How does Sapphire's overclocked HD7970 fare against the GTX680

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 13, 2012 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: gtx680, hd7970, factory overclocked, sapphire

In one way, the Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition wins this competition because of the simple fact that you can actually buy it.  However, we are also interested in the performance difference as you can occasionally find a GTX 680 for sale, so we need to know how the overclocked HD7970 performs.  Sapphire has placed two separate overclocked BIOSes on this card, one with a 950MHz core and 1425MHz memory as well as a more aggressively set one with a cores of 1000MHz and 1450MHz on the memory.  As it turned out [H]ard|OCP was never able to get the more aggressive BIOS to work, on the other hand when they manually overclocked it they hit 1150MHz core and 1860MHz for the memory at which speeds the card triumphed over the GTX 680 in every test.  Sapphire's card is ~$75 more than a GTX680 but remember, you can actually buy one.

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"The Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition video card has arrived and brings promise of low temperatures with Sapphires Dual-X Cooling System. It also features a Dual BIOS with both a passive and more aggressive profile. Will Sapphires highest end HD 7970 be able to keep up and compete with NVIDIA's flagship GeForce GTX 680?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Sapphire Unveils New AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC Edition GPU

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 10:36 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, radeon, HD 7970, gpu, amd, 7970

Sapphire Technologies recently launched a new factory overclocked version of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. The new Radeon HD 7970 OC Edition promises to combine the performance of AMD's 7970 GPU (you can find our review of the 7970 here) with Sapphire's own Dual X two fan heatpipe cooler.

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The Sapphire HD 7970 GPU is powered by one 8 pin and one 6 pin PCI-E power connection, and supports the PCI-E 3.0 standard and Microsoft's DirectX 11.1 technology. Other specifications include 3 GB of GDDR5 memory, a 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU core, a 384-bit memory interface, and a dual BIOS switch depending on whether you want to run at stock clock speeds or use the factory overclocked profile.

Specifically, the Sapphire HD 7970 GPU features a dual bios switch that allows customers to switch between default clock speeds of 950 MHz core and 1425 MHz memory and the factory overclocked speeds of 1 GHz (1,000 MHz) core and 1450 MHz memory. When using the overclocked BIOS, the graphics card will employ more a more aggressive fan profile and also allows raises the maximum limits for overclocking the core, memory, and voltage values.

Further, the Sapphire GPU uses their own Dual X cooler that features a dual slot aluminum heatsink connected to the GPU core by five copper heatpipes. This heatsink is then cooled by two large fans, that Sapphire claims will enable quiet operation even while under load.

Accessories wise, Sapphire provides one DVI, one HDMI, and two mini Display Port video outputs. In the retail packaging, Sapphire provides an Active mini Display Port to single-link DVI adapter, HDMI to DVI adapter, DVI to VGA adapter, two PCI-E to molex power adapters (one molex to PCI-E 8 pin and one molex to PCI-E 6 pin), a mini Display Port to Display Port adapter, a 1.8 meter HDMI 1.4a cable, and a CrossFire bridge.

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The new Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition is available now from authorized retailers, and is retailing for between $580 and $630 at several retailers at the time of writing.

Source: Sapphire

A different way to extend your display

Subject: Displays | February 24, 2012 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, VID-2X, multi monitor

The Sapphire VID-2X offers you a new way to utilize multiple displays without needing a graphics card capable of powering a resolution of 3840x1200.  It can both clone and stretch your desktop and is Plug & Play with no software or drivers to install, simply plug it into a dual link DVI port and it is ready to go.  At an MSRP of $180 it is less expensive than an SLI or CrossFire solution though it is limited in performance by your GPU.  You might be able to stretch your game across three monitors but you might find performance suffers somewhat.  Instead you can consider this a way to get multiple monitors from a single NVIDIA GPU or a way to avoid an active DisplayPort adapter for a Radeon card.  HiTech Legion has several videos of the VID-2X in action which you should check out.

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"Sapphire's VID-2X is a plug and play compact device that was designed to extend your existing monitor into one large field of view, in effect, tricking the system and allowing you to add two additional monitors to your system from just one display port, be it a laptop, netbook, home computer, or office PC. The VID-2X from Sapphire accomplishes this without you having to install any software or drivers. In addition, the VID-2X will make use of the video card installed and, without using system resources, maintain a resolution or output in clone mode of up to 1920 x 1280. The VID-2X offers several connection options using your existing cable option of DVI, with cables included, and once installed, will double your field of view. The Sapphire VID-2X will also adapt to VGA or HDMI display ports with adapters you may have on hand with your existing system."

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Displays

 

Sapphire's new nettop will be great; at the right price

Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2012 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, amd, E450

The new nettop that Sapphire will be selling will be great for HTPC usage but you might not want to pick it up if you will be gaming.  The E450 AMD processor inside the machine does have an onboard HD 6350 which will handle 1080p streaming beautifully but as it is the low end of the Llano scale gaming may not be impressive.  Its power consumption will be 30W so neither heat nor power will be an issue.  It ships with Free DOS but will accept WinXP and Win7 for those who want a familiar interface.  The Inquirer expects this device to be less than its Atom powered predecessor which puts the price at or below $400USD.

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"GRAPHICS CARD VENDOR Sapphire has announced its AMD Fusion based Edge-HD3 all-in-one nettop PC.

Sapphire claims its Edge-HD3 is about the size of a paperback novel and, while that depends on what type of paperbacks you read, there's no denying that the system is small. Sapphire has slipped an AMD E450 Fusion chip, 4GB DDR3 RAM and a 320GB 2.5in hard drive into the case."

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Source: The Inquirer

Sapphire overclocks the HD7950

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 20, 2012 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, hd 7950, hd 7950 OC, factory overclocked, cape verde, amd

There are a lot of custom Cape Verde boards to chose from, with varying clock speeds and custom coolers which is great for those who like something unique out of the box.  X-bit Labs received an overclocked HD7950 board from Sapphire which sports both a 100MHz overclock on the GPU and a custom low noise cooler.  The back of the card is fairly normal, with a dual-link DVI-I port, one HDMI 1.4a connector and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports available.  Overclocking potential on the card was impressive, with a final 1.15 volts allowing stable performance at 1100MHz GPU and 7360 MHz effective on the memory and a temperature of 74C at full load thanks to the cooler.  Even better is the fact that the cooler operates relatively quietly even at that high overclock.

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"Today we are going to review a graphics accelerator with phenomenally efficient cooling system with very low noise, high performance and superb overclocking potential, which even some Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards could wish for."

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Source: X-bit Labs

Mobile Multiscreen computing from Sapphire

Subject: Displays | February 8, 2012 - 04:06 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, VID-2X

You are probably familiar with the Lenovo ThinkVision, an external monitor easily added to a laptop to give you multiple working screens.  Sapphire offers a similar product with a big twist, the VID-2X is a small self contained device which will allow you to connect two 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 monitors via DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, or Dual-link-DVI depending on the model you buy.  Instead of being forced to use a small external monitor the VID-2X allows you to choose the monitors you will output to, as well as either cloned or stretched displays which gives you a lot more flexibility.  You'll have to visit Overclockers Club to find out how well it works.

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"With many in the industry projecting a sharp decline of desktop PC sales over the next few years, an external portable solution for laptop and netbook users on the go may find it a product that will handily fit into their carrying case and very useful for sales presentations, or to just make their tasks easier with increased screen estate. The idea of reduced toggling between multiple open programs and applications is also very appealing as well. As an avid user of a multiscreen desktop setup, I can attest to how much more easy and enjoyable the access is in day to day computing, project management, and content creation software settings.This product would also seem to hit its stride in board rooms and businesses."

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Check out the speeds on this air cooled HD7970

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 16, 2012 - 06:11 PM |
Tagged: trixx, sapphire, overclocking, hd7970

The HD 7970 is nice but not nice enough for Kyle and the gang over at [H]ard|OCP who started overclocking the card as soon as they polished off the review at default settings.  If they were hoping for a challenge, the card was a bit of a disappointment as they cranked the overdrive frequencies to their maximums of 1125MHz GPU and 1575MHz RAM only to find that the card remained 100% stable.  Discouraged but not defeated, they reached out to Sapphire for a custom version of the TRIXX Utility, which allows more control over voltages as well as significantly higher clock speeds.  The resulting tests pegged the card at 1.26GHz GPU and 1725MHz for the memory, not too shabby for air cooling!

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"We overclock the Radeon HD 7970 in Overdrive and show you what 1.125GHz of performance looks like. Then, we go to the edge and overclock the voltage and take this GPU past 1.2GHz for stellar overclocked gaming performance. We compare this to an overclocked GeForce GTX 580 and see how performance stacks up."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The many faces of Sandybridge motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | October 18, 2011 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: Z68XP-UD3, x68, sapphire, sandybridge, Pure Platinum Z68, p67, Maximus IV Extreme B3, Intel, gigabyte, G1.Sniper, asus

When building a SandyBridge system you have several types of motherboard chipset to choose from, some with more capabilities than others.  The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme B3 is the odd duck in this roundup, being the only P67 board in an Z68 round up which means that it loses out on Intel SRT, which is not a drawback for those planning on using an SSD with a high enough capacity to be used as a main drive.  The two Gigabyte boards and the Sapphire board are Z68 and therefore sport all of the bells and whistles that come with that chipset.  In terms of pure performance and overclocking ability it is not the feature set that matters, it is the ability of the board its self.  Check out which of these 4 boards reigns supreme in Neoseeker's benchmarks here.

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"A quartet of motherboards based the Intel P67 and Z68 chipsets arrives at Neoseeker's labs, covering both the value and enthusiast market spectrums. There just might be something for everyone with a Intel LGA 1155 socket CPU in our latest motherboard roundup."

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Source: Neoseeker

The new Sapphire Toxic HD6950 is [H]ard core

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 30, 2011 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: toxic, sapphire, hd6950

To get the bad news out of the way first, as Josh observed last week the stocks of HD6950 and 6970s are sparse, so you if you see the Sapphire Toxic HD6950 for sale grab it right away!

Why should you grab the card without hesitation?  It has Sapphire's Vapor Chamber cooling and comes with an 80MHz GPU clock and 50MHz GDDR5 overclock right out of the box and [H]ard|OCP hit 978MHz GPU and 1450MHz GDDR5 using Sapphire's TriXX OC Utility to boost the frequency and voltage.  You don't even have to worry about flashing the BIOS to make the card an HD6970, Sapphire did it for you, plus there is also a BIOS available which will set the +20% to PowerTune automatically.  This is the most serious GPU for under $300 right now.

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"SAPPHIRE claims to have produced the fastest HD 6950 on the market in the SAPPHIRE HD6950 TOXIC Edition. It competes with a stock Radeon HD 6950 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570. We also put it to the test against a Radeon HD 6970 and GeForce GTX 580 with results that might shock you. And did we mention you get two free games?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Sapphire's custom cooled HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 DiRT 3 Special Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 28, 2011 - 03:22 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, HD6950 2GB DiRT 3 Special Edition, hd6950

The HD6950 is a fairly mature card, which means that the top tier partners have had time to perfect their designs and implement functional improvements.  Sapphire chose to customize the cooler on their DiRT 3 Special Editon HD6950, which [H]ard|OCP took advantage of to focus on overclocking.  Sapphire's TRIXX Tweak Utility played a big part in their testing, especially when overvolting the card.  Check out the full review here.

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"Overclocking a video card provides a better gameplay experience, or so every enthusiast hopes. Today we have the Sapphire HD 6950 2GB DiRT 3 Special Edition on our gaming rig to see how well it performs and overclocks using Sapphire's TRIXX Tweaking utility. Will this overclock yield a better gameplay experience?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP