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Sapphire HD6970 2048MB GDDR5 (Dual Fan Edition) Review

We review many third party custom cooling solutions, but generally the catch is that they increase the price of a graphics card, with often a £20-£30 premium overhead against a reference solution. This Sapphire HD6970 is their new ‘reference' card, as they move to replace their older, single fan cooler.

We had a great experience with this product, as the twin fan cooler is significantly quieter than the reference design. Temperatures were maintained at just over 60c when fully loaded with a Direct X 11 engine. The rising temperatures only required both fans to spin at less than 50% activity (around 1,700 rpm). Two quality fans are definitely better than one.

The Sapphire TriXX tool allows for full voltage adjustments with this card, meaning we could push the core to 954mhz, and the Hynix GDDR5 memory to over 1500mhz (6000 effective). There is clearly some overclocking headroom with these boards, and for those who make the effort, the gains are noticeable. We can't guarantee all of these new ‘reference' cards will overclock as well, but we would think 930mhz+ would be easy.

The current, single fan revision of the card retails in the UK for £285 inc vat, and Sapphire have told us that this card will directly replace it, at the same price. Make sure you hang fire until the UK stores get updated stock before a purchase.

Pros:

  • good overclocking headroom, especially from the Hynix GDDR5 memory.
  • Quiet.
  • runs cool.
  • much improved over the reference design.
  • hot air still vented out the rear of the computer chassis.

Cons:

  • We hope you haven't bought the previous version recently.

Kitguru says: A direct two fan/heatpipe cooler replacement for the reference card at no extra cost, hard to complain.

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Rating: 9.0.

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12 comments

  1. Sweet deal, hopefully see these for £270 at christmas in UK

  2. The cooler looks as good as their vapor X,. they might cause damage to their other, more expensive cards with this. not that im complaining, nice to see a company taking the cost of the cooler themselves. they are making enough profit anyway on these higher end boards.

  3. What voltage did you set to get 954MHz core? Thanks.

  4. @ Jon.

    1243, its in the picture on the overclocking page.

  5. Looks great, nice to see it being classed as a reference board too. normally that would be over £300

  6. @Davis

    Thanks. That voltage look a little high? My 6970 does 945/1495 on 1185 with a Accelero XTREME Plus II cooler. Might push it a bit higher if thats a fairly safe voltage bump.

  7. Hi, nice review and I have been reading reviews for 3 6970 cards but still cannot decide on which to buy. Which one would you pick between these 3:
    MSI Radeon 6970 lightning edition
    Sapphire Radeon 6970 dual fan edition
    Sapphire Radeon 6970 Flex Battlefield 3 edition?

  8. Depends on your specific needs. do you overclock? have you three non displayport screens? is noise a primary factor?

  9. will not be overclocking, will only have 1 lcd tv connected using hdmi and yes noise is a primary factor. Basically Im after a stable and quiet setup.

  10. They are all great cards, so your shortlist is very good. If you arent overclocking, using a single screen, then save some money and get the dual fan sapphire board as the pricing should be the lowest.

  11. Can this card run Battlefield 3 on ultra settings?

  12. What resolution?