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XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited 4GB in CrossFire X Review

If you have read the review then you will assuredly already be salivating by now. There is however one caveat, the asking price of £916 inc vat, per card. Can XFX justify the price? Let us discuss this.

It is clear from the moment you open the box that XFX have went ‘all out' to create a unique concept piece. The specially numbered P90 gun casing for instance (which matches the card number) is a clear indication that what you have in your hands is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. We also really like the Gaming LAN Bag from G8 which adds value to the package, especially with the Limited Edition XFX branding. The collection of cables is also a worthy addition and one that most people are going to need, unless of course they have a plethora of Displayport enabled monitors at home. There are two free games and a Crossfire connector as well, so all the bases, then some, are covered.

Obviously the bundle isn't going to justify the price tag, so we have to look at the card itself. This is a custom designed model by the XFX engineers and it looks simply stunning – we made the statement earlier that it looks like a work of art, and we feel in the boring world of graphics cards that it could be compared to a Limited Edition Ducati Motorbike. The build quality is exceptional and no corners have been cut in any area.

On a performance level the card(s) really deliver the goods, a single Black Edition can power through almost every engine on the market at 5670×1080 with AA and eye candy cranked to the hilt.  Two of them in Crossfire X is a stunningly powerful system and we broke 43,000 in 3DMark Vantage at performance settings which is a staggering result for a modestly cooled gaming system. When compared directly to the reference HD5970, these cards are not only clocked much higher, but they also run significantly cooler as well. Power consumption has also been reduced with the custom XFX design, always a good thing to note.

Negatively, the noise levels are bordering on almost painful, particularly with two running in a Crossfire X configuration. We recorded around 60dBa under full load and we would suggest a high end chassis with good soundproofing if these cards are going to be the foundation for your next system.

This leads us right back to the pricing, and of course this is something we can't justify, but to be perfectly honest it is a moot point. People who buy these cards aren't that worried about money, nor are they wanting something ‘mainstream' which everyone else has. There is no doubt in my mind that the XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited 4GB cards are a stunning showcase of engineering prowess and fall into the category of technologically based works of art. They propel XFX majestically into the ultra high end showcase category, recorded in the annals of tech history with other companies such as ASUS, for their ARES.

KitGuru says: If you have a few grand spare and already have the partnering equipment to fully utilise these cards, then why not? We class these as ‘must have' products if you are a rich enthusiast user – numbered collectors items are always popular with this small user base. Let's just say it loud and clear, running a pair of these Radeon HD 5970 cards in CrossFire X formation will give you the fastest graphics solution we have ever seen.

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Rating: 9.0.

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