Asus Matrix HD 7970 Platinum Reviewairman -
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Testing of the ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum Edition will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.
The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark 11 testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA Control Panel, if applicable. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 306.32 drivers with AMD cards using the Catalyst 12.8 drivers and latest CAP profile.
- Processors: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 993997 9-11-10-28 1866Mhz
- Video Card:ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Comparison Video Cards:
- NVIDIA GTX 680
- NVIDIA GTX 670
- Sapphire HD 7970 6GB VaporX GHz Edition
- XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- XFX HD 7950 Black Edition
- ASUS GTX 660Ti Direct CU II TOP
- ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum Edition: Core 1305MHz, Memory 1748MHz
Overclocking this video card using ASUS' GPU Tweak utility is a lot of fun. You have a wide range of clock speeds you can select, you can adjust all sorts of voltages, and you can burn your voltage, clock, and fan speed settings to the BIOS for a hardware level change. If you worry about something writing a bad BIOS, just boot up with the card in safe mode, select the default settings in GPU Tweak, and burn the original BIOS back in its place. I never had the card crash on me; I knew I was past the card's limit once it began to artifact and tearing appeared. I did notice that as long as the GPU stayed under 70 °C, there wasn't an issue. The artifacting only showed up in the Unigine Heaven benchmark; the video quality was perfect in all other testing.
From what ASUS has said about this card, the user is just about guaranteed to hit 1200MHz on the core or beyond. I've managed to hit the 1.3GHz line — faster than any other comparison video card. The larger PCB, 20-phase power design, and excellent cooling allow this card to really overclock well. I would love to see one of these on dry ice or LN2 and see how fast it can really go!
Maximum Clock Speeds:
Testing for the maximum clock speed consists of looping Unigine 3.0 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds fail when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass a full hour of testing.
- Gaming Tests:
- Metro 2033
- Batman: Arkham City
- Battlefield 3
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
- Sid Meier's Civilization V
- DiRT 3
- Mafia II
- 3DMark 11
- Power Consumption