Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in 3-Way CrossFireX (Page 2)

| Jan 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm CST
Manufacturer: Sapphire

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

Like we mentioned in our introduction, if you've been following our HD 7970 content since launch then our setup here won't hold any surprises. If you're new to the party, though, you can see that we use an X79 setup with an i7 3960X clocked at 4.7GHz.

On the comparison front we've got the HD 6970, HD 6990 and GTX 580. The main cards we'll be comparing the three way CrossFireX is going to be the two HD 7970 setups we've got here with the card running by itself and of course a pair of them running in CrossFire mode.

The main thing we want to know is if we move over to a three card setup from a two card one, is the performance there to make it a setup that holds real value? There's of course only one way to find out so let's get into the benchmarks and see just what kind of performance we're able to get out of the setup we've got here today.

Just before we jump into the performance, though, we want to make sure that CrossFireX is running. As you can see below in the GPU-Z screen shot under the CrossFire tab, it is indeed working via three GPUs.

Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in 3-Way CrossFireX 01 |

Let's get started!

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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