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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GIGABYTE 5870 SOC Super Overclock Edition GV-R587SO-1GD Vs. 4890 Review

Special thanks to everyone @ GIGABYTE for providing today's test samples.

As we dive into Gigabyte's 5870 SOC (Super Overclock) Edition GV-R587SO-1GD, you may be aware that ATI's 6000 Series GPU's (Southern Islands) is possibly already in the works, leaving many of you to wonder what does 5870 still have to offer. I will be comparing last years top tier tech., a Sapphire 4890, to this years flagship 5870 offering from Gigabyte and we shall see how things compare. As for ATI's 6000 series cards, it is rumored that they may be released by the end of the year, but no one is quite sure as of yet and rumors are rampant. If you are looking into obtaining a new graphics card to improve your favorite game's satisfaction, and that hard earned cash is burning a hole in your pocket, or you have been bitten by the upgrade bug, then hopefully this will help you decide just how things stack up with your current card or previous generation models.

GIGABYTE's high quality ultra durable components, 2oz Copper PCB, custom cooling, and factory overclock make this non-reference model ooze quality. The card comes factory overclocked at 950Mhz Core speed / 5000Mhz (1250Mhz QDR) Memory speed, compared to the standard ATI 5870 specifications of 850Mhz core and 4800Mhz (1200Mhz QDR). It uses 1600 Streaming shader processors, 32 ROP's and 80 texture units. Additionally, included with the package is a custom overclocking & over-voltage utility. Gigabyte utilizes their own custom dual inclined 80mm cooling fans, and a copper heatpipe solution consisting of four 5mm heatpipes to direct heat away from the RV870 chip.

Super Overclock Micro-site
GIGABYTE Super Overclock

5870 Model Feature page
GIGABYTE Super Overclock

GV-R587SO-1GD Main Page

Specifications and Features:

Series: Radeon HD 5000 series
Chipset: Radeon HD 5870 (RV870 Cypress XT)
Interface: PCI Express 2.1 x16
Key Features: SOC
Core Clock: 950 MHz
Memory Clock: 5000MHz
Stream Processors: 1600 Stream Processing Units
Memory Type: GDDR5
DirectX: 11
D-sub/VGA: Via adapter
DVI: x2
DisplayPort: x1
HDMI: x1
Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
HDCP ready

GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series Unique Features:
1. Powered by ATI Radeon HD 5870 SOC Editioin
2. GIGABYTE GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting Technology
3. Core Clock: 950MHz (std:850) / Memory Clock: 5000MHz (std:4800)
4. Integrated with 1024 MB / 256-bit GDDR5 video memory
5. GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA+ High Quality Components
6. GIGABYTE Anti-turbulence Inclined Dual Fan
7. GIGABYTE OC Guru - Graphic Card Smart Tuner
8. Dedicated Voltage Read Point Design
9. 17% better performance than standard HD 5870

GPU Gauntlet Sorting and How Gigabyte Does It.

First, GIGABYTE's database analysis system evaluates the GPU core engine, shader engine and memory. If a processor doesn't meet the pre-defined standard, it will not qualify for the Super Overclock Series.

In addition, GIGABYTE's proprietary testing toolkit allows engineers to inspect and select the GPUs with the highest frequency. This program operates for 30 minutes and provides important data on the maximum overclocking ability when compared to a stock GPU. Once the Super Overclock point has been determined, engineers will boost the frequency to offer the highest factory default clock setting in the market.

Next, each Super Overclock Series GPU faces the Graphics benchmarks, FurMark and 3DMark Vantage, to measure performance and stability under an intense graphics load. A GPU that passes this stage will perform at a lower temperature and fan speed compared to a standard GPU. By choosing the cream of the crop, GIGABYTE ensures rich rendering of intricate 3D scenes and realistic physical effects such as water, gas, steam, fire, etc for a lifelike gaming adventure.

Last but not least, engineers test the power switching and stability. The GPUs with the best power efficiency and lowest power consumption qualify for the Super Overclock Series. And GIGABYTE understands that premium graphics cards should not sound like a cement truck rolling down the freeway, so a large cooling fan provides for a quiet computing environment.

Thanks to Ultra Durable VGA 5 quality components, 2 oz copper PCB, first tier memory, Japanese solid capacitors, ferrite core cokes and low RDS on MOSFET, the Super Overclock Series provides for top performance in graphics benchmarking. These high-quality components promise consumers 5%~10% lower GPU temperatures, 10-30% higher overclocking capability, and switching power loss that is reduced by 10-30%.

GIGABYTE's innovative GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting process provides three main benefits:

1. Full-throttle Performance Tuning
Proprietary database analysis system helps engineers investigate GPU core, shader and memory. Super Overclock Series video card sets its factory overclocked at optimal stability point (Super OC point), which is an exact balance between high frequency and efficient power consumption, delivering top performance for power users.

2. Optimized Thermal Efficiency
With high-quality Gigabyte Ultra Durable VGA components, the processor selected by GPU Gauntlet™ Sorting boasts extra lower temperature by 5 to 10%. The guarantee fan speed at 1500 rpm in high-rated 3D and physics-accelerated games helps reduce noise for an absolutely quite environment.

3. Expert Power Switching
GPUs are examined and tested for the highest power efficiency and lowest power consumption using the FurMark and 3DMark Vantage benchmark. A Gigabyte GTX 260 Super Overclock Series graphics card delivers a 25% increase in performance compared to a standard GTX 260 card. And a Gigabyte GTX 260 Super Overclock Series card guarantees the same overclocking capability as a standard GTX 260 dual-fan video card, but with lower power consumption.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Click images for a larger view.

Here we have the front and reverse of the 5870 SOC packaging, it is attractively designed in a very distinctive black and silver exhibiting the Super Overclock Emblem on the front, and an abundance of specifications on the reverse. In the upper folded area are 2 included power adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter, and a Crossfire connector as shown below. Also included but not shown is the manual and install CD which includes the OC Guru software.

The inner packaging has it's own distinct design as well, using the same black and silver again with an embossed Super Overclock Logo. Inside we find the card very securely seated in protective foam casing.

On the front of the package is noted a few of the unique features to the SOC card, and on the upper end of the box the main features are listed in several languages.

Shown here is both ends of the box, indicating the name and model of the card, and again some of the unique features to the Gigabyte 5870 SOC.

The included manual and hardware (2 x 4 Pin Molex to 6 Pin PCIE power connectors, a Crossfire connector, and a DVI-VGA adapter). Not shown, but included, is a driver install CD with the Gigabyte OC Guru software.

The Card Itself

It has arrived, here is the 10.5" card in all it's glory! The blue PCB looks very nice, complementing the black heatsink shroud and copper heatpipes. Note the dual inclined 80mm fans which keep the entire card running very cool, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how cool this card is!

Here we see the card in all it's naked glory, cooling assembly removed. On the front you can see the RV870 Cypress XT Chip, while it is manufactured on a 40nm process, it is still quite a bit larger at 334mm², which is about 1/3 larger than the die size of the 55nm RV790 HD 4890 at 260mm². Also you see the 1GB of Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR-T2C Memory, which is rated @ 1.25Ghz stock freq 5GBp/s at 1.5V

On the reverse of the card you can see the new proadlizer quintuple film capacitors that GIGABYTE has introduced with this model. These are special capacitors made by NEC TOKIN that can deliver up to 5000uF, which provides high switching capacity and current delivery with lower ESR ensuring clean power delivery under heavy loads.

On the rear of the card is an array of six green LEDs that light up in reference to the number of power phases in use. These are active once Gigabyte OC Guru is installed, otherwise they all remain lit.

Gigabyte uses a 6+1 phase power delivery system for the GPU using digital MOSFETs, 7 solid chokes and 13 capacitors to deliver the necessary power. Additionally, there is a single-phase power circuit for the memory consisting of another choke, 3 capacitors, and one proadlizer.

Premium Member
2,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Voltage Measure Points

GIGABYTE's specific voltage read points supplies hardcore gamers and overclockers an ultimate benching experience. Users can change the voltage through software, and then verify the changes made by utilizing the test points using the easily accessible points on PCB.

The Cooling Heatsink & Fan Assembly

The 5870 SOC utilizes an anti-turbulence dual inclined 80mm fan setup with curved blades. The design of the fans doubles the cooling ability, and allows for a much quieter cooling solution and cooler temperatures compared to the reference cooling setup.

The heatpipe itself is made up of 50 individual cooling fins stretching the entire length of the card to aid in heat removal, with the help of 4 large 5mm heatpipes to disperse heat away from the GPU, two of which are extended adding more cooling capacity.

Connector Covers

Now we are down to the final pics of this card, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Crossfire covers, it's often small little details that impress and show quality in a product. Some may not find these noteworthy, but it was nice to see these included on this model, it's the first time I've come across them. They are a great addition, and should become standard on all cards!

Gigabyte OC Guru

This is a power saving and overclocking software all in one. This distinctive adjustable software allows the user to adjust voltage and frequency for the core and memory clocks, and also allows fan speed adjustments. You can set it to load, or not, on startup, and it allows you to save and apply several hotkeys and profiles.

Testing, Hardware Setup:
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Motherboard
Gigabyte GV-R587SO-1GD 5870 1GB GDDR5 SOC Graphics Card @ 1000Mhz Core 5200Mhz Memory (1300 QDR)
Sapphire Vapor-X 4890 1GB GDDR5 VXLE @ 950Mhz Core 4200Mhz Memory (1050 QDR) (Thanks Kevin)
Intel 980X EE ES CPU @ 4.2hz (168 x 25)
Mushkin 998679 1600Mhz Triple Channel Memory @ 1680Mhz 6-8-6-24
Ultra X3 850W PSU ULT40312
ATI Driver 10.4


techPowerUp GPU-Z Validation 4gxmm

Of course this card is already overclocked as soon as you open the package, but with the name "Super Overclock" you know it must be pushed further. I was able to overclock this sample to a stable 1046Mhz Core and 1342Mhz memory using the maximum voltages OC Guru provides, higher was obtainable as well, but it was not stable for many of my tests. I was unable to complete all my testing methods with the clocks this high, namely Lightsmark and Furmark, however other things such as 3Dmark vantage and 06 were easily completed. Since I was unable to complete all my tests at the higher overclock I reached, I decided to back things up a bit for a more reasonable overclock that I felt all users would most likely be able to obtain with this card. I settled for 1000Mhz core and 1300Mhz memory. I think most users who have these cards should be able to reach these speeds easily.

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2,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Benchmarks Used For Testing Comparisons

Futuremark 3dmark 06 Professional v. 1.1.0


Originally Posted by Futuremark
Futuremark is the world leader in 3D, mobile and PC benchmarking. Our 3DMark and PCMark lines of PC benchmark software.

3DMark06 is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX9 performance of your graphics card. A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system's 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests.
Futuremark - Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - Download

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Professional v. 1.0.1


Originally Posted by Futuremark
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 performance of your graphics card. We've been making 3DMark for over 10 years, with each new edition using the latest 3D technology to determine real-world performance.

A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system's 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests. By comparing your score with those submitted by millions of other gamers you can see how your gaming rig performs, making it easier to choose the most effective upgrades or finding other ways to optimize your system.
Futuremark - Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage - Download

AVP (Alien Vs. Predator) Benchmark Tool 1.03

Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11 Benchmark Tool


Originally Posted by Guru3D
In Aliens vs. Predator, DirectX 11 Geometry Tessellation is applied in an effective manner to enhance and more accurately depict HR Giger's famous Alien design. Through the use of a variety of adaptive schemes, applying tessellation when and where it is necessary, the perfect blend of performance and visual fidelity is achieved with at most a 4% change in performance.

Your DirectX 11 hardware also allows for higher quality, smoother and more natural looking shadows as well. DirectX 11 Advanced Shadows allow for the rendering of high-quality shadows, with smoother, artifact-free penumbra regions, which otherwise could not be realized, again providing for a higher quality, more immersive gaming experience.
Crysis Benchmark Tool 1.05


Originally Posted by Crymod
The tool provides a robust front-end to benchmark Crysis. It provides the ability to queue up many runs and will provide detailed results for each test as well as an overall summary with accurate averages. The first and foremost goals were simplicity and reliability in the tool and in the benchmark scores. Works with retail and demo.


* Run a variety of tests all at one time.
* Choose windowed, 32/64 bit, DX9/DX10 tests.
* Logs setting details for each test run plus provides a summary breakdown (with averages if 3 or more loops).
* Supports custom demos.
* Allows pause/resume by hitting spacebar, between runs.
* Auto-save all benchmark runs in Autosave folder.
* Allows Copy/Paste from results window.
* Save and import a queue of runs for ease of retesting.
* Allows image quality comparisons by taking a screenshot on each run at certain frame(s).
Crytek's Official Modding Portal | Crymod Downloads

Far Cry 2 (Benchmark Tool Included in Full Game)

This benchmarking tool is included with the full version game, and allows you to choose scenes, change various settings, and create batch runs.


Location: C: (Or Root Directory)\\Program Files\\Ubisoft\\Far Cry 2\\bin\\FC2BenchmarkTool.exe
Furmark Benchmark & Burn/Stability Testing Tool V. 1.7.0


Originally Posted by Ozone3D
FurMark is a very intensive OpenGL benchmark that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU and that's why FurMark is also a perfect stability and stress test tool (also called GPU burner) for the graphics card.

The benchmark offers several options allowing the user to tweak the rendering: fullscreen / windowed mode, MSAA selection, window size, duration. The startup interface allows you to tweak the benchmark features such as:

* Benchmark mode or stability test mode (for overclockers)
* GPU temperature monitoring and recording in a file
* Fullscreen or windowed for each type of run mode
* Window size selection (standard or custom)
* MSAA samples selection
* Benchmarking parameters: time based or frames based
* Contest Mode
FurMark: Graphics Card Stability and Stress Test, OpenGL Benchmark and GPU Temperature | oZone3D.Net

Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark Tool 2.1

Heaven is created with Unigine's own Unigine engine. This is the first DirectX 11 Benchmark that has been released, and contains some very graphical depth of field scenes, many shadow tests, and tessellation scenes on various items from dragons to actual stones on the roadway.

These are some of the key features:

* Native support of OpenGL, DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11
* Comprehensive use of tessellation technology
* Advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion)
* Volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm
* Dynamic simulation of changing environment with high physical fidelity
* Interactive experience with fly/walk-through modes
* ATI Eyefinity support
Download | Unigine Heaven (3D engine for games and real-time virtual worlds)

Lightsmark Benchmark Tool V. 2.0


Originally Posted by Lightsmark
Is a multiplatform benchmark/demo with REALTIME GLOBAL ILLUMINATION and PENUMBRA SHADOWS. Before Lightsmark, realtime global illumination was limited to small scenes, small resolutions, small speeds, specially crafted scenes with handmade optimizations. Lightsmark breaks all limits at once, running in reasonably sized scene (220000 triangles) in high resolution (1920x1200) at excellent speed (300+fps). Lighting is computed fully automatically in original unmodified scene from 2007 game World of Padman.
LIGHTSMARK - next generation lighting benchmark

Resident Evil 5 Benchmark Tool V. 1.0

This tool was initially created and released to test the performance of Resident Evil 5 using the Nvidia's 3D Vision stereoscopic technology, it has two modes consisting of a fixed and varible mode benchmark with various user enabled settings.
Resident Evil 5 by Capcom, Capcom
Resident Evil 5 PC Benchmark Utility download from Guru3D.com

Stone Giant DX11 Benchmark Tool


Originally Posted by Guru3D
BitSquid and Fatshark are excited to announce that the Stone Giant demo, using the upcoming DirectX11 game engine BitSquid Tech, is available for immediate public download.

Key features of the BitSquid Tech (PC version) include:

* Highly parallel, data oriented design
* Support for all new DX11 GPUs, including the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 Series and AMD Radeon 5000 series
* Compute Shader 5 based depth of field effects
* Dynamic level of detail through displacement map tessellation
* Stereoscopic 3D support for NVIDIA 3dVision
Stone Giant Public Demo

X3 Terran Conflict Rolling Demo Benchmark V. 1.0

This is a rolling demo of the game X3 Terran Conflict, it consists of 4 benchmark levels in various stages of game play in space, in and around space stations and space ships. One level has a direct warning that the scene contains a "Very High Polygon Count".
EGOSOFT · Downloads · X³: Terran Conflict · Demos

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Benchmark Results DX10

The results speak for themselves, so there will be no comments made, as clearly none are needed.

Futuremark 3dmark 06 Professional v. 1.1.0

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Professional v. 1.0.1

Crysis Benchmark Tool 1.05

Far Cry 2

Furmark Benchmark & Burn/Stability Testing Tool V. 1.7.0

Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark Tool 2.1 DX10

Lightsmark Benchmark Tool V. 2.0

Resident Evil 5 Benchmark Tool V. 1.0

X3 Terran Conflict Rolling Demo Benchmark V. 1.0

Benchmark Results DX11

DirectX® 11 is a key feature of Windows® 7 and is important for two key reasons: it helps consumers experience better performing games and faster computing. To do this, DirectX 11 brings several new features which collectively improve the graphic fidelity of games and 3D applications while also enhancing the ability of the CPU and GPU to work together more efficiently. This in turn will allow end-users to potentially realize significant increases in performance as application developers harness the power of tessellation, multi-threading and compute shader technology, three key new features of DirectX 11.

DirectX 11 features include:

* Tessellation â€" Tessellation is implemented on the GPU to calculate a smoother curved surface resulting in more graphically detailed images, including more lifelike characters in the gaming worlds that you explore.
* Multi-Threading â€" The ability to scale across multi-core CPUs will enable developers to take greater advantage of the power within multi-core CPUs. This results in faster framerates for games, while still supporting the increased visual detailing.
* DirectCompute â€" Developers can utilize the power of discrete graphics cards to accelerate both gaming and non-gaming applications. This improves graphics, while also enabling players to accelerate everyday tasks, like video editing, on their Windows 7 PC.

Compute Shaders

Compute Shaders are programs that are executed on the graphics processor. With DirectX 11 and DirectCompute, developers are able to use the massive parallel processing power of modern GPUs to accelerate a much wider range of applications that were previously only executable on CPUs. Compute Shaders can be used to enable new graphical techniques to enhance image quality (such as order independent transparency, ray tracing, and advanced post-processing effects), or to accelerate a wide variety of non-graphics applications (such as video transcoding, video upscaling, game physics simulation, and artificial intelligence). In games, Compute Shader support effectively enables more scene details and realism:

* Optimized post-processing effects â€" apply advanced lighting techniques to enhance the mood in a scene
* High quality shadow filtering â€" no more hard edges on a shadow, see shadows the way you would in real life
* Depth of field â€" use the power of the GPU to have more realistic transitions of focal points - imagine looking through a gun sight or a camera lens
* High definition ambient occlusion â€" incredibly realistic lighting and shadow combinations
Microsoft DirectX
Microsoft DirectX® 11

DX 11 Tessellation Examples

Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark Tool 2.1 DX11

AVP (Alien Vs. Predator) Benchmark Tool 1.03

Stone Giant DX11 Benchmark Tool

Extreme Overclocking

I was able to get in a few 3D runs shortly with the CPU on dry ice after I posted this review, so I am adding them in now since I was unable to previously

3Dmark 06

Auqamark 03

Temperatures & Sound

This card is amazingly cool, these are the idle temps after the system has been running idle for 15 minutes in a 70F (21C) ambient room. Temps remain close to this during normal system use, and only increase when running benchmarks or gaming.

The card seems to overheat in certain isolated instances, such as Furmark ran at full voltages and max resolution. Furmark is well known for heating things up past normal extremes, and therefore is not a great example of any real world use of the cards, so I am still confident in the card's cooling ability. I see this as noteworthy, as I was surprised to observe this issue, after seeing how well the card cooled otherwise. While the dual fans do cool the entire card, I am led to believe this issue is directly related to the fact that there are no heatsinks installed on the VRM's. The VRM's should have a heatsink, and memory as well, but that is not nearly as important as the the VRM's. I would expect these things to be a MUST on a card labeled "Super Overclock Edition", while also allowing the user to adjust voltages.

During all my testing and benchmarking for this review, I never saw temps above 80C except during extreme Furmark sessions, mentioned above. These temps above (72-73C) are temps during a 1680x1050 15 minute run of Furmark, with fan manually set to 75%. I set the fan manually, because even at 80C the fan (by default) does not go above 33%, and I did not want to damage the card. This has most likely been adjusted with the current BIOSes. I needed to keep the same BIOS installed that this card shipped with, so all my results would not have any variables. The same reasoning applies to my use of ATI 10.4 Drivers. Once I have published this review, I will install the latest BIOS and see how things go in regards to this issue, I'll update the review accordingly once I do.

The fans are very quiet, at the stock idle speeds I cannot hear them over my 120MM case fans, and this is in an open test bench/case. Although not very scientific, this is the best way I can gauge things like this, and would be how most users would as well. When adjusting fan speeds, the fans becomes audible at 70%, yet remain fairly quiet. Fan speeds of 80-100% are clearly audible, but even at 100% they are still not as loud when compared to other cards I have owned.

Overall this is a great card, I would highly recommend to anyone currently looking to upgrade to take a second, or third look in the 5870 SOC's direction, you will not be disappointed! It may seem pricey, but for the performance and quality this card provides the price is easily justifiable. You just can't beat the solid performance this card offers over the previous generation cards, so if you are looking for something nicer than your current solution, I suggest you look no further!

Hand picked GPU - GPU Gauntlet Sorting
Quiet dual fan cooling
Custom 2oz Copper PCB (Non-Reference)
Out of the box overclock
Custom power delivery
Voltage read points
Connector covers (It's the little things that count)
ATI Eyefinity Technology

The only con I see is the omission of VRM cooling, which could and should be included at this price point.

The current price of this card at the time of review is $499
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-R587SO-1GD Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Again I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone @ GIGABYTE for supplying the 5870 SOC and GA-X58A-UD7 samples used here!!

Also, thanks to everyone @ Mushkin for providing the memory used in this, and upcoming reviews!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional graphics card reviewer, this IS my "first day" :smilies13 So if you do not agree with any of my testing methods please kindly let me know what would work better for you, or things I might change, and I will keep any and all comments in mind for future reviews. Thank you for leaving only constructive comments, please.

Premium Member
2,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Originally Posted by MR KROGOTH View Post
My 8600GT cried. Nice Card, if i ever get the money im going back to ATI. Good review too
Will you please have a moderator remove your post, or delete it yourself if you can. Please take care of this, no offense meant, but it's not cool to post in the middle of a review thread going up

Premium Member
21,170 Posts
I keep saving this and reading part after part! Good review so far!

Premium Member
2,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks man, I'm glad you are checking it out!

I didn't have too much time to really write all that much for this review as I have a few other things going on at the same time, and all the testing for this took a ton of time. In the end I really didn't have much time to actually write all of my thoughts down, so it is a bit short in the reading dept. this time around.

Hope you enjoy it as you finish checking it out though, and thanks for the comments. If you have any thoughts on how to improve reviews or anything you think I should add or change next time around feel free to let me know.
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