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XFX R7970 Double Dissipation Graphics Card Review

The XFX R7970 DD arrives in an oblong box with primary focus on the ‘DD’ logo, covered in ice. XFX also place highlight on the large memory buffer – 3GB of GDDR5.

XFX include a wide range of literature with the product, including a power supply pamphlet if you need an upgrade for a new system build. We have reviewed many of the XFX power supplies on Kitguru in recent months and they are worthy of consideration. The bundle also includes a Crossfire cable, several video adapters and a driver disc.

The XFX R7970 Double Dissipation graphics card is beautifully finished, and certainly stands out aesthetically. XFX are using a dual fan configuration housed in a metal cooler. Down the top is a metallic red strip with the name of the product along with ‘Ghost – Thermal Technology’ branding.

So what exactly is ‘Ghost – Thermal Technology’? XFX say “Through rigorous testing and analysis we have discovered the optimal thermal design that allows air to pass through the heatsink directly to the PCB and core components. Older enclosed designs often trapped the heat, creating a bottle neck at the exhaust, this can be remedied but at the cost of a higher fan speed which creates excess noise. Our design allows us to keep the fan speeds lower while allowing the heat to dissipate evenly throughout the card.”

This card is using two large fans which are IP-5X designs, offering protection against dust and other small foreign objects which can cause long term damage. This will help ensure maximum performance, even several years down the line. That said, we do recommend that you remove your video card every couple of months for cleaning.

XFX state that these fans last up to 10,000 hours longer than traditional designs.

The XFX HD7970 is Crossfire capable in 2, 3 and 4 way configurations. This card features a dual BIOS toggle switch. Setting 1 is the unprotected mode allowing the end user to create their own bios configuration. Setting 2 is the factory default.

The card is a dual slot design with a full sized DVI and HDMI port, and two mini Display Port connectors. It is Eyefinity capable and can power up to 6 displays. The HD7970 is the first GPU that can simultaneously output multiple, independent audio streams from the HDMI and mini Displayport connectors at the rear of the card. This is also the first GPU to support 3GHz HDMI with frame packing support for Stereo 3D.

Removing the cooler is straightforward although it takes a little time due to the number of screws holding it in place. The Tahiti core is protected under a partial cover. The memory onboard is high specification Hynix GDDR5. AMD are using a Chil controller, which is a dual loop 6+2 multiphase PWM design. This offers dynamic voltage control and features input voltage management, allowing up to three input voltages to be monitored to ensure adequate power is delivered to suit the load. Both fans are hooked into the same header cable, which is subsequently connected to the PCB.

The HD7970 is built from 4.3 billion 28nm transistors.

This XFX board is supplied at reference clock speeds. The HD7970 Tahiti core operates at 925mhz, and the 3GB of GDDR 5 memory runs at 1375mhz (5.5Gbps effective) which is connected via a 384 bit interface for over 264GB/sec of bandwidth. The card features 2,048 stream processors, is fully PCI E Gen3 compliant (up to 32 gb/s of data bandwidth) and incorporates new AMD Powertune and ZeroCore power technology. There are dual geometry engines, eight render back ends, 32 color ROPs per clock and 128 Z/stencil ROPs per clock.

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  • Adrian

    Wow…Wow…Wow!!! I can’t wait for Ivybridge chips to start rolling in so I can start thinking about one of these or any of the possible new custom coolers/pcb designs coming out. For now the 6970 will do me just fine.

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  • Ethan

    They did supply it in an overclocked state. Its called the Black Double D 7970. I bought one just now lol. Its over clocked at 1 Ghz out of the box.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150586

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  • Colin

    seems they have two models, one with an updated bios. good move !

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  • Peter Saunders

    XFX have two versions of this card available soon. this is the non black edition which kitguru reviewed, at reference clocks. FX-797A-TDFC

    The black edition seems only available in America this week, and its 1ghz clocks – its FX-797A-TDBC. They seem identical cards, so the non black edition is better value as price is lower. Black Editions are meant to be hand picked but I think either Kitguru got a great card, or they are all the same batch as 1,200mhz is pretty much as good as it gets when ocd’

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  • Kenny

    Great looking card, love the cooler !

  • Desmond

    I am getting one of these when they are availabile.

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  • Gary Odonnell

    Very sexy ! nice job from XFX on this card. out of my price range, but pisses on all the rest today.

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  • NOTBIASED

    omg, this card is out of this world, am waiting for the next batch as the ones i wanted are all sold out, am going XFX this time round… good job xfx & amd/ati

  • mbryans

    HD 7970 consumes only 250 watts just like HD 6970, so the temperature and noise from R7970 XFX DD is still considered average, not interesting. Components used by XFX look cheap.

    I’m waiting, who is able to make HD 7970 has load temperature below 60 and noise below 30 dBA. Is Asus or MSI Twin Frozr DirectCU?

  • Im curious mbryans. what ‘components’ look cheap?

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  • mbryans

    What I mean with look cheap is the blue-pink colored capacitors on the PCB, as painted by hand. As a semi-custom graphics card, the XFX card is is more like a reference card with custom cooler added. XFX should use a special color or logo on the capacitors and other components. Looks cheap does not mean really cheap, but rather to it felt.

  • mbryans

    I think there is something wrong from HQV 2.0 table. After the “Resolution Enhancement”, followed by “Theme Park”, “Driftwood”, “Beach at Dusk” (not “Ferris Wheel”), and “White and Black Cats” (this is not in table). End with “Skin Tones”.

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  • Blackops_2

    I was under the impression voltage was locked on these cards?

  • poep

    There is no voltage lock if you use Sapphire Trix 4.4.0 B.
    Otherwise ur limited.

    And afterburner is gh3y software these days which limits almost everything!! even the maximum clocks you can set i hope they die those mofos who make afterburner, F***ING HATE THOSE F*GGOTS!!

    DIE!

  • Sean

    the card may be crazy powerful, but longevity is a joke. I have been a long time xfx fan but after my recent experience I’ll NEVER buy another xfx product. 4 months ago I purchased their 7970 ghz edition card and about 30 days ago it fried, and by fried I mean computer won’t “post” with card installed. Their warranty policy is horrible and it will likely take you a month to get your replacement. I actually read their warranty policy which states they do not actually have to replace the card you send them with the same brand ie. AMD or Nvidia. On top of that they do not offer an advanced replacement option, I even offered to let them hold the full retail value from my bank account to make sure they got their defective card back…. “nope I do not have the ability to do that” I actually paid not only for shipping to them but put a return shipping label in the box so I didn’t have to wait for their 5 to 7 day gound shipping on the return. About 2 weeks ago I received my replacement 7970 ghz and all was good, until last night when the exact same failure took place and again after only 2 weeks I have a brand new dead XFX 7970 ghz edition video card. God I wish I would have done some research instead of just buying from the brand I had used in the past. Think I’ll look into ASUS’s ROG series, they actually offered an advanced exchange when my crosshair v died.