Tuesday, December 25, 2012

PowerColor HD7950 3GB GDDR5 (V2)

If you're planning to get the PowerColor HD7950 3GB GDDR5 (V2) with dual fan, make sure that your power supply has a 8-pin PCI-Express connector.

 In the Powercolor website it says the card has two 6-Pin PCI-Express Power Connectors. However when I opened the box the card is actually using x1 6-Pin and x1 8-Pin connector. So it is using the same power connectors as the PowerColor HD7970 cards.

I'm guessing this is because the new version of the card has a higher power draw than the previous version. Maybe for better overclocking or because of new BIOS / firmware the card is using? Anyway just make sure your PSU has the necessary PCI-Express connector.

You may be wondering if my card has a black pcb? If so, maybe this Powercolor 7950 might also be using 7970 pcb, that's why it has an 8pin and one 6pin power supply. Maybe just like the Sapphire 7950 950mhz ED, its a 7950 but with a 7970 PCB. If it is, then I've got one hell of a good card! 

I actually looked into that as well but unfortunately the Powercolor 7950 version 2 (dual fan) is using a red PCB. It is not based on the reference HD 7970 PCB which looks like this:

 Sapphire HD7950 950mhz Edition with reference HD7970 PCB

Power VRM section of reference HD7970 PCB 

However, when I checked the PCB of the Powercolor card it has a lot more VRM blocks(?) than the one above, which I think is a good thing. So it's possible that the newer custom PCB design of Powercolor HD 7950 can draw more stable power resulting in better overclocking performance. However I don't think I'll be able to flash the BIOS to that of a reference Radeon HD 7970. 

Here are some pics of the PowerColor HD7950 3GB GDDR5 (v2) with dual fan that I found on the web. Despite the red PC, notice that the Power VRM section has more blocks than the reference design of Radeon HD 7970. Also it is using the same CHiL CHL 8228 voltage control chip that is used by reference Radeon HD 7970 PCBs.

 PowerColor HD7950 3GB GDDR5 (v2) PCB

I also read that this Powercolor Radeon HD 7950 card has the same PCB as the Club 3D Radeon HD 7950 model. It's possible that both are actually the same card because Powercolor and Club 3D have the same parent company (Tul Corporation). The Club 3D card is known to run stable at 1250GHz core and 1700GHz memory with 1.2 volts which is impressive :-)

Anyway the main reason why I got the PowerColor HD7950 3GB GDDR5 card is that its the cheapest one I can find here in TipidPC (costs Php 11.9K). Other potential buyers of Radeon HD 7950 should take a good look at the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ X2 Boost (Php 14.3K) because of this:

 HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ X2 Boost - PCB with metal plate for cooling VRM and RAM chips

HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQ X2 Boost - Twin 8-pin PCI-E connectors

Eventhough the card doesn't have the 7970 PCB, but the same as the Club3D, then it's still one hell of a card... I watched this video:

and was totally amazed by the 7950's potential... So if the Powercolor 7950 is the same as the Club3D, then I believe that it could be OC'd like crazy.

The HIS 7950 card seem to be a mean machine, but I'd still prefer the Powercolor over that, or the Sapphire, due to the price per performance ratio. At 12-13k, Powercolor's are a steal! hehehe!

I'm still thinking if I would put a 7970 bios in my card. I don't see any reason to do it as of the moment, because my CPU seems to be the main bottleneck right now.

I've had good experiences with Powercolor cards, especially with the PCS+ models, since the cooling is top notch and the price is very good compared to the more expensive cards from ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, or even Sapphire. I don't plan to overclock the videocard at very high speeds, maybe settle for a decent overclock with stock voltage since I don't want to increase the temps inside my case. Also I'm only using a 1080p monitor so I feel the Radeon HD 7950 is more than powerful enough for games at that resolution.

The Ssapphire card's price isn't that far off from the His IceQ X2 with boost, just a few hundred bucks difference, so no regrets. But compared to the Powercolor, there's the big price difference. I share the same sentiment and very satisfied right now with my card, being able to playBF3 at ultra settings and 4x MSAA smoothly at a 1080p monitor.

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  1. Hello,

    First of all thank you so much for this splendid review on such an awesome card.

    I would want to request that, if you can, add more images of the video card itself and the packaging as well. I also hope for a post/update regarding the OC capabilities of this card like it's best OC, max OC, stock voltage OC etc.

    Thank You!

  2. Greetings!
    I would just like to know how this card would stack up against the main competitor, 670, the 7970 and 680 as well. I hope you could show it both on stock, OC'd no voltage tweak and the maximum OC possible.
    +1 to the guy above, Some pictures and OC settings would be nice too.

  3. Please put some OC capabilities about this card. I actually just got this same exact card recently (Red PCB with 8+6 pin) and wanted to do some simple overclocking. Can you please put up some numbers on stock core voltage and also in slightly clocked core voltage. I have also heard that the Red PCB with the 8+6pin power is based on the 7970(?) and I am unsure on what is the maximum capabilities of this card on stock core voltage.
    Thanks po!

    1. I managed to OC the clock of PC 7950 V2 with the red pcb. I used the CCC and runs good at 965Mhz stable without any other tweaks but the clock slider.

      I tried once to get it 1k+Mhz but was experiencing game crashes on load.

    2. Naalis ng may-ari ang komentong ito.

    3. Nice stock OC, I was not too sure at first when I did the OC without voltage tweaking. I did 1000/1575 and it was Ok I guess, I did not know if I saw artifacts or it was just some glitches in games but during Furmark it didn't show artifacts for a whole 2 hours.

      So I did some voltage tweaking 996mV-1000mV, it resulted to maybe a maximum of 2 degrees increase to about 1. 1000(to 1025-1050)/1575 was stable and am now checking 1100/1575 with the same voltage, I might take it up to 1025mV though for stability.

    4. Naalis ng may-ari ang komentong ito.

    5. 1000mV does not work with 1100/1575 for my card. 1025mV is not yet sure but I hope it's good for it, too much would increase the temps, if not I'd settle for 1000mV at around 1000-1075/1575. Hope someone could give me some advice here. (BTW sorry for the double posting, it does not post as well in mobile as it does on the computer)

    6. Got mine at Core 1050mhz@1050mV and 1575mhz for memory at stock voltage. Stock voltages are good for mine up to 1025/1575.

  4. What are the stock temperatures for this card? Including OC? Thanks

  5. Certainly a great buy, it's quite easy to get GTX680 performance without voltage tweaking, good cards can do 7970 performance with none or minimal voltage tweaking. 7970 ghz edition performance can be bested with 1150mhz for core. Great OC card. Would definitely recommend, however what I got was the Powercolor HD7950 v2 (dual fan for better and more efficient cooling) with the red PCB, I've been told its quite the same with the Royal King 7950 by Club3D. Both of which have 8 6pin power connectors denoting the 7970 based PCB. This probably was just a nerfed 7970, although I think the products are being discontinued. Best if you guys could go ahead and get some ASAP while prices are reasonable. Before moving to this I was an nVidia fan boy, using a 9500GT to GTX 550Ti. However, the 7000 series power really has been top dog, besting the opposing 600 series but having lower prices. Downfall is just because of Physx, however TressFX coming, and the lack of Physx games its not much of a con. It's also easy to do a hybrid setup where you'd have a nVidia Physx processor anyways.


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