I just decided on buying a 7950 over a 7970 because of the huge overclocking potential I've heard about for the 7950, but I have yet to purchase the card itself because I want to know what the best model card is for overclocking in terms of cooling, heatsink design, and noise. I realize that the card I get may have no OCing capabilities whatsoever due to chance, but I want to at least get the best one I can.
Right now I'm looking at the gigabyte card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414) and the stock saphire card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006)
If anyone has any other options, or if you would suggest I get the XFX 7970 on sale now for around $350 after MIR (http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67172&vpn=FX797ATDFC&manufacture=XFX&promoid=1033), please tell me, but know that I'd rather not spend more than $350 before rebate if possible.
Running the Gigabyte Card right now and i have no issues at 1050/1450 @ 1.093v The fans can get kind of looud when the card speeds them up but its not too bad, i like have the 3 fans over 2 as it gives you more overall static presure because the spin faster.
i dont know if you care to hear but my temps go to a max of about 58c in games like BF3 after a few hours of play with the fans on auto, so if you wanted to keep it quieter you could just turn the fans down in a custom profile.
that being said the Sapphire Card also has a great cooling solution, im not to sure about the XFX card though, and from what i saw you ling its more expensive anyway.
I had to deal with a 1 fan dell XPS for the last couple years with the 4850 making more noise than the disc drive while gaming, so a bit of fan noise is perfectly fine. I'll probably end up going with the gigabyte card just because of the good cooler, thanks for the help.
I hear yah, i had an old HP that had the loudest stock AMD cooler ever, and this card is absolutley nothing compared to that even when some would call it "noisy"
when gaming its a bit louder than my case fans at full blast... Which are Fractal Design 140mm Silent Series R2 fans, just to give you an idea :)
When did you buy your card cause I am pretty sure mine is voltage locked