Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock: Now With Windforce 5X

Gigabyte’s Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock is huge, heavy, overclocked, and very different-looking. Its Windforce 5X cooler employs five 40 mm fans. We benchmark the card, spend some time tweaking it, and measure the noise those blowers make.


Apparently, there is still such thing as cool-looking and technically-impressive graphics cards. Take Gigabyte’s Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock with Windforce 5X as an example. The company didn't necessarily reinvent the wheel here, but it did introduce a new idea in cooling. Contrary to what we’re accustomed to seeing from axial-flow fans that pollute the inside of a chassis with heated air or centrifugal fans that push exhaust out of an I/O bracket, this particular product sucks warm air away from PCB, pushing it up and out the side of a case.

Of course, in order for this to work, you need an enclosure with an opening on the side. That's going to be a difficult prerequisite for many enthusiasts to satisfy. But the advantage you get is that warm air doesn't recirculate and impact other components inside of the system. 

Gigabyte's approach is interesting. Large-diameter fans naturally won't fit. And air needs to be sucked in across the entire length of the card. So, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock uses a quintet of 40 mm fans.

Today, we want to answer three questions about this new card: How loud is it? How warm does it run? And how does it perform?

At first, we were most afraid that five small fans cooling a large GPU were going to generate a ton of noise. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. But we still needed to make some modifications of our own before we were satisfied with the card's performance.

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  • whatsthatnoise
    Noise fail, as it was to be expected since the first picture of the card was released. The design might be a good idea in theory, but it's doomed because of those 40mm fans.
  • tulx
    whatsthatnoiseNoise fail, as it was to be expected since the first picture of the card was released. The design might be a good idea in theory, but it's doomed because of those 40mm fans.


    "happy to report that our initial fears of ghastly acoustics were unfounded"
  • Jony93
    Uau,new design!Awsome,I like this Ideea...but would be nice if the noise would be not so big.