AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Review

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New Features: Powertune w/ Boost

The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition gets is mojo from two main things, faster base GPU and memory clocks and the addition of a new feature—AMD PowerTune Technology with Boost.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, AMD PowerTune utilizes a control processor integrated into the Radeon HD 7900 series to monitor GPU activity in real-time at the micro-second level and dynamically adjusts clock speeds to enforce a hard TDP ceiling. PowerTune offers direct control over the GPU’s power draw and no longer needs to constrain default clock speeds to accommodate “power virus” type applications. That all remains true with PowerTune Technology with Boost, but there are a few new wrinkles added to the fold.

PowerTune Technology with Boost can now dynamically adjust frequencies and voltages and the power estimation algorithms have been tweaked to improve accuracy, which will allow the card to hit higher frequencies, more often. There is no new hardware incorporated on the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, however. AMD has implemented these new features through updated firmware and software, and by more aggressively binning the GPUs as yields have improved at the foundry.

By default, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition has a base clock speed of 1000MHz, but with Boost that clock speed can be increased another 5% up to 1050MHz, power and temps permitting. PowerTune Technology with Boost essentially enables additional P-states over and above AMD’s original PowerTune implementation and adjusts frequencies and voltages according to the workload.

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