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XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited Review

jlqrb    -   September 7, 2010
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Conclusion:

While XFX is not the first to equip a HD 5970 with 4GB of memory and crank the core up to 850MHz, the company is the first to include six Mini-DisplayPorts on the card to add support for up to six monitors. This places the HD 5970 Black Edition limited graphics card in a league of its own and dedicates it (without limiting it) to the Eyefinity segment of the market. This is actually ideal as gaming at resolutions beyond 5760x1080 takes a toll on any graphics card and not many are currently up to the task. However, with this beast it is an entirely different story altogether as the majority of games tested played incredibly smoothly even when the AA, AF and in-game settings were increased. So, the HD 5970 BE Limited has stellar out-of-the-box performance, but when you throw an additional 4GB HD 5970 in QuadFire into the mix the performance becomes astronomical. With dual cards, there are four functioning GPUs and 8GB of of total available memory, and this translated into smooth gaming across all, with the exception of one or two of the tested games.

Along with the amazing performance this graphics has a very robust cooling solution. This is due to the use of dual heatsinks on each core that utilize three copper heatpipes to efficiently transfer the heat away from the GPU. Additionally, XFX has also relocated the cores to opposite ends of the PCB, which will reduce the temperature by giving each core its own thermal zone, thus preventing much of the heat from transferring between the cores. The only real issue with the cooling is that the fan can get very loud. Even when sitting at an idle state the card makes noticeable noise, so anyone sensitive to fan noise might want to consider another card or get an after-market cooling option.

The HD 5970 Black Edition Limited in itself didn’t have any real issues to report, though when it came to the bundled adapters I was a little disappointed. This was due to three of the six adapters having a different connection type, which could make it hard to setup six monitors with the included adapters. Also, since all the DVI adapters are all single-link this card does not support resolutions beyond 1920x1200 out-of-the-box. Depending on your needs this could create a situation where additional funds are needed to get the correct cable(s), and when shelling out $1200 you really just want it all to be included.

Beyond the adapters though, one accessory that is very welcome is the included G8 LAN bag. This thing is exceptionally well designed and could easily help transport all your hardware to a major LAN event or just over to your buddy's place.

The XFX HD 5970 Black Edition Limited graphics is a fast, powerful and cool graphics card with only minimal flaws. So, with all this and the ability to support up to six monitors, this graphics card is bound to be sought after by all Eyefinity junkies and those who require the latest and greatest. However, this card will set you back $1200, and is set to be released in limited supply. We already have number 0095, so you better buy it now or save up quick!

 

Pros:

  • Amazing performance
  • Supports six monitors
  • 4GB GDDR5 memory
  • 850MHz core
  • Included G8 LAN bag
  • Great cooling

 

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Not enough included adapters


 

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