Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock £140

28th Sep 2010 | 10:52

Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock

Does factory overclock make this the 5770 to get?

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

The best-performing 5770 when it comes to games, but not by much.


Solid, reassuring cooler; 50MHz over the stock 5770 GPU


Price; Less impressive than Gigabyte's other Super Overclock offerings

Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock: Overview

Pre-overclocked cards are always a bit of a gamble, and the penny turns on a number of factors. How overclockable is the GPU in the first instance? Does it offer much headroom to the manufacturer? The same goes with the memory.

And the price of overclocking at a hardware level, as we all know, is heat generation, which often means an extra premium for a special non-standard cooler.

In the case of Gigabyte's latest entry into its premium Super Overclock range, all these factors apply. It's a big old card, and the cooler inspires confidence, with its chunky, copper-piped heatsink.

But looking at the specs against the standard reference HD 5770, we see that Gigabyte's GPU is only clocked at 50MHz higher than reference 5770s, with no gain on the memory speed. Is this enough to elevate the card's performance above its peers? Head over to the next page for the all-important benchmarks.

Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock: Benchmarks

We've tested five HD 5770s from the leading manufacturers against each other to see which hits the price/performance sweetspot when it comes to mid-range and high-end gaming. We also cranked the settings up (HDR, Anti-Aliasing, reflections etc) even at middling resolutions, to see just how capable these cards really are.

Our test rig consisted of the following components:

We then tested each card using the following games and settings:

Heaven 2.1
1900x1200, 8XAA, 16XAS, Extreme Tessalation

Just Cause 2
Mid-range: 1680x1050, 8xAA, 16xAF, High setting
High-end: 1920x1200, 8xAA, 16xAF, High settings

Far Cry 2
Mid-range: 1680x1050, 8xAA, 16xAF, High setting
High-end: 1920x1200, 8xAA, 16xAF, High settings

DiRT 2
Mid-range: 1680x1050, 8xAA, 16xAF, High setting
High-end: 1920x1200, 8xAA, 16xAF, High settings

[insert benchmarks table – highlight Gigabyte line]

It's perfectly reasonable to say that, out of the five 5770's we pitted against each other using the same benchmarks, the Gigabyte Super Overclock is the winner in performance terms.

But to call it a clear winner is something of a stretch. The mid-range Juniper GPU is only really capable of so much throughput, and there's the 5770's middling memory bandwidth to take into account as well.

In performance terms, the Super Overclock makes its mark at the high end. That extra 50MHz on the GPU creeps it past its competitors to score two frames per second higher than the next best card, and a whole four FPS higher than lowest performer in DiRT 2 at 1920 x 1080.

Likewise, testing with Heaven 2.1's Tesselation options sees a performance gain, but only by a hairline 0.1 FPS. That's an enormous performance differential in nobody's book, and the margin narrows as you crank down the resolution.

And the price you pay for a few more frames per second? Around a £15 premium over stock 5770s. It's not a great amount of money – but then, it's not a great amount of extra performance, either.

However, it's still a little cheaper than Sapphire's offering, the only card that offers four-screen functionality via EyeFinity, so it's really a question of what you're after. If it's more frames per second, this is the one. But only by the laciest of margins.

We liked

Gigabyte's Super Overclocked HD 5770 offers marginal real-world benefits over stock 5770s, and more frames are always nice.

We disliked

However, it's hard to justify the price premium as the performance really isn't that much better than stock cards. For £15 less, you can get nearly equivalent performance.

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