View topic - AMD Radeon 7970 Review


25 comments posted
Price vs Performance

Price vs Performance certainly looks bad right now.

No doubt for some it wont matter for one of two reasons.

1.) They have tons of money and don't care
2.) The loath crossfire due to all of its issues and would prefer to take a performance hit over current crossfire options to get similar performance from a single gpu.

I sort of fit into #2 I much prefer single card systems but if the price of the 6990 and the 7970 ever met up in a close area I would probably still go with the 6990.

I am optimistic though that the "street price" of the card wont be as bad as the MSRP of it.

I hope that some of these new features like the centered task bar and "grids" are available to all current eyefinity cards and not exclusive to the 7000 series. Being able to center my task bar will be so nice, and to full screen a browser or app while in eyefinity without it spanning all 3 monitors also will be a huge plus. I can probably use eyefinity much more often with these tweaks as not just a gaming mode but a productivity mode.

My final 2 cents is that if I was a 6000 series owner I probably would skip this or at least wait for very dramatic price cuts. For 5000 series and under gamers especially eyefinity gamers the 7000 series looks like it is worth upgrading. I will not be surprised to find cheaper cards like a 7950 down the road as well to mix up the market some. With luck maybe it will be just like the 6950 and can be unlocked XD

Posted by ViciousXUSMC on 22 December, 2011 - 09:01
Nice tests. Hope the HD7970

Nice tests.

Hope the HD7970 will be aviable an cheaper soon. Well, don't think it will become cheaper... just hope the market price is lower than MSRP.
They said there should be enough HD7970 around on Januar . 9 start of HD7950...

Oh, and about HD7950... it has 2x 6Pin adapter(225W limit) . so you can't clock em as high as HD7970 which has 6pin+8pin (300W)

P.S Wish they'd improve Power drain in Multi monitor -.- 1 monitor = 66W (complete system) and 2 monitors = 104W
But hey, at least CF 2nd GPU shuts down completly!

Posted by Haldi on 22 December, 2011 - 10:54
You do know that the extra 2

You do know that the extra 2 pins between the 6 and 8 pin PCI-E power connectors are 2 extra grounds, meaning there not required to increase power headroom. Any difference in power support is the result of the power management circuit on the card itself.

Posted by Skid on 22 December, 2011 - 11:21
Skid wrote:You do know that

Skid wrote:
You do know that the extra 2 pins between the 6 and 8 pin PCI-E power connectors are 2 extra grounds, meaning there not required to increase power headroom. Any difference in power support is the result of the power management circuit on the card itself.

Don't agree on that. 6 pin PCI-E connectors can support 75W max and 8 pin (or 6+2) PCI-E can support 150W max.
You may check it here in details:
Accordingly there is a big difference of 6+6 and 6+8:
6 (75W)+6 (75W)+PCI-E slot (75W) = 225W max
6 (75W)+8 (150W)+PCI-E slot (75W) = 300W max

Posted by Hans Dampf on 22 December, 2011 - 17:56
I refer you to the last

I refer you to the last sentence of my post, the cable and the connector has nothing to do with it, and that's because the missing two wires on an 8-pin connector are grounds. Take it from someone who works in electronics, adding two extra grounds in no way increases the max load the cable or device can take.

The things you've quotes are standards, it is standard for a PCI-E device that requires 75W extra power to have a 6 pin connector, and its standard for a device that requires an extra 150W to require an 8 pin connector. The fact they have choose this standards in no way effects the fact that a 6-pin cable and port is just as capable of pushing 150W as an 8-pin one, the reason they do it is so low power PSUs can't be used with cards that demand a higher input.

It is ultimately the circuitry on the graphics card that defines how much power it can draw, not the number of ground connections it has. If you need proof of this have a look at the 6950s, the board is physically identical to a 6970 with the exception of the fact it has 6+6 PCI-E connectors, yet it is still fully capable of running and being overclocked to the same degree as its twin the 6970. This is because the power management circuit is the same as the one on the 6970, so the card is capable pulling in and using the same amount of power.

Posted by Skid on 22 December, 2011 - 18:14
Skid wrote:adding two extra

Skid wrote:
adding two extra grounds in no way increases the max load the cable or device can take.

Oh... I'm kinda sure it increases the Overload capacity before the Card is grilled? SCNR!

What would happen if i plug a 6pin connector into a 8pin? When these 2 additional are only Ground then there can be no way the GPU would realize that they arent plugged in, right?

P.s just realized.... There is no OCin this test?

Posted by Haldi on 5 January, 2012 - 14:09
Pretty much, grounds are

Pretty much, grounds are always connected to each other normally, also ground wires are not load wires the load is pulled in via the 12V wires then used by the circuit. The ground wires still have current passing though them, but since the current is across the whole system the ground wires won't have any more current passing though them then the 12V wires will.

Posted by Skid on 5 January, 2012 - 14:31
I've added another page to

I've added another page to the review that looks at the HD 7970 on my old i7-920. I compared the i7-920 to the i7-2600k with the HD 7970. I also look at the HD 5870 E6, the HD 6870 and the HD 7970 on the i7-920k.

Posted by skipclarke on 22 December, 2011 - 17:47
This was incredibly useful

This was incredibly useful for me, thank you. I am still running an i7 960 system with two OC'ed 5870's in xfire, but have been waiting patiently for this card and Intel's LGA2011 chips to roll out. This review has helped me choose which way to invest first, much appreciated!

Posted by Frraksurred on 22 January, 2012 - 16:07
Is it so that the "fast hdmi"

Is it so that the "fast hdmi" thing won't work with current monitors that support 3D? Does the 3D monitor also need the "fast hdmi" capability? Would it be possible to test a 3D monitor with hdmi 1.4a and this card if it works with 1920x1080 and 120hz?

Posted by Salmon on 23 December, 2011 - 19:12
I'll look into that. I have

I'll look into that. I have a 120Hz 3D monitor with HDMI and DP. I'll check that. I also have a 240Hz HDTV that I can check as well.

Posted by skipclarke on 24 December, 2011 - 04:04
Awesome! As far as I know no

Awesome! As far as I know no one else has tested this, so I can't wait to see the results!

Posted by Salmon on 24 December, 2011 - 04:42
Any idea when you'll have

Any idea when you'll have time to test this?

Posted by Salmon on 28 December, 2011 - 22:49
Eyefinity Crossfire Stereo3D 85Hz

Eyefinity 2.0 fills many of the missing pieces and is really great (including the mutli-audio option), but a few more things remain to be added:

Nvidia 3D Vision Surround - SLI, Stereo3D, multi-monitor, using outputs of more than one GPU - all at once (OK, only for 3 screens, but coming from 2 or 3 different GPUs)

Eyefinity Crossfire Stereo3D - for any combination of these 3 (any Eyefinity configuration with any CrossFire configuration with any supported Stereo3D screen type) - is this the case already or Eyefinity Stereo3D is limited to 3x1 (as in 11.12) and Crossfire Stereo3D is supported only without Eyefinity in 12.1?

Cross-GPU outputs for Eyefinity Crossfire Stereo3D (e.g. 5x1 Stereo3D with 2 HD7970 cards and no MST hubs - up to 24 display Eyefinity Stereo3D with Quad Crossfire - the recent increase to 16k x 16k resolution makes this feasible - even 6x2560 is less than 16k) - I know this is a niche market, but so are each of Crossfire, Eyefinity and Stereo3D - albeit those are somewhat bigger niches.

Supporting so many displays would allow setups such as "encircled player", "side and back screens", etc. If the current bezel compensation doesn't support the following setting, support should be added: [side screen left]------large "bezel" space (actually bezels + empty space)------[center screen]------large "bezel" space (actually bezels + empty space)------[side screen right]. Of course if the user has 10-24 qty of displays the empty space can be filled in with those screens.

desired single screen modes:
1080p200/240 2D, 1080p100/120 shutter 3D (>85Hz per eye)
4Kp100/120 FPR 3D (1080p per eye)

Posted by prest4783 on 31 December, 2011 - 16:03
Thanks for the review, hard

Thanks for the review, hard to find credible Eyefinity tests elsewhere!
Were the Heaven 2.5 EyeFinity tests done at defaults? Ie no AA and normal Tessellation?

I just ran my overclocked HD5970 at 5760x1200 and got 24fps (Score 605) without AA and 3fps (lol) with 4xAA (1GB framebuffer well beyond choking). Im trying to figure if a 7970 or 6990 is a better upgrade, your test suggest the 6990 but Im wondering if AA is piled on would the 2GB framebufferd 6990 loose out to the 3GB 7970?

Posted by mattsimis on 3 January, 2012 - 17:09
Heaven 2.5 was done at Normal

Heaven 2.5 was done at Normal Tessellation, 4xAA and 16xAF.

Posted by skipclarke on 3 January, 2012 - 19:19
Hmm, interesting. That would

Hmm, interesting. That would mean that taking away the Framebuffer advantage and looking at raw GPU power, things arent as rosey as I thought.
My 3year old HD5970 is actually faster than that 7970 test. Granted Im comparing dual GPU to single, but man 3 years is a 3 lifetimes for GFX. I can fudge AA by using the excellent SMAA injector, at SMAA "Ultra" settings I get 23.6fps vs the 21ish above for similar visual quality though my test is actually at a higher (x1200) resolution!

Maybe SMAA needs its own thread, its awesome for 1GB Framebuffer cards.

Posted by mattsimis on 4 January, 2012 - 00:35
My thoughts are would

My thoughts are would crossfire 7970's beat a 6990 and 6970 trifire? I know that they are meant to have better tesselation performance and better scaling....

Posted by sparx1981 on 4 January, 2012 - 17:09
That is a really odd

That is a really odd combination I doubt anybody would have a direct answer for you and could only speculate.

We know the 7970 beats a 6970 and that 2x 6970 edge out a 6990 by a small margin.

So you have to think how much performance did you gain when you added in the 6970 for trifire?

Scaling only goes so far for multiple gpu's and it seems with every series it gets better so wouldn't be surprised to find that 2x 7970 scale better than the 6000 series, also you get more VRAM and I am finding in eyefinity that can be just as important as the raw processing power. Extra cards do not equal extra VRAM as its not additive.

So assuming the performance (just made up numbers) can be done like this.

Say the 6970 is a base performance of 100% and the 9770 is 20% better and you get 100% scaling for each card.

Trifire 6970: 1+1+1 = 3
Dualfire 7970: 1.2 + 1.2 = 2.4

So Trifire would win out with 300% vs Dualfire 240% but you need to adjust the math as needed for the amount of scaling you got for your 3rd card and determine from benchmarks the % of performance boost you wish to assume the 7970 beats the 6970. Dont forget to factor in the higher VRAM and also the nice benefit of less power use and less heat from your PC.

Posted by ViciousXUSMC on 5 January, 2012 - 07:20
Nice review. I was looking

Nice review. I was looking to upgrade but have a question. I am running dual hd 5870 eyefinity 6 cards in crossfire with an eyefinity set-up of 6048x1200 bezel compensated. Is this an upgrade? I am losing 1GB of fame buffer and cannot afford 2 of these cards. What do you think?


Posted by BIGGRIMTIM on 22 January, 2012 - 01:17
I have a question similar to

I have a question similar to this. I run a 7680x1600 setup using dual OC'ed 5870's and a stock clocked i7 960. Given the numbers in this review, it looks as if a single 7970 would preform better then my xfire setup, even on my existing system. Can you confirm this speculation? Thanks up front.

As a side note, I am hoping to upgrade to LGA2011 and a second 7970 come tax return (a bit over optimistic of me I admit).

Posted by Frraksurred on 22 January, 2012 - 16:07
I found one in stock on

I found one in stock on amazon and pulled the trigger. I will report back when I get it up and running.

Posted by BIGGRIMTIM on 24 January, 2012 - 02:14
So far its a nice upgrade. I

So far its a nice upgrade. I can run my games with higher settings and I get the same performance. BF3 is big improvement. Also this thing overclocks like a champ. I have a Sapphire version and at stock voltages I can run a 1175/1600 with almost no temp increase. Worth every penny

Posted by BIGGRIMTIM on 26 January, 2012 - 02:28
Well people, sorry I haven't

Well people, sorry I haven't replied for ages.... I've been enjoying the new cards. I can confirm, in comparison to a 6990 and a 6970 in trifire... 7970 it crossfire are amazing. Everything runs quicker. My only disappointment is finding that some games are actually caped in their code e.g. NFS The Run @ 30FPS.

Dual 7970s although they are expensive are worth every penny. I do not regret the purchase.

Now, for the not so great news I'm afraid... I bought two Saphire 7970's on launch day. I received them the following day only to find that while one of them allowed me to fully over clock it, the other caused a lot of pixelisation as soon as I over clocked it.

I got this one replaced and everything was fine for a week or two.

Three days ago one of these Saphire 7970s decided to completely stop working. It wont even let me boot windows. I've now sent both cards back to the store and asked them to replace them with Asus cards. I dont know if I've been unlucky with the two cards that haven't lasted but I'm hoping the change of manufacturer will be worth it.

In short the 7970's are amazing. And I'm glad I bought them. While my PC is in bits... I miss it so much!!!! Cant wait for the replacement cards to turn up.

Posted by sparx1981 on 3 February, 2012 - 21:08
Sorry to dig up an old

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I would like some advice.

I am currently running one Asus HD5850 1GB card with 3x Samsung 24" monitors. While I can play current and new games with between 2x-4x AA and 4x-8x Antistropic (depending on which games. I normally get between 25-60fps except for GTA IV which I stick on lowest settings and get 10fps if im lucky!), I do need to upgrade to a new card.

I first looked at xfire'ing two HD5850's, but I cant find any as Im guessing they are ancient now. Then I started looking at new cards and this is where I need help. I cant work out if I should go for the HD7950 or the HD7970. Most things I read say that the HD7950 is cheaper and almost the same (benchmark-wise) as the HD7970. The HD7950 is also cheaper. I would like my games (and newer games in the future) to run on 5760x1080 (as they do now) but with 8x-16x AA etc. At the same time, i would prefer to save money (who doesnt!) and have to not upgrade my card for a good few years (Ive been using my HD5850 since it was first released!) Would the HD7950 work for me?

Posted by nips_uk on 19 September, 2012 - 03:33