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Celebrating Tahiti's "half birthday" last month, AMD relaunched its Radeon HD 7970 with a "GHz Edition" that increased the reference design's core clock speed from 925MHz to 1GHz with the intention of allowing the company to claim it offered the world's fastest GPU. But the festivities were short-lived for several reasons.
Now Gigabyte has taken matters into its own hands with what seems to be a far more interesting solution. Armed with five fans, nine heatpipes and a huge vapor chamber, one might consider the HD 7970 SOC to be overkill, and to that we say "hell yes!"
With most board partners scared to push the 244w GTX 580 far beyond its reference spec, we were surprised when Gigabyte announced its solution which treads on deeper water than the competition dares to.
The Gigabyte GTX 580 SOC operates at 855MHz or about double the overclock of Asus and Zotac's cards. For what appears to be a justifiable $35 premium over Nvidia's already steep $500 suggested retail price, they are adding a new PCB design and upgraded cooler.
Evaporating liquid nitrogen in a humid equatorial country like Indonesia is a spectacular sight. The gargle and spit of liquid nitrogen stirring vehemently in an evaporator is the very sign of life in a healthy benchmarking setup. The coordination necessary for sub-zero overclocking is difficult to fathom for those who have never attempted so.
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