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[Upcoming review] Gigabyte has a long running tradition of releasing its own Super OverClock versions of popular high-end graphics cards featuring its distinctive three-fan design and factory overclocks. The latest model takes a break from the usual design however, with the announcement of their HD 7970 Super OverClock, the GV-R797SO-3GD, featuring five 40mm fans mounted on top of a triple slot radiator.
The Tahiti XT-based GPU runs a 384-bit memory bus with 2048 stream processors using the latest PCIe 3.0 interface. Obviously being a SOC model, it has been tweaked further with a core clock of 1080MHz, up from the standard 925MHz, and 3GB GDDR5 clocked at 5500MHz. It offers two mini DisplayPorts, one gold plated HDMI port, a single Dual-link DVI-I port, and is capable of running four displays simultaneously.
Gigabyte's latest graphics card is also the first to use five smaller fans mounted to the top of the GPU that "pull" the heated air through the radiator, which the company says reduces "hotspots" on the bottom of the board due to minimal airflow created with traditional cooler designs. This results in the Radeon HD 7970 SOC being totally silent below 30°C, with their Anti-Turbulence Pull Airflow System hitting 53 decibels at 57°C, which is almost 9 decibels quieter than a standard HD 7970 at a slightly toastier 64°C.
TechSpot will be reviewing this GPU very shortly, this time focusing on overclockability and value based on the GPU's marginal performance difference over the reference AMD HD 7970 we reviewed at the tail end of last year. It will also be interesting to see how it compares to AMD's HD 7970 GHz edition, released following Nvidia's excellent GTX 680 that reclaimed the crown as the world's fastest single core GPU.
The AMD ATI Radeon HD 7970 measures 27 cm long (10.6 in), the GPU core is clocked at 925MHz, and the GDDR5 memory operates at the same frequency of 1375MHz (5.5GHz DDR). Still, pairing that frequency with a 384-bit memory bus gives the HD 7970 264GB/s of theoretical bandwidth. The HD 7970 carries 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs, up 33% from 1536 SPUs and 96 TAUs, it's also the first PCI Express 3.0-compatible card.
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