The Gigabyte SOC is the quietest video card they have tested at Guru3d. At stock speeds, it is also the fastest GTX460 they have tested. For overclocking, they were able to take it from a stock speed of 815mhz up to 949mhz. In comparison to the 6850, the Gigabyte SOC won in 6 of the 8 benchmarks and tied in the other 2. So, it's quieter and faster; what more could you ask for in the Gigabyte SOC? ... do you like PhysX? http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-460-...
Of course, it wins rather narrowly in 5 other benchmarks. If you took the stock HD6850 and OC'd it then the charts would easily swing to the other side.
I suppose that logic would also apply if you overclocked the Gigabyte SOC.
I liked this on the Newegg link for the Gigabyte SOC:
"GIGABYTE GPU Gauntlet Sorting
GIGABYTE’s very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting process is the key to the best GPUs for Super Overclock Series. A GPU must pass a sequence of tests to be selected. This unique process offers three major advantages. First, full-throttle performance tuning improves overclocking ability by at least 10% to 30%. Second, optimized thermal efficiency lowers extra temperatures by 5% to 10%. Fan speed is guaranteed at standard rpm in high-rated 3D and physics-accelerated games to reduce noise for an absolutely quiet environment. Lastly, expert power switching lowers power switching loss by 10% to 30%. With GPU Gauntlet Sorting, GIGABYTE SOC graphics card guarantees higher overclocking ability."
Right, like a lot of additional noise. From a 6850 overclocking article:
"Finally we come to noise. We suspect many buyers will be alright with the power and temperature increases so long as noise remains manageable, so what we have is a mixed bag. Throwing out the reference 6850, we’re left with the XFX card at over 60dB, and while XFX’s focus on temperatures is commendable, it ends up being shortsighted by making the card exceptionally loud here." http://www.anandtech.com/show/4002/amd-radeon-hd-6850-o...
"We’ll start with the obvious: overclocking increases heat output and overclocking with higher than reference voltage impacts thermals even more. Unfortunately, without a custom cooler the HD 6870 gains heat at an almost alarming pace and believe it or not, the vapour chamber-totting XFX HD 6850 isn’t that far behind. If you are thinking of going for high clock frequencies with a HD 6800 series product, we highly recommend you look into upgrading the heatsink or at least buying a product with a higher end thermal solution.