AMD's Radeon HD 7970 super GPU is here

Description :

We've talked on an older post about AMD's Radeon HD 6950 & 6970 high end Video cards. Today we' ll talk about Radeon HD 7970, AMD's first high end card release in their 7000 series, which is built on the latest 28nm manufacturing process. The Radeon HD 7970 represents the fastest single - GPU video card from AMD with a new core design and architecture.



AMD’s HD6970 was a huge success for the company, so the replacement card is certainly going to get a lot of media attention over the coming weeks. AMD claim it has ‘significantly more compute power than the HD6970′ with a brand new revolutionary architecture. With new technologies such as ‘ZeroCore’ power saving, is this the discrete solution to start 2012 with a bang?


The high end graphics sector has certainly no shortage of lightning quick, expensive products. Dual GPU discrete solutions such as the HD6990 and GTX590 have been leading the performance charts since they were released. In the single GPU sector it would be fair to say that AMD have not been able to oust Nvidia’s GTX580 from the top slot, instead targeting the HD6970 at a lower price point. I have had a soft spot for the GTX580 now for a long time, it is one of my favourite video cards of all time.


AMD’s HD7970 has been designed from the ground up redress the imbalance and to ensure that AMD remain competitive when Nvidia release their GTX580 replacement, shortly. The HD7970 has 2,047 stream processors and 3GB of GDDR5 memory connected via a 384 bit memory interface, so it certainly doesn’t seem to be cutting any performance corners, but is it enough to claim the performance throne as we head into 2012?


Specifications :

MANUFACTURER : AMD

SPECS STATUS : Official

SERIES : Radeon HD 7000

GPU MODEL : Tahiti XT

RELEASE DATE : Q4 2011

INTERFACE : PCI-E 3.0 x16

CORE CLOCK : 925 MHz

MEMORY CLOCK : 1375 MHz (5.5GHz)

MEMORY BANDWIDTH : 264 GB/sec

MAX POWER DRAW : 250 W

MEMORY SIZE : 3072 MB

MEMORY TYPE : GDDR5

MEMORY BUS TYPE : 384 bit

DIRECTX : 11.1

OPENGL : 4.0

PROCESS : 28 nm

FRAGMENT PIPELINES : 2048

TEXTURE UNITS : 128

RASTER : 32

The 7970's numbers are heavy as hell on paper : 3 GB of RAM, up to 32 internal computing units, the first use of PCI - E Gen 3, Direct X 11.1 support, and a fat, CPU-style L2 cache. That adds up to a potential six monitors gaming at once. And that's just with one—you can sling together up to four of these things at once. AMD is promising enormous gains over Nvidia's top cards - billing it as the world's fastest - but we'll hold off on judgment until we have something firmer than internal, synthetic benchmarks. Still, there's no reason to think this thing will be anything less than incredibly powerful, with both games (of course) and the bevy of desktop software it's capable of accelerating.


But it's not all about power! The 7970 is power with responsibility, or something. It's capable of ramping up its power consumption when needed - and scaling it down to practically zero when your desktop has been idling for a while. And it'll be quiet, unlike many GPU powerhouses - no leaf blower, if AMD is to be believed. They claim a new fan design and smarter ventilation angles will mean softer cooling. With all that horsepower, we hope so!


Again, we'll have to wait until the 7970 drops on January 9th (for $550) to see how the card stacks up IRL. If you want to punch Battlefield 3 down into submission, be excited. [AMD]


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