OC'ed GeForce GTX 480 Shoot-Out: MSI vs Gigabyte - HotHardware

OC'ed GeForce GTX 480 Shoot-Out: MSI vs Gigabyte

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A funny thing happened during the course of this article—life got in the way. And in the few weeks that things were delayed, the PC graphics landscape changed dramatically. A couple of weeks before NVIDIA unleashed the GeForce GTX 580 onto the world, MSI and Gigabyte readied a pair of the most innovative GeForce GTX 480 cards to hit the market. Not only were the cards factory overclocked, but they featured custom coolers, re-worked PCBs, and hardcore, enthusiast-class features not found on any other GTX 480.

MSI and Gigabyte sent us these custom GTX 480s, and just before putting the finishing touches on the piece, my wife went into labor, the GeForce GTX 580 hit, a few other launches needed coverage (including the just released GTX 570), and badabing badaboom, here we are today.

Fortunately for you, this additional lead-time helps paint a more complete picture of the high-end graphics card market. Unfortunately, for MSI and Gigabyte, the release of the GeForce GTX 500 takes some of the luster from these cards. But the MSI N480GTX Lightning and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 Super Overclocked (SOC) Edition are still very interesting products, especially if you’re on the fringe and are one of those truly hardcore enthusiasts that love to push their rigs to the limit. Let us explain...

MSI N480GTX Lightning and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC
Specifications & Features



MSI and Gigabyte take a somewhat different approach in their custom GeForce GTX 480 designs. Gigabyte opted to push GPU clocks as high as possible, while MSI was more conservative on their GPU core overclock, but took the memory a bit higher. Interestingly enough, even with a lower-clocked core, the MSI card is able to pull ahead of Gigabyte’s offering in a couple of tests, as you’ll see little later.

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Quote: "both of these cards slightly trail the GTX 580, but typically run on par with or slightly better than a GTX 570"

This EVGA GTX580 is only $519.99 with a lifetime warranty.    (and with a free Mafia2 game coupon w/ purchase)

The 570 and 580 series cards are a little more advanced with a newer design producing less heat, and with a better cooler to dissipate heat more efficiently.

The 570's go for around $350.00, don't they?

You guys DO remember this graphic?

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As I said in the conclusion, these cards are not for everyone. There are similar or better performing cards out there now for about the same price (580) or much less (570).  However, the aggressive binning and superior power delivery on these boards puts their power consumption right in line with the GTX 580;

Note the GB card has the same idle power and uses only 6 more watts under load. Also, the coolers on these cards are more capable than reference models.

So yes, we know the 570 is $350--I mention it in the intro and conclusion. If you had actually read and quoted more than a single sentence you may have caught it.

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