AMD Radeon HD 7970 - New 3D Graphics Performance King Takes Throne - HotHardware
AMD Radeon HD 7970 - New 3D Graphics Performance King Takes Throne

AMD Radeon HD 7970 - New 3D Graphics Performance King Takes Throne

We have been hearing about AMD’s “Southern Island” family of graphics processors for quite some time. Even during briefings for the Northern Island series of products which ultimately became the Radeon HD 6000 series, news about Southern Islands was already trickling out. Rumors about these parts have been rampant for what seems like ages, but now, just in time to get all you hardcore gamers fired up this holiday season, AMD is officially taking the wraps of Southern Islands.

More specifically, today AMD is announcing their latest flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 7970. The Tahiti GPU is outfitted with 2,048 stream processors with a 925MHz engine clock, featuring AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture, paired to 3GB of GDDR5 memory connected over a 384-bit wide memory bus.

And yeah, it's crazy fast as you'd expect...

AMD Radeon HD 7970 - Tested, Burned In
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Wow thats crazy. MY 6950 still does the job right. I will just wait for the 8000 series.

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Dammnn...that's more than twice as powerful as my 3800. I need an upgrade. So bad.

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Great review Dave and Marco!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am stoked about this one. HH at it's finest here!!!

Can't wait to see what Nvidia will bring to the table in response.

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Good review. I knew 28nm would bring considerable improvements; I just have to wonder if it's able to gain a respectable overclock while still keeping the acoustics in check; oh if AMD let you have the card for longer!

Aside from that, this card looks nice. Actually makes my 6950 look meger in comparison; I can't help to imagine what NVIDIA's answer to AMD would be (probably more powerful but I doubt that NVIDIA would be able to release anything mindblowing on time after the Fermi debachery) but it just shows that the wait for 28nm is worth it just by looking at the charts alone. Just imagine the potential that can be had with this card and just imagine it further if someone were to put a third party cooler on it.

I'm not jumping on the bandwagon just yet; I actually plan to wait until Ivy Bridge is released and then buy the components one by one.

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who ever decided the word enthusiast would to the average person supersede hardcore isn't thinking with the ol noggin. sounds like a bird watcher. marketing ftw?

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Huh? Actually, I think it was coined in the press more than anything.

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How can Battlefield 3 not be included in the benchmarks? :/

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Because benchmarking the game can be pretty unreliable. You can use FRAPS but it's one of the tougher games to get consistent results with.

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The fact that you're test bed only pulled 375 watts at full load while providing that kind of performance is outstanding!

Could this system get by with a quality 500w PSU? If so, the need for monster kilowatt psus will virtually disappear (unless running multiple gpus).

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That's really what i'm curious about too - I've been holding out for these cards, have a 5850 that has served me well but is starting to really show its' age with the latest batch of games. Going dual-gpu card isn't an option for me and i'm limited to my current PSU.

Besides that, i think i may have been optimistic about this unveiling. As awesome as it is, I Was really hoping that this card would have nearly DOUBLE the performance of the 6950's... maybe with optimization and higher memory games such a beast will start to show its' utility.

Now i have to wait two more years for the 200 dollar version to come out hehe.

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If it was a quality 500W PSU with enough output on its 12v rail (or rails) to power the card, technically it might be OK, but I would never do it. For those power tests, I'm trying to only stress the GPU by running a game at very high settings, so the GPU has the largest impact on the power increase. But in the real world, you may run something that taxes the CPU, GPU, RAM, and drives at the same time, at which point the system is going to pull much more power.

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OK Marco thanks  so would it reasonable to consider  a quality 750W and up PSU   I suppose folks spending $500  bucks on a card such as this would not skimp on the psu.I was referring to Seasonic quality type psu units btw   >>  thanks :)

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Another great review. I'd love to have one of these things, and maybe I'll have to start saving for one now. NVIDIA's new stuff is on the way soon, and we'll have a nice competition going between the two of them again.

I really like the reduced power consumption they have. It has to transfer to Lower heat produced too. I like that this is happening with CPU's too.

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Excellent review. Though I did not find the results very surprising AMD bests Nvidia... and Nvidia will best AMD in a few months. I like the idea of the powertune on these cards to keep them from overheating but at the same time enable you to get as much performance as possible out of the card. It looks/sounds like their reference cooling design is pretty good but I am going to be really interested in seeing what MSI/GIGABYTE/ASUS come out with for these cards with custom cooling.

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Nice review, as other have stated it was not overly suprising that the results bested Nvidia. I did fin it amaizing that they were able to beat their last single GPU card by so much. I am anxious to see what Nvidia will come t with for their new card. Time to istart looking to replace my 5870. Stick out tongue

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Wow this is one hot - review  ! most surprising is how this card can deliver such incredible performance with such little power draw in comparison.Also seems that mainstream users.are expecting a much higher level of performance for there desktop experience would like to be looking at multiple bigger screens with higher rez...no need for Sli or Crossfire with a card like this and can easily power a  rig with a quality 650W PSU 750W PSU

Great ! and going to have to see what the driver updates will achieve 

yep 2012 is gonna be hot !

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Lol; well my 5870 still seems to be doing everything I ask of it be it Crisis (Old or New ) or SWTOR (Which just went live 2 days back, but I have been on (full) beta since June/July build). It outran the 6000 series anyway so I figured I would just stick with it.

Either way it seems AMD must have forgotten when Christmas is to me. The should have had this one out a bit ago if they wanted any impact from this holiday season I bet.

Oh well maybe middle of summer or late fall when the price's drop other than that I will just wait for the next series unless I see a 570/580 series somewhere dirt cheap.

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I don't know reading over those performance numbers and general performance in detail I see the point in the card. I am just saying I don't have anything really to give a 2 gen card back much of a test on the perf issue. SO why not just wait until February and grab a 6970 ot something probably for less than this card. I also don't get the tactic of releasing it right after the biggest shopping season and gift giving time of the year it seem kind of off target to me. Especially if you wanna make any profit.

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NVIDIA did the same thing as Fermi did so I doubt they'd lose any sales by not releasing it on Christmas.

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AMD is doing a giveaway of this card on facebook. I'd love it so much. I need a new one soon. It's been like 4 years since I got a new one.

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AMD, y u same dieshot? Surely Tahiti, Pitcarin, and Cape Verde do not have the same number of CU's; and is that 40 Compute Units I count?

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Does this card support 10bit per colour plane on the displayports output? Thanks!

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NVIDIA got pwned again but I still want to wait for their GTX780 in action before making the purchase

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Great card! However I'm not much of a gamer anymore. The games I play these days don't require heavy duty graphics. If I'm to upgrade from my 5000 series it'll probably be to a 6850 or something.

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this is one for the books i think http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150529581768750&set=o.23542086472&type=1&theater just got the msi 7970

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