Featured Articles

IHS teardown reveals Galaxy S5 BOM

IHS teardown reveals Galaxy S5 BOM

Research firm IHS got hold of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone and took it apart to the last bolt to figure out…

More...
Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 available selling well

Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 available selling well

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has finally gone on sale and it can be yours for €699, which is quite a lot of…

More...
Intel lists Haswell refresh parts

Intel lists Haswell refresh parts

Intel has added a load of Haswell refresh parts to its official price list and there really aren’t any surprises to…

More...
Respawn confirms Titanfall DLC for May

Respawn confirms Titanfall DLC for May

During his appearance at PAX East panel and confirmed on Twitter, Titanfall developer Respawn confirmed that the first DLC pack for…

More...
KFA2 GTX 780 Ti Hall Of Fame reviewed

KFA2 GTX 780 Ti Hall Of Fame reviewed

KFA2 gained a lot of overclocking experience with the GTX 780 Hall of Fame (HOF), which we had a chance to…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Thursday, 22 December 2011 15:05

AMD Radeon HD 7970 reviews are in

Written by Slobodan Simic

radeon logo_new hwroundup

Roundup: Great card with a somewhat steep price


The Radeon HD 7970 day is finally upon us and chosen members of press have already published their own reviews. Consumers around the net and most reviewers do agree that the card is indeed a new highest performing single-GPU card but also that it should have launched with a lower price tag.

As far as the specs go, the new Radeon HD 7970 is based on AMD's new 28nm GCN architecture Tahiti GPU with a total of 4.31 billion transistors, 2048 shader units, 32 ROPs and 3072MB of memory paired up with a 384-bit memory interface. The GPU ended up clocked at 925MHz while memory works at 1375MHz (5.5GHz). As far as the product positioning goes, performance and price-wise, the new Radeon HD 7970 is placed between Nvidia's flagship single-GPU GTX 580 card and AMD's dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 card.

amd radeonHD7970_1

The main change is in the actual architecture as in addition to the new 28nm manufacturing process, AMD has introduced a new Graphics Core Next architecture with its Radeon HD 7000 series. The biggest change is that this time around RROPs aren't directly linked to the memory interface, thus the 32 ROPs/384-bit is possible.

AMD GCNarchitecture_1

The GPU is now arranged in so called GCN Compute Units that feature both scalar co-processor and vector unit, can execute instructions from multipe kernels at once and use non-VLIW instruction set, which leads to much more performance per millimeter square of GPU die.

AMD GCNCU_1

AMD's Radeon HD 7970 aslo brings a new generation of the Tessellation unit. It packs two geometry engines with two gen 9 Tesselators that should bring up to 4x throughput when compared to the HD 6900 series. 

amd gcntess_1

Another good part is the performance per Watt, as currently HD 7970 is really good considering that it pumps out a lot of performance at TDP levels that are similar to the HD 6970 and thanks to ZeroCore, idle TDP is incredibly low.

As far as the performance goes the HD 7970 is anywhere between 30 to 60 percent faster when compared to the HD 6970, depending on which games and at which resolution are you looking at. The HD 7970 also really shines when pushed at higher resolutions, and is currently the only single-GPU card that pushes playable FPS at high resolution and high settings in some of the new game titles. Of course, Eyefinity and multi-display gaming is still reserved for enthusiasts and that's exactly what this card is all about.

The things get tricky when it comes to GTX 580. Price-wise, the GTX 580 is around US $50 cheaper, as the HD 7970 is launched with a US $549.99 price tag. The Radeon ends up about 15 to 25 percent faster, again depending on the game and the resolution. One can't forget that the card is indeed faster, but we aren't sure that these prices will be the same for long but we are saving those price comparisons for another article. We believe Nvidia will have no choice but to drop GTX 580 prices soon.

In the end, it is simply a matter of choice, the HD 7970 is definitely a good card. You get a lower TDP at highest possible single-GPU performance. The Radeon HD 7970 could be a great card but at US $549.99, we must agree that price is a bit steep, and honestly we can't blame AMD as it is indeed faster than GTX 580 and priced accordingly.

You can check out some of the reviews below.

- Anandtech
- Techpowerup
- NeoSeeker
- HotHardware 
- HardwareCanucks
- HardwareSecrets
-
 Overclockers
 

Last modified on Friday, 23 December 2011 14:52
blog comments powered by Disqus

Comments  

 
+10 #1 muddocktor 2011-12-22 16:38
One caveat for you to consider before bitching about the price compared to a GTX580, is that the pricing you are comparing to is for the 1.5 Gig ram versions of the 580. Seeing that the 7970 has 3 Gigs of vram, you should be comparing it to the 580s that also have 3 Gigs of vram. When you do that, it comes out looking quite a bit better, since the cheapest 580 with 3 Gigs of ram on Newegg is selling at $590.
 
 
+5 #2 dicobalt 2011-12-22 17:24
Quote:
Each compute unit can execute instructions from multiple kernels at once.


Does this mean fully hardware accelerated graphics virtualization, or am I way off? If that's what it means then wow that's pretty cool.
 
 
+5 #3 Nemtrac 2011-12-22 17:30
If you want real in game performence, here is a non biased review : http://hardocp.com/article/2011/12/22/amd_radeon_hd_7970_video_card_review
 
 
+6 #4 zeropercenthotgas 2011-12-22 17:46
HD 7970 got 41st place in the world's fastest single configuration GPU... AT STOCK VOLTAGE AND COOLING, beating out GTX 580 with liquid nitrogen and much higher overclock

http://hwbot.org/submission/2233275_hokiealumnus_3dmark_vantage___performance_radeon_hd_7970_42247_marks/

DEFINITLY worth the 500 dollars considering gtx 580 are about the same price.
 
 
+2 #5 Greg4422 2011-12-22 18:10
Quoting Nemtrac:
If you want real in game performence, here is a non biased review : http://hardocp.com/article/2011/12/22/amd_radeon_hd_7970_video_card_review


lol unbiaed review? They used an overclocked 580 for the test.
 
 
+5 #6 Bl0bb3r 2011-12-22 18:31
Quoting Greg4422:
Quoting Nemtrac:


lol unbiaed review? They used an overclocked 580 for the test.







Even so, Tahiti scored better average fps than either the 580 or the 6970, power wise it used 60W less on load and somethig about noise - contradictory conclusions.
[H] Brent: "There is also no fan noise to speak of. [...] Leaving the fan on automatic, you probably will never hear the fan inside a case with a single video card." GOLD Award
TPU W1zz: "Fan noise under load is simply too high." 9/10

Price wise it's positioned properly, since it's a bit above 580s' price and performs better.
 
 
+9 #7 Vizeroy 2011-12-22 19:06
Quoting Greg4422:
Quoting Nemtrac:
If you want real in game performence, here is a non biased review : http://hardocp.com/article/2011/12/22/amd_radeon_hd_7970_video_card_review


lol unbiaed review? They used an overclocked 580 for the test.


If you had bothered to read the article, you would have noticed that HardOCP did use the OCed GTX580 on purpose.
They wanted to see how good the 7970 would fare against this card.
And the 7970 won every single test!
Using way less power.
Staying inaudible during highest loads.

So, where is your issue with the review?
They even award it the editors choice award with quite a good conclusion.
 
 
+7 #8 Jurassic1024 2011-12-22 20:31
Quoting zeropercenthotg as:
DEFINITLY worth the 500 dollars considering gtx 580 are about the same price.



The MRSP is $549us, and since immediate availability will be low, the price will easily reach $600 when its available.
 
 
+5 #9 stoneeh 2011-12-22 21:05
So.. can it run Crysis 1 smoothly?
 
 
+3 #10 Super XP 2011-12-22 21:36
AMD has priced the HD 7970 at $549 for a reason. It's a strategic move, in which the HD 6970 will not come down in price as it should because compared to the HD 7970, it's already much cheaper. Dam, and I was looking forward to cheaper priced HD 6970’s….
 

To be able to post comments please log-in with Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments