Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OverClock Edition review

The best graphics card on the market right now

TODO alt text


  • Incredible overclocking performance
  • Quality cooling array
  • Whisper quiet


  • Still only really relevant for the high-resolution crowd

Sapphire has waded in first with its take on AMD's latest HD 7000 series card, the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OverClock edition.

Unlike the AMD Radeon HD 7970 there are unlikely to be very many strictly reference models of the Radeon HD 7950. Instead we're more likely to see card manufacturers taking the opportunity to put their own spin on the PCB, clocks and cooling.

The HD 7970 was a reference model all the way down the line, with overclocked versions only coming much further down the release schedule. The Radeon HD 7950 though is being freed by AMD to allow manufacturers to do whatever they like right from day one.

With the impressive performance of the reference AMD Radeon HD 7950, which we've already seen, any improvement on that is going to be very welcome indeed.

And anything that offers even more overclocking potential with this already blazing fast GPU is just dandy in our books.

AMD's biggest card manufacturer, Sapphire, has opted to re-design the PCB and has created a new twin-fan cooling solution to sit atop the brand new slice of graphical silicon.

Sapphire has also opted to clock its Radeon HD 7950 OverClock edition 100MHz faster than the reference model we've already reviewed.

That's not quite as fast as the AMD Radeon HD 7970's 925MHz, but it's certainly not far short.

In fact, in certain areas, it's actually better.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelHD 7950
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 7000
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory3 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 3.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width384 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs2
Number of DVI Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height115 mm
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
Length275 mm
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Product NameRadeon HD 7950 OC Edition Graphic Card
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part Number11196-02-40G
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The SAPPHIRE HD 7950 OC Edition, which is factory overclocked to 900Mhz and features SAPPHIRE's new dual-extractor technology - Dual-X - a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans providing quiet and very cool operation during normal operating conditions, and superb cooling performance even under extreme load.
For enthusiasts wishing to maximise performance, a new version of the SAPPHIRE overclocking tool, TriXX supporting this latest generation of technology is available free to download from the SAPPHIRE website. TriXX allows tuning of GPU voltage as well as core and memory clocks, whilst continuously displaying temperature. Manual control of fan speed is supported, as well as user created fan profiles and the ability to save up to four different performance settings. Both of the SAPPHIRE HD 7950 models have a dual BIOS, allowing for further experimentation by the enthusiast. On the OC edition, the second BIOS is pre-programmed to allow a higher maximum overclock and more aggressive fan profile.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 7950 OC Edition Graphic Card
  • CrossFire Bridge Interconnect Cable
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • Mini-DP to DP Cable
  • 2 x 6 PIN to 4 PIN Power Cable
  • HDMI to SL-DVI Adapter
  • HDMI Cable
  • CD
Limited Warranty2 Year
Thickness42 mm
API SupportedDirectX 11.1, OpenCL, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.2