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Review: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC Vapor-X

by Tarinder Sandhu on 22 August 2012, 16:16 4.0

Tags: Sapphire, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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Final thoughts and rating

HEXUS Snapshot:

...the card nicely fills the price and performance gap between HD 7950 and HD 7970.

Recent price cuts, free games, and driver-related improvements have brought AMD's Radeon HD 7950 back into serious contention for users looking for the best £250 graphics card on the market. Sweetening the deal that little bit more, AMD's providing more performance by way of a user-upgradeable vBIOS that increases the core clock from 800MHz to 850MHz, jumping up to 925MHz under the auspices of PowerTune with Boost.

Sapphire generally mimics this new-and-improved Radeon HD 7950 with its Vapor-X Edition, which Boosts 25MHz higher, to 950MHz. Taking the opportunity of equipping the card with a quality heatsink and launching soon at £260 or so, the card nicely fills the price and performance gap between HD 7950 and HD 7970.

Certainly a worthy contender in the massed ranks of premium graphics cards, Sapphire's Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X is a solid alternative for folk who can't, or don't want to, extend their financial reach to a GeForce GTX 670 or full-fat Radeon HD 7970.

The Good

Quiet and cool
Excellent overclocking potential, as usual

The Bad

Competition is super-fierce in this pricing segment

HEXUS Rating

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC Vapor-X

HEXUS Awards

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC Vapor-X

HEXUS Where2Buy


HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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Wow, surprisingly quiet.
The reference card is supposed to sound like a jumbo jet with boost enabled.
It's all about the overclocking, where the 7950 basically passes the 680 at 1050Mhz then just pulls away. That's why the value for money is crazy with these cards.

AMD needs to learn a hard lesson here, because these cards should never have been released at a paltry 800MHz. Had they been released nearer to 950 or 1GHz, Nvidia would have been in an awful mess this year instead of them being able to launch the 680 at such a high price. AMD's loss is our gain however.
I guess they were released at such a low clock because AMD weren't really sure what the competition would be like and wanted to keep their cards balanced across performance, power and noise.
They were presumably hoping to win on all 3 counts which they arguably did against the old 580.
After all if you can win in every area it makes the buying decision easy for the consumer.

With the 670/660 Ti AMD then realised they couldn't win across the board, so decided to concentrate on pure performance.
Luckily with this card Sapphire have done an admirable job on noise as well.
Wrong thread :)
sapphire is really good for keeping temps and noise down (At those speeds - most card would), but the company has lost its way by releasing cards barely over reference speeds (The 7970 GE Toxic is out of the norm). Nvidia AIB`s are pushing their cards so high, that some are needing their speeds reduced bcoz its set too high causing some to crash e.g. KFA2-Zotac. I don`t know if AMD or AIB`s are at blame here, but situation is getting dire with every card.

Sapphire cards usually overclock good, but not everyone overclocks and neither is the overclock guaranteed.