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AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:17 pm
by Apoptosis
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

AMD has officially launched the Radeon HD 7000 series of graphics cards with the introduction of the companies new flagship single GPU graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 7970. We put the AMD Radeon HD 7970 to the test on with an Intel Core i7-3960X on the Intel X79 platform with PCI Express 3.0 enabled to see how this card performs. We also overclock it as far as we could to see what the Radeon HD 7970 can do!

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As good as the performance is with the stock clock speeds of 925 MHz core and 1375 MHz memory the true beauty of the Radeon HD 7970 was found when it was overclocked. We were able to push the card all the way up to 1165MHz core and 1625 MHz, which increased the performance of the card by over 20% in the benchmarks. With the Radeon HD 7970 overclocked to the max it was able to compete with the AMD Radeon HD 6990 OC and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590. It's nice to see the flagship single GPU card of the current generation flirting with the dual-GPU behemoths! ...
Article Title: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1805/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $549.99 SRP

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:49 am
by ratNukit
Awesome, gonna get one :)

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:16 am
by Sttm
Great review! So it looks like depending on overclocking, the 7970 was between 15-35% faster then a 580 while consuming significantly less power. An all around win,

except I keep thinking of that slide you guys have up on the front page, possibly a fake I know, but still 80-120% for Nvidia's 580 replacement compared to 15-35%. What If?

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:44 am
by Apoptosis
Sttm wrote:Great review! So it looks like depending on overclocking, the 7970 was between 15-35% faster then a 580 while consuming significantly less power. An all around win,

except I keep thinking of that slide you guys have up on the front page, possibly a fake I know, but still 80-120% for Nvidia's 580 replacement compared to 15-35%. What If?
I agree with you... Is this enough to keep AMD in the lead after NVIDIA's next GPU launch? I honestly have no clue and I'm guessing that slide is fake too. NVIDIA said their next launch is in the first half of 2012, but I am guessing it will be later rather than sooner.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:22 am
by rigburning
Hi guys, great review

Maybe you could make a photo of the test system with a new Radeon instead of Classified video card...

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:05 am
by Apoptosis
rigburning wrote:Hi guys, great review

Maybe you could make a photo of the test system with a new Radeon instead of Classified video card...
Thanks for the kind words and just for you:

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Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:14 am
by Major_A
I like the power state feature. I have my monitor set to turn off after 3 minutes. Now if we could figure out how to get the rest of system to cool down. The room my main computer is in runs on average 5 degrees (F) hotter than the rest of the house.

Sorry but I can't resist. Are we sure AMD got the transistor count right?
http://www.legitreviews.com/news/11977/
:P

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:27 am
by Apoptosis
Major_A wrote:I like the power state feature. I have my monitor set to turn off after 3 minutes. Now if we could figure out how to get the rest of system to cool down. The room my main computer is in runs on average 5 degrees (F) hotter than the rest of the house.

Sorry but I can't resist. Are we sure AMD got the transistor count right?
http://www.legitreviews.com/news/11977/
:P
You saw in the review that I put +/- 800 million transistors right?

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:59 am
by Major_A
LOL, I missed that part. Good one though.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:00 am
by jnanster
Thanks for the great review Apo, hot card!.
I second the preference for the “ single GPU solutions.”
At only $30 more than the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win, it’s a steal.
My GTX 295 has always been a bit of a PITA and it appears the dual GPU dilemma only continues.
It took’um years (YEARS!) to get a stable driver for Fallout 3 (the GTX 295 every 20 second shutter)! :evil:
It’s pathetic they can’t get the drivers to work, but so it goes. Never again.
My next system will have a single GPU system.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:40 am
by eunoia
It's exciting news, looking forward to 2012. High hopes for the 7950.

Transistor counts? We don't need no stinkin' transistor counts! :D

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:50 pm
by pwcmed
Now if the can only work on that price. Lower it to $400-450 and they things will fly off the shelf.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:24 pm
by hark
The greater compute abilities are very exciting. I'm looking forward to all the interesting applications that developers can create with more flexible GPUs. Discrete digital multi-point audio also sounds amazing, though I only use a single monitor. The lack of a backplate has me scratching my head, but if I spring for an HD 7970, I'll likely go with a non-reference card. I love the cooling improvements, even if they do mean a bigger card and removed second DVI port. When I got to the performance sections, it seemed a little disappointing, but at the power consumption section, the difference is staggering. Hopefully better drivers will make up for the performance, but yeah, that power consumption is excellent. ZeroCore Power is especially awesome as there are periods of time where I keep my computer on but the monitor shuts off after 10 minutes, so the GPU is needlessly taking up power. I'd likely see a significant power bill savings with this card. The overclocking potential sounds very delicious and with the overclock the performance looks even better.

I don't tend to spend a lot on upgrades, but this card is tempting, especially with how it compares to similarly-priced cards.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:29 pm
by CoachAub
Great review on an awesome card! I was chomping at the bit for a review of this new GPU series!!! I hate to say anything negative since it is clearly a winner, but I'm disappointed that PCIE 3.0 didn't make a difference. Maybe Catalyst tweaks can help later? I don't know. I figure NVIDIA will release later rather than sooner, especially if they can figure out how to take advantage of the PCIE 3.0 and jump ahead. The battles between these 2 manufacturers is great since we users make out in the end.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:47 pm
by Apoptosis
CoachAub wrote:Great review on an awesome card! I was chomping at the bit for a review of this new GPU series!!! I hate to say anything negative since it is clearly a winner, but I'm disappointed that PCIE 3.0 didn't make a difference. Maybe Catalyst tweaks can help later? I don't know. I figure NVIDIA will release later rather than sooner, especially if they can figure out how to take advantage of the PCIE 3.0 and jump ahead. The battles between these 2 manufacturers is great since we users make out in the end.

I was told that PCIe 3.0 will become noticeable when running a ton of monitors or even a 4k monitor off one card... Sadly, I don't have a 4k monitor for LR. For all of us running 1920x1080 monitors it doesn't mean anything from what I can tell. I benchmarked all the games in this review in Gen 2 and Gen 3 mode on the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard and didn't notice a significant difference in anything.
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Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:27 pm
by sbohdan
I have a question:

I've been using the CUDA in converting my cam recordings since the days of 8800 series Nvidia with software that takes advantage of CUDA (mainly TMPGEnc). How is the new radeon doing with those kind of tasks?

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:09 pm
by neko77025
OMG ... Just wait till the MSI 7970 Lighthing comes out ... ... ...

10k 3dmark with one GPU ... thats what I see.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:12 am
by CoachAub
RE: Cuda: I think the "Cuda" software is geared for Nvidia cards. However, other programs like Adobe use Cuda and they work on AMD cards. It may work, but I'm guessing not as well, not as bad as Physix on AMD though. I can't say for certain. Nvidia is opening up their CUDA compiler source code for other programmers to use now. (See T**'s Hardware article) If AMD catalyst engineers work with the CUDA structure, they may be able to release updates that will take advantage of it. Great question!

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:39 am
by Kaos Kid
Xilosofts' HD converter software works with Radeon hardware acceleration, it loads up with my HD4200 onboard IGP graphics, you don't even need a descrete card, just a fairly recent Radeon chipset that enables it.

Re: AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:01 pm
by Apoptosis
I'd love to get a GPGPU test for my reviews, but the last time I did video comparisons I couldn't compare times as the quality was different due to the algorithms.