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Written by Bruce Normann   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15I
Closer Look: Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC
Gigabyte GV-N480SO-15I Detailed Features
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 GPU Features
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Super Overclock Final Thoughts
Gigabyte GTX 480 SOC Conclusion

Gigabyte GTX 480 Super Over Clock Features

The Gigabyte GV-N480SO-15I GeForce GTX 480 Super Overclock video card is much more than the sum of it's GPU and memory components. Every support subsystem on the card has been enhanced compared to the reference design. Even the GPU and the GDDR5 memory have been selected for maximum performance. The GPUs especially, have been hand-selected to make sure this card delivers maximum performance. Let's take a look at the unique features that Gigabyte has endowed this card with. In their own words, it features:

GIGABYTE Extreme Dual BIOS technology

As opposed to the traditional concept of dual BIOS chips where one is a main BIOS and the other one is a backup BIOS, GIGABYTE Extreme Dual BIOS technology contains two different BIOS chips designed for separate purposes. GIGABYTE Extreme Dual BIOS technology supports one-touch dual BIOS switching button to shift between two BIOSes, SOC (Super Overclock Series) Default BIOS and LN2 BIOS. SOC Default BIOS allows gamers to build their dream machines to conquer digital battles on the web. LN2 BIOS is especially designed for overclockers to avoid potential cold bug issues at extremely low temperatures. This feature equips selective GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series for extreme overclockability to break world records at any competitions. The "cold bug" is an issue occurred when a processor ceases functioning or overclocking at a low (usually sub zero) temperature, preventing the use of extreme cooling methods such as dry ice or liquid nitrogen.

WINDFORCE - GIGABYTE's Latest Cooling Solution

GIGABYTE introduces WINDFORCETM, the latest cooling technology that differentiates the brand's graphics cards from the rest. GIGABYTE understands that a fan is crucial to the graphics card, so only the fan with the most efficiency is selected for WINDFORCETM. To qualify for WINDFORCETM, the cooling solution must be equipped with anti-turbulence inclined-fin, ultra quiet PWM fan and pure copper heat pipe. Inclined-fins redirect airflow and help to reduce excessive heat and turbulence. Depending on its orientation, there are 3 types of inclined-fin designs: parallel-inclined, mirroring-inclined and 3D-inclined. Each type contributes to generating excellent exterior airflow for efficient heat dissipation from the interior GPU core.

WINDFORCE3X: Anti-turbulence Cooling

GV-N480SO-15I is equipped with WINDFORCETM 3X cooling solution. WINDFORCETM 3X features 3 ultra quiet PWM fans. The special 3D-inclined triple-fan design effectively minimizes the flow of turbulence between three fans. With a unique vapor chamber, WINDFORCETM 3X is able to transfer heat from the hot spot to the cool spot as thermal energy becomes evaporated to the surrounding air. By capillary action, the condensed liquid droplets circulate back to the base of chamber. The cycles of evaporation and condensation enhance heat dissipation for greater cooling efficiency. Moreover, WINDFORCETM 3X is equipped with three copper heat pipes to strengthen the speed of heat dissipation.

Pure Power Architecture

GV-N480SO-15I has incredibly pure power. It is compatible with ATX standard length PCB. 14 phase PWM design includes 12 for GPU, 2 for memory. Standard GTX 480 graphics card has 6+2 power phases whereas GIGABYTE's GTX 480 SOC has 12. Not only does GV-N480SO-15I have more power phases than reference card, the 12 power phase status LED indicators indicate graphics card's current power status, helping users monitor power consumption. This feature ensures a more stable system and better overclocking capability.

GPU Gauntlet Sorting

GIGABYTE's very own GPU GauntletTM 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 GauntletTM Sorting, GIGABYTE SOC graphics card guarantees higher overclocking ability.

Ultra Durable VGA+

Thanks to Ultra Durable VGA+ that features 5+1 quality components, the Super Overclock Series supports top performance in graphics benchmarking. GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA+'s 5 units of proadlizer on GV-N480SO-15I graphics cards is able to provide purer power supply compared to traditional power design (zero proadlizers).

Proadlizer

One of the quality components of Ultra Durable VGA+ is GIGABYTE's exclusive use of proadlizers. On GV-N480SO-15I graphics cards, GIGABYTE uses five NEC Proadlizer, also known as film capacitor, to provide amazing current capacity and extremely low ESL/ESR for super overclocking ability. The added proadlizers transmit more stable power even during heavy loading.

OC Guru - Graphic Card Smart Tuner

GIGABYTE proudly improves its graphics card smart tuner OC Guru. This graphics card tweaking utility puts together the best combination of software/hardware overclocking. It now features 3 profiles: OC (for overclocking mode), Gaming (for gaming mode), and Green (for power saving mode). The different modes cater to users' different needs. GIGABYTE's distinctive adjustable software offers gamers to adjust tuners for memory, voltage, and fan speed. OC Guru, the user-friendly software, gives hardcore gamers liberty when overclocking.

Voltage Read Point

GIGABYTE's specific voltage read point supplies hardcore gamers an ultimate benching experience at overclocking competition. Heavy users can change the voltage simply through software instead of manually adjusting any components on PCB. It is easy for overclockers to master the platform and monitor GPU workload at any time just through voltage read point.



 

Comments 

 
# geckoTony Hagger 2010-12-27 03:22
All of the 400 seeries cards have major problems with crashing Pc's think before you buy I have just wasted £128 quid on one.
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# RE: geckoServando Silva 2010-12-27 17:22
Really? I have tried several GTX400 GPUs and none of them has crashed my PC. You probably have another other problems.
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# OK,......RealNeil 2010-12-27 09:58
"The GTX 570 does it all for less"
Enough Said,...............
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# RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15IGeorgeMMM 2010-12-27 22:53
I think it would be better to had the MSIGTX 460 Tallon Attack instead of the MSI GTX460 Cyclone
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# RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15ITony Hagger 2010-12-29 00:46
Servando Silva Well just on and look up the Nvidia forums and you will see how many people are having problems with the 400 series cards.

I now have an ATI card in and all is fine.

And why would you be trying several 400 cards surley one is enough.
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# RE: RE: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 SOC GV-N480SO-15IOlin Coles 2011-01-01 09:59
Tony: there are many thousands of NVIDIA GeForce 400-series video card owners, and some of them will have problems. Even I've had problems. But more often than not, it isn't the video card, it's the software/driver.

Keep your comments on-topic with this article, so they can be published.
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