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Radeon HD 7970 Vs. Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Review: Give Me Back That Crown!
By , Igor Wallossek

We start off by testing both cards at 1050 and 925 MHz. Since our samples are completely stable at those frequencies, we didn’t have to touch the PowerTune slider at all. The new card didn’t throttle, either, yielding an ideal comparison. As before, we logged power consumption for 50 seconds, using a gaming workload this time.

The dotted lines represent one card running at the emulated clock speeds of the other. And the final analysis yields an interesting result: the older and supposedly less-refined card draws marginally less power at 1050 MHz. It does even better at 925 MHz, coming in almost 5 W under the GHz Edition board. Perhaps this is a result of AMD’s voltage-adding mechanism designed to keep Tahiti more stable at its boost frequency.

However, we’re still not applying a full load to either card. Our next test does just that by applying a compute workload that doesn’t trigger throttling.

Power draw is pretty similar between the two boards. The new card might do its job under the TDP ceiling defined for the original 7970, but AMD’s GHz Edition board definitely doesn’t offer more performance at the same power levels as its predecessor. If you want more speed, you have to use more power.

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    EzioAs , June 22, 2012 6:33 AM
    AMD's Driver team really deserve praise this time. Kudos AMD!
  • 26 Hide
    DataGrave , June 22, 2012 6:00 AM
    Quote:
    Nvidia has started a HORRIBLE trend in the business that I hope to dear god AMD does not follow suite.
    100% acknowledge

    And for the gamers: take a look at the new UT4 engine! Without excellent GPGPU performace this will be a disaster for each graphics card. See you, Nvidia.
  • 26 Hide
    vmem , June 22, 2012 5:48 AM
    jrharbortTo me, increasing the memory speed was a pointless move. Nvidia realized that all of the bandwidth provided by GDDR5 and a 384bit bus is almost never utilized. The drop back to a 256bit bus on their GTX 680 allowed them to cut cost and power usage without causing a drop in performance. High end AMD cards see the most improvement from an increased core clock. Memory... Not so much.Then again, Nvidia pretty much cheated on this generation as well. Cutting out nearly 80% of the GPGPU logic, something Nvidia had been trying to market for YEARS, allowed then to even further drop production costs and power usage. AMD now has the lead in this market, but at the cost of higher power consumption and production cost.This quick fix by AMD will work for now, but they obviously need to rethink their future designs a bit.


    the issue is them rethinking their future designs scares me... Nvidia has started a HORRIBLE trend in the business that I hope to dear god AMD does not follow suite. True, Nvidia is able to produce more gaming performance for less, but this is pushing anyone who wants GPU compute to get an overpriced professional card. now before you say "well if you're making a living out of it, fork out the cash and go Quadro", let me remind you that a lot of innovators in various fields actually do use GPU compute to ultimately make progress (especially in academic sciences) to ultimately bring us better tech AND new directions in tech development... and I for one know a lot of government funded labs that can't afford to buy a stack of quadro cards
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    esrever , June 22, 2012 5:00 AM
    50 mhz boosts are kinda low imo
  • 6 Hide
    Darkerson , June 22, 2012 5:03 AM
    My only complaint with the "new" card is the price. Otherwise it looks like a nice card. Better than the original version, at any rate, not that the original was a bad card to begin with.
  • 2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , June 22, 2012 5:06 AM
    Thanks for putting my name in teh review :D 

    now if only you could bold it :lol: 
  • 6 Hide
    wasabiman321 , June 22, 2012 5:06 AM
    Great I just ordered a gtx 670 ftw... Grrr I hope performance gets better for nvidia drivers too :D 
  • 16 Hide
    hellfire24 , June 22, 2012 5:38 AM
    not trying to be a fanboy but "Still GTX 670 gives you best BANG FOR DA BUCK!"
  • 26 Hide
    vmem , June 22, 2012 5:48 AM
    jrharbortTo me, increasing the memory speed was a pointless move. Nvidia realized that all of the bandwidth provided by GDDR5 and a 384bit bus is almost never utilized. The drop back to a 256bit bus on their GTX 680 allowed them to cut cost and power usage without causing a drop in performance. High end AMD cards see the most improvement from an increased core clock. Memory... Not so much.Then again, Nvidia pretty much cheated on this generation as well. Cutting out nearly 80% of the GPGPU logic, something Nvidia had been trying to market for YEARS, allowed then to even further drop production costs and power usage. AMD now has the lead in this market, but at the cost of higher power consumption and production cost.This quick fix by AMD will work for now, but they obviously need to rethink their future designs a bit.


    the issue is them rethinking their future designs scares me... Nvidia has started a HORRIBLE trend in the business that I hope to dear god AMD does not follow suite. True, Nvidia is able to produce more gaming performance for less, but this is pushing anyone who wants GPU compute to get an overpriced professional card. now before you say "well if you're making a living out of it, fork out the cash and go Quadro", let me remind you that a lot of innovators in various fields actually do use GPU compute to ultimately make progress (especially in academic sciences) to ultimately bring us better tech AND new directions in tech development... and I for one know a lot of government funded labs that can't afford to buy a stack of quadro cards
  • 4 Hide
    andrewcarr , June 22, 2012 5:58 AM
    So happy :) 
  • 26 Hide
    DataGrave , June 22, 2012 6:00 AM
    Quote:
    Nvidia has started a HORRIBLE trend in the business that I hope to dear god AMD does not follow suite.
    100% acknowledge

    And for the gamers: take a look at the new UT4 engine! Without excellent GPGPU performace this will be a disaster for each graphics card. See you, Nvidia.
  • 7 Hide
    cangelini , June 22, 2012 6:04 AM
    mayankleoboy1Thanks for putting my name in teh review now if only you could bold it

    ;-)
    Excellent tip. Told you I'd look into it!
  • -3 Hide
    scrumworks , June 22, 2012 6:11 AM
    When do you actually start using new games for benchmark? Let me give you a hint, WoW is not a new game and neither it's performance is any meaningful, because it's badly coded and looking a game and graphics are lousy Quake 2 level. See it yourself what kind of game they are testing here: http://tinyurl.com/dxarebj
  • 7 Hide
    esrever , June 22, 2012 6:12 AM
    could you do power consumption with a game instead of 3dmark? it seems these cards uses much less power durring gaming and 3dmark doesn't give a realistic showing. Maybe have both graphs would be nice so you know the maximal as well as the general gaming power use.
  • 0 Hide
    DataGrave , June 22, 2012 6:18 AM
    Quote:
    Maybe have both graphs would be nice so you know the maximal as well as the general gaming power use.
    Page 2 - 4
  • 32 Hide
    EzioAs , June 22, 2012 6:33 AM
    AMD's Driver team really deserve praise this time. Kudos AMD!
  • 10 Hide
    cangelini , June 22, 2012 6:39 AM
    scrumworksWhen do you actually start using new games for benchmark? Let me give you a hint, WoW is not a new game and neither it's performance is any meaningful, because it's badly coded and looking a game and graphics are lousy Quake 2 level. See it yourself what kind of game they are testing here: http://tinyurl.com/dxarebj

    WoW is meaningful, actually.
    New games will make it in when vendors start giving us more than two or three days to retest all of their graphics cards :) 
  • 7 Hide
    vrumor , June 22, 2012 6:51 AM
    recon you are about as big of a fanboy of nvidia as people who are disliking your comment are of AMD. So before ya spout off about fanboi'ism, look in the mirror bud. I have a 7970 and until I read this I would tell people all day to get a 670. So I guess it holds true, truth hurts huh?
  • 2 Hide
    sarinaide , June 22, 2012 7:02 AM
    Very nice work, basically upping the way lower than Nvidia clocks to restore parity in performance. Obviously the buffed up speeds will increase the load power but the idle power and low state draws still are industry leading. A very good update.
  • 5 Hide
    masterjaw , June 22, 2012 7:16 AM
    Either way, this will be good for the competition and for us consumers.

    And here's me, hoping that this kind of competition landscape would still be present in the enthusiast CPU market.
  • -9 Hide
    xtreme5 , June 22, 2012 7:27 AM
    what????????? AMD over the GTX 680 no no, it's not possible noooooooooooooooooooooooo....
  • 8 Hide
    sarinaide , June 22, 2012 7:45 AM
    recon-ukMeh at best.



    I really hope this is trolling, rather than a calous endeavor to discredit a competitors product.
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