GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 470 Super Overclock Video Card

We look at another Super Overclock card from GIGABYTE. This one's a little meaner than the HD 5770, though.

Published Mon, Aug 23 2010 11:06 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction, Card and Specifications


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The Super Overclock series from GIGABYTE is one of my personal favorite series and the main reason for this is that they're bringing the series to a wide range of budgets. The last generation of 200 series cards saw the higher end models get the treatment. In the HD 5000 series ATI range we've seen both the HD 5870 and HD 5770 get it which cater for two different price ranges. And today we're seeing the GTX 470 get the treatment.

If the success of the GTX 460 is anything to go by, we're sure that this model will also get the same treatment which means you can get your hands on a nicely overclocked GIGBAYTE model no matter what your budget is. It's ultimately a win for you, the consumer.

Since GIGABYTE sent us the card nice and early, we don't have a retail package. Instead let's get straight into the card itself and then have a look at the specifications that make up the Super Overclock model.

The Card

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The first thing we can spot that's new to the SOC model is that triple fan cooler. Worth noting is that unlike the one we've seen on the Sapphire HD 5970 TOXIC, this isn't a triple slot one. It's still only dual slot which for people wanting to go SLI is good news.

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As for the rest of the card, you're not in for any surprises. We've got two 6-Pin PCI-E power connectors towards the back of the card, while closer to the front we have our two SLI connectors and connectivity is two Dual-Link DVI ports and a single Mini-HDMI one.


Specifications is ultimately what makes the Super OC series and out of the box this card sports a 700MHz core which is way up on the default 607MHz that NVIDIA offer on reference models.

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With the core being bumped up, we of course see that the Shader clock has also headed north. That's gone from 1215MHz to 1400MHz. As for that 1280MB of GDDR5 memory, GIGABYTE has opted to leave that at the default 837MHz or 3348MHz DDR.

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 comparing the GIGABYTE GTX 470 SOC against a number of other setups including the Gainward GTX 470 Golden Sample which carries with it a slightly higher memory clock, but only a 650MHz core. We've also got the GIGABYTE GTX 470, Sapphire HD 5970 along with the GTX 460 and GTX 470 SLI setups.

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.

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Performance out the gate isn't bad; you can see compared to the GTX 480 the GTX 470 SOC performance at the P preset is very close. It lags a little at the higher end X preset, but not by a lot.

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.

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Across the board we see a nice little bump in performance. In the original Heaven benchmark we can see that the model doesn't sit all that far behind the GTX 480.

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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CINEBENCH performance on the SOC is a little stronger than the GS.

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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In our first game benchmark we see a nice little boost in performance over the GTX 470 Golden Sample. Compared to the GTX 480, the card lags behind a little, but we've got great FPS across the board nonetheless.

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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While the Golden Sample scraped in with that 60 FPS average, the extra grunt on offer from the SOC GIGABYTE model means it jumps a good 4 FPS past it. Compared to the GTX 480, it again sits very close behind.

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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We've got strong performance across the board and compared to the GTX 480 that extra grunt on offer from the SOC really put's the card on the tail of it.

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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Strong performance at all resolutions again. Compared to the GTX 480, you're not even talking about a card that is 10% slower. At the highest resolution it's only a 5 FPS difference with the numbers being very playable from the GIGABYTE GTX 470 SOC.

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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We see strong performance across the board with playable FPS at all resolutions. Compared to the GTX 480 the GTX 470 SOC is even able to spike a win in some of the minimum FPS numbers at the higher resolution.

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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Compared to the Golden Sample which is also overclocked, we see a little bump in performance. PhysX performance is also strong at up to 1920 x 1200; after that we see all the cards drop below that 30 FPS number we need to see.

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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We see big numbers across the board here. Even with PhysX on we're over that 30 FPS minimum we need. In this benchmark we again see the model performs very strong when compared to the GTX 480 as well.

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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The GTX 470 GS is already over the 30 FPS minimum we need. The GIGABYTE SOC just helps extend that lead even further. Again we see it's right on the tail of the GTX 480.

Resident Evil 5

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A nice little bump over the Golden Sample GTX 470 which helps us move away from that 60 FPS average we need to see.

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

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Unfortunately we're just under that 60 FPS mark here.

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.

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WSA performance is very strong. Outside of overclocked cards it's the fastest out of the box NVIDIA card we've tested to date.

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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Checking out Badaboom performance, we don't see any surprises.

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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Compared to the standard GTX 470 cooler, this one is significantly better. Compared to the other GTX 470s we've looked at it's also the best with only 470s running at 100% fan speed running cooler.

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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The good news is that coolness isn't coming at the cost of high noise levels. The card runs significantly quieter than the reference cooler which is fantastic news.

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 exactly where you would expect it; low 400s at load and low 200s at idle. No surprises at all here.

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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Overall, the GTX 470 SOC from GIGABYTE is a strong performer. Out of the box it's the fastest which doesn't come as much of a surprise and we're sure there's some more headroom thanks to the quality of the cooler that GIGABYTE has opted for.

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.

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Value's not bad. It's not as strong as the recently released GTX 460 which is taking the world by storm, but it sits in the middle which is ultimately what we would expect from a card in this range.

Final Thoughts

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.

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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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