Originally Posted by wanna_buy
I can buy on eBay this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102915
but before I pull the trigger, I just wanted to ask here.
The pictures at Newegg clearly shows that this particular card has reference black PCB, but at other sites there are pictures with red PCB.
I just read here that the reference cards aren't being produced any more and when you buy the card, you get slightly different product. Is this true? If anybody has bought this card, were they the same reference model as pictured at Newegg?
As said, it's a reference card. That particular model will flash to 6970 if you want to go that route or just a good OC.
Sapphire is a great company and I've never had problems with them. I recommend them. My personal opinion is they are the best AMD vendor, but that's just me.
I didn't think mine were loud but I owned a Sapphire AMD 4670 and later a Sapphire AMD 5670 in a much older system. The cards didn't have shrouds and fans were made differently but they weren't noisy to me but really can't compare. I didn't over clock with them either nor adjust fan settings.
I tried out and owned MSI AMD 6870 TFII crossfired. The MSI TFII were great cards too. I did over clock with them, they did stay cooler if I compare them to other reference 6870's and I had a slightly higher over clock on the GPU.
Question you should ask yourself is do you want the hot air exhaust blowing out the back of the air flow bracket over dumping the hot air into your tower.
The hot air going out the back, your ambient temps stay cooler inside along with your CPU & RAM yet the card is naturally a warmer card. The other option is blowing inside your tower raising ambient temps with CPU & RAM yet the card itself stays cooler and you'll have a bit more of an over clock on the GPU but may get less OC on the CPU.
If you have good ventilation you won't have to worry about the non-reference cooling option. If you don't have good ventilation then get the shrouded card. I like to over clock my CPU and keeping the inside of my tower is more important to me. I've got a mid-tower and though it's very well ventilated it's smaller and not as open as a full size tower. I also got a slightly higher OC on the CPU since switching back to a shrouded model.
So ask yourself which is best for you. Having owned Sapphire and MSI they both have their strong suits. I personally still would prefer the Sapphire. It's going to be an opinion poll mostly. Can't knock the MSI either but I didn't own them for very long, but I know them to be solid components.
Good luck in which ever 6970 you choose. Either way your going to love gaming with it.