Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Renderer/Html/ScriptsRenderer.php on line 69
NitroWare.net - Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 OC Graphics Card and CPU scaling Review
Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Document.php on line 514

Warning: Cannot use a scalar value as an array in /httpdocs/libraries/src/Document/Document.php on line 518

The graphics contender - Sapphire AMD Radeon HD7950 OC

This card has Sapphire’s own ‘dual extractor’ Dual-X cooling solution; this oversized plastic shroud on the card has the tendency to conflict with cables or may prevent the card from being installed in certain cases.  There is quite a bit of overhang at the front of the card.  The shroud is a result of marketing needs to ‘style’ the card as well as to house the large cooling fans.

We tested the Overclock model, which comes with 900MHz core, and 1250MHz memory clock speeds.  Overclocking is no problem for 7950 or 7970 and users can go further if they want. The 28nm GPU and the cooling solution can take it.

The Sapphire 7950OC can easily be overclocked to HD7970 speeds being 925MHz core and 1275MHz memory clock.  Since there are a number of compute cores disabled overclocking isn’t enough to turn a 7950 into a 7970. From the limited testing we did, overclocking the already overclocked Sapphire HD7950 gave us scores that were between the 7950 and the 7970, which I am now dubbing as a ‘HD7960’.

We tested overclocking using AMD overdrive as well as Sapphire’s own TRIXX utility, which is based on the GPU-Z software.  The software performed well and offered all the functions needed such as fan control and profile mapping with a reasonable UI.

I have a major gripe with the card itself.  Cards with Non-reference coolers such as this one use elaborate heat pipe and heat sink coolers rather than elongated vapour chambers as found on the AMD reference card.

The latter are fastened to the graphics card at every corner of the PCB giving the circuit board reinforcement, preventing any breakage.

Non-reference coolers are heavy with most of their weight placed onto the centre of the card leaving the rear unsupported and no brackets are provided to stiffen the PCB.  The PCB sags/warps due to not having a ‘chassis’ and may fail in the future

There is a reinforcing plate on the card but it is probably meant as a heat sink with structural support a bonus feature.

A warped circuit board will eventually fail as some solder balls on the many chips or other electrical connections will break and the card fails.  This is not a cheap graphics card so these quality issues matter.  Users who claim that they will upgrade in three years do not have a valid claim. NVIDIA users know this issue well, having to bake their graphics cards in the oven to reflow the solder to try to fix their cards.

Vendors can solve this problem by using all he provided screw holes in the circuit board to mount their heat sink and not just half of them in the centre. They will reduce their RMA rates too. 

I have seen a number of non-reference cards in my time where the PCB has sagged or warped and this was one of the worst.

Having said that, Sapphires Dual-X cooling system does an excellent job of maintaining 70c load temperature and 30-40 idle temperate.  The fans are quiet too and if they are too loud for you full fan control is available. Given the thermal performance and providing it fit your case, I can overlook the sagging PCB.

Great bundle of accessories: Mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort, HDMI to DVI, HDMI Cable, DVI to VGA Dongle, a pair of power adapters comprising of single 5.25 power plugs to 6pin PCI-E Power.  These will all come in handy for a multi-monitor or Eyefinity setup, saving the user having to run out and buy adapters.

The power adapters are of a newer, proper design meant for use with strong power supplies.  These are not the old rubbish Y splitters that were bundled with older cards, as late as a NVIDIA GTX460

The driver CD bundles the HD7900 series launch driver version 8.921 for Windows 7, Vista and XP. At time of testing this graphic card AMD only offered Windows 7 64-bit drivers for download for the HD7900 series. 

AMD’s own drivers for the HD7900 are still unfinished with regards to enabling the full capability of the HD7900 series cards but that is not Sapphire’s fault.  Drivers are a monthly evolution so all features will be activated and improvements delivered, eventually.

No game is bundled with this expensive graphics card.

The packaging is efficient and environmentally friendly being pure cardboard.  I do not like the artwork Sapphire has chosen for the HD7900 series but that is subjective opinion.

2018-09-21 | NVIDIA QUADRO RTX 6000 In action - Photoshop, Porsche RTX, Kubernetes, CLARA and Metropolis

2018-09-20 | NVIDIA RTX Live Demo - Ray Traced Porsche on Turing GPU

2018-09-21 | EPSON goes bright with laser projection and 4K

2018-09-15 | 8 NVIDIA TESLA V100 VOLTA GPU server from HP

2017-12-31 | Future of Networking with Extreme Networks - Eric Broockman CTO Interview

2018-02-16 | NVIDIA’S VOLTA is real, it works and it is finally here.

2018-02-07 | motorola harbourside chat and interview | moto x4, g5s plus, 360 camera & gamepad

2018-02-07 | Inwin X-Frame product tour and interview

2018-02-07 | ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe UX490 Ultrabook

2017-11-20 | VICHYPER - Australian Hyperloop Interview and Tour

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky & Kaspersky Lab Press Conference Sydney 2017

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky Keynote Sydney 2017

2017-05-21 | AMD RYZEN - Australian launch and Q&A Session | BIOS Update Detailed

2016-11-21 | Motorola Mobility VP Engineering Interview | Moto Z and Moto Mods Developer Kit for Makers & Modders

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Business and Professional Projectors

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Home Theatre Projectors 6000, 8000 & 9000 Series

2016-11-22 | EPSON HDR Home Theatre Projector Demo | EPSON TW9300W

2016-11-21 | HDR video Demo - AMD Radeon 'Polaris' RX480 with LG OLED TV

2016-11-30 | Intel Game Chamber 2016 Tour and Interviews | VR, Games, PC Mods, Overclocking and FUN

2016-11-30 | Intel Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E @ 5.62 GHz Live Overclock | Intel Game Chamber 2016

2016-08-29 | LG puts OLED in all the things - Integrate/CEDIA AUS 2016 Booth Tour

2016-08-12 | What is Software Defined Networking with Doug Murray, CEO Big Switch Networks.

2016-06-17 | NVIDIA DGX-1 launches in Australia - NVIDIA ANZ Interviewed

2016-05-01 | Build a kickass Dolby ATMOS Home Theatre - The Pros show us how

2016-04-01 | The Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 Story

2016-03-23 | Seagate 8TB Family, 10TB Helium & Mobile HDD 2016 Hard Disk Update

2016-03-21 | Panasonic Toughbook 20 : Fully Rugged detachable Laptop launch - Water, Drop & Weight Tested

2016-03-23 | ASUS ROG Gaming House Tour - Sydney, Australia

2016-03-01 | ASUS ROG GX700 Liquid Cooled Notebook Preview & Interview

2016-03-23 | League of Legends Legacy eSports Team Interview

2015-12-09 | Microsoft Store SYDNEY - Grand Opening Press Conference

2015-11-11 | HP 6th Gen Core Intel Skylake PC & Jet Intelligence Printing Launch - Melbourne Experience Centre

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 2

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 1

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - Flower Power Wireless Plant Monitor

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - ZiK 2.0 Headphones

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - AR. Drone, MiniDrones, Bebop Drone

2015-08-23 | MOTO G 3rd Gen IPX7 Water Proofing Demo & Moto X Style/Play/G Q&A

2015-08-21 | Motorola Mobility Interviewed - 3rd Gen Moto G, Moto X Play, Moto X Style

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.1 | Gamestream Co-Op - A New way to share games

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.2 | MOBA/DOTA 2 Latency and Smoothness

2015-08-08 | Intel SKYLAKE i5-6600K LN2 overclock at 6.33 GHz with ASUS Z170 ROG Hero

2015-08-07 | Intel Skylake i7-6700K @ 4.8 GHz & DDR4 @ 3.5GHz on ASUS Z170 Deluxe Overclocking Guide

2015-08-05 | ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard for Intel Skylake 6th Gen Core CPU Overview

2015-08-05 | Review - ASUS Installation Tool for Intel SKYLAKE 6th Gen Core CPU

2015-08-02 | HP Pavilion and Envy 2015 Consumer Notebook First Look

2015-07-25 | HP Envy Phoenix 2015 Overclockable Gaming Tower First Look

2015-07-22 | Ashes Of The Singularity - DirectX 12 Hands-On Demo with AMD FURY X

2015-07-14 | Media Q&A with AMD and Richard Huddy - AMD Fury X ‘Fiji’ Graphics comes to Australia

2015-07-14 | MSI Interview - AMD Radeon R9 300 Gaming, Armour and Lightning GPUs