Game Performance: Portal 2, Battlefield 3, Starcraft II, Civilization V

Regardless of the resolution and anti-aliasing setting used, the BEDD’s lead on the reference 7970 is always 7-8%, indicating that it’s another game largely GPU limited and one of the biggest benefactors of XFX’s factory overclock.

Battlefield 3 is also another consistent title. XFX’s 8% core clock and 4% memory clock overclock gets you 6-7% more on BF3, which is good news for XFX as this is one of the hardest games for the 7970 to pull away from the GTX 580.

With Starcraft II we’re back to seeing gains varying with the resolution. At 2560 it’s nearly 8% faster than the reference 7970, but at 1920 it’s only 5% faster. Based on what we’ve seen with AMD’s performance at 1680, AMD seems to have some general frame setup issues with SC2 that are limiting their ability to scale too far past 100fps, hence the weaker scaling at 1920.

Finally with CivV we have the biggest gap of them all. At 2560 the BEDD gains 8%, but at 1680 it’s only 1%. Whatever AMD has done with the 7970 to improve their performance in CivV this much, it apparently is resolution dependent. At lower resolutions the 7970 becomes more reliant on the CPU, probably a consequence of AMD’s lack of driver command list support.

Game Performance: Crysis, Metro, DiRT, Shogun, & Batman Compute Performance
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  • radium69 - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    Maybe it's me, but this looks VERY classy!
    Not gimmicky and plasticky but very tight and sexy!
    I'm going to keep an eye out for this card. hope they stick more with the allumium design.
    Reply
  • RubyX - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    Couldn't you fix the idle noise issue by just changing the fan speed via software? Or is that not possible with this card for some reason? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    The lowest fan speed with AMD's fan profile is 20%, which is where it already settles to at idle. It's not possible to go below 20% right now, hence 43dB really is as quiet as the DD cooler can get. Reply
  • dj christian - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Well i can go to 0% in MSI Afterburner. But the fan never stops no matter how low you put it Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Afterburner is just a frontend to Overdrive in this case. It can't take the fan any lower than Overdrive will allow, and that's 20%. Reply
  • james.jwb - Thursday, January 12, 2012 - link

    what about speedfan? Reply
  • cactusdog - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    I'm going to wait for a better quality non-reference cooler like the Asus DCUII, MSI Twin Frosr, Sapphire vapourX, Gigabyte Windforce.

    If you can hear the card at idle that is a disaster, especially when it costs $60 more
    Reply
  • LB-ID - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    I completely agree. Sapphire's VaporX cards have spoiled me, I won't settle for less as far as acoustic management is concerned. Reply
  • Artifex28 - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Got lucky year back or so and got a VaporX 5870 instead of my original 5850. Can´t complain. Excellent card!

    In my case it´s an external HDD fan that makes the most noise and this pulsating hum...
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    I agree that it is pathetic you can hear it at idle, especially given ATI's massive gains in the areas of idle power. Massive gains.

    I use a custom fan curve through MSI Afterburner on my Radeon 6950 Twin Frozr III, and it is simply inaudible at idle.
    Reply

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