Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk Reviewccokeman -
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The Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk is a stock clocked card with one hell of a cooling solution. This cooling solution helps the card just about max out the clock speed maximums set in the VGA BIOS of 790Mhz (1580Mhz Shaders) at 762Mhz or a 26% increase over the base clock speed of 607Mhz. That's a pretty stout jump for any video card on air cooling. However, the memory clock speed was a bit less prolific with an increase of only 40Mhz that took the memory up to 876Mhz (1751Mhz). Kind of a let down, but still something you get extra. What this additional clock speed does is allow the Hawk to deliver some pretty decent performance numbers while besting a 2GB, overclocked HD 5850 in the majority of the testing. With the impressive cooling solution on this card from Inno3D, I was surprised to see it running at the Nvidia specified clock speeds. With the cooling covered, I would have thought a little massaging of the clock speeds would be in order, but that was not the case. Stock clocks are what it had right out of the box. But that really leaves you the fun of finding the best clock speeds for your tastes.
The biggest feature of this card aside from its performance and overclocking abilities, is the massive cooling solution that Inno3D has used to keep the thermals in line. Its widely known that the GF 100 is a heater disguised as a video card, as seen by some even trying to cook an egg on the heat sink of the GTX 480. The cooling solution looks every bit like it came straight from the Arctic Cooling catalog, but I was assured that this was an in house design and not an aftermarket part. As such, I have to give Inno3D credit for implementing a solution that works with very little, to no noise. The temperatures peaked at 60°C under load when overclocked, quite a bit lower than the reference cooled cards that have been reported in the press. In fact the claim is a 24% reduction in operating temperatures and noise. I can believe it.
Now you have to wonder what this high end cooling solution plus manufacturer warranty will cost. The answer to the million dollar question is that the Hawk sees a small $15 dollar premium over the base $349 price tag that the reference cooled card cards carry at your e-tailer of choice. For your performance dollar, the Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk comes with a massive factory installed, low noise heat sink, delivers excellent performance in both stock and overclocked trim and runs exceptionally cool to allow you some headroom to stretch its overclocking legs for additional performance. You really can't go wrong!
- Cooling performance
- Massive heatsink
- Low noise
- Good looks
- Low Memory overclocks
- No factory overclock