We received the HD 5970 OverClock Edition in a large box, which is perfect for this card. The front of the box features all the interesting info, and you can see that you'll get two games as a gift – Dirt 2 and Battleforge. We must admit though that Sapphire was always nice to its customers, and almost always rewards the customers' allegiance to the company with some kind of gift. Apart from the games we found the coupon for Red Line Overclocking / Tweak Utility, and you can use it in case you want to push the card even further.
The card is pretty safe within the box. Upon opening, you'll see the Red Line Utility coupon, as well as a warning that a card will require additional power connectors. Basically, you'll need one 6-pin and one 8-pin connectors. If you don't have an 8-pin connector, the card will not run, and the lowest recommended PSU is 650W. In case your PSU doesn't feature the aforementioned connector, don't worry as Sapphire ships the required adapter.
Since Radeon HD 5970 runs pretty hot, AMD made sure that plenty of space on the I/O panel is used for air outlets, and thus hasn't used all the possible connectors. While the HD 5870 has two DVI outs as well as native HDMI and DisplayPort outs, the HD 5970 comes with two dual-link DVIs and a mini DisplayPort.
Still, thanks to the powerful display output logic, this is just one of possible combinations on the card. Sapphire also ships a mini-DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort adapter, which you can see on the picture below.
Sapphire HD 5970 card comes with reference dual slot cooling and closely resembles Radeon HD 5870, except that it's a couple of cm longer. Let us remind you, the HD 5870 is one centimeter longer than the AMD's previously fastest and longest card – the HD 4870 X2.
The cooler covers the entire front of the card, with a large metal block on the back. This block is used to cool the memory on that side but its main use is to keep the heavy cooling on its place. Sapphire's card features 2GB of Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR-T2C GDDR5 memory rated at 1250MHz (5000MHz GDDR5 effectively). As you can see, this card is a looker, and there isn't a spot which AMD didn't polish to perfection.
We liked the combination of black plastic with no rough edges hiding the cooling solution and other components. We already mentioned that the card closely resembles the HD 5870 which can be seen on the picture below.
The air outlets have a charm of their own as well as the upper side of the card with engraved ATI logo, which will always be visible when inside the case.
The entire length of the card features little holes, most probably left with airflow in mind.
The card is loud but not overly loud and you can easily bear it during intensive gaming scenarios. Idle operation is pretty quiet and you can always regulate the fan rpm manually.
The card requires one 6-pin and one 8-pin power connectors. Maximum consumption goes up to 294W whereas idle consumption is at 54W.