Radeon HD 7970 3GB Graphic Card Review
The Dual Slot cooler holds a central liquid chamber and improved fan design for enhanced cooling performance. Display Connectors include 2 Mini Display Ports, 1 HDMI 1.4a and a DVI-D Port.
Multi-GPU Configurations are enabled through two CrossfireX fingers, Total TDP falls around 250W and the power is supplied through 2 6 Pin Connectors.
Over All Performance
No doubt, the new Radeon HD 7970 proved to be the fastest single-GPU video card ever released and it is designed to perform well now and into the future.
In this test, the Radeon HD 7970 was about 47% faster than AMD’s previous flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 6970, and approximately 31% faster than the GeForce GTX 580.
Radeon HD 7970 Vs GTX 580
Versus NVIDIA’s reference GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB card, the Radeon HD 7970 was between 1.16x and 1.31x faster. And versus a factory overclocked, custom EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3GB card, the Radeon HD 7970 was only about 8.5% to 25% faster overall.
Video Encoding Results
In video encoding with Media Espresso 6.5, the Radeon HD 7970 running 52% faster than the GeForce GTX 580, 59% faster than a Core i7-3960X CPU (which is the fastest desktop CPU available on the market today), and 124% faster than a Core i7-980X, making it a terrific video card for accelerating processing using the GPGPU technique.
Performance Vs HD6000 Series
As expected, The performance increase over HD6000 Series is great and CrossfireX scaling has improved to 99.9%. If the HD 7970 isn’t beating the HD 6990 at stock, it’s getting pretty darn close when overclocked.
Bottom line: Radeon HD 7970 represents a successful major graphics overhaul. Fast and furious, it’s a harbinger of things to come.
The new Radeon HD 7970 proved to be relatively power-friendly considering its high-end status.
While idling at the Windows desktop, it pulled down only 127W, besting all other cards by 11 to 43 Watts. And under load, the Radeon HD 7970 actually consumed slightly less power than the Radeon HD 6970, despite offering much better overall performance; a testament to the efficiency of the architecture and TSMC’s 28nm process, which seems better off than its 40nm node was at this early stage.
ZeroCore Power Technology
Also worth noting is the ZeroCore Power Technology that brings the power consumption of the GPU to under a single watt when the screens are put into sleep mode.
And for users that like to go with multi-GPU setups you will be glad to know that this feature will also turn off (even the fans!) the secondary GPUs when you are simply running in Windows.
This should offer noticeable sound and heat dissipation improvements.
Temperature & Noise
The new 28nm process is showing its strength again by allowing the higher performing GPU to run at a lower temperature than even the Cayman part.
Running under a full load at 76C is pretty good, but we would still expect to see the custom coolers from companies like MSI to improve on that greatly.
Despite the cooler on the new HD 7970 was improved over the previous one for acoustics, testing showed it to be a bit louder than both the HD 6970 and the GTX 580 under a full load.
We’d say the Radeon HD 7970 is somewhat quieter than Radeon HD 6900 series cards, but not quite as quiet as GeForce GTX 500 series products.
Pricing and Availability
The HD7970 Officially launches on 9th January 2012 for a suggested retail price of $549, that is nearly a 50% increase in cost over the debut of the Radeon HD 6970 (which was released in December of 2010, with a price tag of $369.)
Let’s compare that to the other cards and see how it stacks up.
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB – $549
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB – $499
AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB – $349
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win 2GB – $529
At $50 more than the GeForce GTX 580, a difference of 10%, the HD 7970′s performance actually warrants this price – Tahiti offers performance improvements over the GeForce GTX 580 averaging 23%.
Finally, the cost of the GTX 560 Ti 2Win from EVGA is right on par with the HD 7970 and both cards offer somewhat similar performance.
Also it is worth to mention that in week 2 of 2011 the Radeon HD 7950 will be released, then the 7800 series and we expect something really breathtaking in February / March 2012.
Good Vs Bad
Fastest Single GPU on the planet now
Excellent Overclocking Headroom
Fantastic GPU Compute performance
Good Power Consumption
Adds support for PCI-Express 3.0 and DirectX 11.1
Support for multiple independent audio streams
Driver Maturity Likely To Further Enhance Performance
Not Available Yet
Going To Be Pricey