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Sapphire And MSI Unleash Overclocked Radeon 7970s

Both Sapphire and MSI have this morning released new overclocked, advanced cooling versions of the high end AMD Radeon 7970 graphics card.

The former's version is known as the HD 7970 OC edition, and comes equipped with "Dual-X" technology - essentially amounting to two fans - along with some highly efficienct heat-pipes to keep the core running cool. The standard Radeon 7970 has a core clock of 925Mhz and a memory clock of 1375Mhz. This new overclocked edition bumps it up to 950Mhz/1425Mhz respectively - though you can also engage the second of the dual BIOS on-board, to enable advanced clocks of 1000Mhz/1450Mhz.

MSI's offering - while factory overclocked - seems more aimed at the enthusiast that wants to do his or hers own tweaking. The core clock is taken all the way up to 1070Mhz, representing a 70Mhz jump on even Sapphire's secondary BIOS option. The memory however doesn't reach quite the same height, stopping short at 1400Mhz.

It also makes use of a twin fan setup known as the Twin Frozr found on some of MSI's other cards. However, the details the company seemed particularly excited about included the unlocked digital power architecture and BIOS. Together, MSI claims to have removed overclocking limits from AMD's catalyst control center, meaning you can push the GPU far further than its factory settings. The use of digital power controls also allows for fine voltage tweaking, giving enthusiasts much more room to play with.

Even just looking at some basic overclocking like that of Hardware Heaven, this card is seemingly capable of monster clocks. In that review they hit 1265/1505Mhz for the core/memory respectively.

Dipping his toes into almost everything that could be labeled 'nerdy' in his free time, Jon has been writing about technology for over half a decade. While mainly focusing on PC hardware thoughout this time, today he's more varied, covering everything from gaming to general electronics, industry perspectives and consoles. As well as writing for different sites, Jon enjoys wargaming, reading and PC gaming, hoping to balance out these geeky pastimes with fire spinning and MMA.