Sapphire HD 7870 XT With Boost (Tahiti LE) Graphics Card Review

11. Media Encoding / Playback / GPU Computing13. Conclusion


Sapphire HD 7870 XT with Boost (Tahiti LE) Max Overclock Graphics Card Review

Power Use, Temperatures, Noise and Overclocking

Starting with our power tests it is worth noting that current generation products manage this aspect in a different way to older cards so we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels in our reviews. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way. Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU. Finally, our CPU is running at full MHz when testing, speedstep etc disabled.

  Idle Load
Sapphire HD 7870 XT with Boost – Power 168w 414w
GeForce GTX 660 Ti – Power 175w 401w
Sapphire HD 7870 XT with Boost – GPU Temp 32°C 66°C
GeForce GTX 660 Ti – GPU Temp 34°C 73°C

When looking at both power use and temperatures the results from the two cards are reasonably competitive. The Sapphire model does well in idle power/temp and load temp with the edge going to our comparison GTX 660 Ti on load power by around 10w. Sapphires cooler is doing a very impressive job here though and remains very quiet, even when the card is overclocked to its limit.

Overclocking
Overclocking the 7870 XT is a simple process; we open Catalyst Control Centre (or any third party Radeon compatible app) and through moving a few sliders can increase the performance of the card.

Sapphire TriXX Software Sapphire TriXX Software Sapphire TriXX Software Sapphire TriXX Software

Our preference for a Sapphire card would always be their own TRIXX software, shown above.

Stock (Core/Mem) Max OC (Core/Mem)
975/1500 1285/1760

As a reminder more than anything else, the Sapphire card has been running at its maximum overclock throughout this review (as has the GTX 660 Ti). Therefore for performance figures check each individual page… the max overclock is shown above for reference.

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