Temperature And Noise
The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is only slightly warmer and a skosh louder than its predecessor at idle. But we’re not concerned about idle. The last time we looked at Radeon HD 7970, we were most worried about its bad behavior under a load.
Although we’re not worried about an 84 degree load temperature, it is nine degrees higher than the retail Radeon HD 7970 we have in the lab (and the hottest-running single-GPU card we have).
Much more troubling is the noise generated by AMD’s problematic reference cooler. I even had to go back and re-test because it seemed inconceivable that the company would ship out cards that were even louder than the Radeon HD 6990.
There’s a silver lining on this one, though. Ahead of this review, I let AMD know about our acoustic concerns and the company claims that most partner boards will employ third-party cooling, not its reference configuration. Just a little earlier this week we saw in Radeon HD 7950 3 GB: Six Cards, Benchmarked And Reviewed that new heat sinks and fans can work wonders on Tahiti-based boards. Fingers crossed, then, that the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Editions that show up on store shelves don’t sound like our sample.
Of course, you don't have to wait for board partners to work their magic...