Clawing our way through to the card we found ourselves with something we haven't seen from XFX before - a high-end overclocked silent graphics card.
Looking straight at the card we have a big heatsink that covers the front of the card and two pipes that shoot out the top where the heat dissipates. The generally quality of the heatsink overall seems fairly good and looks like its going to cool the card sufficiently enough.
Like the GeForce 7900GS, the card does require a PCI Express power connector since the motherboard cannot provide enough juice. If you don't have one it's all good as there is a converter included in the package as we saw on the previous page.
The top of our card has a bracket to help prevent the card being bent in shipping and causing the SLI connector across the top to crack in any way. Not only does it look good, it actually is quite useful.
Turning the card over we have the big tail end of the Heat Pipe where all the hot air dissipates. It's your standard aluminum fin setup and while the card did get warm while running, in our opinion it isn't anything that would alarm you. We can also see the four screws where the heatsink is screwed on evenly.
Finally moving over to the I/O side of things we have a couple DVI ports (Dual Link) and an S-Video port to make use of the TV Out functionality that is on offer from the card. If you don't have a DVI monitor there is nothing to worry about as we saw that XFX have included two DVI to VGA connectors so you can get the card up and running straight away.
Clock Speeds and Overclocking
Out of the box the XFX graphics card is already overclocked.
The stock speeds for the GeForce 7950GT is 550MHz on the core and 1400MHz DDR on the memory. XFX have increased this to 570MHz on the core and 1460MHz DDR on the memory.
Using Coolbits and the "Detect Optimum Frequencies" feature we were able to then achieve a further 11MHz on the core bringing it to 581MHz and the memory was also increased to 1522MHz DDR.
While these aren't huge overclocks, we will see what happens and how it affects the scores on the following pages.