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XFX HD 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation 3GB Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jan 9, 2012 8:45 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: XFX

The Card


Moving away from the package and onto the card we can see the dual fan cooling solution that XFX has opted for under the "Double Dissipation" name. We've got a pretty slick Silver / Chrome / Black setup going on and we can see the massive heatsink behind the fan including some copper parts to make sure everything runs as cool as possible.




Moving away from the reference cooler has its pros and cons, generally a cooler like this should cool better and run quieter; on the other hand the reference cooler while normally running a bit louder and warmer is often the better option when going down the path of two or more cards as it pushes the air out the back of the case. It will be interesting to see the kind of numbers we're able to get out of the new Double D cooler from XFX.




Moving in a bit closer and around the card we can see the same power setup that's present on the reference card which brings a single 6-Pin PCIe connector and single 8-Pin PCIe power connector. Staying across the top and moving closer to the front we've got two CrossFire connectors which allow up to four cards while our BIOS switch gives us the ability to flash the card and safely resort back to the default one if something goes wrong.




As mentioned in our reference card review, this isn't something that people will probably make much use of at the moment, it could be more popular on the higher end Dual GPU model if it switches between a stock and OC BIOS while it might come in handy on the model below if it allows us to flash to a HD 7970 BIOS.




Finally we finish off with the IO side of things which sees a Dual Link DVI connector, HDMI port and two mini DP ports. Unfortunately the bundle doesn't include any mini DP to DP connectors so if you're going to be making use of the mini DP connection, it's something worth remembering.





Moving onto the specification side of things the fact that we've got the Black Edition naming scheme on the card means that out of the box we've got an overclock. Looking below we can see that the core comes in at a nice round sounding 1000MHz or 1GHz. This is pushed up from the default 925MHz and to be honest with word on the overclocking ability of these cards, we've probably got a whole lot more room on top of that.




What's great, though, is that XFX has chosen to bump up the 3GB of GDDR5 memory as well moving from 1375MHz or 5500MHz QDR to 1425MHz 5700MHz QDR. Overall this isn't a huge overclock, but it should bring with it a nice overall boost in performance. We'll look closer at the gains we're able to get in just a moment, first we want to see what's going on with our test system today and what cards will be included in our graphs.

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