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Review: Sapphire's monster HD 7970 TOXIC 6GB on three screens

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 July 2012, 14:27

Tags: Sapphire

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Setting the three-screen scene

Just yesterday Sapphire released what 'it believes to be' the world's fastest single-GPU graphics card. Going by the name of TOXIC and equipped with a 'Lethal Boost' button, we found it to be plenty quick. Our benchmarks had it, on average, to be a hair faster than a partner-overclocked GeForce GTX 680.

Sapphire went to town on the TOXIC by also equipping it with a 6GB framebuffer - yup, 6GB of super-fast GDDR5 memory on a graphics card; I can remember when 6GB hard drives were considered large! Anyhow, our standard suite of benchmarks takes in 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600-resolution settings, as found on 22/23/24in and 30in monitors, respectively, so the next step in the TOXIC's evaluation is to see what effect, if any, the super-sized framebuffer has when gaming on three screens.

There's little point in providing the TOXIC's three-screen results in isolation, so we have re-benchmarked a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 OC on the same trio of BenQ monitors, to see which card really is the top dog.

Test system

GPU comparisons

Graphics card GPU clock
(MHz)
Stream
processors
Shader clock
(MHz)
Memory clock
(MHz)
Memory bus
(bits)
Graphics driver
Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz TOXIC (6,144MB) 1,200 2,048 1,200 6,400 384 Catalyst 12.7 beta
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (3,072MB) 1,050 2,048 1,050 6,000 384 Catalyst 12.7 beta
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 OC (2,048MB) 1,072+ 1,536 1,072+ 6,008 256 GeForce 304.48 beta

HEXUS high-end test bench

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K (3.30GHz, 6MB smart cache, quad-core, LGA1155)
Motherboard Intel Desktop Board DP67BG
Memory 8GB Corsair Vengeance (9-9-9-24 @ 1,600MHz)
Power Supply Corsair AX750W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP
Disk drive(s) Crucial RealSSD C300 (256GB)
Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit, SP1)

HEXUS high-end benchmark suite

Aliens vs. Predator DX11, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Batman: Arkham City DX11, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 8xMSAA, extreme quality
Battlefield 3 DX11, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, ultra quality
Crysis 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 4xAA, ultra quality
Just Cause 2 DX10, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Total War: Shogun 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080, 5,760 x 1,080 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, high quality

Notes

We're to show benchmark results from running a single full-HD screen (1,920x1,080-resolution) and then on three identical screens software-joined together by either AMD's Eyefinity or NVIDIA's Surround technologies. Running in accordance with previous methodology employed when using three screens, we are going to examine the average framerate, per-second framerate and per-frame rendering times. All will become clear as you see the graphs, folks.