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Sapphire 7870 XT?

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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2013 8:53:36 PM

Hello Tom's,

later this week I'm planning on getting a new graphics card because my 6870 is getting kinda stale and I finally was able to get some money to upgrade. I have around $250 to spend and I was planning on getting a Sapphire 7870 XT because it really is a 7930 and damn close to a 7950 in most games for a lot less. The last time I checked the prices, it was at $260, but a few days earlier it was $240.

My questions are:

Is this a smart buy/best card for around $250?

If you own a Tahiti LE card, what performance (fps) are you getting in the games you play?

I've seen a few benchmarks for the card, but they are a little different from pc to pc and was just wondering what you guys were getting.

Also, if I do get a Tahiti LE card, I only really want the sapphire because of the dual fan/extra cooling. The PowerColor is reportedly kinda loud and that is one of the reasons I hate my reference 6870.

All in all, Thanks!

More about : sapphire 7870

a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2013 9:08:50 PM

I have the Sapphire 7870 XT. It's in RMA ATM because one of the VRMs came defective :( 

It's a steal for $250. It's identical to the 660 Ti at stock and comes close to the 7970 when overclocked.

I played BFBC2, Tomb Raider, TF2, L4D2, and CSS.

I can max out BFBC2 1080p, 8x AA, HBAO no problems.
I played Tomb Raider before the performance patch. It played around 25 - 40 on Ultimate (FXAA, 1080p) and 30 - 60 w/out TressFX. I heard the patch gave 10 - 20 frames and significantly improved TressFX performance.
The source games were always over 200 average.

Benchmarks are different because people have different CPUs. I have a 3220.

The 7870 XT got hot (for me). 77 C on the core and around 90 C on the VRMs running Tomb Raider. That is one of the reasons I RMA'd my card. I see way better thermal results on other people's cards. It should really be 70 C for the core and 80 C for the VRMs.
The Sapphire cooler isn't that quiet, but it isn't loud (for me). This is another reason why I RMA'd my card, because it was making really obnoxious vibrating noises.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E7WgOKHmEw - Noise test, turn up your volume.

The Powercolors get hot and loud but I would PERSONALLY buy those cards and run the "red mod", since they are cheaper and have a black PCB. But that might not be your case.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2013 8:38:53 AM

e56imfg said:
I have the Sapphire 7870 XT. It's in RMA ATM because one of the VRMs came defective :( 

It's a steal for $250. It's identical to the 660 Ti at stock and comes close to the 7970 when overclocked.

I played BFBC2, Tomb Raider, TF2, L4D2, and CSS.

I can max out BFBC2 1080p, 8x AA, HBAO no problems.
I played Tomb Raider before the performance patch. It played around 25 - 40 on Ultimate (FXAA, 1080p) and 30 - 60 w/out TressFX. I heard the patch gave 10 - 20 frames and significantly improved TressFX performance.
The source games were always over 200 average.

Benchmarks are different because people have different CPUs. I have a 3220.

The 7870 XT got hot (for me). 77 C on the core and around 90 C on the VRMs running Tomb Raider. That is one of the reasons I RMA'd my card. I see way better thermal results on other people's cards. It should really be 70 C for the core and 80 C for the VRMs.
The Sapphire cooler isn't that quiet, but it isn't loud (for me). This is another reason why I RMA'd my card, because it was making really obnoxious vibrating noises.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E7WgOKHmEw - Noise test, turn up your volume.

The Powercolors get hot and loud but I would PERSONALLY buy those cards and run the "red mod", since they are cheaper and have a black PCB. But that might not be your case.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thanks for the reply.

I looked and the PowerColor is at $239 which is better for me because $260 is pushing it for me. I also looked up "Red Mod" and it looks interesting, but I don't know when I'd be able to get money to buy a cooler to do it. Based on the performance you're getting, I've set my mind on a Tahiti LE card, but which card will ultimately come down to the prices of each at the end of this week (when I get paid). I'm sort of leaning towards the PowerColor at the moment. Do you know what level of CPU cooler you would need to pull off a "Red Mod"? Would a lower tier Antec 620 do?

Regardless, I'll do some more research into it tonight.
Related resources
March 18, 2013 2:43:09 PM

I just recently bought a sapphire 7870xt and couldnt be happier. I am running Tomb Raider on ultimate with no noticable slowdown at all. I mean the frames are probably between 30-60 but my eyes cant tell the difference even during heavy action.

As for noise levels I havent noticed anything terrible but I play with headphones so I dont really notice it anyway even if it was loud. As for temps I am getting 70C on max load which seems reasonable as well.

Also looking forward to trying out bioshock infinite to see how high I can push it. I should note that I have not yet overclocked the card yet either so I am sure I can bump performance up even more when it is needed.

I think for 250 with 2 free games and currently a 15 dollar mail in rebate, you cannot go wrong.

(though I did just see the sapphire 7950 for 259 after rebate on tigerdirect I believe which is worth considering)
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2013 3:21:12 PM

Yea even the H40 would be ok.
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2013 7:05:06 PM

e56imfg said:
Yea even the H40 would be ok.

Ok. I think I'm going to go with the PowerColor. It's just a little bit cheaper and I can deal with the noise for a month or so (when this semester ends and I start working again). It also will fit in my tiny, mid tower case without any "modifications". If I went with the Sapphire XT, I'd have to take a Dremel to the HD cage to make it fit. I'm also really excited about trying this "Red Mod" when I get the funds.
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2013 7:32:57 PM

http://www.overclock.net/t/1237219/tript-cc-620-920-h50...
Dwood from overclock.net sells custom brackets for you to easily install the pump. Buy the bracket with the fan mount.
This is his website.
http://triptcc.com/shop/

I also recommend you buying a few VRM heatsinks like these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Place them on the VRMs surrounding the core. The 92mm fan will help cool the other VRMs on the left side.
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2013 8:46:19 PM

a warm deal on a 7950 is about $270, i bought my msi tf3 for $269 which included crysis and bioshock, two games i was going to buy anyways. i believe i saw the sapphire aftermarket cooled 7950 the other day for $269 and that is a very popular card.

others will disagree but i believe the faster 384bit 3gb vram of the 7950 is worth the $25 extra

256bit 2gb vram and about 3-5% less performace to save a messily $25.

tahiti cards are aimed and mid/high level 1440p gaming and will hold its resale value because of its 384bit 3gb vram.
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2013 6:22:57 AM

nikoli707 said:
a warm deal on a 7950 is about $270, i bought my msi tf3 for $269 which included crysis and bioshock, two games i was going to buy anyways. i believe i saw the sapphire aftermarket cooled 7950 the other day for $269 and that is a very popular card.

others will disagree but i believe the faster 384bit 3gb vram of the 7950 is worth the $25 extra

256bit 2gb vram and about 3-5% less performace to save a messily $25.

tahiti cards are aimed and mid/high level 1440p gaming and will hold its resale value because of its 384bit 3gb vram.

I would absolutely get a 7950 over a 7870 LE, but I haven't found any 7950's anywhere near $260-270. Closest I saw was $289 and that was for a reference model (I think, can't quite remember). Also, the card I'm planning on getting IS a Tahiti card. It is basically a 7950 "light edition". It benches so close to the 7950 (at stock speeds) that the only reason you would want a 7950 is only for the extra gig of vram, which isn't really usable since I'm playing on 1080p. I do also understand that $25 is really that much when talking about a $250 dollar GPU, but $260 is my absolute max. I really don't want to spend that much anyways.
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2013 6:27:33 AM

e56imfg said:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1237219/tript-cc-620-920-h50...
Dwood from overclock.net sells custom brackets for you to easily install the pump. Buy the bracket with the fan mount.
This is his website.
http://triptcc.com/shop/

I also recommend you buying a few VRM heatsinks like these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Place them on the VRMs surrounding the core. The 92mm fan will help cool the other VRMs on the left side.


Thanks, so much for these links. Now I really want to do this mod. Are the brackets "standardized" or are they different for every Radeon card? Also, I know the 5870 and 6870 have the same mounting, but is the 7870 the same as well? I might try the same thing with my 6870 later on.
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2013 3:22:23 PM

jthill909 said:
e56imfg said:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1237219/tript-cc-620-920-h50...
Dwood from overclock.net sells custom brackets for you to easily install the pump. Buy the bracket with the fan mount.
This is his website.
http://triptcc.com/shop/

I also recommend you buying a few VRM heatsinks like these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Place them on the VRMs surrounding the core. The 92mm fan will help cool the other VRMs on the left side.


Thanks, so much for these links. Now I really want to do this mod. Are the brackets "standardized" or are they different for every Radeon card? Also, I know the 5870 and 6870 have the same mounting, but is the 7870 the same as well? I might try the same thing with my 6870 later on.
They have mounting holes for the 400-600 series from NVidia and 5000-7000 series from AMD

jthill909 said:
nikoli707 said:
here you go... a 7870LE for $204.99 after rebate, before tax(if applicable) and shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thats by far the best price ive ever seen for a tahiti, even if it may be a reference model, thats a way hot deal.

Thanks for that link. That'll probably be the one I get. What is the difference between that and this:
http://www.amazon.com/PowerColor-DisplayPort-PCI-Expres...
It's just an updated BIOS I think. The VRMs are still the same.

a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2013 4:45:20 PM

2GBD5-2DHPPV3E vs 2GBD5-2DHPPV2E
not exactly sure but like already said its probably a bios change and/or small production changes

later down the road you can always waterblock it to push that extra core voltage is has left.
!