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Sapphire 7970 OC or Gigabyte 7970 OC Windforce (Which less coil whine)

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June 23, 2012 1:57:17 PM

Hey guys :hello:  , originally was going to get the GTX670 but then in Australia where i reside, the 7970 is only $30 more expensive and I thought it would be better, since it has the 1GB extra Vram, and faster memory bus.

Checked into the 670 features:
Physx - not many games use
GPU boost - I will just overclock the 7970
New Anti-aliasing: I believe both NV and AMD have so not worthwhile.
Adaptive Vsync: Probably the only thing i care about.
Better Drivers: Indeed better than AMD, but lately AMD have gotten better.

So overall i saw that the 7970 would be the better alternative to go with, and overclock it to get good performance.

Now the main con that i have with the 7970 is that many models have Coil whine, and i haven't had it before so don't know how bad it is, but i think people overhype it.

None the less i wanted to know which of the two brands I listed above
Sapphire Radeon HD7970 3GB OC http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Gigabyte Radeon HD7970 Overclocked 3GB http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
has less coil whine statistics overall, does anyone know?

or the other listed here: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...

However I mainly prefer the two i listed. I don't like the triple slot that the Asus models have.

So please let me know which you know has less coil whine incidents.

Thank you and sorry for the long read.

Oh and my PC specs (that i haven't built yet) in case its helpful:
CPU: i5 3570K
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
MB: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
RAM: G.Skill Ares F3-1600C9D-8GAO 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3
PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W ST85F-P

Monitor: The one im currently using a Dell 24'

Also which overclocks better would be helpful info, if anyone knows.
June 23, 2012 2:06:59 PM

monu_08 said:
here grab a gtx 680 same price kickass 7970 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


Sorry man, no can do. I live in Australia, and newegg don't ship here, and since im paying $500 for a GPU, and its my first time i would feel safer buying it locally so if anything screws up then it would be easier to resolve.

and the 680 here is Oz is like $700
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 2:08:22 PM

Get the Sapphire you will not regret it.
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June 23, 2012 2:21:00 PM

bryonhowley said:
Get the Sapphire you will not regret it.

Thanks for the opinion, but abit of insight as to why would be appreciate, not the less thanks. And will wait to hear what others say.

monu_08 said:
then go for gtx 670 which lower then 7970 and better in performance here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUdoBmgZwOU

GTX670 doesn't offer substantial performance over the 7970, and most reviews that show it having an impressive advantage tend to have games biased towards NV's side. Like i said, i think when overclocked the 7970 will be the better card overall, and the 1GB extra Vram gives me more future-ability confidence, and the faster bus speed would be better (though to be honest, i have no clue what it is =P, so if someone can clear that up it would be nice).
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 2:27:04 PM

no mate when gpu design it hardware specification can not be chanfe u can mod but not enough so gaming vise nvidia now far better then amd but it also good 7970 2gb oced edition but a driver leads major role in gaming nvidia update there driver time to time as new games releases but amd releases after soon so i would get a gtx 670 beast also prefer zotac asus and evga version special
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 2:35:27 PM

monu_08 said:
no mate when gpu design it hardware specification can not be chanfe u can mod but not enough so gaming vise nvidia now far better then amd but it also good 7970 2gb oced edition but a driver leads major role in gaming nvidia update there driver time to time as new games releases but amd releases after soon so i would get a gtx 670 beast also prefer zotac asus and evga version special


Typical fanboy response. A fanboy with horrible English, spelling, punctuation and reading comprehension skills.

Any 7970 will hit 1000mhz core which makes it as fast or faster than a gTX680 for $100-110 less. Not to mention some people are hitting 1100+ core.


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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 2:42:25 PM

Alright i accept my mistake for my bad english but in my opinion nvidia is far better then ati right now hahahaha u guys here for teaching me and rectifying my english not the other guy who looking for an advise for his gpu
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June 23, 2012 3:02:33 PM

geekapproved said:
Typical fanboy response.


Haha little harsh there, but okay :pt1cable: 


I do agree that hd 7970 is better buy. Gaming is equivalent to Gtx 680 if not a bit faster. However, if you were to do anything compute related, any of the Gtx will just fall off the cliff. HD 7970 rivals many of the quadros and even some low end tesela.

True that at load power is about 50 watts more in a 300 watt card, but ur idle power is less. Since most people spent more time at idle, heyo HD 7970 :hello: 
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June 23, 2012 3:07:02 PM

sorry to muddy the water.. but OP you think u can wait for the new GHz version 7970?

otherwise my money is on the Sapphire
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 3:22:38 PM

monu_08 said:
Alright i accept my mistake for my bad english but in my opinion nvidia is far better then ati right now hahahaha u guys here for teaching me and rectifying my english not the other guy who looking for an advise for his gpu


That's your opinion, not reality. The 7970 GHZ is over $100 cheaper and is just as fast as the GTX680, faster in some cases.
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 3:23:34 PM

psirohi said:
sorry to muddy the water.. but OP you think u can wait for the new GHz version 7970?

otherwise my money is on the Sapphire


There's tons of ghz 7970's on Newegg, besides, you can just overclock it yourself by sliding the slider in CCC from 925 to 1000. :lol: 
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 3:23:43 PM

Sapphire seems to specialize in AMD cards and has always done a good job. In comparative reviews their card (whatever model) is not always the best, but more often than not. So if you have your heart set on a 7970, I'd suggest them over Gigabyte. This is based on not having owned a card from either, but simply from reading hundreds of graphics card reviews over the years...so take this advice with a healthy dose of salt. Frankly, either card is going to be excellent: the 7970s are great (even though I prefer the nVidia parts); the coolers on both of these card are excellent; and they've both gotten good reviews:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviewdb/Graphics-Cards/ATI/...

Coil whine is very hard to predict and I'd be surprised if anyone can tell you whether one card or the other would be better in that case.

The only caution I will add is that none of the AMD cards have two dual-link DVI outputs. The ASUS card has two DVI outputs, but only one is dual-link and the others have only one DVI out. So if you have more than one DVI monitor, you'll need a DP->DVI converter, which for a good active one can be quite expensive.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 3:33:16 PM

Tom's did a very nice round up of 7970s:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-over...

in the review, you can see that the gigabyte model is neither cooler or quieter than sapphire with it's 3 fans. in fact, sapphire's the winner by a pretty big margin.

as for coil whine, as some have said, it's hard to predict. I have the sapphire 7970. it whined annoyingly for about a week after I had it for about 2 months (started whining after I did some PC tweaking). then the whine mysteriously stopped

if you're wondering about OC headroom. I got my sapphire card 2 days after it was released, I run it at 1110Mhz core and 1600Mhz memory on stock voltages of 1.17V. newer cards will OC less because they've adjusted down the stock voltages (new chips leak less). but if you're willing to crank up the voltage a bit, I'm sure the newer cards can hit even higher clocks
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June 23, 2012 3:40:25 PM

geekapproved said:
There's tons of ghz 7970's on Newegg, besides, you can just overclock it yourself by sliding the slider in CCC from 925 to 1000. :lol: 



i thought the new cards were more akin to the boost on the Nvidia 680.. and apparently beat it..
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...

they out for sale already eh?
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2012 5:34:25 PM

I don't know what you mean by "more akin to the boost on the nvidia 680".

Any 7970 will hit 1ghz. some are running 1.1ghz+.

The new so called GHZ editions are just factory overclocked and likely higher binned chips that will possibly hit 1.2ghz.
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June 24, 2012 2:10:42 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far guys, its been great.
Yeah i see no point in waiting for the 1GHz edition as it won't make that big a difference, and i have waited far too long, my patience is running thin.
The general consensus is that the Sapphire 7970 OC card is better and that is great to hear.
With regard to the coil whine question, i know that it is hard to know, but i just figured I'd ask in case people had read or seen various threads, articles regarding a certain brand having more coil whine than the other.

Temile thanks for pointing out the DVI output thing, but i really didn't get it (sorry not that good with regard to monitors and GPUs). Does it just mean that i can't have say, 3 monitors connected to the single GPU?

vmem thanks for linking to the article and talking about your own OC with the card. The Sapphire does look like a great card.
Oh and since you have the card does it indeed take up 3 slots worth, as i have heard that the fans are thick or something like that, therefore taking up half a slot place, therefore the entire card is like 2.5 slots which basically makes it a 3 slot card.

If that is the case, and it is a 2.5 slot card, i would then begin to consider the ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II 3GB (not TOP - too expensive).

Or just lets say in general is the ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II 3GB better than the Sapphire 7970 OC, anyone know?

And it would be great to hear more feedback, thanks guys.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 24, 2012 5:00:56 PM

-Naz- said:

Oh and since you have the card does it indeed take up 3 slots worth, as i have heard that the fans are thick or something like that, therefore taking up half a slot place, therefore the entire card is like 2.5 slots which basically makes it a 3 slot card.

If that is the case, and it is a 2.5 slot card, i would then begin to consider the ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II 3GB (not TOP - too expensive).

Or just lets say in general is the ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II 3GB better than the Sapphire 7970 OC, anyone know?

And it would be great to hear more feedback, thanks guys.


Yes, it is indeed a 2.5 slot cared. ASUS was having some issues with their DirectCU card when I bought mine, but those issues should be all settled now so I would say go for it.

oh and one more thing, I plan on going crossfire for my next upgrade, in which case a 2.5 slot card still leaves me space between the two cards for cooling, but a 3 slot card would not. just something to think about if you're thinking about doing the same ;) 

and I don't know anyone who has the ASUS card, so let's hope someone else chimes in here

EDIT: Oh, btw, if you want a two sloter with minimal coil whine, I would look at this HIS card
http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-691.shtml

They claim they use solid state chokes, which wouldn't whine at all. but I've also seen newegg reviews claiming that HIS is lying, but newegg reviews are not that reliable so if anyone here has any experience with this HIS card, please offer your in put :)  TH's review of the 7970 used a copy of this card, and I don't think they mentioned any annoying whining
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June 25, 2012 7:58:29 PM

vmem said:
EDIT: Oh, btw, if you want a two sloter with minimal coil whine, I would look at this HIS card
http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-691.shtml

They claim they use solid state chokes, which wouldn't whine at all. but I've also seen newegg reviews claiming that HIS is lying, but newegg reviews are not that reliable so if anyone here has any experience with this HIS card, please offer your in put :)  TH's review of the 7970 used a copy of this card, and I don't think they mentioned any annoying whining
This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart.

On an unrelated note, I'm also one of those people who complained on Newegg -- I have a thread on the [H]ardOCP forums too on this very issue and it documents my experience with the HIS 7970 IceQ.

I'll concede that I can't know 100% what the fault was (other than that the coil noise did come from the video card); whether the card was, by a sheer stroke of bad luck, just a bad egg, or in fact the cards aren't made with solidified chokes and there's no truth to the claim. (that is, without tearing it open and voiding the warranty that I used to return it to Newegg)

Right now, I'm still on the hunt for users reporting cards that are made with solid chokes (ASUS DCII, MSI Lightning and PE, the upcoming Sapphire 7970 Toxic) that still have coil whine, and don't turn out to be mistaken (later finding out that it was their PSU -- there have been plenty of these).

As for myself, to date, I've had 4 power supplies, 2 motherboards, and 5 7970s (among other, older video cards) to test on. I'm fairly certain I have a good PSU now (Seasonic X-850), but the jury's still out on whether I can fully trust the solid choke idea. I wish I had another HIS 7970 to test with back then, so I could be more certain about whether it was the card or the company, but I lost my patience with them dealing with their misinformed techs and broken English.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 25, 2012 9:01:36 PM

Ajiki-kun said:
This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart.

On an unrelated note, I'm also one of those people who complained on Newegg -- I have a thread on the [H]ardOCP forums too on this very issue and it documents my experience with the HIS 7970 IceQ.

I'll concede that I can't know 100% what the fault was (other than that the coil noise did come from the video card); whether the card was, by a sheer stroke of bad luck, just a bad egg, or in fact the cards aren't made with solidified chokes and there's no truth to the claim. (that is, without tearing it open and voiding the warranty that I used to return it to Newegg)

Right now, I'm still on the hunt for users reporting cards that are made with solid chokes (ASUS DCII, MSI Lightning and PE, the upcoming Sapphire 7970 Toxic) that still have coil whine, and don't turn out to be mistaken (later finding out that it was their PSU -- there have been plenty of these).

As for myself, to date, I've had 4 power supplies, 2 motherboards, and 5 7970s (among other, older video cards) to test on. I'm fairly certain I have a good PSU now (Seasonic X-850), but the jury's still out on whether I can fully trust the solid choke idea. I wish I had another HIS 7970 to test with back then, so I could be more certain about whether it was the card or the company, but I lost my patience with them dealing with their misinformed techs and broken English.


Well, I can't speak from personal experience, but the MSI lightning uses solid state chokes and I've never heard of complains of coil whine on their cards...

As for the HIS card, I wrote their customer service a long email basically requesting written confirmation that they do indeed use solid-state chokes that the card does not whine. I've also requested written guarantee that if I buy a card and it does whine, then I have the right to open it up and check the chokes and return it if they're not filled in solid. it's time for HIS to own up to what they print on their box :)  I'll let you guys know if they ever get back to me lol. and if they don't provide a satisfactory answer, well, I'm never buying or recommending an HIS card again
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June 25, 2012 9:26:47 PM

Well, I've gone through 3 7970s... an XFX DD BE that I sold and replaced with two Lightnings.

Zero coil whine on any of them. I think the coil whine problem was probably something with a few of the batch manufactured at launch, and nothing more.
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June 25, 2012 9:43:23 PM

Yeah, basically, I'm just trying to find people who do have Lightnings or DCIIs but still have whine coming from the video card, which would debunk the whole solid choke thing. So far, I haven't found any. Just the occasional person who later found out it was coming from PSU, or a really bad early release motherboard (which whined at idle, not just load -- big difference)

I COULD be being absurd about this, and HIS could still counter that it is impossible to secure coils 100% even with solid casings that may vibrate themselves, short of encasing the entire choke in concrete.

But reasonably, such should not be the case. What's frustrating is that if indeed solid chokes do eliminate whine, then it means that this phenomenon could readily be rectified with higher-quality parts -- parts I would immediately and gladly pay the premium for. (And did, in the case of HIS, and got burned, so please don't think I use such hostile language toward all manufacturers. Just a little disclaimer in case I come off as a troll)
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 25, 2012 10:54:14 PM

Ajiki-kun said:

But reasonably, such should not be the case. What's frustrating is that if indeed solid chokes do eliminate whine, then it means that this phenomenon could readily be rectified with higher-quality parts -- parts I would immediately and gladly pay the premium for.


Well, I'm no EE, but to the best of my knowledge, whine actually happens on EVERY CARD, and it's a simple matter of whether or not it falls within our audible range. the whine is caused by the chokes vibrating at a high frequency at some power state (typically during load). anyway, if the amplitude of vibration is large enough, and the frequency just happens to fall within our hearing range (especially for younger folks), we hear the whine. thus, some people in the past have removed covered their chokes with a nice layer of nail polish, which provides an air-tight vibration barrier, and effectively eliminates the whine. a similar principle works with solid state chokes. you don't necessarily have to fill every nanoscale crack of the choke to stop the whining, you just have to put enough material in there such that even if it vibrates, the frequency has been altered enough that it's outside of the human hearing range.
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June 27, 2012 2:57:22 PM

vmem said:
As for the HIS card, I wrote their customer service a long email basically requesting written confirmation that they do indeed use solid-state chokes that the card does not whine. I've also requested written guarantee that if I buy a card and it does whine, then I have the right to open it up and check the chokes and return it if they're not filled in solid. it's time for HIS to own up to what they print on their box :)  I'll let you guys know if they ever get back to me lol. and if they don't provide a satisfactory answer, well, I'm never buying or recommending an HIS card again
I suppose they didn't get back to you either, huh?

I've been waiting a week for my response after calling out their claim...
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a b U Graphics card
June 29, 2012 3:37:21 PM

Regarding DVI outputs. DVI cables look like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface

If you have only one monitor, you'll be fine. If you add a second card and both use DVI cables (the monitors have certain inputs), you might have to go with annoying connectors. If you have one monitor today and would only buy a new monitor you will be fine with a 7000-series card as new monitors have displayports.
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