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Sapphire HD 7950 Dual Fan OC Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: January 30, 2012
Product Name: HD 7950 Dual Fan OC
Part Number: 11196-02-40G
Warranty: 3 Years
 
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Conclusion


With a market that will surely be cluttered with custom versions of the HD 7950, only the best cards with forward looking designs will stand out from competitors. We’ve already seen two such products from XFX and HIS, each with its own set of features, clock speeds and associated price but Sapphire has chosen to offer a kind of middle ground. Instead of reaching for high overclocks or something that’s uncomfortably close to the reference design, the Dual Fan OC strikes a nearly perfect balance between performance, cooling and cost.

Let’s start with the obvious first: even at stock speeds, the HD 7950 is a formidable graphics card that has no issue playing games at ultra high detail settings. Due to the lack of memory overclocks Sapphire’s own speed increases may feel like nothing more than fancy window dressing in order to achieve the bare minimum necessary for this particular card to be considered an “OC Edition”. However, with a core running at 900MHz, some performance differences are achievable. While more could have been offered, we’re sure Sapphire is holding back a bit now in order to wow us with their Toxic and other special editions.

Where the Dual Fan really stands out as unique is in the cooling category. Sapphire has consistently shown that their heatsink engineers are some of the best around and this HD 7950 does nothing but cement that belief in our minds. Not only does the Dual Fan post incredible temperature results at both standard and overclocked speeds but it is almost as quiet at full load as other cards’ idle fan states.

The newest member of Sapphire’s Dual Fan family certainly has a lot going for it but some may be turned off by the $30 premium it carries over a reference design. Honestly though, this is a small price to pay for what may be one of the coolest running and quietest cards on the market. The performance increase is just icing on the cake. We really couldn’t have asked for more and this will surely be one of the most popular HD 7950s in the weeks following launch.


 
 
 

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