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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC

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Posted November 29, 2010 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

Gigabyte is a board partner that’s known for pushing the boundaries on Nvidia’s reference graphics cards, whether it’s a custom heatsink, improved quality components, or a factory overclock. And true to form, the GTX 480 Super Overclock includes all of these with an excellent heatsink, improved power design components, and a strong factory overclock. Also impressive is the cooling efficiency and lower noise levels of the Windforce heatsink, keeping temperatures in check when under full load, despite the huge overclock. And the aesthetics are great as well, as this is certainly one of the better looking GTX 480 models out there.

In terms of performance, the Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC is about 15% faster than the reference card and can handle just about any game out there, even at high resolutions and image quality. And two of these in SLI will produce some outstanding results, and is well equipped for Nvidia Surround and 3D gaming as well. Further, the GTX 480 SOC lays the smackdown on all single-GPU Radeon cards.

The Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC carries a price tag of $470 USD. That’s certainly not cheap, but it is in line with the other Nvidia partners, particularly against those with custom heatsinks and factory overclocks, of which there is little competition in fact.

So what’s the downside here? Well, it’s the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of the room: the GTX 580. Although this Gigabyte 480 SOC card comes close to the performance of the 580, that is compared to a stock 580, which can also be overclocked and will pull even further ahead. More importantly, however, is that the GTX 580 runs far cooler and quieter, and consumes significantly less power, and all for only $60 more. The GTX 580 is, quite simply, a superior card in every facet.

Frankly, the launch of the GTX 580 took just about everyone by surprise, and we can’t help but think that Gigabyte got kicked in the groin here as a result. If the 580 launch hadn’t happened so quickly, the GTX 480 Super Overclock would be the flagship card to beat. But as it stands, it’s now eclipsed by even the reference GTX 580. It’s a shame really, as Gigabyte is the unfortunate victim of poor timing.

Gigabyte is known for their non-reference designs, so while this GTX 480 Super Overclock card has been essentially neutered by Nvidia’s GTX 580 launch, we will keep our fingers crossed in the hopes that a GTX 580 Super Overclock is on the horizon.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC

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