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

rated by 0 users
This post has 26 Replies | 3 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 25,861
Points 1,172,065
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Wed, Dec 21 2011 11:53 PM
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
  • | Post Points: 275
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 427
Points 3,290
Joined: Dec 2010
LLeCompte replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 12:04 AM

Wow thats crazy. MY 6950 still does the job right. I will just wait for the 8000 series.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 292
Points 3,055
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: California
Aoshi replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 12:33 AM

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

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 467
Points 3,710
Joined: Feb 2011

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.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 3,236
Points 37,910
Joined: Mar 2010
AKwyn replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 2:00 AM

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.

 

"The future starts with you; now start posting more!"

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 20
Joined: Dec 2011
entreri00 replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 3:04 AM

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?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 159
Points 1,365
Joined: Oct 2009
Schmich replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 5:56 AM

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

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 1,087
Points 11,005
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
CDeeter replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 8:12 AM

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).

  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: outside Detroit, MI

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.

.phylum_sinter | experimental_electronic

hub - fb - bandcamp

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,865
Points 29,645
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: United States, Connecticut

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.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,543
Points 54,460
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: United States, Massachusetts
ForumsAdministrator
MembershipAdministrator
Dave_HH replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 8:49 AM

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

Editor In Chief
http://hothardware.com


  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,543
Points 54,460
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: United States, Massachusetts
ForumsAdministrator
MembershipAdministrator
Dave_HH replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 8:49 AM

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.

Editor In Chief
http://hothardware.com


  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,372
Points 80,290
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: United States, Arizona
Moderator

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

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

2700K

Z77 GIGABYTE G1.SNIPER

GIGABYTE GTX670

G.Skill Ripjaws X 16gb PC2133

Antec P280

Corsair H100

Asus Blu-ray burner

Seasonic X650 PSU

Patriot Pyro 128gb SSD

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,372
Points 30,960
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Crystal Lake,IL
rrplay replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 10:12 AM

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 !

"Don't Panic ! 'cause HH got's your back!"

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,356
Points 48,595
Joined: Apr 2000
Location: United States, Connecticut
ForumsAdministrator
MembershipAdministrator
Marco C replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 10:24 AM

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.

Marco Chiappetta
Managing Editor @ HotHardware.com

Follow Marco on Twitter

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,372
Points 30,960
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Crystal Lake,IL
rrplay replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 10:52 AM

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 :)

"Don't Panic ! 'cause HH got's your back!"

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,577
Points 103,200
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator
realneil replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 12:41 PM

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.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,821
Points 45,685
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 10:52 PM

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.

OS:Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MB:ASUS Z87C
CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4770 ***
GPU:Geforce GTX 770 4GB
Mem:***ingston 16384MB RAM
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,821
Points 45,685
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 11:06 PM

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.

OS:Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MB:ASUS Z87C
CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4770 ***
GPU:Geforce GTX 770 4GB
Mem:***ingston 16384MB RAM
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 3,236
Points 37,910
Joined: Mar 2010
AKwyn replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 11:17 PM

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

 

"The future starts with you; now start posting more!"

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 292
Points 3,055
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: California
Aoshi replied on Fri, Dec 23 2011 5:37 PM

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.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Dec 2011
JEddy replied on Mon, Dec 26 2011 12:09 AM

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?

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Dec 2011

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

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 84
Points 960
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Canada

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

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 123
Points 910
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Canada

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.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Jan 2012
MReed replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 2:53 PM

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

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Feb 2012
cadarn replied on Fri, Feb 3 2012 4:43 AM

This is an awesome Vid Card, can't wait to get one.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (27 items) | RSS