TechSpot: AMD Radeon HD 7970 Review

The Radeon HD 7970 is the first of a series of upcoming graphics cards that are making the jump to the 28nm fabrication process. The new HD 7970 will effectively become AMD's new flagship single GPU graphics card come January, when the board is expected to ship.

The die shrink means AMD can cram more transistors into the same space, a lot more. Although the die size is only slightly smaller, at 365mm2 there are some 1.7 billion more transistors, taking the total count to a whopping 4.3 billion. This number whales that of the GeForce GTX 580 which boasts 3+ billion transistors in its massive 520mm2 die.

With a mere two weeks before it’ll be possible to get your hands on a new Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, it’s definitely nice to get a look now at how they perform. But before we jump into our gaming benchmarks, let’s take a moment to check out the new card's capabilities and features in greater detail.

Read: AMD Radeon HD 7970 review

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19 Comments

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Hold it right there! I remember reading from Tom's Hardware that this card hadn't received its actual Driver, so, by any chance, are you using it with the right drivers?

I love it how the nvidia cards are always ontop in benchmark tests but go down in actual gameas and apps.

Riva said,
I love it how the nvidia cards are always ontop in benchmark tests but go down in actual gameas and apps.

Sorry to burst your bubble, dude but you have that wrong. It's ATI cards that do better in benchmarks. It's Nvidia cards that provide a vastly superior gaming experience. It all comes down to drivers and ATI has always produced ****ty ones.

ahhell said,

Sorry to burst your bubble, dude but you have that wrong. It's ATI cards that do better in benchmarks. It's Nvidia cards that provide a vastly superior gaming experience. It all comes down to drivers and ATI has always produced ****ty ones.

You're both wrong. And you're both right. It varies greatly. Recently however nVidia has been the company with inflated benchmark scores and roughly equivalent performance in game - and I say that as someone who is planning on buying an nVidia card next time around.

Riva said,
I love it how the nvidia cards are always ontop in benchmark tests but go down in actual gameas and apps.

I wouldn't look at benches as being "buying guides". The first game I played with my ASUS 5870v2 was Crysis1 and it murdered the highest settings when some reviews and benches said otherwise. It's all about actually getting the card and using it to see if it fits your needs. (re-shrink fees may apply when returning your card.)

The folks we should be blaming are the software developers for gearing games towards 1 brand. Alice uses physx, which cannot be turned of (only set to low). Even editing config text doesn't turn it off.

Benches work the same way. They're a bit biased. They'll bench ATI and NVIDIA while the software used forces both cards to process certain things then creates an average score. The bench may include hidden physx processes that aren't disclosed and the ATI card suffers in it's score. Vice Versa with NVIDIA processing things only ATI can do.

P1R4T3 said,
The price is too high. 2 x GTX 570 in SLI and there's still some money left.

...as usual with those top of the line cards which are for rich people only as it makes much more financial sense getting cards in that $200 range or less as you get most of the performance without breaking your bank account and if the $200 or less card becomes to slow later on you can just invest in another decent card of the time instead of getting one of those $400-600 cards which will drop in price quite a bit not to long after you get it and it's just wasted money.

plus with the Radeon 7970's 373watts of power consumption (on full load) that can't be doing to good for your electric bill. hell, even 151watts idle is still not good to say the least when my Radeon 5670 card uses in neighborhood of 15-20watts idle and full load is still under what that card is at on a idle. sure, my cards performance is no where near as good i am sure but it still can play a good percentage of games if you pair it with a decent CPU.

so while my system is basically fairly dated by today's PC's standards (AMD Athlon X2/Radeon 5670(my graphics card is better than CPU though)) i am happy though as it don't require a nuclear power plant to run it. lol

plus what does that card cost on it's release, $400-600 range? (you can build a pretty solid ENTIRE PC that will last years for probably $800-1000 range)

ThaCrip said,

...as usual with those top of the line cards which are for rich people only as it makes much more financial sense getting cards in that $200 range or less as you get most of the performance without breaking your bank account and if the $200 or less card becomes to slow later on you can just invest in another decent card of the time instead of getting one of those $400-600 cards which will drop in price quite a bit not to long after you get it and it's just wasted money.

plus with the Radeon 7970's 373watts of power consumption (on full load) that can't be doing to good for your electric bill. hell, even 151watts idle is still not good to say the least when my Radeon 5670 card uses in neighborhood of 15-20watts idle and full load is still under what that card is at on a idle. sure, my cards performance is no where near as good i am sure but it still can play a good percentage of games if you pair it with a decent CPU.

so while my system is basically fairly dated by today's PC's standards (AMD Athlon X2/Radeon 5670(my graphics card is better than CPU though)) i am happy though as it don't require a nuclear power plant to run it. lol

plus what does that card cost on it's release, $400-600 range? (you can build a pretty solid ENTIRE PC that will last years for probably $800-1000 range)

There are people who want/need the latest and greatest, and there are people like you, the budget consumer, who can get away with a lower end card. Learn the difference. Just because it's not for you, doesn't mean it's not for other people...

I personally am a budget consumer as well, have a GTX 560 Ti, and paired with my i7 860, I can play everything to my satisfaction.

ThaCrip said,

plus with the Radeon 7970's 373watts of power consumption (on full load) that can't be doing to good for your electric bill. hell, even 151watts idle is still not good to say the least when my Radeon 5670 card uses in neighborhood of 15-20watts idle and full load is still under what that card is at on a idle. sure, my cards performance is no where near as good i am sure but it still can play a good percentage of games if you pair it with a decent CPU.

so while my system is basically fairly dated by today's PC's standards (AMD Athlon X2/Radeon 5670(my graphics card is better than CPU though)) i am happy though as it don't require a nuclear power plant to run it. lol

Actually these new cards a very power efficient when idle. Lower than any of the previous cards at idle.

Such an amazing card, can't wait for the 7990 to see what happens with their flagship card against nVidia. My guess is that it trumps even 2 590s in SLI by about 20-30%

HoochieMamma said,
Such an amazing card, can't wait for the 7990 to see what happens with their flagship card against nVidia. My guess is that it trumps even 2 590s in SLI by about 20-30%

If you're using a multiple monitor setup then, AMD really takes the cake with performance. But for single monitor use, Nvidia really holds the upper-hand.