Sapphire HD7950 Overclock Edition Review
It would be easy to come away from the review of the Sapphire HD7950 Overclock Edition with the feeling that the card isn't quite living up to potential.
Of course this is far from the case as out of the box it's inseparable from the XFX, both being clocked at 900MHz. Although it's not as obviously aesthetically pleasing as the XFX, the performance of the cooler is magnificent. It's cool despite our humongous overclock, but most impressively it's so quiet. Of course it's a bit audible when under heavy load, but generally it's whisper quiet.
Equally we have to note that in our synthetic benchmarks, 3D Mark Vantage, 3D Mark 11 and Unigine Heaven, the fact that it's able to be overclocked a full 100MHz further than our other two cards pays dividends as it gives us the highest scores in those particular suites.
Gaming performance is less impressive relative to the synthetic tests and what we'd hope our overclock would give. That isn't to say that it's not still a beast of a card, but for some reason in every single one of our gaming tests it was bettered by either the XFX or HIS cards when they're overclocked. Thankfully it's only a couple of frames here and there, but it's consistent enough to be worth noting.
So if you're in the mood for massive benchmark scores, or a card that will give you great gaming performance whilst not damaging your hearing, then the Sapphire is the card for you. To be honest all three of the cards are equally impressive, they just offer slightly different takes upon the same thing. The HIS is cheap, the XFX beautiful and rugged, and the Sapphire gives us the highest 3D Mark scores.
Such is the excellence of the HD7950 chip itself that the Sapphire is just as deserving of our OC3D Gold Award.