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AMD Radeon HD 7970: Promising Performance, Paper-Launched

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December 22, 2011 3:32:02 AM

If Santa is real, there will be one of these under my Christmas tree in a few more days.
Score
30
December 22, 2011 3:38:14 AM

From a gaming standpoint I fail to see where this card finds a home. For 1920x1080 pretty much any card will work, meanwhile at Eyefinity resolutions it's obvious that a single gpu still isn't viable. Perhaps this will be something that people would consider over 2x 6950, but that isn't exactly an ideal setup either. While much of the article was over my head from a technical standpoint, I hope the 7 series addresses microstuttering in crossfire. If so than perhaps 2x 7950 (Assuming a 449$) becomes a viable alternative to 3x 6950 2GB. I was really hoping we'd see the 7970 in at 449, with the 7950 in at 349. Right now I'm failing to see the value in this card.
Score
-29
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December 22, 2011 3:40:04 AM

Damn, that's a good looking GPU!
Score
12
December 22, 2011 3:40:05 AM

a4mulaFrom a gaming standpoint I fail to see where this card finds a home. For 1920x1080 pretty much any card will work, meanwhile at Eyefinity resolutions it's obvious that a single gpu still isn't viable. Perhaps this will be something that people would consider over 2x 6950, but that isn't exactly an ideal setup either. While much of the article was over my head from a technical standpoint, I hope the 7 series addresses microstuttering in crossfire. If so than perhaps 2x 7950 (Assuming a 449$) becomes a viable alternative to 3x 6950 2GB. I was really hoping we'd see the 7970 in at 449, with the 7950 in at 349. Right now I'm failing to see the value in this card.


I'll be trolling Newegg for the next couple weeks on the off-chance they pop up before the 9th. A couple in CrossFire could be pretty phenomenal, but it remains to be seen if they maintain the 6900-series scalability.
Score
11
December 22, 2011 3:41:01 AM

thepieguyIf Santa is real, there will be one of these under my Christmas tree in a few more days.


Hate to break it to you, but there won't be, unless you celebrate Christmas in mid-January.

Start treating your SO super-nice and ask for one for Valentine's Day!
Score
7
December 22, 2011 3:48:06 AM

Well I know what I want at tax time :D 
Score
16
December 22, 2011 3:49:09 AM

cangeliniStart treating your SO super-nice and ask for one for Valentine's Day!


If I ever find someone that will buy me a $500 graphics card for Valentine's Day I'll be proposing on the spot.
Score
42
December 22, 2011 3:53:07 AM

cangeliniI'll be trolling Newegg for the next couple weeks on the off-chance they pop up before the 9th. A couple in CrossFire could be pretty phenomenal, but it remains to be seen if they maintain the 6900-series scalability.


While I have little doubt that 2x of these cards would be very impressive, so would the $1100+ pricetag. I guess coming from the 580 SLI standpoint it might not seem like much, but if you've been considering the $750 ($900 for mobo+psu difference) 3x 6950 route like myself it seems like a major jump.

Of course this is all just initial reaction towards the earliest of benchmarks. Given awhile to really dig around the new 7xxx, while allowing it to mature from a driver standpoint might make the 3x6950 seem foolhardy.
Score
-10
December 22, 2011 3:54:58 AM

WOW!!! I love the conslusion; all of it, which basically is interpretted as "I'm biased towards Nvidia," and trys [desperately] to say don't buy this card! Has the nerve to mention Kepler as an alternative; right, Kepler, as in 1 year away. The GTX580 just got "Radeon-ed" in it's rear. I'm not biased towards either manufacturer, just love to see and give credit to a team of people with passion, vision, and hardwork come together and put their company back on the map, as is shown here today with AMD's launch of the 7970. It's AMD's version of "Tebow Time!!"
Score
-21
December 22, 2011 3:56:36 AM

No hard feelings to the author...thanks for the review nonethless..
Score
-3
December 22, 2011 4:01:54 AM

ZombeeSlayer143WOW!!! I love the conslusion; all of it, which basically is interpretted as "I'm biased towards Nvidia," and trys [desperately] to say don't buy this card! Has the nerve to mention Kepler as an alternative; right, Kepler, as in 1 year away. The GTX580 just got "Radeon-ed" in it's rear. I'm not biased towards either manufacturer, just love to see and give credit to a team of people with passion, vision, and hardwork come together and put their company back on the map, as is shown here today with AMD's launch of the 7970. It's AMD's version of "Tebow Time!!"


Not at all, actually. It offers great gaming performance, and for everything else...we have to wait, because it's not fully baked yet. They say fools rush in. This thing launched today. We were given less than a week with it. It won't be available to even *buy* for another three weeks. Are you telling me you're ready to crown a paper winner, and you're not biased? Please...
Score
25
December 22, 2011 4:04:37 AM

cangeliniHate to break it to you, but there won't be, unless you celebrate Christmas in mid-January.Start treating your SO super-nice and ask for one for Valentine's Day!


Dude!!! I'm will be glued to NewEgg via my PDA and PC...I'm sooooo ooohhhh getting two of these!! If they sell for $549, I still think they provide the best value based on current high-end single GPU solutions (e.g., GTX 580, 6970, etc). Nvidia may want to consider a 20%-30% price reduction on the 580's once the 7970's are out.
Score
10
December 22, 2011 4:15:04 AM

ZombeeSlayer143Dude!!! I'm will be glued to NewEgg via my PDA and PC...I'm sooooo ooohhhh getting two of these!! If they sell for $549, I still think they provide the best value based on current high-end single GPU solutions (e.g., GTX 580, 6970, etc). Nvidia may want to consider a 20%-30% price reduction on the 580's once the 7970's are out.


You have a valid argument there. However, it's not like we need to wait for Windows 8 to see what this GPU is made of, as was the case with Bulldozer. What you see is what we will get give or take 5%?????? Heck, I don't even care for the overclocking potential. If the performance was capped at what is shown here today, I'm certain everyone will be happy. But, of course thats not the case, which brings me back to your point; it's too early, don't get excited, it's just on paper right? LOL...sure buddy...I'm so glad NewEgg was sold out of the GTX580 Classified's the past few weeks; would have regretted that purchase.
Score
-8
December 22, 2011 4:15:58 AM

Ahhh....I'll be on the EGG myself and on E of Bay with my 6950 (unlocked) the day this beast this arrives!!!!!!! :D 

WOW...Go ATI!!!!
Score
6
December 22, 2011 4:18:50 AM

Well Amd you did it, Wow it's been a while since i was able to say that, I'm so impressed with these results everything you guys used to fail on you fixed at your GPU division. I'm not going to lie i did not think Amd would pay it off but they did. All i can say is Nice and well done. You guys beat Nvidia with a 28nnm gpu. I just wonder what's going on at nvidia and why their behind on the 28nm die, And their is rumors that Nvidia wont get their new card out until 2Q of 2012!!


To bad these cards wont be out this year they would make a lot of money. Oh well parents usually buy them self stuff after christmas i guess.
Score
15
December 22, 2011 4:23:49 AM

OMG DAT OVERCLOCKING!
I can't wait to get the 7850 or 7870 and OC the crap out of it!
Score
23
Anonymous
December 22, 2011 4:24:04 AM

well when i read this review it did not really leave me with a "positive" outlook on these cards, and a moment ago i just checked another hardware review and they did not come close to this glominess, so i wont blame the amd fans for feeling that this review is biased becouse it sure as hell seems like it^^
Score
-12
December 22, 2011 4:28:37 AM

Overclocking like a baws! It DOES beat a GTX590!
Score
10
December 22, 2011 4:42:53 AM

Damn, I didn't see this coming from AMD. This card is a beast...it takes on multi-gpu cards...price is a little high, but compared to the performance it looks like an amazing value.
Score
13
December 22, 2011 4:48:00 AM

I'm getting one of these for my <30nm build (28 nm GPU and 22nm CPU). I'm callin it the "MOORE'S AR$E"
Score
19
December 22, 2011 4:51:06 AM

WOW !!! INDEED !!
i usually put nick names to my favourite videocards out there, and if i named 5870 ROCKET! 6970 Conqueror!
Then 7970 definitely deserves the nickname EXECUTIONER !
Score
-4
Anonymous
December 22, 2011 5:06:07 AM

These are preview drivers, so expect an extra 10%
Score
11
a b À AMD
December 22, 2011 5:17:21 AM

Its an amazing card , in a lot tests and games beat the dual cpu cards ( 590 and 6990 ). Its the powerfull single cpu card in world at this time.Good job AMD.
Score
2
December 22, 2011 5:38:38 AM

Just like I thought: AMD gains a single GPU performance crown until 6xx Nvidia cards arrived. Personally, I think I'll be getting 7870 for myself when it comes out.
Score
0
December 22, 2011 5:42:02 AM

Everyone keeps talking about speed / fps/ blah blah blah but i think we are missing one of the most important things...... 15w when idle, GPU and fan speed turned off when monitor is also off in power saving mode..... That alone makes the card worth noticing RIGHT NOW......

I do not want to sound condescending but no site should rush to make any fps reviews until the product has been properly launched with the right drivers at hand. I am sure you understand that a new card with such rich new features and such awesome new hardware has fps issues because of bad drivers.... wish everyone merry christams
Score
4
December 22, 2011 5:50:22 AM

I'm running 6970 tri-fire, and I can tell you framerates don't tell the whole story. BF3 feels laggy at 130fps, unless i turn everything to low and AA off. My friend with dual 580s has no such problem, on ultra with AA. Other games exhibit similar behavior, but less intense.

After a year of struggling with bullshit drivers, and the overall disdain AMD shows its customers, I would buy a 580 over this card no matter how it theoretically performs. Don't think AMD disrespects its customers? I dare you to change the GPU display scaling options without dropping your desktop resolution to 1024x768. AMD has known about this problem for a while, and they don't care. What a simple fix it would be, too. In the latest Catalyst 11.12 you're supposed to finally be able to set per-application 3d profiles. I still haven't gotten that to work. And even if I did get it to work, it's several years too late.

I don't care about theoretical performance, AMD. Your cards stutter like mad, your coolers are just as loud as nvidia's, AA is almost a non-option on recent titles, and only one of the two DVI links on your high end cards is dual-link. Talk about cheap!

But hey, looking at the card in this preview, I see you've finally implemented an angled cooler, so two cards next to each other won't completely block the airflow. I guess that's SOMETHING.
Score
-6
December 22, 2011 6:00:03 AM

... imagine a HD7990?
Score
11
Anonymous
December 22, 2011 6:06:36 AM

Seems like 7770 or 7850 with a Zalman cooler might be my thing. AMD sure has best value for money..
Score
6
December 22, 2011 6:13:45 AM

@intel4eva

I completely agree with what you have to say. I was personally using AMD gpus before and no matter how powerful they always seem to have stuttering, not only in graphically demanding games but even in older games. I personally play at 5760* 1080. I used to have 5870 2gig edition in crossfire, a game like team fortress 2 @ 5760*1080 would be stuttering when i had crossfire enabled. If i disable crossfire the game runs fluid. So why am i paying for another GPU then? I replaced AMD with Nvidia GTX 580 SLI i couldnt be happier, everything just works.

I certainly aint hyped for the 7000 series. in this day and age most games we are getting are console ports which dont require too much gpu muscle however they do need good driver support. Hence today Driver support >> hardware performance. Hence i would easily favor Nvidia 5XX series over AMD 7000 Series.
Score
-4
December 22, 2011 6:14:56 AM

I will get one of these in the end of Q2 after the launch of nvidia's kepler top end. I will jump from my current 4870 to 7970 or nvidia 680 (which ever is better performer )
Score
4
December 22, 2011 6:28:14 AM

I expected a slightly better card.
Score
-5
December 22, 2011 6:29:58 AM

7970 Crossfire Review 5760x1080

Scaling looks to be on par or better than 6xxx, No mention of microstutter, graphs didn't exhibit the same choppiness max/min frame rate that's been associated with it.
Score
4
December 22, 2011 6:33:01 AM

cangeliniI'll be trolling Newegg for the next couple weeks on the off-chance they pop up before the 9th. A couple in CrossFire could be pretty phenomenal, but it remains to be seen if they maintain the 6900-series scalability.


Actually Techreport recently explored micro-stuttering (scroll down to Xfire results) and found that the 69xx series 90%+ scaling comes at a price. You also wanna check this vid, courtesy of Carsten Spille of GPU-tech.org.

I'll really appreciate if you take this into consideration in your upcoming multi-card reviews.
Score
1
December 22, 2011 6:47:24 AM

Really not worth an upgrade from an HD 6970. Maybe next generation!
Score
1
December 22, 2011 6:51:06 AM

I cant wait to see how this stacks up against nvidia's 780 (yes they are skipping 600s for the most part it seems). . .

"According to the released info, Nvidia’s Next Gen flagship GK-100/GK-112 chip which will feature a total f 1024 Shaders (Cuda Cores), 128 texture units (TMUs), 64 ROP’s and a 512-bit GDDR5 Memory interface. The 28nm Next Gen beast would outperform the current Dual chip Geforce GTX590 GPU."

http://wccftech.com/nvidia-kepler-gk104-gk100-specifica...


Also if you look at the specs for the 590 its just about identical to what the 780 will have.
Score
3
December 22, 2011 7:26:04 AM

I have to say, not too many fanboys out from nvidia on this article, and, for that, i give them respect and props. It's usually a flame-fest when there's a new release. Anyways, this card looks great, but, I want to see a full review before I'm sold. For instance, including xfire, etc. As for the card overall? Looks to be something I'd love to get a pair of if I had a benchmarking rig again (currently in desktop-limbo as I'm undergoing training for the military), but, priced appropriately too since it's almost just sitting at that performance level. Good job to the AMD team boosting the performance so much over the 6970 in what we've seen, and decent review overall. I do have to say the article did seem a bit gloomy compared to others I've read though. Christmas blues got you down? Or just upset cuz Santa won't be putting one under your tree this year? I know I am :(  lol. Happy holidays to all. Have fun, be safe, and be good or be good at it.

Cheers
Score
4
December 22, 2011 7:42:46 AM

a4mula7970 Crossfire Review 5760x1080Scaling looks to be on par or better than 6xxx, No mention of microstutter, graphs didn't exhibit the same choppiness max/min frame rate that's been associated with it.

With a performance boost from later drivers, it'll some config alright......
Score
-2
December 22, 2011 8:03:02 AM

I'll be honest, I was skeptical (as I still am) concerning a single 7970. It's too much for 1920x1080 and yet was unfit for Eyefinity. After reading the crossfire review however I'm much more optimistic. If micro-stuttering has been resolved than a 2x crossfire solution is viable again. I look forward to the Tom's crossfire review. It'd be great to see a x8/x8 (1155), x16/x8 (1155 nf200), x16/x16 (2011) comparison at 3x1 resolutions. While we know the x8 bottleneck is virtually non-existent at even 2560x1600 there is evidence that it exists at higher resolutions. Now that they have the monitors to test this, it'd be a great article.
Score
2
December 22, 2011 8:30:17 AM

Has anyone seen anandtech review of the 7970. I think NVIDIA paid them off or something. There's something odd that doesn't feel right about their benchmarks. I have looked around 10 benchmarks so far of a single 7970 and they all show roughly the same gains which are quite impressive considering how early the drivers are. But anandtech's benchmarks don't seem to follow all the others I have seen. Their benchmarks indicates the 7970 is on par with a GTX 580. I don't trust anandtech this time. All other benchmarks show a consistency with one another but not anandtechs.
Score
0
December 22, 2011 8:50:28 AM

And the card will get improved by third party customization and new drivers.
Score
1
Anonymous
December 22, 2011 9:07:40 AM

See top of last page. You should perhaps not abbreviate "who are" into "who're" ... ;) 
Score
2
December 22, 2011 9:25:32 AM

It's so ironic. In the old days we had to fight 'noise' from audio recordings. Anyone here ever played an LP 'wet' to reduce static crackling ?
Now we are all digital, Silence, no more cracks, pops and hisses from our favorite recordings. To bad we can still not enjoy it over the noise from our computers !
Noise polution is an issue that is still being underestimated by most hardware manufactureres.
I run 2 PCs for my daily work, both are in a separate room to keep the noise away.
I don't want more power from Santa, I want a 'silent' holiday instead :-)
Score
2
December 22, 2011 9:43:14 AM

I don't even know what to say about this.. I mean this card OC'd to get almost Double the 6970's FPS in BF3!!...Using only CCC!! What about using Afterburner on this baby!?!?!?! OMG :D 

Does anyone know if Tom's is running the same BF3 benchmark as he was b4?? The first min of the aircraft carrier/plane flying mission in the campaign??

Want it, Need it, Gots to Gots to Have iT!!!
Score
0
December 22, 2011 9:54:08 AM

id run up and punch your mother in the face for one of these lol!
Score
3
December 22, 2011 9:54:21 AM

Just throwing this out there...Techpowerup.com got the memory up to 1715Mhz with a total memory bandwith of 329.3Gbs...so, yeah it's kind of alright
Score
0
December 22, 2011 10:08:06 AM

When it comes to good launches this card is in Radeon 9700( think its beats the Radeon 9700 by a good margin ) and Core 2 territory, i do not think Kepler will top this launch. That dont mean Kepler will be a bad gpu, but the power efficiency of this card is its primary advantage and i do not think Kepler will be more power efficient.
Score
1
December 22, 2011 10:15:47 AM

XD When I looked at the first graph I was like 580 at the top? not surprising, AMD close behind not surprising............wait.....something isn't right here.......WAIT.............that is a 590 not 580......where is 580?....AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GRAPH!

I guess the Nvidia fanboys like myself have to give it to AMD for now, just until both cards are out because I doubt too many people expected this.
Score
7
December 22, 2011 10:17:37 AM

Gee Don, EVEN Anand (paid NVidia shill) gave a much more positive review on the 7970 ... as did other tech sites.

I feel your putting an excessively negative spin on what is clearly a killer card compared to the Pentium 4 ... um ... I mean Fermi space heater that the 580 is.

This one is faster, cooler, overclocks better, and whips the 580 in every game that matters.

Any issues are just due to the drivers being so new.

This card gets my vote.

Once AMD roll out the rest of the line NVidia doesn't even have the compute crown anymore.

AMD is in front again in terms of graphics ... and thats what you should be saying in the headline for the article ... not bagging it.
Score
0
December 22, 2011 10:18:03 AM

Much need card. AMD is truly Advanced Mico Devices......
Score
0
!