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Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Dual-X 3GB OC Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 3:26 am
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Final Thoughts


Sapphire have always excelled when it comes to the cooling technology behind their video cards and the latest generation of HD 7000 series card continues to show us just how strong they do in this area. Thanks to the move to the 28nm GPU combined with the awesome cooling options from Sapphire, you ultimately end up with these really cool running high-end cards. What's really amazing, though, is probably the noise level they come in at. You just don't expect cards that offer this amount of power to run at these temperatures or at these noise levels.


I don't quite fully get the whole one speed for one BIOS and one speed for the other. I know we've got the Dual BIOS switch on offer and we may as well make use of it, but if you don't pay much attention you might not switch over before installing the card and ultimately end up with the card running at the lower out of the box clocks.


I'd just love to see a sticker on the cooler or something around the Dual BIOS switch area that said for maximum out of the box performance switch over to BIOS two or something along those lines, just to make things really clear. It would just ultimately help make sure people got the maximum performance out of the box and if the card couldn't run those speeds 24 / 7 then we're sure Sapphire wouldn't offer them period.


When you start to move up to the power of cards like the HD 7900 series you just feel as if it's a given you have to sacrifice some noise to get that kind of power. What we're seeing from Sapphire, though, is that it's not a sacrifice you have to make. You can enjoy power that equates to 10% more of a reference HD 7970 and have a card that runs so quiet that it's not even funny.


Before we finished up with the card, though, I thought I'd just quickly fire up MSI Afterburner and check out how overclocking went on the card and see what kind of 3DMark 11 score we could pull in. If you remember, when we looked at the Sapphire HD 7950 in CrossFire Overclocked we didn't achieve as high a clock as Sapphire opted for a fan profile that ran quieter and at lower speeds verse other HD 7950s which ran with more aggressive fan profiles.




You can imagine our surprise then when we ended up having our card run at 1250MHz on the core and 6000MHz QDR on the memory resulting in a score of over P10,000 in 3DMark 11. To be honest, though, that's not even the most shocking part from the results. The fact that the GPU still ran at only 64c is what was really surprising. It's a huge testament to the quality of the cooler Sapphire is offering.



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