We won’t comment on each individual test because they all sum up to the same total. It’s easier to view the general picture using summary diagrams. For example, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 SuperOverclock (at 855/1710/4100 MHz) is faster than the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 (at 772/1544/4008 MHz) by 6.8 to 8.8% in FSAA-less mode and by 7.4 to 10.3% with FSAA enabled.
The pre-overclocked frequencies are the most beneficial in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Just Cause 2 and Aliens vs. Predator (2010). The least resource-consuming games such as Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are the most indifferent to the higher clock rates.
The second pair of summary diagrams shows the difference in performance between the fastest single-GPU cards from Nvidia and AMD at the reference frequencies (772/1544/4008 MHz for the GeForce GTX 580 and 880/5500 MHz for the Radeon HD 6970):
It’s only in one game, Just Cause 2, that the Radeon HD 6970 can compete with the GeForce GTX 580. In the rest of our tests Nvidia’s card is faster by an average 14.5 to 19.9% in FSAA-less mode and by an average 11.5 to 24.3% with FSAA. We must note, however, that the GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB is costlier than the Radeon HD 6970 2GB by about 30%.
Here is a table with the full test results:
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 SuperOverclock is not only the fastest single-GPU graphics card available today but also immaculate in terms of cooling efficiency. The latter factor is most important for premium-class cards with their high heat dissipation and power consumption. Its cooler proved to be quieter than the cooler of the fastest AMD-based solution we’ve tested so far. The Gigabyte product comes in a nice-looking box with sufficient accessories and a 3-year warranty, so the only downside we can see about it if we compare the Gigabyte 1.5 GB SuperOverclock and the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950(70) 2GB Toxic Edition is that the latter costs less.
But despite slightly higher price point, we believe Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock deserves our Editor’s Choice title: