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This is Sapphire’s new HD 7970 video card that is based on AMD’s reference design. Although it’s just a reference designed card it does come with some features that are exclusive to Sapphire. Before we get into those let’s first cover what AMD has done to improve upon their previous generation of graphics cards.
One of the most important improvements over the previous generation is that these new GPUs are manufactured with a whole new 28nm process. This is important because this new process should not only reduce power consumption but it should also reduce heat output. With a lower heat output these cards should run quieter and cooler. We’ll be monitoring this throughout our testing to see if this does actually make a difference in cooling and noise output.