Topic Title: My HD 7970 Ghz edition review
Topic Summary: XFX HD 7970 Ghz Double D Edition
Created On: 02/11/2013 08:33 PM
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 02/11/2013 08:33 PM
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black_zion
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Yea, so, I finally got tired of going deaf from my HD 5970's AMD reference cooler which was loud as the SR-71 in afterburner it seemed and ran very hot and sucked down quite a bit of power. So I ordered a XFX HD 7970 Ghz Double D edition. It came down to between the Sapphire and XFX 7970s, but the reviews show that the XFX was the more quiet card, plus it was about $30 cheaper at the time, so I decided to take a chance. I'll break it down into parts so it'll be easier to follow.

Noise: QUIET! Seriously, anything under 60% fan speed is less audible than my case fans (which are pretty quiet themselves), and the pitch is lower, much more of an air woosh instead of the high pitched forced air sound of the AMD reference cooler on my 5970.

Power consumption: It really does sip the power. My system with the 5970 including monitor drew 299w just browsing the web and in gaming hit a max of 534w continuous. With the 7970 it fluctuates between 186-194w browsing the web and I've seen it peak at 421w but usually around the 390w mark (readings taken from my UPS's power meter). So yea, very power efficient.

Temperatures: Quite cool. Idle temp is 29°C/90°F which is only about 20°F higher than ambient, while gaming It gets into the low 60s°C, about 20°C cooler than my 5970 on both counts.

Game benchmarks: Plenty of sites have them, go look them up.

Negatives: Coil whine. Thankfully it is pretty well drowned out by ambient noise, but it's still there. I'm pretty sensitive to the higher frequencies, but it's not so much the loudness of it, it's more the fact that it's just a different sound. It also alternates between a whine and a buzz depending on what load it is under. Not worth the cost of a RMA. Also, the Never Settle Reloaded games, they suck, not helped by the fact that you are required to use STEAM or Origin to actually get them, so they'll just go unused along with the 5 games I got with my 5970, Crosshair IV, and 965BE.

Do I regret not getting the Sapphire: In a way I do. I've had nothing but good experiences with Sapphire in the past (the 5970 was a reference cooler so my grief has always been with the idiot who designed the cooler at AMD) but time will tell if I made the right decision.

Do I regret not waiting for DirectX 12 cards to upgrade: I do, but not as much considering how bad the bulk of the games these days tend to be, and the relative lack of changes which will be present in 12.

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 02/16/2013 12:19 AM
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Thanny
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The multi-fan in-case cooling definitely works better for noise control.  I went with the Gigabyte triple fan option last March when I had to replace a dead 5970.  Sure, it's dumping heat into the case rather than out the back, but that can be removed through much larger openings with 120mm+ case fans generating very little noise, compared to blower pushing air through an expansion slot.

Only real downside to those models is that they tend to depart from the reference PCB design, so if you want to move to full cover water cooling, you can't.  I got lucky with my Gigabyte, as the rev 1.0 PCB has a reference layout (despite being a custom-built board).  The rev 2.0 version is different.  And I believe the XFX custom cooled cards are also non-reference.

 

 02/17/2013 04:39 PM
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black_zion
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Riddle me this...I'm playing along today as normal when suddenly my computer restarts. I figure it's just an anomaly, happens occasionally, but when it restarts and I go back to playing, it happens again. Then I start to think it's the game, so I load up 3DMark11 since it is about the highest load you can place on new graphics cards as Furmark/Kombustor/OCCT will cause it to throttle and it happens again a few seconds into the test. First thing I think of is the RAM, so I run through Memtest86+ twice and it finds nothing wrong. Second thing I think of is the CPU, run Prime95 small, large, and blend tests twice through each, no problem. Then I think it might be a corrupted file, but checkdisk comes up clean as well. Think it's voltage, but under heavy load it reads 12.065v. Then I think that somehow my processor has lost the ability to sustain the mild overclock of 3.8ghz @ 1.39v it's been stable at for months, so I drop that back to stock, problem goes away. Then I put it back to 3.8ghz @ 1.39v, no problem either.

If it were a BSOD I could handle it as it would give a clue as to what was wrong and they're usually a cheap fix of a RAM module or software installation, but instant restarts are a whole different ballgame, since they usually mean something bad, or expensive, is on the way. Any ideas?

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 02/17/2013 04:50 PM
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Thanny
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Memory and CPU seem unlikely, given that the problem is tied to heavy graphics load.  Thermal protection would do that, but I can't imagine you'd fail to mention that the card was exceeding 100C.

You've had the same setup with a 5970 for a while without the same problem, right?  That's a higher power consumption at load than a 7970, so flaky PSU is very unlikely.  In your place, I'd definitely be suspecting the new XFX card, and would start contacting their support to arrange an RMA replacement.

 

 02/17/2013 05:00 PM
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black_zion
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That's what I'm suspecting, as not 5 minutes after I typed that it crashed again. I've still got my 5970, about to unbox it and see if the problem persists...Hope it's not the card, but part of me does hope it is so at least I'd have a definitive answer.

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 02/17/2013 05:20 PM
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black_zion
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Well apparently it must be the card, played for 2 hours with my 5970 without issue. Why didn't I go with Sapphire again...

Edit: Looking at the reviews some more of the recent ones seem to mention the card shorting and tripping the PSU safeguards. Would certainly explain why it restarts suddenly. Last time I ever use an XFX product again I'll tell you that. I swear if I could I would just return it for a refund and get the Sapphire 7970, but I can't because of that damn mail in rebate...Why did I fill that out...

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64

Edited: 02/17/2013 at 07:53 PM by black_zion
 02/18/2013 08:57 AM
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zipsi
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This is sad to hear. I've been noticing occasional weirdness from my gigabyte 7970 ghz as well, probably not the best manufacturer, but it was on sale and my old gpu died, had to do something. Luckily its quiet . Nothing ever crashes, but occasional visual artifacts pop up for a fraction of a second and then go away as if image was torn apart and then reassembled, but it happens so rarely that RMA will probably change nothing. I see people having issues with 7970's everywhere.. 



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Intel I7 3770K @ 4.5ghz, Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H, Gigabyte HD7970 ghz edition, 4x4gb Kingston HyperX Beast 2133mhz, Seasonic Platinum 860, Samsung 840 Pro 256gb, OCZ Vertex 4 128gb, WD Black 1TB, WD Green 3TB+1.5TB, ASUS Xonar Essence ST, ASUS VE278Q, Windows 3.11
 02/18/2013 04:37 PM
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black_zion
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Well XFX finally got off their butts and sent me an RMA number. Figures, save about $20 by going with XFX over Sapphire and spent nearly $20 to ship XFX's defective product back...Top of the line company my butt, I'll never stray from Sapphire again.

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 02/18/2013 09:31 PM
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technic58
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This is sad to hear because I had heard in the past that XFX was up there with eVGA for the gold standard of GPU companies. Bought an HD6750 from them two Christmases ago with the lifetime warranty and it's been doing just fine. Recently I've noticed the reviews aren't so hot, though, and most reference some really crappy loud fans.



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--Technic58--Joined 07/25/2004--Post Count + 13,953--

Desktop: AMD A8-6500 Richland, Asrock FM2A88X, 8GB Team DDR2133, WD 500GB Black, XFX HD7870 and Sapphire HD5870 (mining), EVGA NEX650G PSU, CoolerMaster HAF 912

Laptop: Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TG: i5 460M 2.53GHz, 8GB DDR3, 640GB Western Digital HDD, ATI Radeon HD5650M, Windows 

 02/18/2013 10:11 PM
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black_zion
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Yea XFX seems to be going a bit iffy, which really leaves Sapphire and EVGA as the only two great manufacturers of graphics cards. And the Lifetime Warranty really isn't anything to shout about, since they can just opt to give you the current value of the used card at the time of failure which on a card like the 6570 would barely cover the cost to ship the thing back to them...

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 02/18/2013 11:11 PM
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Vantharas
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My 7950's , and all previous XFX cards are great. Not to mention they overclock like champs. 

The lifetime warranty is really nice to have. You may not care about it. But alot of people do. If you get the lifetime warranty on a top of the line card. When it goes bad, if they don't have replacements they'll send you a current model thats more powerful then the one you had.

No point to complain about getting a bad card. Happens to everyone. I've gotten bad cards from every maufacturer out there minus diamond and visiontek because I've never bought cards from them.

I'll buy a sapphire card again when they stand behind it longer then 2 years. Last sapphire card I bought was a 3870. Which died on me 4 months after that warranty ended. And I was told "tough".

I give PC's to my family members who are less fortunate then I. Its annoying replaceing parts to PC's I give away :-)

 

 



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I5 3570K@4~5.0ghz: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H:Corsair Hydro H110 :16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR-3 1600: XFX Radeon 7950 @ 1100/1575 : Corsair AX 860 PSU: x1 WD Black 1TB HDD's: 90GB Agility 3: 960GB SSD : Creative Labs X-FI:Corsair 500R Arctic White Edition:3 22inch Monitors Eyefinity @ 5294x 1050 : Alienware Tact-X Keyboard: Razer Naga :Corsair Vengence 1500 Headset: Corsair SP2500 Speakers

 02/19/2013 12:55 AM
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Immortal Lobster
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Yeah, it actually kinda bums me out that eVGA no longer seems to have any lifetimed cards.



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 02/19/2013 08:47 AM
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black_zion
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Also a little caveat with XFX, after 2 replacements you drop the lifetime warranty down to 2 years from date of purchase, so with mine failing in 5 days, I've only got one more time to go.

The 2 year warranty and $20 RMA fee is something I hold against Sapphire, but I've never had a Sapphire card fail in or out of warranty, and the Sapphire HD 4850 I bought for my parents is still going along great in their computer after 4 years, and they have a bad habit of leaving games on all day long so it's in full 3D mode longer than my cards are. However I buy my hardware with my American Express card which gives me an extra year of warranty free and if it fails in that time, they either refund the full purchase price or repair it for free.

But I only buy things once from a company that fails me. MSI (underperforming laptop, bought about the same time as my MSI HD 4850), Hitachi (failed HDD), Western Digital (two failed HDD), G.SKILL (two failed SDD), and now XFX (failed HD 7970).

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64

Edited: 02/19/2013 at 09:10 AM by black_zion
 02/20/2013 08:51 AM
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technic58
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You know, G. Skill makes some fantastic memory, though, and all hard drives seem to suck. WD seemed to have the best RMA process, though. I will, however, completely agree with you on Hitachi. Every Hitachi HDD I've ever owned, seriously, has died or has become iffy to the point that I've retired it, even though it would pass all diagnostics. Junk.



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--Technic58--Joined 07/25/2004--Post Count + 13,953--

Desktop: AMD A8-6500 Richland, Asrock FM2A88X, 8GB Team DDR2133, WD 500GB Black, XFX HD7870 and Sapphire HD5870 (mining), EVGA NEX650G PSU, CoolerMaster HAF 912

Laptop: Acer Aspire TimelineX 3820TG: i5 460M 2.53GHz, 8GB DDR3, 640GB Western Digital HDD, ATI Radeon HD5650M, Windows 

 02/26/2013 07:52 PM
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black_zion
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Just an update. I got this from XFX:

[MICHAELC 2/27/2013 12:22:58 AM] Your recent returns ref: XCR79122 has recently completed the testing process with the following status: {(Serial number removed for security) = FAULTY}. A technician will be in contact shortly to discuss completion of this return. If you have any queries regarding this test result - please send a message to the support team. Thank You. XFX Support Team


Let's see, I received it on 2/11, it went out on 2/18, and XFX has had it since 2/22 (actually 2/21 but they were slow opening their mail apparently)...I do want to know how it takes a big company 5 days to diagnose that a card is faulty when it crashes under load in 15 seconds...Aside from MSI, XFX might be the worst run company since Enron.

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 02/28/2013 05:57 PM
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Vantharas
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Originally posted by: black_zion Just an update. I got this from XFX:
[MICHAELC 2/27/2013 12:22:58 AM] Your recent returns ref: XCR79122 has recently completed the testing process with the following status: {(Serial number removed for security) = FAULTY}. A technician will be in contact shortly to discuss completion of this return. If you have any queries regarding this test result - please send a message to the support team. Thank You. XFX Support Team
Let's see, I received it on 2/11, it went out on 2/18, and XFX has had it since 2/22 (actually 2/21 but they were slow opening their mail apparently)...I do want to know how it takes a big company 5 days to diagnose that a card is faulty when it crashes under load in 15 seconds...Aside from MSI, XFX might be the worst run company since Enron.

This is easy, Samsung, a company worth billions more then XFX take longer to diagnose and fix issue's. With anything that isn't a home appliance. Turn around on service is rediculous. 



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I5 3570K@4~5.0ghz: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H:Corsair Hydro H110 :16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR-3 1600: XFX Radeon 7950 @ 1100/1575 : Corsair AX 860 PSU: x1 WD Black 1TB HDD's: 90GB Agility 3: 960GB SSD : Creative Labs X-FI:Corsair 500R Arctic White Edition:3 22inch Monitors Eyefinity @ 5294x 1050 : Alienware Tact-X Keyboard: Razer Naga :Corsair Vengence 1500 Headset: Corsair SP2500 Speakers

 02/28/2013 07:32 PM
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black_zion
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Well they finally sent it late yesterday via FedEx Ground, so it won't get here until MONDAY, which means I used it for 5 days and will have been without it for 14...I swear if this one goes bust as well I'm going to go talk to American Express, they know how to get things done.

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 03/04/2013 09:36 AM
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black_zion
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Well it finally got here a few minutes ago and I put it in, didn't blow up yet but we shall see how it goes. I will say that it is a different model than what I had before, instead of 2 DVI ports, mini DP, and HDMI, and half a slot of exhaust room, this model has one DVI, mini DP, and HDMI on the top and a full row of exhaust slot on the bottom. Good thing I don't plan on using multiple monitors eh?

Edit: COIL WHINE! Oh, and apparently one of both of the fans is out of balance around 60% which is causing an audible hum from vibration...I swear XFX makes the absolute worst products in the world...Good thing this was bought with income tax refund money. I wonder if I'll get a chance to actually overclock the thing this time...I'll give it about a week before I try, there were some curious white marks on the back of the card like a heatsink was placed and removed. Maybe it will last me until the true GCN R2 cards are released and I can go back to Sapphire...

Bad thing is, I haven't even received my mail in rebate check yet!

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64

Edited: 03/04/2013 at 09:51 AM by black_zion
 03/05/2013 04:36 PM
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Thanny
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Personally, I'd have told them their replacement was unacceptable. 

 

 03/05/2013 06:26 PM
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black_zion
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I did document everything on my existing support ticket and they haven't responded yet. I can imagine that all they would do is to have me eat another $20 and ship it back...I kinda hope this one fails as well, I'll go through my credit card company this time.

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