Sapphire, PowerColor Show Off New AMD Radeon HD 7000 Cards

Brad Chacos

Another day, another pair of new AMD Radeon HD graphics cards, this time from Sapphire and PowerColor. The two offerings are from opposite ends of AMD's assault on the entire price point spectrum -- the PowerColor being a 7770 card, and the Sapphire a high-end 7970 -- but they're both capable of hitting 1GHz speeds out of the box.

The PowerColor PCS+ HD7770 GHz Edition rocks core and memory speeds of 1.15GHz and 1.25GHz, respectively, with 1GB of GDDR5. CrossFire, Eyefinity and DirectX 11 support are all on board -- as one would expect -- and the card fights off thermal issues with a heat pipe sitting directly on and over the GPU and a center-mounted fan.

Meanwhile, the Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition "only" clocks in with 950MHz/1425MHz core/memory speeds out of the box, but a dual BIOS switch lets users up that to 1GHz and 1450MHz. The card uses Sapphire's Dual-X technology to keep things cool, which the company describes as "a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans" capable of "superb cooling performance even under extreme load." And if you wanted to put that claim to the test, a new version of Sapphire's TriXX overclocking tool is also available. Read up on all the fine details -- like the ridiculous number of cables, connectors and adapters Sapphire throws in the box -- over at the Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition web page .

As far as prices go, the Sapphire HD 7970 OC is up at Newegg for $580, while PowerColor remained mum about PCS+ HD7770 details. We'd expect the PCS+ HD7770 GHz Edition to probably fall somewhere between $160 and $200 when it drops, though.

And for you fretting Nvidia fans: hub-bub around the web says the first Kepler cards should be launching sometime very, very soon. (But we all know the old saying about hub-bub in one hand and wishing in the other, so take that with a grain of salt.)

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