I'm a little confused about the new 7970 GHZ cards that came out this week (or did they?). Everywhere I look for one, I'm finding the ones from 6 months ago. Why they didn't change the model #, who knows; however I'm trying to track them down
as I've been putting off buying a new card for far too long.
"Unfortunately this performance increase comes at the cost of increased power draw. It seems that AMD has picked the highest clocking chips and gave them some extra voltage to ensure things are stable. As a result we see significantly higher power draw when gaming. Performance per Watt is also much worse, even with the 10% performance increase taken into account. The jump in power consumption also directly affects temperature and noise. While temperatures are just ok with 83°C under load, noise is completely unacceptable. The card runs at 51 dBA - one of the noisiest cards ever tested, noisier than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480.
AMD has introduced a new "boost" clocking mechanism with this card, but it is nothing close to what NVIDIA offers. I think a more accurate description would be that the card "boosts" from its default of 1050 MHz down to a clock speed of 1000 MHz and reduced voltage, when it senses a power overload situation, that's it.
AMD's HD 7970 GHz edition is priced at $499, the same as NVIDIA's GTX 680. While this might seem enticing at first glance, since the GHz Edition is faster, NVIDIA's card wins at power-draw, noise, and manual overclocking, with the better card overall. I find $499 is just too high to really draw away much attention from the GTX 680, if the HD 7970 GHz Edition was $450 I'd definitely consider it, until that happens I'll happily take a GTX 680, or even GTX 670, which offers better price/performance at not much lower performance." http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...
"The 7970GE is without question the loudest single-GPU video card we have seen in quite some time, and that’s nothing for AMD to be proud of. Everyone’s limit for noise differs, but when we’re talking about single-GPU cards exceeding 60dB in Metro we have to seriously ponder whether it’s something many gamers would be willing to put up with." http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...
"Simply put, the 7970GE is unquestionably hotter and uncomfortably louder than the GTX 680 for what amounts to the same performance. If power and noise are not a concern then this is not a problem, but for many buyers they're going to be unhappy with the 7970GE. It’s just too loud.
The end result is that while AMD has tied NVIDIA for the single-GPU performance crown with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, the GeForce GTX 680 is still the more desirable gaming card. There are a million exceptions to this statement of course (and it goes both ways), but as we said before, these cards may be tied but they're anything but equal." http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...