Published in Graphics

AMD reinvents HD 7970 with higher clocks, lower price

by on22 June 2012

Automated PowerTune and faster memory on board, too

In an apparent effort to ruin Nvidia’s weekend, AMD has launched a revamped version of its flagship single-GPU graphics card, dubbed HD 7970 GHz edition.

As the name implies, the new card runs at 1GHz but that is not all. AMD also played around with the software side of things, so the PowerTune feature can now boost the clock to 1050MHz automatically, much like Nvidia’s GPU Boost feature.

The card still packs 3GB of memory, but it serves up 10 percent more bandwidth thanks to higher clocks (1500MHz/6Gbps).

Interestingly, the higher clocks did not result in higher power draw and the typical power draw is still 250W. According to early reviews, the new card has lower power consumption than the original HD 7970 in idle mode, but it draws quite a bit more juice under load.

The result of all this tinkering is impressive. The GHz edition outpaces the original HD 7970 by a wide margin, but more importantly it also beats Nvidia’s GTX 680 in quite a few tests.

Best of all, the price did not go sky high either. AMD is kindly asking $499 for the GHz edition, so it is cheaper than the original HD 7970 and on par with Nvidia’s GTX 680. To sum up, AMD has regained the high-end GPU crown both in terms of value and performance. What’s more, it managed to pull it off with a relatively old GPU design, as it is roughly half a generation ahead of Nvidia in terms of 28nm rollouts.

Last modified on 22 June 2012
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