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7970 for overclocking and watercooling

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been looking for a good 7970 for overclocking and watercooling. Stock cooling doesn't matter, as long as the card isn't voltage locked or ridiculously expensive.

I've found these two so far that both work with the waterblock I have picked out for my build:

Diamond Stock card $419.99 ($399.99 after MIR) 925 Mhz stock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103201

MSI OC card $439.99 ($429.99 after MIR) 1010 Mhz stock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127652

Now I know I'll be paying a premium for the MSI pre-OCed card, but I'm not sure if it's worth it if I'm likely to hit that anyway with the other card. I've also never bought a diamond card before, so I'm not sure about their products. Can anyone shed some light on either of these guys?
Edited by frozenwings - 2/7/13 at 9:18pm
post #2 of 18
Don't know about Diamond as the last product I bought from them was the Diamond Rio and before that a Voodoo2 however I would see if there are anybody has confirmed binned chips. I wouldn't pay a premium for something that wasn't, look for already existing reviews and what not.

Just remember that new cards are around the corner and they are going to destroy that thing. Don't do what I did last year and buy a high end 6900 card in February!
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been reading that AMD has pushed back their new card until Q4 of this year. I'm rocking an ancient gtx 470 and I need a new card ASAP, haha. If they aren't releasing the cards until Q4, I can just buy a new one around this time next year.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenwings View Post

I've been looking for a good 7970 for overclocking and watercooling. Stock cooling doesn't matter, as long as the card isn't voltage locked or ridiculously expensive.

I've found these two so far that both work with the waterblock I have picked out for my build:

Diamond Stock card $419.99 ($399.99 after MIR) 925 Mhz stock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103201

MSI OC card $439.99 ($429.99 after MIR) 1010 Mhz stock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127652

Now I know I'll be paying a premium for the MSI pre-OCed card, but I'm not sure if it's worth it if I'm likely to hit that anyway with the other card. I've also never bought a diamond card before, so I'm not sure about their products. Can anyone shed some light on either of these guys?


Get the Diamond. It a proper true reference. Look at my 3930 rig, three diamonds in there. That MSI OC uses the alternate pcb, it has lower quality caps but it since it uses the alternate pcb, it will fit a fullcover block. You just have to make sure you don't get an old ek block which are *NOT* compatible with the alternate pcb cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by givmedew View Post

Don't know about Diamond as the last product I bought from them was the Diamond Rio and before that a Voodoo2 however I would see if there are anybody has confirmed binned chips. I wouldn't pay a premium for something that wasn't, look for already existing reviews and what not.

Just remember that new cards are around the corner and they are going to destroy that thing. Don't do what I did last year and buy a high end 6900 card in February!


Next gen is almost a year away to xmas like the last two releases. It is a refresh so it will not be blowing anything away lol.
Edited by tsm106 - 2/7/13 at 9:28pm
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Get the Diamond. It a proper true reference. Look at my 3930 rig, three diamonds in there. That MSI OC uses the alternate pcb, it has lower quality caps but it since it uses the alternate pcb, it will fit a fullcover block. You just have to make sure you don't get an old ek block which are compatible with the alternate pcb cards.
Next gen is almost a year away to xmas like the last two releases. It is a refresh so it will not be blowing anything away lol.

I guess if the Graphics Card Aficionado says to get the Diamond, I better damn well listen.

Looking at your rig, you were able to hit 1350mhz on all 3 cards? Do you mind me asking which waterblocks you are using on them?

Thanks for the recommendation. I noticed the the MSI card used a funny colored PCB, but the waterblock said it was compatible, so I shrugged it off.
post #6 of 18
All my cards do 1340 on core an some can go higher individually. However, big however it is all luck or thru binning and binning for overclocks can get expensive.


At this stage in the game, all waterblocks have been adapted to fit the alternate pcb so you can go with any 7970 specific block. Everyone has their own preferences. I like the old style ek 7970 blocks but they are no longer produced and no one will sell theirs so the chances of getting one of those are slim. That leaves you with the current ek CSQ, Heatkiller, Swiftech Komodo, and my least fav Koolace. Any of the mentioned will work decently. If I had to pick one it would probably be the ek for their block to board fitment which is still superb.
Edited by tsm106 - 2/7/13 at 9:35pm
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah I was actually looking at the Komodo. Looks like it's getting hard to find, Frozencpu only has one in stock and PPCs is sold out. Swiftech's site says sold out too. Probably won't be able to order it until next week, hopefully it hangs around in stock. Thanks again for the help, my friend.

I'll look into the EK block if I have too, I'm not a huge fan of the CSQ design.
post #8 of 18
Yea, I know how you feel. I'm not a fan of the look either however the internal water channel design for the vrms is awesome. The Komodo leads in restriction but has best core temp, whereas the Heatkiller is somewhere in between. The csq is gives up a slight bit in ultimate core temp but pays you back for vrm cooling performance and higher flow. For one to two gpu, any block will do, but moving up to quad you want the best flow over the core and vrms.
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Get the Diamond. It a proper true reference. Look at my 3930 rig, three diamonds in there. That MSI OC uses the alternate pcb, it has lower quality caps but it since it uses the alternate pcb, it will fit a fullcover block. You just have to make sure you don't get an old ek block which are *NOT* compatible with the alternate pcb cards.
Next gen is almost a year away to xmas like the last two releases. It is a refresh so it will not be blowing anything away lol.

I concur with the reference card, and this is coming from someone with a lightning. Luckily I caught mine on sale for $380, otherwise it would've been a big waste of money. Mine only hits 1290 on 1.35 volts so you're still playing the silicon lottery. I always bought reference in the past, and will be sure to do so again in the future.
post #10 of 18
I am also holding for a 7970. I am seeing what amd will do with the Titan thing nvidia is supposed to bring later this month. I sure hope it will put more pressure on AMD.

In an other hand, they give you 2 games with their 79XX cards which is a good 80$ you can get in ''rebate'' if you can sell the codes.

I wouldn`t count on a 1300MHz O/C. 1200MHz might be conservative but that is likely what you will get.
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