Sapphire Radeon HD 5970 OC Reviewccokeman - November 20, 2009
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There really is not a whole lot to say other than there is a new king in town. The Sapphire HD 5970 OC delivers performance far superior to what is currently available in every test run. This is the fastest video card out right here, right now. Overclocking the 5970 was a bit challenging but gains can be increased by using any of the voltage tweaking utilities out there. The Redline utility that can be downloaded from Sapphire's site did not recognize my card as a supported device so I was not able to use it for my overclocking endeavors. I will follow up with this utility when I get the issue resolved. Overall, I was able to run the card higher than the clock speeds on the HD 5870 for a nice increase in performance, but to do so brought out the fan noise that ATI reference cards always bring to the table when you bump up the fan for additional cooling. I was able to reach clock speeds of 890MHz on the core and 1260MHz on the memory, with power consumption peaking at 486 watts on the system under load with temperatures that reached 69 degrees Celsius. The vapor chamber cooling does its job keeping this behemoth cool! Not too bad on the clocks and temperatures, but as an enthusiast you always want more performance with less power. Even at the speeds the 5970 OC runs you will be hard pressed to find a game you cannot play with the eye candy turned way up!
If you can't get more clock speed you have additional capabilities that can be used with the HD 5970 OC. ATI's Eyefinity technology allows the use of up to three displays at one time with this card to increase the level of immersion in your games. Something I have yet to test but am looking forward to it. Sapphire has given the end user a pretty substantial bundle that includes two DX 11 titles so that you can take full advantage of the capabilities of the HD 5970 OC. As you can expect with the high price and limited availability of the 5XXX series, the cost of this card is going to hit the wallet a little hard at $624, or roughly the cost of two HD 5850s. Since these card use cherry picked ASICS, supply may be limited but according to rumours, TSMC has gotten the supply problems fixed so ATI and its partners should be poised for a good holiday season if supply can meet the demand. Not everyone will want or need a card of this caliber but you can rest assured that there will be enough for you to jump on the bandwagon to have the best of the best video card on the block, the Sapphire HD 5970 OC!
- Redline did not recognize the card
- Fan noise at 100%