Graphics Cards

XFX 7900 XTX Merc 310 Graphics Card Review

A Closer Look

So the XFX 7900 XTX. Right now it’s their top-tier model, though it wouldn’t surprise me if a water block card comes along at a later date in collaboration with EK. For now, we have a big card with a pretty sleek design. I’ve always been a fan of the cards from XFX over the last couple of years because they’ve ditched the “gamery” aesthetics in something that looks more workstation focussed, which gives off a premium kind of vibe with the smallest amount of LED lighting and none of that RGB nonsense that a lot of people dislike.

Don’t get me wrong. I love some RGB, but I also get that it’s not for everyone and I think that’s why XFX have kept it simple and very clean with the 7900 XTX Black Edition and that’s not a bad thing. The card as I mentioned is large, as it has to house the three 100mm dual ball bearing fans and the mammoth finned block and vapor chamber heatsink. From the offset, the cooler on this card looks like a beast, hopefully, it is.

Now I mentioned it’s large, and it actually puts some 40 series cards to shame, coming in at 344mm long 128mm high including the PCI-Express connector and 57mm thick so will take up just under 3 slots in your case so may cause some issues with installation, so be sure to check first.

I won’t lie and say it’s a light card, because it’s not at 2135 grams, which is 70 grams more than the AMD reference card, and 375 grams more than the PowerColor Hellhound that we looked at recently. That weight isn’t all smoke and mirrors though, as the card feels like it’s built like a tank and you’ll see what I mean as we break the card down.

Being heavy and solid would normally put fear of potentially sagging issues, but there is no flex in the card at all. It really is solid, though XFX do still include a Z bar for extra support that screws into the I/O bracket and the end of the card.

The main shroud is made from a single piece of aluminium that’s moulded around the heatsink with contrasting black and metallic-looking silver around the edge and around the fans, which do include smart cooling detection which will work to automatically adjust the fan speed during load.

I will admit, I love the sleek and clean look of the card, but I’m a little unsure as to the design choice on the centre of the fans. It just looks a little out of place, and almost like a laughing emoji.

The top of the card is where we find the shroud wrapping around the edge of the heatsink, and our first glimpse of the die-cast backplate with a small amount of Radeon branding. There’s also an LED XFX logo that lights up white, for a little splash of colour.

On the opposite end, we find a BIOS switch that allows you to swap between the OC BIOS and full power BIOS which are rated at 327 and 339 Watts respectively, though XFX do claim that though the higher power limit is based on AMD’s recommendations, there are many variables to if it will be fully stable and is recommended for overclocking enthusiasts only.

The strange thing here is that the card has three 8-pin power connectors, which even if we use the conservative 150 Watts per connector, though we know you can pull much higher, coupled with the PCI-Express slot power, and you’re looking at a maximum potential draw of 525 Watts, so why the card has 3 connectors instead of 2 really could just come down to splitting the load.

Each BIOS has slightly different speeds too, with a 2455MHz game clock and 2615MHz boost clock when in OC mode, while the full power mode cranks things up to 2510MHz on the game clock and 2680MHz on the boost clock.

The backplate is very industrial looking and very thick. I actually think it’s the thickest backplate I’ve seen on a GPU in quite some time and features a ridged design, which I’m sure is to aid with heat dissipation. It also takes up the whole length of the card, beyond the PCB where it has a small cutout for airflow and heat to pass through.

At the very end of the card we find a small opening which should help with airflow passing through to the main part of the cooler as well as mounting holes for the included Z support bar for extra stability.

On the I/O, we find a small amount of ventilation and the typical single HDMI and triple DisplayPort ports that we’ve seen on other custom AIB cards, unlike the reference AMD card which also had a Type-C port too.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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