I learned there some differences noted below but I don't know what they mean for me as a consumer and if the $50 difference in price is worth the noticeable difference in performance.
1. The vapor-X is a GHZ edition card, it's basically clocked higher and it's a binned processor. The Dual-X is a boost card and it's not a binned processor. Is binned processor better because it was a better processor but has some of its features disabled?
2. The vapor-X has better PCB component design than the dual-x. Does the dual-x's lack of quality pcb design and flimsy board cause the card to warp or bend over time due to the gravitational weight hanging from a vertical case, thus causing BSODS and crashes?
3. Which one has unlocked voltage?
4. The vapor-x has better overclockablility, cooling and PCB design than the dual-x. Benchmarks would show there is a noticeable difference. Do you think an extra $50 is worth the noticeable overclocking difference in playing games tho?
More about :sapphire dual radeon 7970 sapphire vapor radeon 7970
Well firstly, in regards to the first question its up to you really. I would feel more comfortable with the Vapor-X. Yes its a Ghz card and its clocked very aggressively and has a binned chip which is nice to have means its more tolerant to heat and power so those are good things. Also keep in mind that the vapor-x cards come with there higher quality components. The black diamond components.
Black Diamond Choke & Full Solid Cap Design
Choke is an important component of the graphics card. By working with the component engineer, Sapphire’s patent pending choke is 10% cooler and offers 25% more power efficiency than a normal choke. The graphics card will be more reliable and save energy.
Improved reliability and better overclocking are possible by using only high-polymer, aluminum capacitors which posses far superior characteristics than regular aluminum capacitor for a longer product life. When operational temperatures drop by 20°C, the product life span is extended by a factor of ten, when the operational temperature increases by 20°C, the product life span only decreases by 10%.
But again though its all dependent on whether or not you feel you "need" that extra level of performance I would say I would prefer the vapor-x card however the 7970 will get the job done without the extra decked out ghz edition card.