Gigabyte's HD 7950 Windforce 3X OC
Gigabyte HD 7950 Windforce 3X OC
Gigabyteís HD 7950 OC is an imposing card which is topped by the massive Windforce 3X heatsink but otherwise, it retains the standard PCB layout. Pricing on this isnít all that bad either since it only carries a $20 premium over the reference version even though its cooler is supposed to lower temperatures by a significant amount.
Speaking of the heatsink, it really is the star of this show. This particular example uses the same design we saw on the HD 7970 version with a trio of 80mm fans and a vapor chamber which covers the core and memory modules. As with all of the custom coolers these days, the main heatsink is aluminum but in order to increase thermal capacity, Gigabyte has added a number of smaller fin arrays that are attached to the vapor chamber via copper heatpipes. The layout is a novel one since it allows for reduced temperatures without taking up too much vertical space.
Since this large and frankly quite complicated heatsink weighs in at about two pounds and puts significant pressure upon the cardís center point, Gigabyte added an aluminum band along the PCBís edge to eliminate flexing.
Power connectors on the WindForce 3X retain the reference dual six pin configuration but the PCB uses Gigabyteís blue colour. This is the direction Gigabyte usually goes with their initial cards. It changes AMDís HD 7950 layout but incorporates slightly different components which helps keep costs under control.
The output connector selection here is basic at best. Even with single dual link DVI and HDMI 1.4 connectors, this card still isnít natively compatible with multi monitor solutions since Gigabyte hasnít included the necessary dongles to convert the WindForce 3Xís two mini DP headers into full sized DisplayPort outputs.
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