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Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition TOXIC 6GB Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jul 13, 2012 1:24 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Sapphire

The Card




It comes as no surprise that Sapphire has opted for a dual fan solution on the HD 7970 GHz Edition TOXIC. The next piece that really stands out to us is the all black PCB that you can see bits off. Along with that you can see copper heatpipes coming out the bottom and of course we've got a massive aluminum heatsink on offer that takes up majority of the card. You can see we've also got a pretty sweet fan shroud going on that has some see through bits making for a really good looking card.




While we'd normally take a quick spin around the card at this point, we have turned it over this time around, as we've got a massive plate that covers the back of the card. We can also see some heatsinks on the back of the card along with some Vapor-X branding which is what the cooler is. Front and back, the new Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition TOXIC is really good looking.




Looking towards the back you can see the power connector setup which in this case is a dual 8-pin PCIe setup. The original HD 7970 and GHz Edition that was released last month carried an 8-pin + 6-pin PCIe setup, but we see higher end models opt for a dual 8-pin setup.




Closer to the front you can see we've got two CrossFire connectors present that would give us the ability to run up to four of these cards. That would be near impossible, though, as the cooler does just tip over the normal dual slot width. Sapphire has opted to drop the BIOS switch, though, for a button which looks a lot nicer. It also comes in really helpful. We'll cover that more in just a moment when we move over to the specification side of things.




Finally we finish up with the I/O side of things and you can see we've got two DVI connectors in the form of a Dual-Link one and Single-Link one Along with that we've got a single HDMI port and two Mini DisplayPort connectors. You can see Sapphire has also opted for a slightly custom back plate which opens the card up a little more to give the fan a little bit more breathing room. Normally we'd just have the vent across the top, but in this case, you can clearly see that it's been opened up a bit more around the Mini DisplayPort and HDMI area.





Out of the box we know the new GHz Edition HD 7970 from AMD carries a core clock of 1050MHz while the 3GB of GDDR5 comes in at an even 6000MHz QDR. The TOXIC version from Sapphire comes in at 1100MHz while the increased 6GB of GDDR5 comes in at the same 6000MHz QDR.




Pressing the button that sits next to our CrossFire connectors, though, pushes the core to 1200MHz while the 6GB of GDDR5 is pushed even higher coming in at 6400MHz QDR. These are some attractive clocks and should bring with it some excellent performance.



Again, though, I find myself a little puzzled as to why Sapphire really worry about the lower clocks / button option when they could just have the card running at 1200MHz / 6400MHz QDR out of the box. If you're buying this card, I'm not sure why you'd bother with the 1100MHz / 6000MHz QDR option when an even stronger overclock is a push away.

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