Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X
OverviewHardware: Video Cards
WHAT WE LIKED:Great performance, factory overclock, outstanding temperatures, low noise, strong overclocking, EZ OC button
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Overpriced compared to GTX 670
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Sapphire continues to impress with powerhouse cards that run cool and quiet. That’s quite a tall order, but the 7970 Vapor-X is undoubtedly a success at achieving such a difficult task. The card looks fabulous; it’s sleek and edgy at the same time, and the dual fan cooler is impressive. The addition of the OC button is a handy feature for those who don’t want to mess with clock speeds, voltages, and stability testing. Keep in mind this is in addition to the factory speed of 1GHz, already showing increased speeds over the reference card design.
In terms of performance, the 7970 Vapor-X is impressive and can easily handly just about any modern game title, but it can’t beat the GTX 680, which reigns as the fastest card on the market. In fact, this Sapphire card trades blows with the GTX 670, gaining in a couple game titles, but falling off the pace in a few others. Essentially they’re nearly identical in terms of horsepower, though minor differences do exist depending on the game, and in a few instances, the resolution.
So that leaves us with the inevitable question about price. The Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X currently retails for $470, which includes the factory overclock and a killer cooler. While that’s not cheap, it isn’t unexpected for the premium upgrades, and it’s competitive against a few other custom 7970 cards. However, the issue is the GTX 670 costs considerably less, so it certainly makes for an interesting choice with consumers.
We do love this card in terms of aesthetics, performance, and temperatures, and the bottom line is the Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X is an excellent product. However, it’s also a victim of AMD’s pricing scheme. That said, if you’re looking for a top shelf 7970 then this Vapor-X is a great pick.