Here's a video and dBa meter showing gigabyte:
Like I said, if the loud cooler doesn't bother you or you are just gaming and sound isn't utmost importance, it's still a great card.
If you are a gamer I'd either go with the Sapphire if you want a quiet, cheap card, MSI if you want more overclock options (ie memory voltage), Gigabyte if you want hynix RAM ie GPGPU work in open case environment/replaced cooler and loud doesnt matter (they are all loud at 100% anyways).
I am im so torn between all the choices and the model numbers.
I was thinking the 7970 pcb would be a better choice as it has voltage control better vrms and more than likely hyinx rams
I cant find the HIS IceQx2 on any site here exept overclockers and its near £300
I was thinking of going to scan tomorrow and seeing if I can look at the cards before buying one.
7970 PCB doesn't really make it 'better'... ie Asus dc2 v2 has better VRM on 7950 PCB. 7970 PCB is zero indication of hynix, i dont know where you got that impression... I specifically said both the Vapor-X and HIS IceQx2 ship with elpida nowadays.
If you can actually check the cards in person at some store before buying, and get hynix, that'd be cool. 7950s tend to be locked up though, so even then I'm not so sure you can do that. Well I suppose you can ask, if you insist they should let you open up $1000 of graphics cards on the table haha.
It's really a matter of how important is loud/quiet for you, and what else is important in a card for you. Also, price, you might find one of the less desirable models be at a desirable price. If you are replacing the cooler then simply decide whether you want hynix ram, memory voltage control... or just price (if something is cheaper than TF3 and gigabyte). If you are replacing the cooler, you probably dont care about the cooler or how loud/quiet the fans on it are, and if all you are doing is gaming then all of them will have adequate coolers that won't be too loud (still, some will be quieter than others).Edited by Belial - 5/27/13 at 9:02am