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Sapphire HD7970 Overclock Edition (Dual-X) Review

Rating: 9.5.

Very few manufacturers can compete with Sapphire when it comes to creating a flagship video card. Over the last year they have consistently released some of the finest graphics cards to market. Today we are looking at their latest high end HD7970 Overclock Edition which is supplied with twin bios overclock configurations and proprietary twin fan cooling solution.

There is no doubt that AMD’s HD7970 is a powerful video card which is currently leading the performance charts, but when we reviewed the reference card a few months ago we weren’t that impressed with the cooling solution. It was certainly a step up from the previous generation, but there is only so much you can do with a solitary, tiny, high spinning fan.

Since then we have analysed the XFX DD HD7970 and VTX3D’s overclocked HD7970 X Edition, both of which significantly improved on the reference cooling solution.

This HD7970 Overclock Edition from Sapphire ships with a menacing, black Dual X cooler and offers not one, but two pre-overclocked settings.

Product Sapphire HD7970 Overclock Edition AMD HD7950 AMD HD7870 AMD HD7850
Core Clock speed 925mhz
bios1: (950mhz)
bios2: (1000mhz)
800mhz 1000mhz 860mhz
Transistors 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 2.8 billion 2.8 billion
Stream Processors 2,048 1,792 1,280 1,024
Compute Performance 3.79 TFLOPS 2.87 TFLOPS 2.56 TFLOPS 1.76 TFLOPS
Texture Units 128 112 80 64
Texture Fillrate 118.4 GT/s 89.6 GT/s 80 GT/s 55.0 GT/s
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Pixel Fillrate 29.6 GP/s 25.6 GP/s 32.0 GP/s 27.52 GP/s
Z/Stencil 128 128 128 128
Memory Clock 1,375mhz
bios1: (1,425mhz)
bios2: (1,450mhz)
1,250mhz 1,200mhz 1,200mhz
Memory Data Rate 5.5 GBps
bios1: (5.7Gbps)
bios2: (5.8Gbps)
5.0 Gbps 4.8 Gbps 4.8 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 264 GB/s 240 GB/s 153.6 GB/s 153.6 GB/s

Above we can see the two bios configurations that Sapphire have pre-configured. The default ‘first’ setting offers a very modest 25mhz overclock on the core, while the memory is overclocked from 1,375mhz to 1,425 mhz. The ‘second’ setting offers additional overclock speeds with a more aggressive fan profile, increasing the core speed to 1ghz, and the memory to 1,450mhz.

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