After getting the card out there is one major difference between the R7970 vs. the reference design that we took a look at before. XFX has gone with their own cooling solution right at launch, a dual fan design that they are calling Double Dissipation. Our Black Edition card combines both the Double Dissipation Edition’s cooler with an overclock of 1000 MHz. The design starts with a vapor chamber design attached to a large heatsink that runs the length of the card. Those two things when combined will pull the heat away from the GPU and hotspots allowing the dual cooling fans to push air over the heatsink and out the back of the card.
One of the best features of the Double Dissipation cooler is the red name plate along the top. XFX attached this using small screws on each end, perfect for a modder looking to make a few changes. This red nameplate is the only part of the card that you can see when the card is installed in a typical case. Unlike most other manufactures, you can actually see what card you are running because of this. And its damn sexy also!
For power connections, just like the reference design the card requires a 6 pin and an 8 pin connection.
It may be very small but if you look close you can spot the dual BIOS switch next to the crossfire connections.
The black PCB goes great with the all-aluminum cooler. I still wish AMD would have went with a backplate on the HD 7970 like the HD 6970, but this is no different than the reference design.
More proof that this isn’t just a reference design can be found in the PCI slot cover where XFX has carved their name right into the grill. You can also see all of the cards connections, you only have one DVI connection but you do get an HDMI and two mini Display Port connections also.
Because of the amount of dust your average GPU collects XFX went with IP-5X dust proof fans. They can’t prevent you from packing your GPU full of dust, but at least they can help keep it out of the fan bearings. This should prevent the card from getting noisy in the future from bearings going out.
Even though this is an aftermarket cooler, it’s nice to see that XFX didn’t go with a standard design that is open on the end that pushes hot air back into the case. This cooler is only of only a few that still vents out the rear of the case, meaning no more hot air buildup inside your case.