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We tested the Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclocked's power consumption and thermal output in gaming and more taxing apps.
Gigabyte's card hovers just above 60 degrees Celsius in Crysis 2, and even Metro 2033 can't push the card beyond 70 degrees Celsius. Compare those numbers to 86 degrees Celsius in FurMark. Why is there such a big difference?
You can see PowerTune at work in our gaming benchmarks. This is what the technology was designed to do, cutting through Crysis 2 at 1080 MHz using a little less than 190 W. Running FurMark adds another 100 W occasionally pushing all the way to 300 W. The difference in thermal output and fan noise is very noticeable.
In light of our results, we can see that it's worth going the extra mile to set up a custom fan profile for Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock. The resulting temperatures are reasonable, and the noise level, measured on the side of the case, is low enough at 44 dB(A) to be tolerable without wearing headphones.