Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870

April 16, 2010 // 12:47 p.m.

Tags: #1gb #gaming #gigabyte #graphics-card #hd-5870 #overclocking #performance #pictures #radeon #soc #super-overclock

When we dropped into Gigabyte's main Taipei office, its engineers showed us their latest creation, a completely custom 'Super Overclocked' Radeon HD 5870. It's both a mix of after-market cooling with a Gigabyte designed custom PCB underneath, plus a hefty overclock to top it off.

The PCB features the usual Gigabyte technology: 2oz copper PCB and it uses the same quality of components its motherboards are renowned for. On the underside of the board, Gigabyte has opted to use five 'NEC Prodlizers' - basically massive, low profile film capacitors that are designed to work in the GHz frequency range of switching and high current. Gigabyte claims this technology should enable better, stable overclocks.

In addition there's GPU and memory voltage changing options in Gigabyte's tweaking software and as with high-end motherboards, voltage read points on the board for overclockers, although they aren't particularly well designed - they're just small solder points.

The HD 5870 GPUs themselves are clocked at 950MHz - up from 850MHz retail stock, and they're cherry-picked dies, using a method Gigabyte calls the "Gauntlet" régime. This process was first started with the GTX 260 and 275 last year, but unfortunately for Gigabyte, Nvidia promptly discontinued the supply of those chips, so it was unable to really see the idea into the market.

On the cooler side, the dual-fan, four heatpipe arrangement should work well, given our previous experience with this type of cooler, although the downside is that the hot air isn't vented from your case. Note the memory doesn't receive any extra cooling, but even so it's clocked at a round 5GHz, up from 4.8GHz on the stock cards.

It's interesting to see the Gigabyte approach compared to the MSI HD 5870 Lightning for example: the MSI has a completely redesigned PCB also, but it's much larger, supports two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors and has far more power phases but doesn't have the same sort of heavy duty capacitors, yet also uses a dual fan cooler. Despite the MSI currently winning 3DMark records under LN2, it retails with just a 50MHz clock bump on the core and nothing extra on the memory.

Priced at a whopping £434 here, even in Gigabyte's own words it's expensive, especially when we see that the MSI is £389 and the Sapphire Vapor-X is around £350 too.

Do you fancy this new HD 5870 or is the £434 Gigabyte just too much to ask? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870 Gigabyte shows its Super OC Radeon HD 5870
Click to enlarge

Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870 Gigabyte shows its Super OC Radeon HD 5870
Click to enlarge

Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870 Gigabyte shows its Super OC Radeon HD 5870
Click to enlarge

Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870 Gigabyte shows its Super OC Radeon HD 5870
Click to enlarge

Gigabyte shows Super Overclocked Radeon HD 5870 Gigabyte shows its Super OC Radeon HD 5870
Click to enlarge

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