Gainward GeForce GTX 470 1280MB Golden Sample Video Card

It has been a long time since we've seen something from Gainward. Let's see how the ol' Golden Sample series is going.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Jun 17 2010 12:21 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Gainward

Introduction




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It's been a while since we've seen anything from Gainward and the main reason for that is it had been a while since we'd seen anything from NVIDIA. Now that NVIDIA have some new models and companies have had the chance to attack them with some new cooling and what not, it's time to see what some of the NVIDIA only partners are capable of.

Let's be honest, though; they've got their work cut out for them. You just have to look at companies like HIS and Sapphire and see what they've brought to the market when it comes to ATI only partners. The NVIDIA crowd have some big shoes to fill and to be honest, it's looking good. We've already seen Galaxy and Palit offer us some stand out versions. The question now is, can Gainward do the same?

I've always had a soft spot for the Gainward series since I bought myself a TI 4200 Golden Sample many moons ago. It's a different game these days, though, so let's see what's going on with the package before we get stuck into the card to see what Gainward has offered us to get the crowd excited.

The Package




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Like most companies these days, there's not a whole lot going on when it comes to looking at the package. Apart from the normal driver CD and manual, we've got a discount voucher for some software and another disc that carries with it Design Garage and Supersonic Sled which can let you showcase some of the advanced features on offer from your new NVIDIA card.

The Card and Specifications


The Card

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Using a Gainward NVIDIA card, you feel a bit dirty due to that red PCB. We love it, though, and it's a bit of a trademark. It's funny that you instantly associate that red PCB with ATI, but underneath the custom dual fan cooler is an NVIDIA GPU.

A quick spin around the card doesn't initially find any surprises with two 6-Pin PCI-E power connectors and two SLI connectors, yet when we get to the I/O department we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a HDMI and DisplayPort connector.

The inclusion of a full size HDMI port is the main reason we're lacking a mini HDMI to HDMI cable in the bundle which is provided with other NVIDIA cards that utilize the mini HDMI port.


Specifications

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Let's be honest; it wouldn't be a Golden Sample unless the card was overclocked out of the box. Gainward has taken the time to round off some of the numbers and give us quite an attractive overclock which is the highest to date.

The core comes in at 650MHz which is a nice jump from the default 607MHz number. What this has in turn done is push the Shader clock from 1215MHz to 1300MHz. If that wasn't enough, Gainward has then rounded the 1280MB of GDDR5 off from 837MHz to 850MHz or 3400MHz QDR.

The overclock should yield a nice performance increase. Fingers crossed we're able to see some decent figures from the card. At the moment it looks like we're onto a winner.

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.

We've thrown a few cards into the mix today. The main one we're comparing the card against is the default GTX 470 which while stock clocked, is also using the original launch driver. We've also got the GTX 480 and HD 5870 thrown in for good fun.

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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Straight away we see an impressive gain which puts the GTX 470 GS from Gainward not all that far behind the more expensive GTX 480.

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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A good boost in performance is again seen when compared to the stock clocked card. With the GTX 470 already pulling a win here against the HD 5870 at stock speeds, the Golden Sample just makes that lead even stronger thanks to its Tessellation performance.

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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No surprises when it comes to 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.

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Strong performance across the board from the Golden Sample. We've got averages well above the 60 FPS we want to see and compared to the stock clocked model performance is strong.

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.

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Where the stock clocked GTX 470 failed to give us a 60 FPS average or higher at all resolutions, the overclock helps counter that with a 60 FPS average being seen at the high 2560 x 1600 resolution.

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.

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Strong performance again and we can see the model doesn't sit all that far behind the GTX 480 here. At times we can see the card manages to also outperform the HD 5870. Compared to the stock clocked model the gains are nice and appreciated at the higher resolution.

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.

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Across the board we continue to see strong performance from the GTX 470 Golden Sample. Its performance isn't really all that far behind the GTX 480 at the higher resolution.

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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At 2560 x 1600 we can see the GTX 470 in stock form while breaking the 30 FPS minimum we want to see, doesn't do it with much room. The overclock on offer from the GTX 470 pushes our performance further away from that 30 FPS minimum we want and really gives us some more breathing room. We again see at times the GTX 470 Golden Sample performs very strong against the HD 5870 as well.

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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We don't need higher numbers under Batman AA when it comes to PhysX being off, but it's always appreciated. PhysX on paints another picture. We're still below that 30 FPS minimum at the highest resolution. At least we're above it at 1920 x 1200 and below, though.

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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Big numbers across the board with PhysX off. With PhysX on the performance hit is big, but at least we're above 30 FPS at all resolutions; something that is really appreciated.

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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AA performance is strong for the NVIDIA offerings and we're able to see that with the overclock we're able to move nice and far away from that 30 FPS minimum. The HD 5870 just gets smashed in this test as well. While the average is decent, the minimum is way down.


Resident Evil 5

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Good performance across the board. We want an average of 60 FPS and we get it from all cards. The Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample helps us just move a little further away which is always appreciated.


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

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Unfortunately here the only card that's able to break the 60 FPS average we need to see is the GTX 480. All the other setups are going to need a detail drop.

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.

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Strong performance under WSA with the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample.

Benchmarks - Badaboom


Badaboom

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 1.2.1.7
Developer Homepage: http://www.nvidia.com//
Product Homepage: http://www.badaboomit.com/




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 real surprises here under Badaboom.

Temperature Test


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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The temperature isn't bad. While not the coolest running GTX 47, it's .1c behind the Galaxy. Impressive considering the nice overclock we're dealing with.

Sound Test


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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Noise levels form the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample are impressive.

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.

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Power draw is good; any decent 600 Watt+ power supply shouldn't have an issue. Something from the Corsair HX series would be a real winner.

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.

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A strong out of the box overclock means that the GTX 470 Golden Sample from Gainward is the fastest out of the box GTX 470 to date; something that will really be appreciated by people who don't want to overclock.

Final Thoughts




Why wouldn't you want the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample? Its cooling is superior to the reference card in every way. We're now at a point where it's not even worth considering cards that use a reference cooler unless they're cheap. Three companies have now already shown us superior cooling solutions for very little price increase.

If that wasn't enough, though, out of the box performance is fantastic. The overclock that Gainward has offered us with a 650MHz core is fantastic. It helps boost overall performance by a good chunk. If you're not interested in overclocking, this is a fantastic option for people.

Yeah, the bundle's a little on the light side when it comes to extras, but the lack of Mini HDMI to HDMI cable is due to the fact that Gainward has opted for a full size HDMI port while at the same time also offering us a DisplayPort.

The Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample is a fantastic card and reminds us why we love the Golden Sample series so much. Looking at NVIDIA partners, it's one of our favorites and has been around for years now.

This is one GTX 470 that's worth keeping an eye out for. We love what Gainward has done with it and the chances are you will as well. The inclusion of the new cooler on top of the overclock is what seals the deal and turns the card from a good one to a great one. We're so happy that Gainward didn't just bump the core up 3MHz to 610MHz and turn around and call it a Golden Sample. The GS name has never been tainted with a model that shouldn't have it.

Now we just need the model to hit the retail channel; you should be excited about this one.

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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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