Recently bought a pretty nice computer for photo editing and one of the apps I use (Phase One Capture One) uses OpenCL to speed up image processing, so I bought a Sapphire 7970 OC for what seemed to be a great price ($280 after $20 rebate at Newegg).
It came with 3 free games, so for the first time in 20 years I decided to try computer games, and while I don't see myself spending a whole lot of time playing games, the graphics are pretty stunning and I'd like to run the games with as much eye candy as possible with this card and my 2560 x1600 display.
Now to the question: Using Sapphire Trixx to tweak, I found that the following 3 profiles are completely stable in all my games, and my question is which one to choose?
GPU Clock: 1000 (stock for Bios 2)
Memory Clock: 1450 (stock for Bios 2)
VDDC: 1137 (stock)
GPU Clock: 1100
Memory Clock: 1500
GPU Clock: 1200
Memory Clock: 1600
In terms of game performance, Heaven score, and Fire Strike score, Profile 3 > 2 > 1.
GPU and VRM temps are higher with Profile 3 but don't seem to get much over 70 degrees C in Heaven, regardless of profile. Fan noise doesn't bother me in any of the profiles, and I'm not hearing any problematic noise of any kind.
Is it safe to keep it set to Profile 3? I'm okay with the risk of shortening my 7970 lifespan, but am I risking other components in my computer? Are there any fire safety issues?
If it matters, here are my full system specs:
Fractal Design Define R4 Case
Seasonic SS-660XP 660W Power Supply
Asus Z87-Deluxe/Dual Motherboard
Intel Core™ i7-4770 CPU
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM
Sapphire 7970 OC with Boost (Dual-X)
Samsung 512GB 840 Pro Series SSD
Seagate 2TB Barracuda x 2 RAID 0 (striped) storage
Seagate 3TB Barracuda backup HDD
WD Green 1TB backup HDD
Windows 8 64-bit Professional