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ASUS HD 7970 Matrix 3072 MB

W1zzard

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#1
The ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum is the company's new card geared towards enthusiasts and hardware overclockers. It comes with many features for the extreme crowd, but also caters to more normal users. One unique feature is buttons on the card that let you adjust voltage on the fly.

Read the whole review here
 
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#2
I ran into the same overclocking "problems" with the Sapphire VAPOR-X HD7970 Ghz Edition, That's unfortunate
 

eidairaman1

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#3
I ran into the same overclocking "problems" with the Sapphire VAPOR-X HD7970 Ghz Edition, That's unfortunate
stability over oc ftw. course i noticed a tradeoff between these two.

i dont care for the trislot design but this is certainly quieter than the sapphire card.
 
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#4
Only several fps boost...
 
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#5
Great review!

Couple observations:
You say that "ASUS has engineered the most powerful single-GPU AMD graphics card money can buy right now", but technically the Sapphire Toxic is more powerful (albeit with a hilarious $200+ price premium over this card)

Also, you say with respect to noise "NVIDIA based cards do much better here", but your noise charts show the Matrix 7970 being quieter than all the GTX 6xx cards at both idle and load, so I think this is just flat wrong/inconsistent.

I also don't know what's up with the voltage tweaks not working, but I can corroborate that info - I've had 3 7970s (an XFX DD BE from launch and a pair of Lightnings) and they all topped out around 1200-1225 MHz on the core with about 1.21-1.22V applied - further voltage tweaking did not allow any further overclocking on any of the cards, just like you guys saw here. I don't know what to make of that either, other than clocks in the 1200 MHz range are just the realistic limit for Tahiti silicon (on air) regardless of how much voltage you pump through there.
 

eidairaman1

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#6
Good Observation actually. But ya most boards designed would have to have better caps, diodes, resistors, transistors, VRMs/ Mosfets, Chokes etc from the non ref design in order to get more from Tahiti pretty much

Great review!

Couple observations:
You say that "ASUS has engineered the most powerful single-GPU AMD graphics card money can buy right now", but technically the Sapphire Toxic is more powerful (albeit with a hilarious $200+ price premium over this card)

Also, you say with respect to noise "NVIDIA based cards do much better here", but your noise charts show the Matrix 7970 being quieter than all the GTX 6xx cards at both idle and load, so I think this is just flat wrong/inconsistent.

I also don't know what's up with the voltage tweaks not working, but I can corroborate that info - I've had 3 7970s (an XFX DD BE from launch and a pair of Lightnings) and they all topped out around 1200-1225 MHz on the core with about 1.21-1.22V applied - further voltage tweaking did not allow any further overclocking on any of the cards, just like you guys saw here. I don't know what to make of that either, other than clocks in the 1200 MHz range are just the realistic limit for Tahiti silicon (on air) regardless of how much voltage you pump through there.
 

W1zzard

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#7
You say that "ASUS has engineered the most powerful single-GPU AMD graphics card money can buy right now", but technically the Sapphire Toxic is more powerful (albeit with a hilarious $200+ price premium over this card)

Also, you say with respect to noise "NVIDIA based cards do much better here", but your noise charts show the Matrix 7970 being quieter than all the GTX 6xx cards at both idle and load, so I think this is just flat wrong/inconsistent.
in my testing sapphire toxic is 3% faster than 7970 ghz, just like matrix. the second bios which runs higher clock and voltage is not "default", otherwise sapphire would have made it default, so i dont count it. the extra memory on the toxic makes no difference, it's just a waste of money and e-penis extension

regarding nvidia noise, i meant custom boards like asus directcu II gtx 680/670/660 ti/660
 
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#8
in my testing sapphire toxic is 3% faster than 7970 ghz too. the second bios which runs higher clock and voltage is not "default", otherwise sapphire would have made it default, so i dont count it.

regarding nvidia noise, i meant custom boards like asus directcu II gtx 680/670/660 ti/660
Makes sense. Might want to add the bit about comparing to custom GTX 6xx noise levels just for the sake of clarity.

-edit- Although, just compared this to your ASUS 680 DCUII review, and the Matrix is 1 dB quieter at idle and 1 dB louder at load, so I'm still confused. It looks like this Matrix 7970 just flat out breaks the previous trend of "7970 cards are louder than their 6xx counterparts". Comparing this card to a 670 or 660ti for noise levels is an unfair comparison (just as comparing 670 or 660ti performance to this card would be).
 

M@U

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#9
Drivers

You have used the newer drivers on GTX650 TI reviews. Why did you use the old drivers on this review?

HD7970 GE is looking better than GTX680 with old drivers. But results are changing when using the new drivers.
 

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#10
heck GPU database here could have a comparison like CPU-world or gpureview.com, here it would be more comprehensive actually
 

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#11
You have used the newer drivers on GTX650 TI reviews. Why did you use the old drivers on this review?
because i finished this review in late september (before i started the rebench)

Although, just compared this to your ASUS 680 DCUII review, and the Matrix is 1 dB quieter at idle and 1 dB louder at load, so I'm still confused. It looks like this Matrix 7970 just flat out breaks the previous trend of "7970 cards are louder than their 6xx counterparts". Comparing this card to a 670 or 660ti for noise levels is an unfair comparison (just as comparing 670 or 660ti performance to this card would be).
i see your point, but the underlying issue is that asus overoptimized the fan for temperatures which will never be reached, instead of finding the right balance between noise and temperatures
 
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#12
^^ I agree that they could have optimized for even lower noise (just as you pointed out in the 680 DCUII review), I just think that the conclusion statement that Nvidia is better on noise vs this card is wrong, based on the reviews from this site.

I just looked through every 680 review done here on TPU, and the only 680 that beats this card (>1dB difference) for noise levels is the PoV TGT GTX 680 Ultracharged 4GB. All the others are basically the same and a couple are worse.

So, in order to say "Nvidia is much better about noise", you have to compare this 7970 to cards that are in a different price/performance class - the GTX 670 or 660ti. I would argue that's not a fair comparison.
 

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#14
nice review, thanks
 
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#15
What is the reason for only stock coolers being included in the sound benchmarks? I'd have thought most people were more concerned with how it stacks up against the MSI or Sapphire coolers, for example.
 
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#16
if this card really does come in at 480.....BRAVO Asus...

color me impressed...
 
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#17
if this card really does come in at 480.....BRAVO Asus...

color me impressed...
Me too... I really was expecting this to come in really overpriced around the $550 mark. I'm guessing that the existence of the Lightning @ $480 helped out the pricing as that's the other card aimed at hardcore overclockers.
 
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#18
480 bucks for this damn little (oh no massive) thing. Deal !
 
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#19
Curious - why no 7990 in the comparison charts?
 
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#20
HD7990 isn't a reference card... It's a name given by companies like TUL for their dual HD7970 design. AMD doesn't have HD7990, for them its just HD7970 at CFX config on 1 PCB.
 

eidairaman1

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#21
What is the reason for only stock coolers being included in the sound benchmarks? I'd have thought most people were more concerned with how it stacks up against the MSI or Sapphire coolers, for example.
because reference is reference, it's to show how much better a cooler is over it since reference is the standard benchmark to go by
 
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#22
i see your point, but the underlying issue is that asus overoptimized the fan for temperatures which will never be reached, instead of finding the right balance between noise and temperatures
well, that's Asus, they wanna do it good, but fails sometimes, but thx good for bios modding so u can do it urself if u don't just use a custom fan profile.
 
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#23
Ya, Asus GPU tweak provides an easy way to set the fan any way you like. Its a non-issue really.