When we first saw the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition from AMD we knew that it was about reclaiming their top spot as the fastest single GPU video card on the market. Thanks to what partners like HIS and Sapphire are doing, you can't deny that they've managed to do this with some truly awesome versions of the model coming out so far.
HIS have gone the extra mile, though, by putting together a really nice bundle that includes the new DiRT Showdown game alongside an awesome connectivity setup which is going to be fantastic for people who want to make use of three DisplayPort monitor in Eyefinity.
Price continues to be a little up in the air as we continue to not see the new GHz Edition cards hit the retail market yet. Saying that partners are telling us that they're not far away and considering we've got samples starting to come in now, we'd be inclined to agree with them.
On the performance side of things the one piece of information that has to be taken out of the results is the simple fact that when we move to the most intensive situations (in our case 2560 x 1600), we see that AMD is able to consistently outperform what NVIDIA bring to the table. Considering the money that goes into buying high-end video cards, we hope that you're throwing that display signal out to an equally high-end monitor; be it a 120Hz one or 2560 x 1440 / 1600 one. In these situations we see the AMD video cards perform extremely well.
I think if you're going to jump on a GHz Edition based Radeon HD 7970 you want to move away from a reference design and pick up something like we're looking at today from HIS. The strong out of the box overclock is going to give you great performance while the cooler is going to assist you in getting even more performance if you choose to overclock.
Along with that we've got a really strong I/O configuration that is ahead of almost every other company and a really good bundle; something we're seeing less and less of these days. In the end all these bits and pieces help make the HIS HD 7970 X IceQ X2 3GB Turbo an awesome video card that we highly recommend.