Review Index:
Feedback

ASUS Matrix Radeon HD 7970 3GB Overclocked Graphics Card Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: ASUS

Analysis and Conclusions

Performance

Out of the box, the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 is one of the faster single GPU graphics cards you can buy.  In our testing on the previous page you saw how it was obviously a bit faster than the reference Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (it is 50-100 MHz faster after all) while also besting the GeForce GTX 680 from NVIDIA in many games as well.  With the late summer driver releases from both companies many games (like Metro 2033 and DiRT 3) switched places as to who was in command but in reality, both are very close once again.  If I had to pick a single GPU winner, it would likely still be the GTX 680, but cards like the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 can really flip the table.

View Full Size

If you are a user that simply wants to open the box, install your card and start gaming with little regard to tweaking, then this likely isn't the card for you.  Though only a $50 premium over the much louder reference designs, you'll probably be happier saving the money and picking up a copy of some PC title you've been lusting after.

Features and Build Quality

Obviously the killer features for the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 lie not in the out of box clocks but in the little additions and design changes that equate to the massive overclocking we saw with our sample.  Things like the larger power plane on the PCB design, black Japanese capacitors and the 20-phase DIGI+ VRM combine to offer an engineering standard on a Radeon HD 7970 card we really haven't seen before.

Features like the VGA Hotwire connections, TweakIt buttons, Turbo Fan and Safe Mode buttons are really meant for overclockers that do this more for profession than for gaming, and though we don't really have the capability to take full advantage of them here, the fact that they exist should give "normies" like us a good fuzzy feeling.  Over-engineered is oftern NOT a bad term.

View Full Size

Finally, the efficient and incredibly quiet cooler offer all users - stock, overclocked and LN2 - the ability to run at lower temperatures and significantly lower noise levels than your run of the mill reference cards. 

Pricing and Availability

At $499, the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 is one of the most expensive Tahiti-based single GPU cards you can buy.  However, that is a $50 premium over the most basic HD 7970 GHz Edition cards, none of which can even come close to matching the feature set and design quality of this card.  The only direct competition might be the MSI R7970 Lightning priced at $489 that is quite good but doesn't have a leg up on the Matrix.

Even if you aren't into volt-modding and LN2 you will find reasons to love the ASUS Matrix.

Final Thoughts

ASUS has really done a fantastic job with the Matrix HD 7970 graphics card, in either standard or Platinum branding.  A combination of superior technical design, quiet and efficient cooling as well as a ton of overclocking headroom will likely make this card one of the best options for an entire generation of graphics cards. 

View Full Size

December 4, 2012 | 03:35 PM - Posted by Logun

Why the disparity on Metro 2033 @ 2560x1600 with the Matrix vs the GHz Ed? 5% seems like a notable amount?

June 13, 2013 | 02:33 AM - Posted by Jamal (not verified)

parce que vidéo incendie parquet
pac air eau chauffage pac chauffage devis pompe à chaleur
pac air eau entendu elle a parquet le béton en écoutant

December 5, 2012 | 01:46 PM - Posted by mtcn77 (not verified)

Excuse my impatience, what version of catalyst driver have you chosen for this review?

December 5, 2012 | 07:22 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Oops, I am always leaving that out!

For the AMD GPUs we were using the Catalyst 12.11 beta and for NVIDIA we tested with 306.23.

December 6, 2012 | 03:53 PM - Posted by wilson79

awesome show love to win this card

December 6, 2012 | 09:41 PM - Posted by msu232smith

Love the show guys, big fan keep up the good work.

December 6, 2012 | 10:32 PM - Posted by bilmath76 (not verified)

Amazing post keep it up Guys at PCper

December 7, 2012 | 04:33 AM - Posted by Ivica Madjaric (not verified)

This is some monster hardware ;)

December 9, 2012 | 09:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice detailed review, keep up the good work!

December 9, 2012 | 12:06 PM - Posted by TRAVERSER (not verified)

Great review!

I was about to replace my old trusty 5870 with a 7950 and now this came along. Oh well, budget was once again wiped out cause the holidays.

December 9, 2012 | 01:48 PM - Posted by clonzelda (not verified)

Is this the Ferrari of video cards?

December 18, 2012 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Elmira Beddow (not verified)

I really like your writing style, great information, thankyou for posting : D.

December 19, 2012 | 12:46 PM - Posted by rich9cinti (not verified)

I have the Matrix 7970 Platnium for about a week now. Some moderately high overclocks at 1230Mhz/7300Mhz. Using 12.11 driver, 3DMark11 score - 11160. I still have some thermal headroom, too. Here's a link to see how I progressed.

December 19, 2012 | 12:48 PM - Posted by rich9cinti (not verified)

Oops, here's the link: http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=367143

February 13, 2013 | 06:49 PM - Posted by Sergiu Gabriel (not verified)

This graphic card is better than MSI GTX680 Lightning ? Will be faster for rendering things like 3D Objects in Blender, video animation, effects, etc...What will be the perfect choice, the ATI or the NVidia cards for graphic design ?

February 22, 2013 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Screen captures were taken with onboard TURNO FAN MODE enabled ??

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.