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  1. #1

    AMD Radeon HD 7970 Graphics Card Review


    Welcome to another AMD-releases-new-architecture review. Hopefully this one will go a bit better than the last one. Bulldozer was a disappointment to many. While I still hold it's a solid CPU for the price point AMD set (but not current over-inflated retail prices), it definitely wasn't the jump over Thuban everyone wanted it to be.

    Enter Southern Islands and Graphics Core Next (GCN), a fundamental change to AMD's approach to graphics processing. Will it struggle like AMD's last fundamental change or will it rise above and be crowned the new king of graphics cores? Let's find out, shall we?
    ... Return to article to continue reading.

  2. #2
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    Very impressive, not as strong as I had hoped given the price tag but still a great offering from AMD, now the wait to get my hands on it.

    Great review Hokie as always, looks like you had loads of fun

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brolloks View Post
    Very impressive, not as strong as I had hoped given the price tag but still a great offering from AMD, now the wait to get my hands on it.

    Great review Hokie as always, looks like you had loads of fun
    Thanks! It was a wild six days. The only thing that would have been better is if there were voltage control.

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  4. #4
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    The OC on that card at stock volts is really impressive, with a few extra volts it should easily get to 1200-1300 on the core, very promising indeed, and that is with initial drivers as well !!

  5. #5
    Member zitnik's Avatar
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    Good review, Hokie. That card is a monster. If I hadn't bought these 570s I'd probably be going for that beast. I can't believe how badly it just wrecks the 580. What I thought was most impressive is how close it's performance is to a 6990, not too far off.

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    It's not as good as I hoped, but better than I expected.

    I can't wait for voltage control OCing results


    Too bad it's about $400 too expensive for me.
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  7. #7
    Member Ivy's Avatar
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    Being able to reach such high frequencys surely is totaly unique to the GPU history and i could guess that many OCers will have fun with trying to get the max out possible and bragging around with achieved GPU clocks. The full potential is surely not revealed yet and i would say it was a nice christmas present and im surely fine with, good news. It can always be stronger but i never expected more than that. I did not even expect a release for this year (although a very limited one). Considering all the issues AMD have had recently, its surely a nice surprise to show the beating of the mighty 580 GTX just short time before X-mas, that stuff was pretty successful.

    From the raw overview i currently got, at DX 9+10 it might be 5-10% stronger in overall but not much more than that. However on DX11 its clearly stronger, about 20 % in many cases. It seems that the GPU simply is optimized very strong for DX11 performance, which seems fine as long as it can be equal or even a small bit above on other DX stuff at least, and thats surely possible. After all we still know way to less, guess we will have a X-mas full of testing.
    Last edited by Ivy; 12-22-11 at 12:02 AM.
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  8. #8
    Member kskwerl's Avatar
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    Awesome review, can't wait to get my hands on one of these!
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  9. #9
    Member Ivy's Avatar
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    Well, they aswell will have to optimize drivers (and devs can optimize software), which are surely not fully optimized yet, i dont think that the last word is spoken yet, testing will keep people stunned and tuned.
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  10. #10
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    With the heavily revamped compute oriented design they put into these new GPUs I bet that they are F@H monsters.
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  11. #11
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    I think 4 of those (quadfire) will soon become the new "worlds fastest PC", combined with a dual CPU board. The compute power surely is never seen before for a single chip, about 3.8 Teraflops each GPU, its totaly crazy and will take a while till we see a counterattack.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think 4 of those will soon become the new "worlds fastest PC", combined with a dual CPU board. The compute power surely is never seen before for a single chip, about 3.8 Teraflops each GPU, its totaly crazy and will take a while till we see a counterattack.
    I agree, I just hope we can sort out the quadfire woes. Nonetheless a trifire setup with 3 of these badboys =
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    Well, even trifire is probably able to be comparable on DX11 extreme preset (which is theyr strong spot), we dont know how much those chips can still be overclocked. Overclockers from what i know didnt use voltage mods still, i truly wonder what will happen when we squeeze them out like a tomato... I wish i could have the fun...
    In term 3 of them beats (or are at least equal) 4 GTX580, its very remarkable, because much lesser power needed, thats advancement.

    The only thing which is a bit sad is that it was a "paper launch", since we cant get them in stores right now (if so, only a handful). However, i do have understanding on that matter since AMD simply wanted to spread the news as fast as possible. Some users might take it bad but most of them should see it as something positive, since it surely was able to sweeten theyr Xmas, with or without physical card. I hope people can actually get them in the first two weeks of next year!
    Last edited by Ivy; 12-22-11 at 01:04 AM.
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  14. #14
    Registered Bassplayer's Avatar
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    Hokie... any ideas on subzero performance? Is that coming in the near future?

  15. #15
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    Hokie doesn't have a GPU pot, but I believe we have some other samples in the works as well as a loaner GPU pot floating around - so I'd call that a maybe? I'd be interested in helping make that happen.
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  16. #16
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    Nice review.

    I only had time to skim it - are there any full SNB-E results? Unleash all the SNB-E cores, overclocked, with an overclocked 7970 then an overclocked 580. It should net you some pretty high scores, and give you an idea how the top (single card) set-up these days should perform?

    I suspect of course that most people with SNB-E cash will not stop at one GPU
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    Looks like a great upgrade for me when IB hits retail shelf and 2 of these sexy cards
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  18. #18
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    Great review Hokie!
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  19. #19
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    Did they truly achieve 1125 MHZ only by using CCC and without any volt mods? I mean thats shocking to hear, forbidden stuff. 144 Gtexel each core? So in CF its close to 300 Gtexel? When i think about, AMDs Radeon placed a hard hit on Nvidia, i must say. It may not always look as good on the paper but i say again, we have to take into account that many games and drivers simply are not optimized for that GPU still, same counts for the used systems. Well, Merry Xmas and thanks to AMD for sharing, still. For me its to soon to buy another GPU, maybe on my next Ivy Bridge PC, so all i wanted is to hear enjoyable news. But im pretty sure the people who wanna buy the stuff will be provided with in a few weeks, just have some patience!

    Thanks for review, great stuff, i truly had to gaze on it for some hours, i usualy dont do that. But it kinda was enjoyable to read in some way.
    Last edited by Ivy; 12-22-11 at 02:58 AM.
    Most important values: Quality>Price/Performance>Noise Level>GFLOPS/cm3>GFLOPS/W

    Screen/Audio: Panasonic Plasma @1080P + Onkyo NR609. Computer Series Gen Alpha: Every PC may act as a backup for another one.
    Gamer PC: Shuttle SZ77R5 (SFF) modded/I5 3570K @4 Ghz/7870 DCII @1150/1400/Gskill 2x8 GB @1600,1.5V,9,9,9,24, 2T/120 + 240 GB OCZ Vertex 3 MI V. 2.22/750 GB WD 7500BPKT/LiteOn SH-D163B
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  20. #20
    Member pwnmachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Did they truly achieve 1125 MHZ only by using CCC and without any volt mods? I mean thats shocking to hear, forbidden stuff. 144 Gtexel each core? So in CF its close to 300 Gtexel? When i think about, AMDs Radeon placed a hard hit on Nvidia, i must say. It may not always look as good on the paper but i say again, we have to take into account that many games and drivers simply are not optimized for that GPU still, same counts for the used systems. Well, Merry Xmas and thanks to AMD for sharing, still. For me its to soon to buy another GPU, maybe on my next Ivy Bridge PC, so all i wanted is to hear enjoyable news. But im pretty sure the people who wanna buy the stuff will be provided with in a few weeks, just have some patience!

    Thanks for review, great stuff, i truly had to gaze on it for some hours, i usualy dont do that. But it kinda was enjoyable to read in some way.
    My thoughts exactly, as always ati sets the standard.
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