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12-22-11, 04:31 PM
AMD Radeon HD 7970:
Promising Performance, Paper-Launched (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benchmark-tahiti-gcn,3104.html)

A sample of AMD's next-generation Radeon HD 7970 landed in our lab just before Santa. Don't cross your fingers for one of these in your stocking, though. It's not available yet. Is it fast, though? Our benchmarks suggest yes, but more testing remains!

Leading into December, we didn’t really expect to see a next-generation graphics card in the 31 days before 2012. In fact, even mid-month, after we’d already been briefed, the plan was to launch in January. Windows 8 and its accompanying DirectX 11.1 API update aren’t expected for months still, and today’s high-end graphics cards are well-equipped to handle modern games. Despite the fact that AMD purportedly stopped production of its Radeon HD 6990 months ago, we were worried that rumors of poor 28 nm yields at TSMC meant there was no way a new GPU could be readied in time.

When AMD moved its launch date up to today, we were even more bowled over. The official line from AMD was that “After collecting feedback from our partners and evaluating our overall readiness…we believe this new date allows us to get ahead of the Christmas season rush and CES.” Getting ahead of the Christmas rush by launching 72 hours before the big day is a tough line to swallow, especially after a follow-up confirming that cards won't be shipping until January 9th. The unfortunate result is that a lot of AMD’s software partners were unprepared to provide us with the applications needed to properly test the GPU’s new features. So, this article officially goes down as a preview, rather than a review. We will, of course, follow up when all of the proper tools are available for testing.


Meet Radeon HD 7970

Regardless of whether or not it’s ready for the world, or the world is ready for it, AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is up and running in the Tom’s Hardware lab. This card is no minor revision of the Radeon HD 6000 series. The company’s ”Southern Islands” architecture was re-designed from the ground up with a long list of new features and capabilities, including DirectX 11.1 compatibility. Composed of 4.31 billion transistors etched on a 28 nm process, the flagship Tahiti GPU sports about 160% of the Cayman design’s reported transistor count. However, adopting the latest lithography node allows AMD to cram that extra complexity into a 365 mm˛ die, which is smaller than its predecessor’s 389 mm˛ surface area.

Before we delve into the major architectural redesign, let’s have a closer look at the new card’s specifications compared to its competition...

More here. (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benchmark-tahiti-gcn,3104.html)

I got my 6850 rather recently so I'm in no hurry to upgrade. However, the new specs seem promising. I just hope this isn't total letdown like their new processor turned out to be.

12-22-11, 05:06 PM
What would be a letdown? Benchmarks are everywhere, so unless there are major manufacturing problems I can't imagine it being similar to Bulldozer, which was a let down because it underperformed.

12-22-11, 07:56 PM
I guess it's time to upgrade my 5770... with a 7770 when it's released.

12-22-11, 09:38 PM
Power Consumption is pretty damn impressive. Hurray for 28nm (among other things)...

I'd expect to see between 5-20% performance improvements across the board over the next few months as more mature drivers are released.

12-22-11, 11:26 PM
Seems like the card is a GREAT overclocker too:
1165 engine without even increasing voltage, stable. Probably doesn't mean much to most people here though, I guess.


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