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Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition Review ( Photos )

Penulis : Mohamed Abdo on Friday, March 29, 2013 | 1:27 PM

apphire gives its new flagship graphics card 6 GB of very fast memory, compared to the mere 3 GB on AMD’s reference card. Does this give Sapphire’s Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition a real-world speed boost? We connect it to an epic six-screen array to find out.
Sapphire’s new flagship graphics card, the Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB, has two times as much GDDR5 memory as AMD’s reference Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition board. The company employs the same GPU allowing its own Lethal Boost technology (essentially automatic overclocking) to take the chip up to 1200 MHz and the memory to 1600 MHz when thermal headroom allows. The combination of a faster clock rates and extra memory should yield a nice performance boost for the folks who know how to capitalize.
Wait. There are ways to take advantage of all of that memory, aren’t there?
Lots of extra RAM is most effective at high resolutions and with lots of anti-aliasing applied. So, that’s what we’ll be looking most closely at today.

othing says big resolutions like an Eyefinity setup composed of six monitors. You might think that we’d need a special Eyefinity Edition of the Radeon HD 7970 to achieve such a thing, but it’s indeed possible using a trio of splitters. The only question to answer is whether the card’s single Tahiti GPU is fast enough to drive such a massive setup.
Speaking of massive, we decided to go all-out for this little experiment, making it a public event. Our point of comparison was the Radeon HD 7970 from Gigabyte. For the sake of our head-to-head, we overclocked the Gigabyte board to 1200 MHz, giving us a good baseline for 3 GB versus 6 GB of memory.

Technical Specifications and Features

Sapphire naturally went with AMD’s Tahiti GPU for its top-end board, including the built-in TDP limiter that throttles clock rate beyond a set thermal ceiling. We’ll be testing to see if that turns out to be a good move. The card’s 6 GB of memory running at 1600 MHz represents the most you’ll probably ever see from this platform.
Here’s how the card’s technical specifications size up to AMD’s original Radeon HD 7970, the GHz Edition card, and Gigabyte’s take on the board:


Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Radeon HD 7970
Stream Processors   2048 2048 2048 2048
Texture Units 128 128 128 128
Full Color ROPs 32 32 32 32
GPU Clock Standard:
1050 MHz Base
1100 MHz Boost Lethal Boost:
1100 MHz Base
1200 MHz Boost
1080 MHz 1000 MHz Base
1050 MHz Boost
925 MHz
Texture Fill Rate 140.8 MHz Gtex/s
153.6 Gtex/s
138.2 Gtex/s 134.4 Gtex/s 118.4 Gtex/s
Memory Clock 1500 MHz
1600 MHz
1375 MHz 1500 MHz 1375 MHz
Memory Bus 384-Bit 384-Bit 384-Bit 384-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s
307.2 GB/s
264 GB/s 288 GB/s 264 GB/s
Graphics Memory 6 GB GDDR5 3 GB GDDR5 3 GB GDDR5 3 GB GDDR5
Die Size 365 mm²
Transistors 4.31 Billion
Process Technology 28 nm
Power Connectors 2 x 8-pin 2 x 8-pin 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin
Maximum Power
Consumption (TDP)
320 W 300 W 275 W 250 W




Sapphire’s card features one dual-link DVI, one single-link DVI, one HDMI, and two Mini DisplayPort connectors. This makes the Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB more flexible than even AMD’s reference design. The card’s bracket employs openings for better ventilation, though its axial fans don’t necessarily promote effective exhaust.
Description
Dimensions 275 (L) x 115 (H) x 42 (D) mm
Included Software Driver CD
Sapphire TriXX
In the Box CrossFire Bridge, DVI-to-VGA Adapter, Mini DP-to-DP Adapter, Active Mini DP-to-DVI Adapter, 6-pin to 2 x 4-pin Power Cable, 1.8 m HDMI 1.4a Cable

Sapphire’s Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB in Pictures

Sapphire’s Vapor-X cooler was developed specifically for this card. Visually, it looks similar to Sapphire’s other cards. However, you can see the special vapor chamber under the plastic shroud and two 90 mm fans.

Sapphire deviates from AMD’s reference design with a 12-layer PCB populated with what the company calls its Black Diamond chokes and MOSFETs with DirectFET packaging technology on both sides. The card’s backplate is used to both stabilize and cool the card. We’ll go into more depth on this, of course.

The top of Sapphire’s Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB has two much-needed eight-pin power connectors.

Sapphire’s logo lights up, which looks pretty sharp in the dark.

The cooler employs four heatpipes.

The Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB is quite thick, almost making it a three-slot card. You need the right motherboard to run two of these in CrossFire.



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