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Five Radeon HD 7970 3 GB Cards, Overclocked And Benchmarked

Overclocking AMD's Radeon HD 7970

With a better sense for how each Radeon HD 7970 performs in its stock form, we're able to apply those aforementioned maximum stable overclocks and use Crysis 2 to better gauge the headroom enabled by aftermarket cooling and nifty tuning applications.

With each card dialed in as fast as they'll go, less than 5% separates the bottom and top, squeezing a field previously spread by closer to 10%. Four of the five submissions land within 2% of each other, even.

Clearly, overclocking is something of an equalizer when it comes to gauging Radeon HD 7970 performance. But how easy is it to live with these products when they’re pushed to the limit? Our noise, temperature, and power usage comparison on the next page tells the story.

  • aznshinobi
    I need a new pair of pants. Definitely graphics card eye candy. Specially the Sapphire one IMO. Do I hear giveaway THG?
    Reply
  • schnitter
    I need to replace my 5870 HD I bought over 3 years ago. I can still play any game on HIGH at 1080p, but I want ULTRA on BF3 and Max Payne 3.

    Lets hope the 680 GTX becomes available to see what price these AMD cards end up at. I like AMD and how they don't rebrand their cards like nVidia, but $20 cheaper than 680 GTX is not cheap enough to sway me that way.
    Reply
  • hellfire24
    why a reference card(visiontek 7970) with non reference competitors?
    i am impressed with HIS IceQ X2 Turbo X but still MSi lightning is my favorite.they have beefier VRMs,great cooling and are overclocking beasts.

    Reply
  • confish21
    Nice write up! Really helps when trying to peg down a card. Will be revisiting alot!
    Reply
  • The gigabyte card pcb was BLUE, not BLACK :(
    Reply
  • nekromobo
    visiontek for "Particularly at its modest $279 price."

    $379 or $479??
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    nekromobovisiontek for "Particularly at its modest $279 price." $379 or $479??
    $479.99 (USD) is more or less the cheapest price point for any Radeon 7970.
    Reply
  • weatherdude
    Cool review. It'd be nice if SI units were included in the weights and lengths though. Guess I'll have to do a little math. It's very nice to know that the non-reference coolers are much quieter (excluding Gigabyte's) than the original design.

    Let's see some typos:

    In the 'Test System Setup And Benchmarks' page in the Operating System row it is written as Microsoft Windows 7 x6. I assume it's supposed to be x64.

    In the first paragraph of the 'Sapphire HD 7970 OC' page the card is described as "HD 7970 PC".
    Reply
  • Reynod
    Good review Don.

    I agree with your first and second choices ... well thought out.

    :)
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Fixed the typos; thanks weatherdude and nekromobo.
    Reply