What is the advantage of the MSI reference design against the GIGABYTE and Sapphire designs? Why is the MSI priced $10 higher?
MSI's cooler is better I think.
For cheaper ones, I would go for Sapphire or HIS.
For the 7870, cost isn't a concern to me. I just want the one with the best cooling system, price to performance ratio, and the lowest noise level. Is there a full review of either of the cards in the second post?
MSI Twin frozer is what you'd got in my opinion.
There is no review yet now, but MSI TFIII used to be good, so I pretty much trust it.
Gigabite. asus and saphire are 3 brand known for building well assembled prodct. Gigabite cooling is usualy pretty good but sometime they feel a little.overpriced. Asus and MSI are good overclocker choice because of the overclocking utility they have
i liked the his cooler in the at review. i'd rank msi second and then sapphire. msi's oc verson is higher priced because of the factory oc, i think... i didn't read all of the specs. most of the cards that have minor factory oc carry higher price premium.
MSI twin Forzr is NOISY @ full speed , Beware ...
I don't plan to run the fans at full speed btw. So far it is between Sapphire and MSI.
I only plan to run MSI at 40% fan speed @ 1200 MHz.
I have the Sapphire. I think I got a gimp board, because anything over 1125 mhz crashes, so I'm running a conservative 1100/1375. (1450mhz on mem is easy). YMMV.
I like the card though, just a minor hiccup on the OC.
Now it is between the GIGABYTE and MSI Twin Frozr III. I honestly cannot decide!
People have said they got 1200/1450 stable on the Sapphire, so don't count it out yet!
Between those, I would get the Gigabyte, 1100 on the core stock.
There are so many good reference 7870s that it is hard narrowing it down.
Guess I'll just choose the Gigabyte.
I have read that the sapphire card has a better cooling/noise potential because of the fan size. Larger fan size = slower speeds = lower noise levels. 2x 92mm fans vs gigabyte's 3x 80mm.
I would choose Sapphire any day and have been using there cards since the 3850(AGP). Every one of them are still running in different PC's that is 3850 4850 5850 and my 2x 6950's. One reason I have stayed with Sapphire was the way they did the 3850(AGP) at the time every card but Sapphire's had to use a AGP Hotfix driver to get the card to work but Sapphire setup the bios so the card would be seen by the drivers without any hotfix's or other hacks. A friend of mine got a HIS version and constantly had problems with the drivers not finding the card.
Sapphire does sound good! I will buy it and see if I like it. Thanks!