We can't have the same rev. then, check out my gpu-z, I cant even monitor the VRAM volt, tried every trick in the book.
Since mine is rev. 2.1 there's probably more than two revisions, The first rev(the good one) was great, most of them OC*d to 1300Mhz, and fully unlocked voltage.
Over here(I live in Sweden) the ligthning is only like $90 more then the gigabyte card(howerver the GB is $500 here so..
I guess I'm a bit picky about temps, but my experience with alot of other cards is that OC is alot more stable the cooler the VRMS are. With my 6970 for example, if i keep temps below about 60C I can runt it like at 40-50Mhz higher clocks.
I alos got a XFX 7970 with the ref. cooler, but i had a Acellero Extreme 7970 on that, wich kept it below 55C at all times, except in stresstests like kombustor. And it's dead quiet, the gigabyte sounds like a hurricane comparet to the Arctic cooler. Anyways, that card is dead and I'm waiting for a replacement card (hello crossfire:)
Generally the custom PCB's are cheaper, even tho they claim they're soooo much better, not on all cards tho. Like the lightning ie.
EDIT: Talking about VRM temps, http://www.overclock.net/t/1316977/7970-gpu-vrms-temp-92c-is-it-still-safe
I've put a bunch of those little heatsinks on the vrm bracket on the back of the card, you could try that. Cant tell you how effective it is since i cant see the temps lolEdited by twisted1 - 10/17/12 at 11:48pm