Many of the AMD’s board partners will initially only be introducing reference clocked versions of the HD 7970 but XFX is doing things differently. Soon after official availability at retailers, they will have a full product stack of reference and non reference designs at a variety of different price points.
HD 7970 3GB CORE Edition
Starting from the back of the product stack, we have the “Core Edition” which essentially means that it retains the HD 7970′s reference design and clock speeds. However, it does receive XFX’s usual Double Lifetime Warranty and excellent customer service.
HD 7970 3GB BLACK EDITION
We will also see a return of XFX’s famous Black Edition which incorporates a higher clocked core (in this case overclocked to 1GHz) which has been through a binning process to ensure good overclocking headroom. Ironically, even though AMD talked quite a bit about the overclocking capability of the GDDR5 modules on these cards, it looks like XFX will be sticking with the reference frequencies for the time being. While it may look like a reference card from the outside, it sports an upgraded component layout including a PCB with 2oz of copper for additional heat dissipation, an upgraded fan bearing design and solid capacitors. We’re guessing that XFX will price this card a good $50 more than the reference version but due to current market conditions, the sky’s the limit for HD 7970 cards right after launch.
HD 7970 3GB Double Dissipation (DD) Edition
No we get to the cards that many of you were likely waiting for: the ones with custom heatsinks, upgraded PCBs and higher clock speeds. First up we have the Double Dissipation Edition which incorporates XFX’s Ghost Thermal Technology, a technology that is supposed to allow for a quiet acoustical profile, uses a dust blocking fan bearing design, lowers temperatures and increases component live. This card doesn’t sport the Black Edition core binning process but it does have XFX’s custom rear bracket, upgraded components and a less aggressive fan speed profile than the reference design.
HD 7970 3GB Black Edition Double Dissipation (DD)
Last but not lease is the Black Edition Double Dissipation which as its name suggests has the higher clock speeds of the Black Edition (1GHz core speed up from the reference 925MHz) along with the Double Dissipation heatsink and upgraded components we talked about above. This one should be one of the most sought-after HD 7970 cards in the days following launch but expect them to be quite rare.