Despite the weight of the Windforce cooler, it is attached by just four spring loaded screws. The heatsink is made up of 3 heatpipes which traverse the aluminium fin array. The aluminium fins are vertically arranged and pyramid shaped in sections to reduce air turbulence and therefore noise. All three PWM fans draw air from outwards and push the cool air over the heatsink assembly. This anti turbulence structure with fin and clip modules dramatically increases heat transfer. GIGABYTE refer to this method of cooling as 'Triangle Cool' which is the same method used to keep their HD7970 cool rather than using inclined fans on previous generation graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA.
The three 8mm thick heatpipes run longitudinally throughout the aluminium fins which they are soldered to for excellent heat dissipation. Hidden beneath this setup is a further memory heatsink which further assists in keeping the cards components cool.
The heatpipes are flattened at the core section and have an additional copper baseplate attached to attract a perfect mount to the GPU core. While not exactly a direct copper pipe contact, the baseplate should ensure an even contact to the core. Our example had just that with perhaps one of the best contacts we have seen thus far.
While this is not a reference design, GIGABYTE have stuck to the tried and tested method of having the memory framing the GPU core. Immediately noticeable is the additional chokes and MOSFETs which make up the VRM section.
As with all HD7900 series we have seen thus far, the digital CHiL controller takes care of the voltage regulation module so we can be safe in the knowledge this card will be compatible with our favourite overclocking utilities.
Voltage Regulation Module
The GIGABYTE HD7950 has 12 more Solid State capacitors and three more chokes than the reference design which should go some way to explain that this card is capable of addressing higher power than it's forbear. With GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable tag, you can be assured this graphics card will also stand the test of time thanks to the high grade of components used throughout.
The memory used on the GIGABYTE HD7950 are the same HYNIX modules we have seen on all previous HD7950 reviews, the very overclocking friendly H5GQ2H24MFA T2C modules.
Tahiti Pro Core
With a larger VRM and a redesigned PCB, I have high hopes this particular variant of the HD7950 Tahiti Pro will perform very well indeed, despite the lack of stream processors compared to its bigger brother.
Let's take a look at today's test setup...