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7970 Reference or Non-Reference for CF?

post #1 of 7
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I have two Sapphire reference in CF right now. Temps are okay, 80-85c @ 38% fan speed, but any higher fan speed gets too loud.

I know that non-reference models with custom coolers like Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Twin Frozr have quieter and better cooling, but I am wondering how they perform in CF configurations. I'm sure the bottom card will be fine, but what about the top card? Reference cards pull air and blow them out of the case, whereas these throw heat back into the case. How will the top card with these custom fans perform? I'm sure there will be a lot of hot air in between the top card and bottom card since there's nowhere for the hot air to go because the bottom card is blocking.

I am satisfied with my cards right now, it's just that in normal gaming, not benchmarking, I can't OC any more because I would need to bump voltage which means higher temps and higher fan speed. It gets quite loud so I keep it at stock voltages with a mild OC to 1025/1475. I am sure non-reference models will have better components and will have a chance for me to OC further and keep it stable and quiet. If the fan design of the non-reference for the top card will yield slight to no difference in temperature vs reference then I'd stick with reference in CF.
post #2 of 7
Reference AMD boards have excellent components and have for a few generations now. Temperatures will be better with custom designs though yeah. Although in CF I prefer reference designs anyway. Nonref cards tend to breath on each other.
post #3 of 7

I had once a non-ref put into the mix with a ref card.

 

The top non-ref end up 70'C and the bottom ref card is at 65'C due it sucks cold air from the bottom of the case fan. The design is balanced without noises at all. If I swap it around. The top red card will go up to 90'C while the bottom goes 55'C.

 
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≡ Snowbaru ≡
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiL11o6 View Post

I have two Sapphire reference in CF right now. Temps are okay, 80-85c @ 38% fan speed, but any higher fan speed gets too loud.
I know that non-reference models with custom coolers like Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Twin Frozr have quieter and better cooling, but I am wondering how they perform in CF configurations. I'm sure the bottom card will be fine, but what about the top card? Reference cards pull air and blow them out of the case, whereas these throw heat back into the case. How will the top card with these custom fans perform? I'm sure there will be a lot of hot air in between the top card and bottom card since there's nowhere for the hot air to go because the bottom card is blocking.
I am satisfied with my cards right now, it's just that in normal gaming, not benchmarking, I can't OC any more because I would need to bump voltage which means higher temps and higher fan speed. It gets quite loud so I keep it at stock voltages with a mild OC to 1025/1475. I am sure non-reference models will have better components and will have a chance for me to OC further and keep it stable and quiet. If the fan design of the non-reference for the top card will yield slight to no difference in temperature vs reference then I'd stick with reference in CF.


I can't recall the thread right now, but I read earlier today of a vendor that sold 90 cards to the defense force for Crossfire and they would only buy reference cards. For what that's worth.

 

Airflow is key: I have read that for reference cards you need to have either balanced or positive pressure in your case; if it's too high in the negative it will be trying to drawer air in through the video card. Have you taken the window off and put the mesh panel on your 600T? This is a must for Crossfire in that case, especially reference cards. And fit some nice high airflow fans as intake. The Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpms are near silent with excellent airflow and static pressure. Forget pretty lights you need performance.

 

I'm not an expert, just throwing some ideas your way.

 

Good luck.

 

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post #5 of 7
Get a circumaural headset and your problems will be fixed ! thumb.gif
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by djriful View Post

I had once a non-ref put into the mix with a ref card.

Will this work with the 7970s assuming similar clocks? Was planning on getting a 7970 next month and then another 7970 once I upgrade my CPU/Motherboard in a year or so. Never crossfire'd before either. If I can buy a reference one now then a non-reference later that would be great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillgreg View Post

I can't recall the thread right now, but I read earlier today of a vendor that sold 90 cards to the defense force for Crossfire and they would only buy reference cards. For what that's worth.

Airflow is key: I have read that for reference cards you need to have either balanced or positive pressure in your case; if it's too high in the negative it will be trying to drawer air in through the video card. Have you taken the window off and put the mesh panel on your 600T? This is a must for Crossfire in that case, especially reference cards. And fit some nice high airflow fans as intake. The Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpms are near silent with excellent airflow and static pressure. Forget pretty lights you need performance.

Would I need to do the same to the window in a HAF-X case? Only thing I've done is added an extra 200mm fan to the top so far.

I'm constantly worried about temp thanks to living in AZ. hmmsmiley02.gif
Edited by rageofthepeon - 2/15/12 at 11:14am
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rageofthepeon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djriful View Post

I had once a non-ref put into the mix with a ref card.

Will this work with the 7970s assuming similar clocks? Was planning on getting a 7970 next month and then another 7970 once I upgrade my CPU/Motherboard in a year or so. Never crossfire'd before either. If I can buy a reference one now then a non-reference later that would be great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillgreg View Post

I can't recall the thread right now, but I read earlier today of a vendor that sold 90 cards to the defense force for Crossfire and they would only buy reference cards. For what that's worth.

Airflow is key: I have read that for reference cards you need to have either balanced or positive pressure in your case; if it's too high in the negative it will be trying to drawer air in through the video card. Have you taken the window off and put the mesh panel on your 600T? This is a must for Crossfire in that case, especially reference cards. And fit some nice high airflow fans as intake. The Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpms are near silent with excellent airflow and static pressure. Forget pretty lights you need performance.

Would I need to do the same to the window in a HAF-X case? Only thing I've done is added an extra 200mm fan to the top so far.

I'm constantly worried about temp thanks to living in AZ. hmmsmiley02.gif
 


 

 

It's the same chipset, therefore, yes but it will run whichever card is slower at clocks and in that case you might need to overclock one of them to sync the same speed.

 

Beside that, overclocking rig in Canada is like a paradise. I just open up my windows in the winter and let the freezing cold air into my rig.


Edited by djriful - 2/15/12 at 12:04pm
 
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