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ASUS Matrix Radeon HD 7970 3GB Overclocked Graphics Card Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: ASUS

Overclocking the ASUS Matrix HD 7970

Obviously one of the key selling points to the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 is the overclocking capability it holds within its custom designed PCB and cooling.  While the extreme overclocking crowd will love features like the ability to hardware adjust voltages, those of us without LN2 and the desire to beat world records should still find a lot to love in the combination of the ASUS ROG GPU Tweak software and the Matrix design specs.

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Using the ASUS GPU Tweak software customized for the ROG brand, we set out to push the HD 7970 GPU on the Matrix card from its stock speed of 1100 MHz core and 6600 MHz memory.  One great feature of the software is that it adjusts the voltage going to the GPU automatically based on the clock speed you set - though you change it manually if you want to.

For novice overclockers or those that just want the quickest results, this is a welcome addition.

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Though I started with some small bumps, I was able to push the core clock speed all the way up to 1300 MHz completely stable, looping Unigine and 3DMark for quite some time without corruption or crashing.  You can see that the ASUS software had moved the voltage up to 1.382v and it did so all on its own.  This bumped our 3DMark11 Extreme GPU score from 2899 to 3501 - an increase of 20%!

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I was impressed to see that 1350 MHz was attainable, and while it would run in some games without issue, 3DMark11 would crash every time, even at a voltage of 1.4v.

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Our final "best" overclock combined a clock speed of 1275 MHz on the GPU and overclocked memory settings at 7.0 GHz!  This gave us basically the same 3DMark11 performance but the added memory bandwidth is definitely advantageous in some gaming titles.

In the end, getting a solid 20% additional performance out of an already overclocked HD 7970 is incredibly impressive and goes well ahead of our initial expectations for simple air cooled configurations.  The ASUS engineers have done a fantastic job on this overclocker's dream card!

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)

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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:

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 ??

May 26, 2014 | 09:02 AM - Posted by Tanner (not verified)

Wow.. This looks super cool. I have nvidea card, and when i played battlefield o it, i did felt some lag at some particular points like the transition from short clips in between to the game. But the statistics of radeon is so fantastic. Thanks for the share.
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