Test System Setup And Benchmarks
In order to compare the performance of these high-end graphics cards, we're employing an X79 Express-based platform and overclocking Core i7-3960X processor.
Of course, isolating relative performance is important, so game and synthetic benchmark results are key. But the power, temperature, and noise tests are just as critical.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.3 GHz, Six Cores, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled. Overclocked to 4.25 GHz|
|Motherboard||ASRock X79 Extreme9 (LGA 2011) Chipset: Intel X79 Express|
|Networking||On-Board Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LP PC3-16000, 4 x 4 GB, 1600 MT/s, CL 8-8-8-24-2T|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD1000 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5 at 1375 MHzHIS 7970 IceQ X2 Turbo X1120 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHzHIS 7970 IceQ X2 Turbo*1050 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz*simulated by underclocking the Turbo XMSI R7970 Lightning1070 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHzSapphire HD 7970 OC950 MHz GPU (1000 MHz Alt. BIOS), 3 GB GDDR5 at 1425 MHz (1450 MHz Alt. BIOS)VisionTek Radeon HD 7970925 MHz GPU, 3 GB GDDR5 at 1375 MHz|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 256 GB (SSD)|
|Power||ePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W ATX12V, EPS12V|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 x64, Service Pack 1|
|Graphics Drivers||Catalyst 12.3 WHQL|
|3DMark 11||Version: 126.96.36.199, Benchmark Only|
|Crysis 2||Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool 188.8.131.52, Times Square, DirectX 11|
|Aliens vs. Predator||Version 184.108.40.206, DirectX 11 Benchmark|
|Metro 2033||Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene DX9, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX|
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.
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.
$379 or $479??
$479.99 (USD) is more or less the cheapest price point for any Radeon 7970.
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".
I agree with your first and second choices ... well thought out.