Cooling and Noise
In the past we have judged cooling performance and noise from in game performance to give a fair representation of what to expect during normal usage. Starting with this card we are going to change it up a little bit and include performance numbers from FurMark to show you what the absolute worst case scenario would be. Our graphs will include the FPS and Burn-In Score using the built in 1080p benchmark, but we will be focusing on the Temperature.
As you can see the Sapphire HD 7970 maxed out at 69 degree’s a very impressive number considering it is a reference cooler. Of course in order for AMD to improve on the stock cooling they upgraded the fan, something that is noticeable in the noise levels. Speaking on the noise levels, there are two sides with the new HD 7970. At an idle load the fan literally stops spinning making the card dead silent. But when spooling up the new fan design puts out a distinctive sound. Testing on our test bench may show this problem more than in a proper case though.