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Gigabyte's GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card
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Date: Apr 11, 2005
Section:Graphics/Sound
Author: Jeff Bouton
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Introduction and Product Specifications

It seems that today's mid and high-end video cards are coming with increasingly more creative cooling solutions.  Lately, large, quiet fans are becoming more popular as seen with Abit's OTES, HIS's IceQ II and Sapphire's Lethal Cooling.  All of these options aim to keep a video card cool under load while minimizing fan noise, and in some cases, making it virtually non-existent.  There are trade offs to these designs, however, such as the occupation of a second slot, but often times the upside is a direct exhausting of warm air out of the case, lowering overall case temperatures.  In the end, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and the end result can be both cool and quiet, which can be a tough combination to find in a performance PC.

While these oversized fan assemblies are growing in popularity, they are not the only silent solutions available.  The next most common option is a fan-less heat-pipe outfit that allows for ample cooling of a video card without the need of an on-board fan.  The concept of a heat-pipe is nothing new, and can often be found in mini-PC applications.  When implemented correctly, the heat-pipe can be an effective cooling solution with the end result being low temperatures and noise.

Today, we're going to review Gigabyte's GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card.  This model is a fanless design that boasts an oversized heat pipe assembly that straddles the card, aiming to deliver adequate cooling with no added noise.  This type of card does require a little more preparation in regards to case cooling, but with proper planning you can end up with a silent card that doesn't require the occupation of a second PCI slot.  Let's take a look and see what Gigabyte brings to the fray this time around.

Specifications of Gigabyte's GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card
Powerful and Quiet
RADEON X800 Technology Specifications
160 million transistors on 0.11 micron
12 extreme parallel pixel pipelines
Six programmable vertex shader pipelines
256-bit quad-channel GDDR3 memory interface
PCI Express


SMARTSHADER HD
Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shaders
Vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
DirectX 9.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
Up to 1,536 instructions and 16textures per rendering pass
2nd generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
32 temporary and constant registers
Facing register for two-sided lighting
128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL via extensions


SMOOTHVISION HD
2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
Lossless Color Compression (up to6:1)at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
Temporal Anti-Aliasing
2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
Up to 128-tap texture filtering
Adaptive algorithm with bilinear (performance) and trilinear (quality) options


3Dc
High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
Works with any two-channel data format
HYPER Z HD
3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
Fast Z-Buffer Clear
Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolution


VIDEOSHADER HD
Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
FULLSTREAM video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
VIDEOSOAP noise removal filtering for captured video
MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration
DXVA Support
Hardware Motion Compensation, iDCT, DCT and color space conversion
All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
Dual integrated display controllers
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
Windows Logo Program compliant
CATALYST Software Suite

For such a large package, the retail bundle of the GV-RX80256D X800 seemed a bit lite.  In fact, most of the packing in the box was empty space, designed more to protect the card than to hold a host of extras, as its size might imply.  When looking at the bundle, the unit came with the obligatory DVI-to-VGA adapter and an S-Video to HDTV block to help connect to an HDTV ready television.  What was missing was the additional cabling needed to connect the block to an actual TV, a component that is becoming more commonplace in even lesser models of late.

    

The package did include a clear and concise User's Manual that did a good job of covering all aspects of the GV-RX80256D X800's installation.  Along with step-by-step images showing how a typical installation goes, GigaByte also goes in-depth on their software complement as well, breaking down the drivers, Gigabyte Utility and V-Tuner2.  Completing the package, Gigabyte included two full retail games; Thief – Deadly Shadows and Joint Operations – Typhoon Rising.  Lastly, a full-version of CyberLink's Power DVD 5.0 was included to handle your DVD playback needs.

Gigabyte's Utility and V-Tuner2 software was a good addition to the overall product.  The Utility sits in the system tray, using minimal resources, yet providing quick access to a host of settings.  Along with changing resolutions on the fly, we had quick access to system settings as well as GigaByte's BIOS update utility.

The V-Tuner2 is a straight forward overclocking tool that worked quite well.  We were able to adjust the Core and Memory speeds with their respective sliders and then test our settings by hitting Go.  If we were satisfied with our speeds, we could save the settings and we were ready to go.  The overall interface was very intuitive and even came with the option to skin it for a different look.

Overall, we were impressed with the items Gigabyte chose to include in the package, but felt there was room for some improvement.  On the upside, the gaming complement was pretty good and the inclusion of Power DVD and GigaByte's custom software were all an added plus.  But Gigabyte should have also included the cables necessary to connect this card to a television.

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Gigabyte's GV-RX80256D - A Closer Inspection
GigaByte's GV-RX80256D Up Close
Closer Inspection

When we first laid eyes on the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe, we soon found this was not your typical Radeon X800.  Gigabyte did follow the standard reference design PCB, but added their trademark blue color scheme.  At the core of the card is ATI's R430 which is manufactured at .11 microns and sports 12 Pixel pipelines.  Like the reference design, the core is clocked at 400MHz, but Gigabyte changed things up with the memory, clocking the 256MB of GDDR3 at 988MHz DDR (494MHZ).  Typical X800's come with memory clocked at 700MHz DDR, whereas the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe runs closer to X800Pro/XL speeds which range from 900MHz to 1000MHz, respectively.  Gigabyte utilizes Samsung's K4J55323QF-GC20 modules which are rated for 1000MHz DDR at 2ns.  This leaves a little bit of headroom left for overclocking, but at this stage of the game our expectations will be modest.

  

Straddling the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo is Gigabyte's Silent Pipe heat pipe.  This is a completely fan free kit that operates in total silence.  This is an excellent solution for user's who are striving for a quiet system, however, it does require special consideration.  The most important factor is air flow.  For best performance, your system must have good cooling.  In a free standing environment, such as our typical test bed set up, this card gets piping hot.  In fact, just running it in open space for five minutes resulted in the card being too hot to touch with bare hands.  Add this to a case with poor air flow and you will surely shorten the life of the card as well as adding excessive heat to the case in general.  However, once in place with proper cooling and unrestricted airflow, the card ran beautifully and the temperature of the heat pipe was significantly lower.  While we did not perform extensive temperature testing, we saw no increases in ambient case temperatures in our test box which was comprised of two 80mm intake fans on the front, one exhausting at the rear of the box as well as the PSU fan.  This gave a good exchange of airflow and kept the GV-RX80256D X800 within normal operating conditions.

  

The Silent Pipe itself is an interesting kit that fits rather loosely on the card.  What was most obvious was the lack of contact with regards to the memory chips.  This was actually by design and is not a major issue since the modules run cool to begin with.  All we found was spongy material on the rear side of the pipe to prevent it from contacting the solder points on the card itself.  The main focus is solid contact to the core of the card where the pipe wicks the heat to the backside to be cooled by the case's airflow.

Overall, we liked the design of the GV-RX80256D X800 for a totally silent video card solution.  As we said, as long as you have good airflow in your case, this is an good card for the job.  The only thing we are uncertain about at this point is the overclocking potential of the card.  A little later on we'll surely put this to the test and see if we sacrifice any extra performance by utilizing this unique heat pipe design.


Image Quality with GigaByte's GV-RX80256D
For the Fun of It

Before we get started with the benchmarking segment, we thought we would do a brief image comparison to show the type of image quality we can expect.  For this, we took three separate screen captures from The Chronicles of Riddick – Escape from Butcher Bay.

First, we took a snapshot with no Anti-aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering enabled.  Then we repeated the process with 4X AA and 8X Anisotropic Filtering enabled followed by 6X AA and 16X Anisotropic.    


No AA or Anisotropic Filtering

4x AA & 8x Anisotropic Filtering

6x AA & 16x Anisotropic Filtering

In all actuality, this game was great looking, even with no filtering turned on in the drivers.  Once we stepped up to 4X AA and 8X Aniso, we saw improvements in edges and the detail of the floor, however, when we maxed the settings, the improvements were not as drastic.  Overall, the image quality was very good.  Later on we'll get a better idea of just how well this game performed with the GV-RX80256D X800.

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Benchmarking with Final Fantasy XI and 3DMark05
HotHardware's Test System
Not all are created equal...

SYSTEM 1:
Socket T - Pentium 4 530 (3GHz)
A Foxconn 925XE7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard
I925XE Chipset
PQI24200-1024GDB
Gigabyte's GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe
Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128MB
HIS X700 Pro IceQ Turbo VIVO 256MB
On-Board 10/100/1000 Ethernet
On-Board Audio
WD 30GB Hard Drive
7200 RPM PATA
Windows XP Pro SP2
ATi Catalyst 5.3


Performances Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI Benchmark 3
A Classic Console Franchise On The PC

Final Fantasy XI
The Final Fantasy franchise is well known to console gamers, but Squaresoft has since made the jump to the PC with a MMORPG version of this classic. The Final Fantasy XI benchmark 3 runs through multiple scenes from the game and displays a final score every time a full cycle of the demo is completed. Although the demo is meant the check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered scales when different video cards are used. Lower scores indicate some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time. The scores below were taken with the demo set to its "High Resolution" option (1024x768), with anti-aliasing disabled.

When compared to the X700 Pro with 128MB and 256MB of memory, the GV-RX80256D X800 pulled ahead by a marginal spread of roughly 300 points.  This wasn't a major leap forward, but this is only the beginning of our testing.

Performance Comparisons With 3DMark05
Futuremark's Latest - The Jury is Still Out...


3DMark05
3DMark05 is the latest installment in a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998.  3DMark99 came out in October of 1998 and was followed by the very popular DirectX 7 benchmark, 3DMark2000, roughly two years later.  The DirectX 8.1-compliant 3DMark2001 was released shortly thereafter, and it too was a very popular tool used by many hardcore gamers.  3DMark03, however, wasn't quite as well received thanks in no small part to the disapproval of graphics giant NVIDIA.  With 3DMark05, though, Futuremark hopes to win back some of its audience with a very advanced DirectX 9 benchmarking tool.  We ran 3DMark05's default test (1,024 x 768) on all of the cards we tested and have the overall results for you posted below...

Here we saw a much wider and conclusive assessment of the GV-RX80256D X800 compared to the X700 Pros.  3DMark05 has a much more comprehensive testing script that really aims to stress today's video cards.  The end result was a minimum advantage of 1100 3DMarks in favor of the GV-RX80256D X800, close to a 25% increase.

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Benchmarks with Halo
Benchmarks with Halo
Halo - All Patched & Ready To Go!

Halo
For many gamers, the release of Halo marked the end of a long wait, since it was originally released as an Xbox exclusive a few years back. No additional patches or tweaks are needed to benchmark with Halo, as Gearbox has included all of the necessary information in their README file. The Halo benchmark runs through four of the cut-scenes from the game, after which the average frame rate is recorded. We patched the game using the latest v1.06 patch and ran this benchmark twice, once at 1024x768 and then again at 1280x1024. Anti-aliasing doesn't work properly with Halo at the moment, so all of the test below were run with anti-aliasing disabled.

At the 1024x768 resolution, we saw a modest lead of almost 8 FPS in favor of the Gigabyte X800 over the comparison cards.  Once we increased the test to 1280x1024, the GV-RX80256D X800 proved its capabilities, leapfrogging either of the X700 cards we tested by close to 20 FPS.

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Performances Comparisons With Splinter Cell
Performances Comparisons With Splinter Cell
Stealthy Combat

Splinter Cell
Splinter Cell's version 1.2 patch includes three pre-recorded demos and incorporates a previously unavailable benchmarking tool. The demos included with the patch are somewhat limited by CPU performance, however, so we opted for the custom Oil Rig demo created by the folks at Beyond 3D to test with this game. Beyond 3D's demo removes two CPU intensive routines while increasing dependence on Pixel Shader performance. Shaders are used to render realistic looking ocean water surrounding an Oil Rig in the demo, as well as simulating a night vision effect for a brief period. Also note that anti-aliasing doesn't work with Splinter Cell. Due to this fact, we do not have any AA scores listed in the graphs below.

Splinter Cell's results were more balanced at both resolutions.  At 1024x768 the GV-RX80256D X800 kept a solid gain averaging 28 FPS.  At 1600x1200, that lead dropped slightly, hovering around 22 FPS overall.

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Performance Comparisons With Aquamark 3
Performance Comparisons With Aquamark 3
DX8 and DX9 Shaders

Aquamark 3
Aquamark 3 comes to us by way of Massive Development. Massive's release of the original Aquanox in 1999 wasn't very well received by the gaming community, but it was one of the first games to implement DX8 class shaders, which led to the creation of Aquamark 2 - a benchmark previously used by many analysts. Since the Aquamark benchmarks are based on an actual game engine, they must support old and new video cards alike. Thus, the latest version of Aquamark, Aquamark 3, utilizes not only DirectX 9 class shaders, but DirectX 8 and DirectX 7 as well. We ran this benchmark at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200 with no anti-aliasing followed by 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering.

AquaMark is the first of the remaining tests where we worked anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering into the equation.  In the first round, with 4X AA and 8X Aniso enabled, the GV-RX80256D X800 was able to equal the X700 Pros results with no AA or Anistropic Filtering applied, while besting them by 7 FPS with the same settings.  At 1600X1200, the trend continued, with the GV-RX80256D X800 topping both cards by an average of 12 FPS across the board.

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Performance With Unreal Tournament 2004
Head-to-Head Performance With Unreal Tournament 2004
Epic's Next Smash Hit!

Unreal Tournament 2K4
Epic's "Unreal" games have been wildly popular, ever since the original Unreal was released in the late '90s. Unreal, Unreal Tournament, and then Unreal Tournament 2003, rapidly became some of our favorites, for both benchmarking, and for killing a few hours when our schedules allowed it! Epic recently released the latest addition to the franchise, Unreal Tournament 2004. We used the demo version of the game to benchmark these cards at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1600x1200, without any anti-aliasing, followed by 4X AA and 8X anisotropic filtering.

The margins were a little tighter with the UT2004 1024x768 tests.  With No AA/Aniso, the X800 pulled a 3 FPS lead over the X700 Pros, while the 4X AA/8X Aniso tests widened the gap just shy of 20 FPS.  At 1600x1200, the X800 pulled ahead even further, holding an average of a 23 FPS lead in all facets of this test.

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Benchmarks With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Benchmarks With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Q3 Engine Based Freebie

Wolfenstein: ET
We also ran through a batch of timedemos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the excellent Return to Castle Wolfenstein, that was released a few years back. It uses a heavily modified version of the Quake 3 engine, which makes it a very easy to use benchmarking tool. We created our own custom demo and used the built-in timedemo feature to check each card's frame-rate. The tests below were run at 1024x768 and again at 1600x1200, without anti-aliasing and again with 4X AA and 8X aniso filtering enabled concurrently.

With Wolfenstein: ET, the Gigabyte X800 had a significant advantage, even at 1024x768.  The No AA/Aniso tests were fairly close, because the test is essentially CPU limited, but enabling AA and Anisotropic Filtering gave the GV-RX80256D X800 a minimum 25 FPS lead.  At 1600X1200, the X800 enjoyed no less than a 31 FPS cushion, whereas the 4X AA/8X Aniso margins were closer to 22 FPS in the least.

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Benchmarks & Comparisons With Far Cry
Benchmarks & Comparisons With Far Cry
DX9 Effects Galore.

Far Cry
If you've been on top of the gaming scene, you probably know that Far Cry is one of the most visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date.  Although Doom 3 and Half Life 2 have both arrived, Far Cry still looks great in comparison, especially with the new v1.3 patch installed and some special effects turned on.  Far Cry came along and gave us a taste of what was to come in next-generation 3D gaming on the PC.  We benchmarked the graphics cards in this review with a custom-recorded demo run taken in the "Catacombs" area checkpoint at various resolutions without AA or Aniso Filtering enabled and then with 4X AA enabled along with 8X anisotropic filtering.  Geometry instancing and normal map compression were enabled for these tests, but HDR rending was disabled.  The default pixel shader code path was used.

Far Cry's results were pretty even with No AA/Aniso at 1024x768, but the margins grew to 30 FPS once 4X AA and 8X Anisotropic Filtering was turned on.  At 1600x1200, the GV-RX80256D X800 really shined, topping the No AA/Aniso tests by no less than 23 FPS while leading the 4X AA/8X Aniso tests by 16 FPS at the least.

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Benchmarks & Comparisons With Doom 3 - Single Player
Benchmarks & Comparisons With Doom 3 - Single Player
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.

Doom 3
id Software's games have long been pushing the limits of 3D graphics.  Quake, Quake 2, and Quake 3 were all instrumental in the success of 3D accelerators on the PC.  Now, years later, with virtually every new desktop computer shipping with a 3D accelerator, id is at it again with the release of the visually stunning Doom 3.  Doom 3 is an OpenGL game using extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows.  We ran this benchmark using custom demos with Doom 3 set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 1,024 x 768 and 1600 x 1200 without any AA and then with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled.  Note: Doom 3 enabled 8X anisotropic filtering automatically when set to "High Quality" in the game's control panel.

Doom3's Single Player testing was a strong point for the Gigabyte X800 card.  With its 4 Pixel Pipeline advantage over the X700 Pro's, the X800 managed sizeable leads throughout.  With No AA/Aniso, the X800 held a 35 FPS lead over the 8 Pixel pipeline X700s.  At 1600x1200, the margins narrowed some, but the X800 managed a 50% advantage.

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Benchmarks & Comparisons With Doom 3 - Multi-Player
Benchmarks & Comparisons With Doom 3 - Multi-player
The Wait Is Over!.

Doom 3
The first round of Doom 3 focused on single-player performance.  In this round we'll run a series of multiplayer tests and see how things unfold.  These timedemos were run with our custom "HH_Frag2" demo, which is a recording of a five-player online match that took place in the "Frag Chamber" map area. We ran benchmarks with Doom 3 set to its "High-Quality" mode at resolutions of 1,024 x 768 and 1600 x 1200 without any anti-aliasing enabled and then with 4X AA and 8X Aniso enabled concurrently.  Note: Doom 3 enabled 8X anisotropic filtering automatically when set to "High Quality" in the game's control panel.

We continued the same set of tests with our custom Doom3 Multiplayer timedemo.  The X800 from Gigabyte managed over 90 FPS at 1024x768 while dropping to 63 FPS with the 4X AA/8X Aniso test.  When we increased the resolution to 1600x1200, all cards dropped an average 30 FPS with No AA/Aniso enabled.  With the filtering turned on, the X800 dropped 30 FPS, yet the X700 Pro's slipped closer to 23 FPS.

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Benchmarks & Comparisons With Half-Life 2
Benchmarks & Comparisons With Half-Life 2
It Shipped!  And it's GOOD!


Half Life 2
Thanks to the dedication of millions of gamers and a huge mod-community, the original Half-Life became one of the most successful first person shooters of all time.  So when Valve announced Half-Life 2 was close to completion in mid 2003, gamers the world over began chomping at the bit.  Unfortunately, thanks to a compromised internal network; the theft of a portion of the game's source code; a couple of missed deadlines; and a tumultuous relationship with the game's distributor, Vivendi Universal, we all had to wait until November 2004 to get our hands on this gem.  We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom- recorded timedemo that takes us along a cliff and through a few dilapidated shacks, battling the enemy throughout.  These tests were run at resolutions of 1,280 x 1,024 and 1,600 x 1,200 without any AA or aniso and with 4X anti-aliasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.

Half-Life 2 is one of the newest games that delivers good performance even on mediocre graphics cards.  It is also one of those games that shows the benefits of more graphics memory.  At both resolutions, the Gigabyte X800 posted solid scores with both No AA and 4X AA/8X Anisotropic Filtering tests.  While all three cards performed quite well at 1024x768, at 1600x1200, the Gigabyte card maintained a 25-30 FPS advantage.

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Benchmarking With Chronicles of Riddick
Benchmarking With Chronicles of Riddick - Escape From Butcher Bay
The Wait Is Over!.

Chronicles of Riddick
Starbreeze Studios is responsible for creating this season's surprise hit (at least on the PC), The Chronicles of Riddick - Escape From Butcher Bay.  Those familiar with movie will recall Butcher Bay was one of the prison options on tap for the main character.  While the movie never actually made it to Butcher Bay, we find the main character right at home in this surprisingly good game.  Not only does it boast excellent game play with stunning visuals and mature story line, the Chronicles of Riddick proves to be a tough challenge and a game worth buying, making it an excellent candidate for benchmarking.

The Chronicles of Riddick proved to be a taxing benchmark for all three cards.  The X800 from Gigabyte topped out at 44 FPS in the early test while dropping to 20 FPS with 4XAA/8X Aniso testing.  When we increased the resolution on the next test, all three cards struggled, with the Gigabyte X800 just breaking past 20 FPS and dropped almost half of that with the AA/Aniso test.  Both X700's dipped severely, touching single digit results at the highest settings.

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Overclocking and Conclusion
Overclocking the GigaByte's GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card
Making The Fast Even Faster

Rounding out our testing, we took the V-Tuner2 utility to task and started to see what extra overclocking headroom the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card had in store...

Initially, we were not expecting this card to overclock very well, with its passive cooler and memory already running close to its rated speed. Interestingly enough, we had a surprisingly good experience with the GV-RX80256D.  In the end we topped the core speed with an additional 47MHz while the RAM went up to a respectable 576MHz (1152MHz DDR).  This resulted in an increased VPU speed of 11.75% while the memory speed increased by 16.59%.  This resulted in an increase in Half-Life 2 performance of over 7%, or 6.44 FPS.

In the quest for a near-silent PC, choosing quiet components can be a daunting task.  While one component may not stand out as loud at first, the cumulative volume of case fans, video card fans, CPU fans and hard drives can all add up to fairly high noise levels.  To combat this, user's need to choose their components wisely if near silence is high up on their list of priorities. 

As we already know, there are a number of options available in regards to near silent video cards.  But Gigabyte has taken it to a higher level with the introduction of the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe Video Card.  Throughout our assessment of the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe, we were continually impressed with its performance, especially considering its price.  Not only did the card itself perform very well, proving to be an excellent option in the mid-range market, we were also impressed with the Silent Pipe design.  Surely this type of cooling package requires special attention, because proper case cooling is a must, but as long as those bases are covered, the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe does its job well.  Many may be a little reluctant to accept the fanless design of the Silent-Pipe, but in the end, the card worked beautifully and even drove that point home with a very good overclocking performance.

Overall, aside from our initial impressions of the retail package, we have few negative things to say about the GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe, especially when we look at its price.  Selling for about $260 at some reputable on-line retailers, the GV-RX80256D is a value that is priced like a reference X800 card with stock cooling.  With dead silent operation and a price point only $23 higher than the HIS X700 Pro reference card used for reference in our benchmarking tests, we think the Gigabyte GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe is an excellent choice for those looking for a quiet video card, that can play any of today's games at more-than-acceptable frame rates.

We give the GigaByte GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe a Hot Hardware Heat Meter of 9

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