GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

Enter the GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER, one of the 6 GTX 970 models in their line-up. The SNIPER model doesn’t help you snipe better but what it comes with LED lit cooling system.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

Before we get to that, here’s the card itself that is with a dual-fan cooler that switches to single fan operation when idle. Galax claims that the Silence Extreme cooler with aluminum cover is able to reduce temperature by 10C while the Dispersion Fan Blade design to maximizes downwards airflow.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

The unique feature of the GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER is the LED lit fan cooler, 3 red LED on each fan and a GEFORCE GTX word at the top of the shroud.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

The GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER comes with a 5 + 2 Phase enhanced power system with 8 + 6-pin inputs delivers up to 50% more power for overclocking, along the top you’ll see Quad mixed-gauge heat pipes ensure maximum heat dissipation.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

The EXOC Sniper comes with Anodized aluminum backplate protects components and reinforces the PCB.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

Here’s the I/O for the card.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

More details at the official product page.

Test Setup

ProcessorIntel Core i7-5960X
RAMHyperX Savage 2x 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz
MotherboardASRock X99 OC Formula
Power SupplyCooler Master V850
Operating SystemWindows 10 64bit

Here’s the GPU-Z of the card.

GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER Graphics Card Review

Overclocking

I managed to overclock the card by 150Mhz but unfortunately at this setting it didn’t pass the Metro Last Light test, I settled for 100Mhz core clock boost and it was pretty good, 125Mhz boost might be possible.

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER57
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)59
GTX 970 Reference54
PowerColor R9 390 8GB56

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER90
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)93
GTX 970 Reference80
PowerColor R9 390 8GB78

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER110
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)124
GTX 970 Reference111
PowerColor R9 390 8GB111

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync OFF.

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER80
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)84
GTX 970 Reference71
PowerColor R9 390 8GB92

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available.

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER41
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)43
GTX 970 Reference37
PowerColor R9 390 8GB39

The Division

The Division
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync OFF.

Card1080p (avg)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER64
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Overclocked)67
GTX 970 Reference61

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

CardIdle(°C)Load (°C)
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER3867
GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER (Full RPM)3463

The fan hovers at around 80% on AUTO settings where the noise level is silent.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an Cooler Master V850 with around 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 80w.

CardGALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER
Furmark Burn-in292
Estimated Actual System Draw263
Estimated Card Power Draw183

The Verdict

The GALAX GeForce GTX 970 BLACK EXOC SNIPER retails at RM 1759, not yet the highest priced GTX 970 but not the cheapest either. What you get is a solid looking card with LED Lights and some overclocking headroom.

Now the question is whether the LED light colors suit your setup, I think that’s the key factor for decision making.

goldfries recommended

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