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Almost a month ago the HD 7970GHz edition cards were introduced, bringing along all the enhancements inherent with a maturation of the manufacturing process. Most notable was higher clock speeds hence the GHz Edition moniker. The Sapphire HD 7970 6GB Toxic Edition is built upon this improved process silicon. Not content to deliver a card based on the reference design, Sapphire has thrown away the book and put together its own design using a custom 12 layer PCB, double sided Black Diamond chokes and DirectFET technology; all part of its Lethal Power Suite. Cooling is via an all new Vapor-X implementation designed for this card to manage the thermals while keeping noise in check with new 90mm fans. The stock GHz Edition cards from AMD have 1000MHz clock speed with a boost clock of 1050MHz, with the memory a constant 1500MHz. Compared to the standard HD 7970 clocks of 925MHz on the core and 1375MHz on the memory there is a significant boost in clock speed and ergo, performance. Sapphire has upped the ante with clock speeds of 1050MHz with a boost clock of 1100MHz or 50MHz higher than the standard GHz Edition. Memory speeds are constant at 1500MHz. How does it get better than that?
Back right before Christmas AMD took the wraps off their latest GPU architecture code named Southern Islands. This architecture rang in the drop to a 28nm process with what AMD calls a revolutionary architecture to drive computing power to +1.4x the previous generation. Along the way we also get a move to PCIe 3 support, 3GB of high speed GDDR5 memory, DX 11.1 compliance, Power Tune and Zero Core power technologies and Eyefinity 2.0 that brings its own new feature sets. AMD's GCN or Graphics Core Next Tahiti core is a step away from the VLIW design to a non VLIW SIMD engine for higher computing performance. This new core comes with a large increase in the transistor count to 4.31 Billion, an increase in the streaming processor count to 2048 with 32 raster units, 128 texture units and finally a move to a 384bit wide memory bus that drives compute performance and memory bandwidth scaling upwards. All this together on paper looks pretty significant and should drive gaming performance to new levels.
|Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC with Boost 3GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11197-03-40G||$369.99||See it|
|Radeon HD 7970 - 3 GB GDDR5 - PCI-Express 3.0 (11197-11-21G)||$708.76||See it|