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Pros: HD 7870 is easily the best bang for the buck out there, so I won't review the platform itself but rather the things that are unique to this card. I have another factory overclocked card from a different vendor, so it's easy for me to draw comparisons. This card is running as the 2nd card in a Crossfire setup.
Temp readouts are quite reasonable at load, although there are not as many sensors reporting temps as on my other 7870. I left the core OC at the default of 1100 and increased the memory OC slightly to 1150 to match my other card. Running FurMark, the GPU core temps are about 55 while my other card is hitting 80. With Far Cry 3, the temps are about 50 while my other card is 70. Yes, the top card in a Crossfire setup will always be noticeably hotter (I do have two 120mm fans blowing 65CFM directly into the side of the cards), but I think the sensor may be inaccurate or at least placed in a different location than my other card. The 50s are very similar to some of the other sensors on that other card and seem to be too good to be true for an overclocked card. I also question the validity of the sensors because major review site actually pitted this card against my other one and the other brand had better load temps for them. I have used GPU-Z, HWMon and HWinfo64 to test. Also important to note that the temps are at most 2-3 degrees warmer on my other card Crossfired than before I added this.
Temps aside, the card is stable and I have not had any issues that I haven't just blamed AMD's drivers for. Even at 100% load, the fans peak out at about 70% and are still relatively quiet.
I was able to hit 1240 core and 1350 memory stable overclock using FurMark and 3DMark 11. However, I quickly get a driver crash running Windows Experience Index and a BSOD when running FC3.
Side panel clearance should not be an issue with this card as it does not have protruding pipes.
Card more or less completely shuts off when not needed in Crossfire.
Cons: Fan runs at 40% idle by default. That's a bit too aggressive, but easily overcome with Catalyst or Afterburner. Doesn't look as cool as other brands' customer coolers. Card is very, very long. Make sure you hard enough space between it and your hard drive cage.
AMD's drivers are still buggy. Complete lockups using 12.9 and 12.10 and occasional hiccups with 12.11 betas and 13.1
I happened to buy this card during the few day period over the past few months where no game or games were bundled with it.
See above concerns under Pros regarding my concerns on the validity of the temperature sensors.
Other Thoughts: At some point I will swap places of my two cards to see if the temperatures change and if I can get any additional overclocking headroom.
Lack of game bundle and drivers are due to AMD not Gigabyte, so I did not take any eggs off. Overall, this card is one of your best 7870 options. Aggressive idle fan speed is the only true complaint and that is easy to overcome.
Pros: Corsair quality, quiet and efficient. Never a problem with the Corsair rebate process, which makes these an unbeatable deal at the final price point. Even the budget lines come complete with zip ties and mounting screws.
Other Thoughts: I've purchased about 20 Corsair power supplies over the past few years and have only had one failure. (Even then, it wasn't so much a failure as the fan spinning at 100% with the lightest of loads.)READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Works as it should and noise level is acceptable.
Cons: Does not have LightScribe.READ FULL REVIEW