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ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II Video Card Review

System Overview & Testing Procedures
We’re going to be running the ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II through a full range of tests. As we have recently completely overhauled our GPU testing procedure, some tests may not have comparison data simply because those cards have not been tested under the new procedure. As time goes on, comparison results will become readily available.

This is the system we will be using to test the ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II.

Processor: Intel Core i7-3820
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 Pro
Video Card: ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II
Memory: 16GB G.Skill RipjawsZ
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty Series 1000W
Storage: 750GB SATA II Drive
Cooling: Noctua NH-L12
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II

As always we’re first going to verify our numbers and make sure we’re accurately reporting the performance specification of the card. Here’s a GPU-Z screenshot, listing all the information.  As you can see this card has 2048 shaders and is running with a GPU clock of 925MHz and memory clock of 1375MHz.

Benchmarking Information
When we cover graphics cards, we always run the same benchmarking suites and then a selection of the most popular and hardware intensive games available.

Firstly, the suites we’ll be using are:

Suite Settings
3DMark 11 Performance 720p, Extreme 1080p
3DMark Vantage Performance, High

The demo benchmarks we’ll be using are:

Demo/Bench Tool Settings
Lost Planet 2 Direct X 11, High Settings, MSAA4X, 1920 x 1080.  Benchmark A.
Alien Vs. Predator Resolution: 1920×1080, Textures: Very High, Shadows: High, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x, SSAO: On, Tessellation: On, DX11 Advanced Shadows: On, MSAA: 4x
Unigine Heaven DX11, Tessellation: Normal, Anisotropy: 16x, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Resolution: 1920×1080.
Stone Giant Resolution: 1920×1080, Tessellation: High, Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Finally, the full games we’ll be utilizing are:

Game Map/Mission/Zone Presets and Benchmarking Method
Battlefield 3 Operation Swordbreaker Preset: Ultra, 1920×1080.
Our defined scene using FRAPS.
Metro 2033 Frontline DirectX 11, 1920×1080, “High” quality preset, MSAA 4x, AF 16x. DOF On. PhysX is disabled in order to provide a fair playing field for AMD GPU’s.  Using full game’s built in benchmarking tool.
Crysis II Liberty Quality: High, 1920×1080, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11
TES V:Skyrim Opening cart scene Preset: Ultra. 1920×1080. Using full game. 180 seconds FRAPS.

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