocking on the models and people love to get more performance out of a product without having to spend any more.

The second is that we're seeing many companies offer software that allows us to increase the voltages on cards. This ability can really give the card a significant amount of breathing room when it comes to overclocking and we're ultimately seeing some of the biggest gains to date on the stock coolers.

Today the GTX 470 from Galaxy is getting OC love for two reasons. The first is we've finally taken the time to check out Xtreme Tuner HD which is Galaxy's own overclocking software. The second is that the model impressed us in the cooling department which was one of our biggest issues with the reference GTX 470, so we're hoping for a bit more head room.

Galaxy GTX 470 GC Overclocking

I found myself excited to look at Xtreme Tuner HD. I haven't actually looked at Xtreme Tuner in the past and figured that with the ability to adjust the voltage on the latest GTX 470, this was going to be a good opportunity to finally take it for a spin.

To be honest, though, it wasn't going to be easy for Galaxy to stand out. MSI Afterburner is tearing it up when it comes to overclocking and after looking at GIGABYTE OC Guru recently it's clear that a company really does have to follow certain steps to make sure the program is friendly to use, while at the same time effective.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 03

To be honest, Galaxy has it in the bag; the software is fantastic. It's small, lightweight and everything is in front of you. The only real issue I have with the program is that everything's quite small. Initially I loaded up Afterburner to set the fan speed to 100%, only realizing later it was available in Xtreme Tuner HD. If I paid a little closer attention initially I would've noticed it, but if the text was just a little bigger it would be nice. Looking above, you can clearly see there's room for it.

While the software does offer the ability to unlock the Shader and core clock, it unfortunately doesn't work. What we find is that the speeds stay at what the Shader clock is, with the core clock following that. We have to wonder if this is a limitation to the models or R&D as MSI, Galaxy and EVGA just haven't been able to get around it.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 01

The last time we overclocked the GTX 470 it was a reference one with reference cooling. With the Galaxy GTX 470 GC already showing us improved cooling numbers, we hoped to see 800MHz on the core, up from the 774MHz OC we achieved before. Willing to accept an even 800MHz, we managed a smidge over that at 803MHz. Unfortunately we didn't have as much luck with the memory, with that coming in at 3932MHz QDR instead of the 4000MHz QDR we achieved in our original article.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 99

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.

We've got a flurry of cards in our test results today. The most important is the Galaxy GTX 470 GC at 803MHz on the core. We've also got the Galaxy card in stock form which offers only a slight core bump over the reference card.

Also included is the GTX 480 at stock speeds. In our original OC article we found that the overclocked GTX 470 would constantly just trail the stock clocked GTX 480. Today we're hoping the extra grunt is going to help it pass the model. Of course, we've also included the HD 5870; NVIDIA say the GTX 470 sits below this model, so let's see if we can pass it today.

We're not going to be kind, though. Instead we'll be using the GIGABYTE version of the HD 5870 which sports a massive 950MHz core clock. If the GTX 470 wants to pull out the win, we're at least going to make it work hard for it and I know if a stock clocked card was included, I would have a bunch of people complaining that the HD 5870 can also be overclocked, which in all fairness I can understand.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 20

Straight away we see the massive performance boost from the GTX 470 when overclocked with it managing to beat out the GTX 480 in both presets.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 21

Again we see a big boost in performance. Compared to the GTX 480 it does sit just behind, though.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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No surprises under CINEBENCH, as you would expect.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Across the board we see a great performance boost. You can see it's really nipping on the end of the GTX 480 as well.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


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

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.

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Performance, performance and more performance. At all resolutions we see the Galaxy GTX 470 is able to outperform the stock GTX 480 which is fantastic.

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:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Big numbers across the board and again we're seeing that the GTX 470 is able to outperform the much more expensive GTX 480.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 27

DOD has an issue sometimes with overclocked cards, but here you see we don't run into that problem today. At the highest resolution we're again able to outpace the GTX 480.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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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Huge numbers across the board and again the model is able to pull out a serious win against the GTX 480 when overclocked.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 30

Big numbers again and with PhysX on we can see the Galaxy GTX 470 GC when overclocked is really on the heels of the GTX 480.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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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Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 32

Dark Void saw some massive gains with the PhysX test. We rebooted, reinstalled drivers, turned PhysX on and off again to make sure everything was correct and we consistently got these massive numbers from the GTX 470 when overclocked.

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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While a little behind the GTX 480 here, we've still got massive numbers when compared to the Galaxy GTX 470 GC at its normal speeds.

Resident Evil 5

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 34

A big boost over the Galaxy GTX 470 GC at its default clocks and a win against the overclocked HD 5870. The overclocked GTX 470 does just trail behind the GTX 480 once again here.

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

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Like above, a good boost compared to the card at stock. It also gets a win over the HD 5870 SOC from GB, but just trails behind the GTX 480 again.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 36

The overclock helps the performance under WSA massively. As you can see, it passes the normal GTX 480 and sits only just behind the overclocked GTX 480.

Benchmarks - Badaboom


Version and / or Patch Used: Release
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Badaboom eliminates the frustration of video conversion by providing users with speed, efficiency, quality, and a sleek interface. In a practice that used to take several hours, Badaboom converts feature-length movies in a matter of minutes while keeping the videos looking crisp and clear.

By harnessing the power of NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, Badaboom offloads the CPU to allow users to continue browsing the Internet or checking email without decreased system performance, making transcoding high-quality video fast, easy, and painless.

Note: With the requirement for a CUDA enabled graphics card to run Badaboom, this means that we can only use NVIDIA based cards for this test.

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No surprises here; 9 Minutes 20 Seconds. Just as we would expect.

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.

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With the fan running at 100% the core runs much cooler, which isn't really a surprise.

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).

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The best thing, though; the noise level on the card at 100% is significantly better than the reference coolers at 100%. This is something really worth nothing. When gaming the Galaxy card at 100% is only slightly louder than the 470 when set to 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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 40

Power draw is a little up as you would expect at load, but nothing that is concerning us.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 41

I wasn't sure how the card was going to go against the GTX 480. I knew it would be close, but in the end with the numbers added up our overclocked Galaxy GTX 470 with an 803MHz core is able to outpace the GTX 480 with its much higher price tag.

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 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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC Overclocking 42

What this does to the value is just disturbing with it now coming in as the best valued card to date we've tested.

Final Thoughts

First things first; if you want to nab a copy of Xtreme Tuner HD you can head on over to the XT page at the Galaxy site here and grab it. The most important thing to cover is the performance and the numbers really speak for themselves. Today we were able to get the GTX 470 to outperform the GTX 480 which carries with it a much higher price tag.

Now, I understand that you can of course overclock the GTX 480, but the model just doesn't have the same headroom as the GTX 470 when comparing the clocks from stock to overclocked. The GTX 480 when overclocked just doesn't get the same boost in value as the GTX 470 which can be seen in our TVR graphs with the GTX 470 Galaxy picking off the reference card thanks to the improved overclock at the same price.

This overclock wouldn't have been achieved if it wasn't for the Galaxy R&D team working hard on creating a cooling solution that was going to make the card better. Honestly, what they've done to the GTX 470 is just disturbing; they've really fixed up the initial issues we had with the reference one when it comes to heat and noise levels which in turn has given us more head room when it came to overclocking.

Throw in the fact that we could overclock higher with less noise and less heat and this is just a simply fantastic model. Not only can we not wait to see what other companies do with the GTX 470, but what we really can't wait for is what Galaxy does with the GTX 480. If what we're seeing today is anything to go by, there's a real reason to get excited about the GTX 480.

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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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