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Review: XFX Radeon HD 7970 Double Dissipation Edition

by Tarinder Sandhu on 9 January 2012, 19:45 4.0

Tags: XFX (HKG:1079)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabayj

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How we test

GPU comparisons

Graphics card Approx.
pricing
GPU clock
(MHz)
Stream
processors
Shader clock
(MHz)
Memory clock
(MHz)
Memory bus
(bits)
Graphics driver
  AMD Radeon HD 6990 (4,096MB) £530 830 3,072 830 5,000 256 x 2 Catalyst 11.12
  XFX Radeon HD 7970 DD (3,072MB) £480 925 2,048 925 5,500 384 Catalyst 11.12a
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3,072MB) £450 925 2,048 925 5,500 384 Catalyst 11.12
  AMD Radeon HD 6970 (2,048MB) £255 880 1,536 880 5,500 256 Catalyst 11.12
  AMD Radeon HD 6950 (2,048MB) £185 800 1,408 800 5,000 256 Catalyst 11.12
  AMD Radeon HD 6870 (1,024MB) £140 900 1,120 900 4,200 256 Catalyst 11.12
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 (3,072MB) £620 607 1,024 1,215 3,414 384 x 2 ForceWare 285.88
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1,536MB) £350 772 512 1,544 4,008 384 ForceWare 285.88
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (1,280MB) £240 732 480 1,464 3,800 320 ForceWare 285.88
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 (1,280MB) £220 732 448 1,464 3,800 320 ForceWare 285.88
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1,024MB) £170 822 384 1,645 4,008 256 ForceWare 285.88

High-end test bench

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K (3.33GHz, 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)

High-end benchmark suite

3DMark 11 Performance and Extreme presets
Aliens vs. Predator DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Batman: Arkham City DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 8xAA, ultra quality
Battlefield 3 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, ultra quality
Crysis 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, ultra quality
Just Cause 2 DX10, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Total War: Shogun 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, high quality
Power consumption To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record mains power draw both when idle and whilst playing Crysis 2
Temperature To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record GPU core temperature both when idle and whilst playing Crysis 2
Noise A PCE-318 meter is used to record noise levels when idle and whilst playing Crysis 2
Overclocking Pushing the graphics card as far as it will go, we increase speeds and re-run the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark
HEXUS bang4buck A custom metric used to evaluate comparative performance with price factored in

Notes

We've used the driver shipping the package - 11.12a - for our testing. The incremental upgrade over the press 11.12 suggests that performance will be near-identical between the XFX and AMD HD 7970 cards. We're putting this to the test now.

What's of greater import is the power-draw, temperatures and noise from this custom-cooled model. As usual, we've tested these. Let's get to it.