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Test Hardware: Graphics Cards And Platform

StarCraft II Revisited: How Much Gaming PC Do You Need?
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Gigabyte GV-R587SO-1GD Radeon HD 5870 Super Overclock

With a 950 MHz core clock and 1250 MHz memory, this Super Overclock edition card boasts the highest factory frequencies we’ve seen to date on a Radeon HD 5870. It leverages a quiet and capable cooling system to offer plenty of performance without generating very much noise. You can read more about this card in our review here.

Gigabyte GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470 Super Overclock

The GV-470SO-13I is the highest-clocked GeForce GTX 470 available at the time of writing. With 700/1400/1674 MHz core/shader/memory frequencies, this is another low-noise board. It's equipped with three quiet cooling fans that facilitate low GPU temperatures and a minimal acoustic footprint. Have a look at our GV-N470SO-13I review here.


Gigabyte GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 Overclocked

The Radeon HD 5850 continues to provide solid gaming performance in the $300 price range. Gigabyte adds its own special sauce to the standard formula with a mild 40 Hz core overclock, resulting in a 765 MHz core and 1000 MHZ GDDR5 memory frequencies. As you can see, the company also uses its own non-reference cooling solution.


Gigabyte GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 Overclocked

The GeForce GTX 460 has already established itself as a strong $200-$250 offering in Nvidia’s stable, and Gigabyte’s overclocked model sports a 40 MHz core and 80 MHz shader clock rate improvement over the reference card. As with all of the other boards we've seen thus far, this one employs aftermarket cooling. For more information on how this board stacks up to the other GeForce GTX 460s out there, check out our nine-card roundup.

Gigabyte GV-R583UD-1GD Radeon HD 5830

The Radeon HD 5830 was alone at the $200 price point until Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 arrived, and we used this specific model previously in one of our System Builder Marathon configurations. We found that the non-reference cooling system on this model resulted in a quiet, capable card. You can read about our experience with two of these graphics cards in a CrossFire configuration here.


Gigabyte GV-N240D5-512I GeForce GT 240 GDDR5

In light of the fact that Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GT has become scarce, the company's GeForce GT 240 is a much more attractive option. This particular model runs just outside of reference specifications with a 20 MHz slower shader clock. However, this makes no perceptible difference in performance compared to the standard model. It is notable that this is the only 512 MB card in our performance exploration, as all of the other cards sport at least 1 GB of RAM.


Gigabyte GV-R557OC-1GI Radeon HD 5570 DDR3 Overclocked

Gigabyte’s overclocked Radeon HD 5570 has a 30 MHz core clock rate advantage over the reference model, but the memory frequency is set 100 MHz slower than the 900 MHz reference board. This memory speed deficit is somewhat mitigated by the slight core overclock, combined with a large 1 GB frame buffer. 


Gigabyte GV-R555D3-1GI Radeon HD 5550 DDR3

The GV-R555D3-1GI is Gigabyte’s take on the Radeon HD 5550 DDR3, running the standard 550 MHz core and 800 MHz memory clocks. The card features a beefier-than-reference cooler and 1 GB of memory.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R

Gigabyte’s X58A-UD3R motherboard offers a tantalizing mix of performance, features, and a low price that earned it our Recommended Buy Award earlier this year. This platform remains a strong choice, and we use it for our tests today.

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