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Sapphire Pure Black X79N Motherboard and HD7970 GPU Review

Sapphire love 3d rendered babes, and this time they have opted for a well endowed army lass. Sapphire have listed some specifications along the bottom of the box, as well as the 3GB memory capacity top right.

The Sapphire bundle is extensive and includes a software CD, product overview, Crossfire cable and a variety of power and video converter cables.

This particular card is based around the AMD reference design, which features the new improved cooling system.

The fan is broader and incorporates a new blade design which is rated to deliver lower noise emissions and enhanced cooling efficiency. The wider blades also improve airflow.

Sapphire’s 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 takes power from a 6 pin and an 8 pin connector.

It 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.

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.

The HD7970 is built from 4.3 billion 28nm transistors.

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. We noticed in our launch review that the HD7970 would have a problem holding horizontal sync with specific monitors. This Sapphire card didn’t experience any of these problems, so we would blame the early engineering sample.

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  • Peter Saunders

    Nice system this would make. The 7970 is brilliant and the motherboard seems well made, much like everything sapphire do. I dont really like their bioses however as I think they are adopting a different style of overclocking than everyone else with those mv. why not just make it core voltage and have direct keying in on the field like everyone else?

  • Jospeh

    Sapphire are trying hard in the motherboard arena, they face such stiff competition however that they would need to focus on getting their pricing down. The Z68 board for instance cost more here than many of the ASUS products, and I dont think it sold very well

  • Eric D

    I am waiting on toxic or vaporx card from sapphire before buying a 7970. The AMD reference coolers suck, even this one, which I hear is better.

    Motherboard looks ok, I like the fact Sapphire seem to be making everything themselves, including their custom bios configurations.

  • Brooke

    They seem to make good boards and I would buy one, but they seem hard to get in the UK even if I wanted to.

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  • Gary Odonnell

    Didnt even know they made motherboards!

  • Raymond

    Hope they release a good VaporX edition soon. those reference cards dont appeal to me at all.

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