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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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