Our Furmark benchmarks are an extreme way of looking at things. As you can see below, pushing the overclocked Black Edition to the max did warm things up, more than the reference card did. Just to compare I redid the benchmark with this card set to stock speeds and again with the Reference card set at 1000MHz. When they are both set at the stock speed the XFX card would cap out at 65 degrees, four degree’s lower than stock. When testing the reference card at 1000MHz I quickly realized that the stock cooler wasn’t enough and shut it down once it reached 90 degrees.
Outside of the actual cooling performance in Furmark how was the in game performance? Surprisingly well actually, its cooling performance while doing our benchmarking the card stayed nice and cool. The noise output was a surprise considering what I experienced with the reference card. See the reference card was very quiet until you put it under load, the XFX card was nearly the opposite. Idle noise levels were more than what we experienced with the stock design, but under load the noise levels didn’t ramp up like stock.
Seeing this card in person makes a world of difference. It is one sexy card.
Still pissed that AMD doesn't offer a backplate on their 7900 series of cards though. That is the side that most gamer's look at. Being in a normal case.
I would like to see some Crossfire numbers, I know that AMD has been lacking in their drivers for two cards for some time now. They have said that it's going to get better but when? People are buying 2 7970's are having scaling issues. I hope AMD gets it figured out and fast. Nvidia needs some good competition and the 7970 is that card.
For instance 1 7970, 1920x1080 Dirt 3 60fps, 2 cards 112fps. 1 card at 2650x1600, 37fps, 2 cards 40fps. Heard that over at PCper. Weird issue. Cards "can" scale really well in some instances! But in others they fall flat on their face.
I actually had crossfire benchmarks done before i left for CES but I'm going to retest with a more up to date driver. We didn't have scaling issues but once I was finished with the last benchmark the entire rig shutdown. After talking with AMD they think it was a driver issue.