Sapphire HD 7970 Dual X ReviewBluePanda - June 12, 2012
Category: Video Cards
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Sapphire has been on the map as an AMD producing card company for years. I personally remember saving away funds to buy a Sapphire card not too long before I had my 4870X2 for so long. Sapphire has always seemed to provide the right price for the same performance of the series. The design of the card is something rather important to me besides the performance alone; Sapphire has always been a bit more aesthetically pleasing with the options it has recently presented. I tend to avoid the typical anime girl on the card or red and black AMD theme if at all possible. Sapphire of course has its share of those cards, but also seem to provide some nice plain cards like the one we will be looking at today.
Today we will be looking at the Sapphire HD 7970 OC edition with the new dual-extractor, Dual-X technology. With a highly efficient multi-pipe cooler design incorporating two fans to move the air, it can be both quiet at idle and very cool under heavy load. The HD 7970 has 32 compute units and 2048 stream processors. Rather than the usual 925MHz clock speed, the OC edition is shipped out with a raised speed of 950MHz and a bump on the memory speed to 1425MHz. The integrated Dual BIOS switch also allows you to choose the higher performance settings, 1GHz/1450MHz, with a simple switch increasing the fan profile and raising the limits for a maximum overclock. This card was truly designed for overclocking.
The Sapphire HD 7970 OC edition comes packed much like its sister Sapphire HD 7970 card. The box is near identical with only the addition of a couple logos to show off its Dual BIOS, dual fans, and compatibility with TriXX. Otherwise, it is a quite familiar box with Ruby on the front dressed for combat, while showing off her upper region for the seemingly male dominated field.
Information highlighting the 28nm manufacturing process technology, ability for Eyefinity, AMD APP, DisplayPort connections, PCIe 3.0 and the Dual BIOS features with onboard GDDR5 memory is a bit overwhelming at first; but in reality, these are the key features Sapphire has been bringing to the table for a while that have made the cards what they are. The back of the box goes on to list more features, which can be found on page three, and list a stack of 2,500 reviews awards Sapphire has obtained in the last ten years, including the OCC Gold logo. The other angles of the box show off the Sapphire logo and provide you with an overall idea of the entire box. It's sealed simply with a Sapphire sticker, both for authenticity, as well as to prevent you from spending all your time getting the box open. A quick cut of the sticker and I've got it open.
Inside is your typical brown cardboard box; not much else to say about that. It's recycled and it holds the product you have been dying to see. Flipping it open the Sapphire HD 7970 is wrapped in a static guard bag and securely packaged in a formed cardboard tray. Shaking the box doesn't let you know there is anything in there as the card is held well in place.
Taking out the cardboard tray with the card, the goodies are revealed beneath. Unlike many cards on the market you won’t be without the right adapter to use your card when it shows up. There seems to be every imaginable combination to get you off to the right start. An active mini-DisplayPort to DVI, mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort, DVI to VGA, and HDMI to SL-DVI are all included in the box. So if you've got the monitor cable, you can use the card out of the box without any issues. It even makes setting up Eyefinity that much easier.
The box also includes a driver CD, in case you don’t have access to the Internet to download the latest and greatest, a quick install guide, a Sapphire ad, and a nifty little sticker to add to your beverage fridge collection. An 8-pin to 4-pin power cable is included to make cable routing easier on you, as well as a CrossfireX bridge interconnect cable if you need it. Sapphire has all your bases covered in this little box; it's not just a card you are getting, but everything you need to use it.