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Sapphire HD 7970 6GB Toxic Edition Review

Rating: 9.5.

Last week we had some hands on time with the latest AMD GHZ HD7970. At the end of the day it left us feeling distinctly uninspired. There was no doubt the card was fast, but AMD sadly adopted their ill equipped, painfully loud cooling solution with tiny, single red fan.

We hoped that Sapphire would rectify the sorry state of affairs and today we have their latest HD7970 ‘Toxic Edition’ in our labs, featuring a proprietary dual fan cooler, a staggering 6GB of GDDR5 and a ground breaking ‘lethal boost’ overclock core speed of 1,200mhz.

There is no doubt that on paper the SAPPHIRE HD 7970 6GB Toxic Edition ticks all the right boxes. Sapphire have completely ditched the AMD cooling solution and have decided to crank the clock speeds as high as they can. The default setting of the Toxic Edition is 1,050mhz with a dynamic boost to 1,100mhz. At this setting the memory is clocked at 1,500mhz (6Gbps effective).

So far so good, but the best is yet to come. By pressing the new Sapphire ‘Lethal Boost Button’, the core speed increases to 1,100mhz with a dynamic boost of 1,200mhz and the memory speed is also enhanced to 1,600mhz (6.4Gbps effective). This card certainly has set a new overclock benchmark for AMD’s HD7970.

Is this the card to totally dethrone the GTX680? How about the stunning, class leading KFA2 GTX680 LTD OC? Can any single GPU card take on this beast?

All these questions and more will be answered today.

Product AMD HD7970 GHZ Ed
SAPPHIRE HD 7970 6GB TOXIC
AMD HD7950 AMD HD7870 AMD HD7850
Core Clock speed 1050mhz
(1200mhz)
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 134.4 GT/s
153.6 GT/s
89.6 GT/s 80 GT/s 55.0 GT/s
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Pixel Fillrate 33.6 GP/s
38.4 GP/s
25.6 GP/s 32.0 GP/s 27.52 GP/s
Z/Stencil 128 128 128 128
Memory Type 3GB GDDR5
(6GB GDDR5)
3GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5
Memory Clock 1,500mhz
(1,600mhz)
1,250mhz 1,200mhz 1,200mhz
Memory Data Rate 6 GBps
(6.4 Gbps)
5.0 Gbps 4.8 Gbps 4.8 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s (307.2GB/s) 240 GB/s 153.6 GB/s 153.6 GB/s

Sapphire have enhanced this card in many key areas, doubling the memory count to 6GB of GDDR5, running at a maximum of 1,600mhz (6.4Gbps effective). This delivers an effective memory bandwidth of 307.2Gb/s. The Tahiti core can boost to a maximum speed of 1,200mhz which should improve the overall performance significantly.

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