Monday, January 30th 2012

Single Fan Non-Reference Design Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Pictured

A little earlier this month, we were treated to pictures of Sapphire's dual-fan Radeon HD 7950 OC graphics card. It appears that the card pictured earlier is not the only non-reference design HD 7950 from Sapphire, as it has a slightly more affordable single-fan model in the works. This model likely sticks to AMD reference clock speeds of 800 MHz core, 1250 MHz (5.00 GHz GDDR5 effective) out of the box.

The single-fan HD 7950 appears to have a blue-colored PCB that is likely to be AMD's cost-effective reference design. The cooler appears to have a compact heatsink that is cooled by a single central fan. Display outputs include two mini-DisplayPort, and one each of HDMI and DVI. We're also hearing from the source that 900 MHz core with unchanged (1250/5000 MHz) memory will be the maximum factory-OC permitted by AMD to AIB partners. That is not to say that the HD 7950's OC potential beyond that will be limited in any way.

Update: Augmented with more images from Expreview.Sources: OBR-Hardware, Expreview
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61 Comments on Single Fan Non-Reference Design Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Pictured

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Added more images. Some aggressive cost-cutting there.
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#2
ZoneDymo
man that cooler looks weak.
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#4
_JP_
The heatsink is a lie! :laugh:
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#5
claylomax
I like the girl on the box. :)
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#6
_JP_
Even my HD 5770 has a beefier heatsink. This makes it look like older cards, where the heatsink+fan was as large as the chip.
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#7
ShockG
I think Expreview is mistaken. This is a reference design
Both the Sapphire (OC Edition) card I have here and Powercolor 7950 use exactly the same PCB, just a different colour
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#8
SteelSix
Their 7950 OC non-ref version has a cooler plate contacting pcb components and a four heatpipe, dual fan cooler. How can they deviate so far in the direction of cheap?

Edit: @ ShockG, I think you're right about that being ref design. A decent PWM arrary if so, but that heatsink looks barely capable.
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#9
ShockG
Quick and dirty photo of my cards shows exactly the same PCB
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#10
Trackr
Man, those single fan solutions are terrible.

My XFX HD 6950 had one. Temps at stock reached up to 90C.
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#11
GC_PaNzerFIN
Looks like someone saved in the wrong thing right there! That cooler reminds me of ancient (loud and hot) times. Also, the VRM looks like severy weakened.
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#12
Drugsh
Looking at the cooler there are only two outcomes
1.7950 runs really cool nd its a gud point Or
2.The cooler design is a serious crap
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#13
SteelSix
@ ShockG, your card with the blue PCB is a Sapphire OC with the dual fan cooler?
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#14
ShockG
yes it is with the dual fans
and yes these cards run really cool, no need for a massive cooler I've found. Much much quieter than the 7970 ref cards though even at full tilt.
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#15
SteelSix
by: ShockG
yes it is with the dual fans
and yes these cards run really cool, no need for a massive cooler I've found. Much much quieter than the 7970 ref cards though even at full tilt.
Well there you have it folks, reference pcb and cooler pictured. The Sapphire non-ref OC uses an upgraded cooler on reference pcb.
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#16
crow1001
My 480 at 850 core gets 7000 in 3DM11, these new AMD 28nm GPUs look fail, yes they overclock but that aint gonna net you ball busting performance that a new GPU on a smaller process should, over to you kepler.
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#17
20mmrain
by: crow1001
My 480 at 850 core gets 7000 in 3DM11, these new AMD 28nm GPUs look fail, yes they overclock but that aint gonna net you ball busting performance that a new GPU on a smaller process should, over to you kepler.
Your GTX 480 does not get 7K I bet at stock speeds though does it? How overclocked and well cooled is it? You might not want to leave that info out when making a statement like this.


As far as the cooler goes on this card though..... I hate the design. It was a stupid design that they implemented on the HD6950's. It works like shit and cools like shit. They really have cheapen out on the cooler.

One more thing to add.... While I will admit I was expecting more from these cards we have to remember these are preliminary benchmarks on cards with drivers that are not mature yet. The fact is this card still beats a GTX 580 stock for stock right now. I also have no doubt that NV will be able to beat the performance gains of these cards when the GTX 600/700 series releases. But for right now we don't know when exactly that will be. That could still be another 6 months away if history repeats its self. So to blast on these AMD cards I think is a little premature for now. Because honestly everyone here could just say something like "Oh yeah well when the HD8970's release Kepler is gonna look like shit" It's pointless to compare unreleased cards to released cards.
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#18
Dj-ElectriC
I concur that the PCB is a reference PCB
And that cooler is a big nono, the DualFan though is amazing.

Overclocking results? this thing can improve 33% at ease... I'd say

BTW overclocking these things is not an easy and quick thing to do as they throttle like hell with extra voltage
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#19
ShockG
64% overclock here on the Sapphire OC version. That's incredible I must say. Oddly enough I think higher is possible will check
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#21
Dj-ElectriC
by: ShockG
64% overclock here on the Sapphire OC version. That's incredible I must say. Oddly enough I think higher is possible will check
Have you checked throttling? without PowerTuning you can squeez dozens of Mhz without gaining one single percent of performance
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#22
ShockG
I always check for that
And there's no throttling happening. Card is scaling well with clock speeds
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#23
RejZoR
3/4 of the size is a plastic cover and 1/4 is the cooler. Hm...
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#24
Dj-ElectriC
So is it just 1.3V, no Powertune and 1275? (Sapphire DF-OC)?
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#25
ShockG
no not 1.3V
That doesn't do anything using 1.26V for that clock speed. Memory clocking on this particular sample isn't good as 1.6GHz will crash, but on the other 7950s 1.625Ghz is easy with no memory voltage adjustments
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