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Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X 2GB Review

BluePanda    -   June 25, 2012
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Testing:

Testing of the Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X 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. All NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 301.42 drivers; AMD will be using Catalyst 12.4 drivers.

  • Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair H100
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
  • Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 16 GB
  • Video Card: Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X
  • PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
  • Hard Drives: Corsair Force GT 240 GB SSD
  • Case: Corsair 650D
  • Optical Drive: N/A
  • OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X — Core 1240MHz, Memory 1290MHz

Overclocking a Sapphire GPU is almost as simple as Catalyst Control Center (well at least for the most part). I simply used TriXX to raise up the GPU and memory clock speeds using the sliders. The Powertune limit was turned all the way up and the core voltage was bumped up to 1.3 volts to get the most out of this Pitcairn XT core. The limits within TriXX are massively higher than you could ever hope to attempt without extreme cooling (like phase change or LN2) so you can't just max out the core and memory clocks like some other cards. The memory clock was bumped up 25MHz at a time until things became unstable, then backed off 5MHz at a time till it would pass 30 minutes of Unigine Heaven 3.0. The core clocks were raised similarly. After a few rounds of testing the rock-solid clock rates were 1240MHz core (a 24% increase) and 1290MHz memory (a 7.5% increase). The core clock is one of the highest seen here at OCC and the memory is roughly what is expected considering the modules themselves were only rated for 1250MHz.

 

 

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 are adjusted and the test is rerun until each card passes the testing.

 

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro 2033
  2. Batman: Arkham City
  3. Battlefield 3
  4. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  5. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
  6. DiRT 3
  7. Mafia II
  8. 3DMark 11
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Video Card
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Metro 2033
  6. Testing: Batman: Arkham City
  7. Testing: Battlefield 3
  8. Testing: Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
  9. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  10. Testing: DiRT 3
  11. Testing: Mafia II
  12. Testing: 3DMark 11
  13. Testing: Eyefinity & Surround
  14. Testing: Temperatures
  15. Testing: Power Consumption
  16. Conclusion
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