Three Factory-Overclocked, High-End Graphics Cards

Serious Contenders

The most powerful graphics card available today is the Radeon HD 5970, but it's an expensive and power-hungry beast that tends to run hot (after all, it does sport two high-end GPUs on a single PCB). On top of this, the card relies on its drivers to make sure both of the graphics processors play nice together. This means that the Radeon HD 5970's performance isn't quite as consistent as a graphics card equipped with a single GPU, since you have to take CrossFire scaling into account, as transparent as the technology might be. In fact, any multi-GPU setup will perform inconsistently compared to a single card.

If you find these compromises too unpleasant to accept, or if you simply don't want to spend $600 bucks on a graphics card, you can still get serious graphics performance out of AMD’s and Nvidia's single-GPU flagships, the Radeon HD 5870 and the GeForce GTX 480. And for those of you who are looking for a little more out of your hardware than what the standard reference models provide, there are some premium factory-overclocked products available.

Today, we look at three of these premium cards to see just what benefits they offer compared to the reference models. The three cards we're looking at are Gigabyte's GV-R587SO-1GD Super Clocked, Hightech Information System’s (HIS) HD 5870 iCooler V Turbo X, and Zotac's GeForce GTX 480 AMP! Edition.

Let's see what sets these premium models apart from the pack.

  • knutjb
    Good to see sensible conclusions, bang for the buck.

    Amazing how well the ATI cards are doing given their time on the market.
  • Jax69
    i am amazed by ati cards after one year on the market is still strong as hell. very good amd
  • jonsy2k
    I'm not liking the trend of these cards consuming more and more pci slots to be honest.
  • lashton
    lol GTX 480 aginst the 5870
  • carlhenry
    GTX 480 is looking very good and sexy
  • ohim
    Did your lights flickered when you powered up that GTX480 ? :)
  • ^^^^^
    liked the flickered thing.
  • h83
    So, the conclusion is that the only good point about those factory overclocked cards are their coolers...
  • Tamz_msc
    Aliens vs. Predator favors the Radeons, just like Crysis favors the GeForce cards. However, the playing field remains very close
    The graphs tell otherwise.
  • The Lady Slayer
    It's a shame the Big Green has paid off so many game developers that we'll never see a 'true' comparison between ATI & nVidia