Gigabyte's five-fan, Super OverClock Radeon HD 7970

By Lee Kaelin on July 13, 2012, 10:30 AM

[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.




User Comments: 24

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psycros psycros said:

<I>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.</I>

Huh? So..you've already decided the outcome before the review?

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

It looks loud, that's for sure.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's one of the ugliest GPUs I've ever seen.

Would be interested to see the noise results, usually you'd think using smaller fans would create more noise (because they would have to spin faster to achieve a similar CFM to a larger fan).

howzz1854 said:

what's the pricing going to be like

Guest said:

@psycros

Given the fact that the SOC is clocked higher than stock 7970 It's very safe to assume that it will perform better.

1 person liked this | Sniped_Ash said:

That's one of the ugliest GPUs I've ever seen.

Would be interested to see the noise results, usually you'd think using smaller fans would create more noise (because they would have to spin faster to achieve a similar CFM to a larger fan).

That was my thought as well. 53dB is loud, but that's to keep the card at 57 degrees. I wonder how much quieter it is at 70 degrees.

lipe123 said:

If those little piece of junk fans last more than a year in the typical pc I'll eat my gtx 670 on toast.

EVERY piece computer equip I've EVER worked on with those 40mm fans have all the fans locked up or partially busted.

Worst design ever, why didn't they just stick to the normal shroud with the big fan in the rear?!

Leeky Leeky said:

Would be interested to see the noise results, usually you'd think using smaller fans would create more noise (because they would have to spin faster to achieve a similar CFM to a larger fan).

Gigabyte say the new design results in the GPU running 18% cooler and 9.2dB quieter at full load in Furmark, when compared with the stock fan used on the reference model AMD HD 7970 models. I've attached a couple of images (supplied by Gigabyte), one of the cooling chart and another for Furmark temperature comparison to answer further questions regarding temperatures.

[Attachment: click here to see]

[Attachment: click here to see]

Guest said:

if the airflow is constant cool air directly from outside the box then the fans dont need to spin fast

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This thing looks so thick I doubt you could squeeze a fart between the cards if you wanted to do a crossfire config.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

This results in the Radeon HD 7970 SOC being totally silent below 30C, with their Anti-Turbulence Pull Airflow System hitting 53 decibels at 57C, which is almost 9 decibels quieter than a standard HD 7970 at a slightly toastier 64C.

LOL. Sorry Gigabyte, but I'll wait for acoustic testing by sites like Hardware Canucks and Tom's.

Sadly, TechSpot doesn't test acoustics in their graphics card reviews.

BTW, cleaning 3rd party fans and heatsinks are bad enough... this design is going to make the process take even longer, especially when it involves having to remove and replace 20 fan screws.

1 person liked this | hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

This thing looks so thick I doubt you could squeeze a fart between the cards if you wanted to do a crossfire config.

What do you think you could squeeze between a couple of these?

[link]

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What do you think you could squeeze between a couple of these?

[link]

LOL screw that, I'll stick to liquid cooling.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

LOL screw that, I'll stick to liquid cooling.

No doubt!

killeriii said:

Looks heavy!

5LBS?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Looks like the bastard offspring of an Asus Mars and a 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000

I was kind of hoping that the concept died when the GTX 680 SOC version failed to materialize. The cards look very chassis dependant, and I'm not sold on the airflow being perpendicular to the usual chassis front-to-back (or bottom-to-top re: SilverStone) cooling tbh.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Efficiency is terrible with those tiny fans. They spin fast but don't move much air. Plus they go out faster than the biggies.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well at least is you have two of these in xfire the top card wont be pulling air directly from the card bellow it. Now it pulls air from the motherboard side which should keep it cooler to some extent. The biggest drawback really is the size of the fans, they would have to be more than typical sleeve bearings, even double ball bearing fans would make me feel uneasy, Card has a 3 year warranty I hope, watch it not cover fan failure however...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Well at least is you have two of these in xfire ...

Two Crossfire fingers means that Gigabyte are allowing for triple/quad CFX...looks a tad optimistic for most chassis designs...although it might give SilverStone some incentive to launch the TJ12

Looks heavy! 5LBS?

1.6 kg ( 3.5 lbs)

Guest said:

If it's anything like the very similar GTX680 cooler with 5 small fans those fans are low RPM keep temps down well & not noisy. saying that I'm not impressed with this the GHZ edition cards are starting to come in at 1150mhz out of the box so while this may be a SOC7970 it's going to be pricy due to the massive cooler & offer less out of the box performance then many of the other cards that are already out. It's only going to sell if it overclocks like a dream where taking 1250+mhz (we already saw the sapphire hit 1300mhz with the dual slot cooler)

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

TechSpot's full review now posted here:

[link]

DjKraid DjKraid said:

ooooooooh....I want one of those O.O

seems really good but there is only one downside, the size of that hing :P

Ziad said:

I own that card & has its predecessor the GTX 470 SOC as a dedicated PhysX. The GTX 680 SOC is a beast however you look at it. The only downside to it is the noise. It produces a low pitched very annoying noise when it starts to heat up.

PS I only needed the GTX 470 as dedicated Physx when I started playing Batman AC. I have it maxed out on everything except for AA "only 8 MSAA". After hours of paying it doesn't go beyond 60 degrees.

Ziad said:

I own that card & has its predecessor the GTX 470 SOC as a dedicated PhysX. The GTX 680 SOC is a beast however you look at it. The only downside to it is the noise. It produces a low pitched very annoying noise when it starts to heat up.

PS I only needed the GTX 470 as dedicated Physx when I started playing Batman AC. I have it maxed out on everything except for AA "only 8 MSAA". After hours of paying it doesn't go beyond 60 degrees.

Sorry guys was talking about the Nvidia 680 got confused as they look exactly the same. Nonetheless, the acoustics problem is still there with this card also as I have read from other readers.

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