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Radeon HD 7950 3 GB: Six Cards, Benchmarked And Reviewed

Six Radeon HD 7950s, Rounded-Up

The Radeon HD 7950 has had a fairly quiet run since its release a little over four months ago, with many customers taking either a step up to the Radeon HD 7970 or a step down to an overclocked Radeon HD 7870. This is regrettable, since the Radeon HD 7950 actually beats the other two cards in efficiency.

Now that the cheaper (and even more efficient) GeForce GTX 670 is readily available at major retailers, the Radeon HD 7950 is starting to come down in price, mostly in the form of rebates. As vendors get realistic about the Tahiti-based board's competitive position, it should become more affordable for a greater number of gamers, effectively taking over the higher middle-class role in AMD's line-up from the Radeon HD 6950.

Today, we're taking a look at the Radeon HD 7950 in its new role. By now, the card is available in a variety of versions, and we have six boards engineered for different strengths. Some overclock well, while others are designed to operate as quietly as possible. We're also including video to demonstrate the acoustic characteristics of each card, believing that graphs sometimes fall short when it comes to conveying this very important aspect of a card's performance. If you are in the market for a graphics card in this segment, you'll know what to buy once AMD's boards reach a price with which you're comfortable.

Five Custom Designs And One Reference Model

We have a quintet of custom Radeon HD 7950 cards from AMD partners, in addition to a reference card from HIS. Naturally, you pay the least for the reference version, making it an ideal choice for fans of water cooling, who'll rip off that heat sink anyway.

Here are the specs for the six graphics cards. The prices don't include rebates, though many of these vendors are pulling prices down substantially by offering money back.

HIS H795F3G2MHIS HD 7950 IceQ TurboSapphire HD7950 OCAsus HD7950-DC2T-3GD5MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD/OCPowerColor PCS+ AX7950 3GBD5-2DHPP
Shaders179217921792179217921792
Texture Units112112112112112112
Full Color ROPs323232323232
Graphics Clock800 MHz900 MHz900 MHz900 MHz880 MHz880 MHz
Texture Fillrate89.6 GTexel/s100.8 GTexel/s100.8 GTexel/s100.8 GTexel/s98.6GTexel/s98.6GTexel/s
Memory Clock1250 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz
Memory Bus384-bit384-bit384-bit384-bit384-bit384-bit
Memory Bandwidth240 GB/s240 GB/s240 GB/s240 GB/s240 GB/s240 GB/s
Graphics RAM3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB
Transistors (Billion)4.314.314.314.314.314.31
Process Technology28 nm28 nm28 nm28 nm28 nm28 nm
Power Connectors2 x 6-pin2 x 6-pin2 x 6-pin2 x 6-pin2 x 6-pin2 x 6-pin
Price (Street)$410$405(for 800 MHzversion)$410$430$380$380

Aside from HIS' submission, all of these cards are overclocked by default. Unfortunately, the HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo (running at 900 MHz) isn't available in North America, though there's an 800 MHz model with the same cooler.

  • rmpumper
    Gigabyte HD7950 missing in action :(
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    in some of the earlier charts, gtx680 is written as "gtx 680 1536MB".

    also, gtx580 seems to be missing in the crysis2 charts.
    Reply
  • Just thought you might like to know that the x-axis captions for the noise level graphs are labelled as they would be for temperature, rather than decibels
    Reply
  • scrumworks
    That nvidia turbo boost is a bit cheating and you should turn it off for the test. It's basically same as overclocking and your review sample cards are most likely binned to get much better than average OC.
    Reply
  • Dragh0n
    Nice article. Glad to know I'm not missing much by sticking with brand loyalty.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Why was there no expanded information on the overclocking ability of the GPUs? Half at 1025MHz and Half at 1050MHz doesn't help anything.

    As well, what kind of memory overclocks did you get? Did you have to change the voltage of the GPUs to get said clock speeds?

    This article was missing a bit too much info there to really be able to get the full picture of these GPUs. The HD7970 6 card shootout is how it should have been done for the HD7950s. Each cards overclocking ability (core/memory) and what they got with stock voltage and overvolted.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    scrumworksThat nvidia turbo boost is a bit cheating and you should turn it off for the test. It's basically same as overclocking and your review sample cards are most likely binned to get much better than average OC.
    WOW.
    how is it cheating? it is cheating only if the average user will not use the "GPU boost" feature, but reviewers are using it.

    and, the card is faster, cheaper and cooler than the competition. so if you are better, you cheat?Fanboi.
    Reply
  • SessouXFX
    XFX HD7950 didn't make the list?

    You know what this is like? Imagine yourself as a concert prompter, trying to put a lineup together. You have Megadeth, White Snake, Poison, Guns -n- Roses, AC DC, you think you're doing just fine...What? Metallica wanted nothing to do with that roundup of Who's Who? Did they turn you down, or did you guys turn them down?

    Because XFX matters. XFX always matter! And I'm pretty sure they weren't scared to step into the ring and beat some heads in with a comparo with the best in the biz. You guys need to get in touch with them and test their HD7950 and see if their card has the potential to blast that "elephant in the room" and hang it's head on the wall.

    This is Tom's Hardware after all...
    Reply
  • we_san
    scrumworksThat nvidia turbo boost is a bit cheating and you should turn it off for the test. It's basically same as overclocking and your review sample cards are most likely binned to get much better than average OC.You want to add 7970 OC into the crowd ? Just ask ...
    Reply
  • Deemo13
    I really like the charts posted for the benchmarking! Gives a much wider range of cards.
    Reply