We recently reviewed the Club 3D Radeon HD 7970 royalAce, a graphics card based on the new GHz Edition of the Radeon HD 7970. Sapphire followed suit, and sent us their new 7970 card, the Radeon HD 7970 Vapor-X 3GB. Hardware.Info tested the graphics card to find out which one is better.
As the name indicates, Sapphire's new card uses a Vapor-X cooler, its name for vapor chamber technology. It consists of a flattened heat pipe, that causes the heat from the GPU to be distributed more quickly across the copper baseplate. Four normal heat pipes transfer the heat to the large heatsink on the graphics card. Two of these are of the larger 8 mm variety. Two 80 mm fans then cool the heatsink. The Vapor-X cooler is a bit larger than usual, and causes this graphics card to take up three expansion slots on the motherboard.
The new Sapphire has the same standard clock frequencies of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, which are higher than on the original 7970. The GPU runs at 1 GHz, with 1050 MHz for the turbo mode. The 3GB GDDR5 memory chips runs at 1500 MHz.
Other than the special cooler and the GHz Edition clock frequencies, this Sapphire is a standard Radeon HD 7970 card. That means it has two DVI connectors (one dual-link), HDMI and DisplayPort. It has a 6-pin and an 8-pin PEG power connector.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Vapor-X 3GB costs an average of £354.