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on March 7, 2012
This thing is fantastic, and the memory cooling (much better than referance) allowed me to OC memory to 1800. Now since this isn't binned, I got unlucky, my core only goes to 1180 stable, but I'm perfectly content with it.

The card stays really cool, much cooler than my old lightening 6970. Me posting my own values is worthless because you guys will have different case setups etc.

Regardless, my maximum temps at 1625mv memory, 1200mv Core 1180mh core and 1800mhz memory are 62-3 degrees peaking with powerdraw unlocked with 100% gpu load and 100% fan speed. This is probably pulling something ridiculous like 300w. On BF:3 MAX 100% settings it stays at 59% fan speed, and never goes above 56 degrees Celsius. Just for referance, at my OC I get a minimum of 55 fps and a maximum of 78 fps infantry on a 64 player map on back to karkand (BF:3). In a jet it goes way over 120, but it's normally around 62-5fps during infantry gun battles. In a heli it can dip to 44 fps when I'm being rocket spammed, but it's still playable.

Please not everybody OCing may differ. At idle It's currently at 50 degrees, but right now I'm in 2d clocks which is higher than normal. My case fans are also powered down slightly. On idle (one monitor) clocks, it's at 32 degrees minimum fan speed. Please note I also have a 1080p video playing in my left monitor atm.

I am really happy with this card, and I wish would restock it as I plan to purchase two more. If not I'll have to find another website to buy it from. This is also the best TWO SLOT COOLER hands down. Please note the cooler is open, so hot air is dumped into your chassis, with a less airflow-optimized chassis, this'll be bad, and in multi-gpu configurations with this card it will probably cause lots of heat build up.

My specs:

Sabertooth x79
7970 gigabyte - this product
16gb (4x4gb) Corsair vengeance ram - 16gb (4x4gb) samsung ram coming soon :D.
Coolermaster Haf X (modded fans in front bays and in bottom of case)
Blu-ray burner - Pioneer
Coolermaster silent pro gold 1200w (1300w platinum coming soon sleeved)
SSD boot drive 512gb samsung 830
HDD's Raid 0 Seagate 1tb x2

H100 fans are Excalibur fans, very quiet and good for radiator PWM fans.

I really suggest getting this card if you plan on doing 2-3 way crossfirex as it's the COOLEST and QUIETEST 2-slot cooler for gpu's hands down. I cannot notice the fans until 38%, and I do not feel it's louder than my case fans (with CPU load and 2 pwm fans) until 59%. I cannot bear it after 64%, but before that it seems to blend in and stay nice and quiet...

Please note the gigabyte has NO ACCESSORIES. You will need a 8 pin and a 6 pin PCIe connector to power it. TDP at stock volts and power control is 225 watts MAXIMUM.

I really do hope will restock these cards soon for me to pickup more and for others to get some. Thanks for reading, and I really hope my review helped.

Recommendations for 7970:
If you've decided you want cooler/quieter temps over more heat inside the case:
2 slot cards:
Gigabyte, quietest card, best cooling at lower noise(less turbulence)/lower fan rpms - not a great benefit between 59% and 100%, 2-4 degrees at 1180mhz core, because the heat-sink is quite thin, but under normal usage (up to like 1250core I'd say) it'll be adequate. Alternatively, more air will blow down on the pcb and allow for slightly more air to reach vrm/memory.
Msi lightening, best ocer - more expensive, louder (it's coming in 2 weeks from this review) - BEST OCER. It will probably have binned cpu's, the core will be able to reach much higher, due to you being able to push more than 1300v (than what the normal cards are limited to), it can cool better at HIGHER fan speeds, due to dense heatsink, this means it's noisier and cools less at lower can speeds comparatively. The memory on lightening cards can't be OCed as much as referance memory, most people will be able to agree (including me) as they use a different vendor, however their core clock will be able to OC more.
Sapphire dual X - good quality, nice accoustics, inferior memory/vrm cooling to gigabyte card, but almost matched cooling - looks better (fans and pcb) - slightly better build quality (plastic)
Powercolor - Good cooler, quiet, worse quality vrm's than stock and lightening (so you wont be able to pump as much voltage in for u extreme guys) - great price!
XFX - Very good looks, decent cooling, decent noise, amazing customer service, decent warranty and accessories, BAD MEMORY/VRM cooling - some people have had MAJOR issues with this card as they do not have a heatsink/spreader on some components - great availability

I am not aware of a HIS non reference cooler.
If any of my information is wrong, or seems biased, please feel free correct me with a link for proof.
Denser heat-sinks = more cooling capacity, will need higher static pressure (more RPM) to do so (otherwise worse off at lower pressure), noisier (SLIGHTLY).
Less Dense is the opposite = less cooling capacity - more pressure doesn't do much to help cool (you can manage with MUCH less rpm and more conservative clocks).

Biased part:
Coil whine is experienced with all 7970's. Some people go insane by it, others don't. I only hear it when I unlock power draw, although others have reported (unconfirmed) that they experience it all the time under 3d load with other companies. I don't know anyone else with the gigabyte card who's experienced coil whine at gaming-load/3d burn test so eehh.

Tip: The plastic on the gigabyte card looks nice in photos but irl it's slightly transparent (opaque) so it looks (and feels) cheap. However it's VERY STRONG. It feels bad under your hand, but it's definitely solid. The gigabyte PCB is also reference 100% which is good for you water-coolers, and is a matte pale blue (most are black). The screws for the cooler are VERY tight and are spring loaded screws, not normal ones.

I hope this helped you!
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on October 7, 2012
I recently bought 4 of these cards for a high-performance computing desktop. Chose the Gigabyte setup for the price and cooling solution used by this card.

-Best Radeon card yet IMHO, solid GCN architecture, unbeatable computing performance currently (even has 1/4th performance in 64bit computing!).
-Great gaming performance, all you'll need for a long time.
-Cooling is great for single card, or well spaced multi-card setups (personally seen 63-72C range fully loaded, lower in games, depending upon spacing)
-Quiet single card, audible multi-card.
-Overclocks well (1120Mhz stable for weeks in current cooler setup)

-Cooling solution requires separation to work properly, stacking cards together will cause them to suck in hot air from the other card and crash.
-1 of the 4 cards has instabilities which causes it to crash intermittently under full load, the other 3 are perfectly fine.
-Running the cards in a crossfire setup will cause some 'coil whine', this effect is more pronounced in a Quadfire setup and absent in a single card setup.

A couple of thoughts:
-I Do not recommend Quadfire setups for gaming, current games are easily handled by 1 card, and two cards are generally still an overkill. Additionally support for Quadfire setups in gaming is quite absent causing such a setup to give you no advantage in those games.
-I do recommend the 7970 for computing projects (OpenCL), and scales well with more cards if your problems are well defined.
-For those wondering a 1200w PSU was sufficient and stable for Quadfire with a stock-clocked Core i5, 3570K CPU.
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on October 14, 2013
I RMA'd a video card over a month ago and I still do not have a working card. I paid to overnight it to them and they said they would do they same as this was for a time sensitive issue. They returned my card back to me it's the same exact card I sent them. The CS guy in California Option 4 told me this was standard procedure to just reissue the card. So i sent it back and they took 3 weeks holding it to send me low and behold the same card! So you can count that 3 RMAS's in one month. Do you self a favor and purchase from one of the other big name vendors. gigabytes US CS service is just plain non existent.

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on April 20, 2013
I was looking for a new graphics card for my new PC, to play StarCraft 2 and Battlefield 3 with better resolutions. After some small installation problems I finally can play SC2 in ultra resolution (all settings) and BF3 in ultra resolution (texture). This settings were configured automatically, by auto detect of each game.
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on March 14, 2013
This card is a beast. I'll knock off only a star for the RMA. (See UPDATE below for the star added back.) I encourage you to buy this card all the same. Support has been responsive and saves the fourth star.

I won't say that an RMA is a reason to blast a card's rating. It's certainly a very powerful card and crap happens sometimes, but I started to notice digital static in certain overlay modes, especially videos. If I had a video on screen, I would get occasional horizontal lines flickering. Also, I see some unexpected triangles and very brief checkerboards. Not a temp problem, for sure. Extensive testing never ran the card's default settings over 51C. Again, if I were in a remote part of the world, I would make do, but I am taking the opportunity to RMA this card and hopefully get a card better suited for the task. Probably a minor issue with a pipeline. In the meantime, I'm glad I have Intel Integrated Graphics HD4000 on my i5-3570K to fallback to. On the plus side, it confirms the problems were with the card since the issues have disappeared on IIG.

So, a qualified recommendation, but odds are you won't experience the problems I'm having.

UPDATE: After an RMA, this card performs like a dream. The RMA fixed the "static" and a driver update fixed the bad graphics vectors. I'm giving it back it's fifth star. Now, I'm planning on getting a second of these cards for Crossfire. Still, a definite recommendation. I'm rocking my way through Bioshock Infinite now and having a great time.
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on August 8, 2014
this I why I loved used stuff on amazon.i couldn't have gotten a card this nice for under $200 anywhere else.I am sure it doesn't need ALL the fans...I'M KIDDING! IT DID EVERYTHING THE REVIEWS OF THE NEW CARDS SAID ie quite and runs cooler and best of all it runs world or tanks at 60 fps on max setting -AWESOME! A 700% IMPROVEMENT AS the APU could manage 8 fps.
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on May 10, 2015
The video card does exactly what it is intended to do. Which is a lot. It's a powerful piece of hardware to add to your computer. As with all PC purchases, do your thorough research to make sure you do not have any heartbreaks when you are installing this unto your new or existing tower. I did not find any hidden issues hardware or software wise after months of using this upgrade.
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on December 9, 2014
Its been more than 6 months since I installed this one in my home built gaming PC. Best buy ever. Considering I had an Nvidia before that stopped working after 3 weeks. (Amazon gave me a full refund though, best company in the world). All recent games run smoothly and you can overclock it if you want. Im considering buying a second one later on to have 2x the gaming smoothness, oh yea.
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on November 29, 2013
The card arrived with the third fan dead, It's unfortunate because this card is a fantastic one for the $300 pricetag.
At 99% GPU load the card would spike at around 91C or 92C. I have a fan situated on the whole PC to keep it running around 80C while I wait for my small replacement fan from China :)

This is what I get for buying used from Amazon I least it works!

Otherwise, the card runs very well. I am a miner and a gamer, best of both worlds!
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on October 13, 2012
I bought one of these in March 2012, which has a reference PCB compatible with full-cover water blocks. The latest one I ordered has a rev 2.0 PCB which is not reference, and will not fit with a full-cover water block. I did not evaluate that card at all with air cooling, but I've been running the original one that way since March (was planning to switch to water cooling with the two cards in the next couple weeks).

With air cooling, the card runs much cooler and quieter than a reference 7970 (and leagues quieter than my XFX 5970 4GB, which had the same cooling design as the 6990). As an air-cooled card, I would rate this five stars. You just can't cool the later versions properly with water.
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