AMD Radeon HD 7950 Review - Benchmarking

Submitted by skipclarke on 30 January, 2012 - 21:38

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System Specs

I have updated my resting rig, and moved from an Intel Core i7-920 to an i7-2600k. As before, everything runs at stock clock speeds. I have also increased RAM from 12GB to 16GB.

The Radeon HD 6970 and 6990 were tested with the Radeon HD 7970 release drivers. The Radeon HD 6950 and HD 7950 were tested with the Radeon HD 7950 release drivers. Supplies of the Radeon HD 7970 are scarce, so I don't yet have a 2nd one for CFX testing. However, I was able to pair up my Radeon HD 7970 with the Radeon HD 7950 for CFX testing on the Radeon HD 7950 platform.

At AMD's request, I also updated the Radeon HD 7970 benchmarks with the HD 7950 release drivers. They indicated that significant performance increases had been made in the new driver set for the HD 7970, and the previous benchmarks needed to be updated for a proper comparison. There may have been some advances in the Radeon 6000-series as well, so the HD 6970 and 6990 may be slightly understated.

  • Windows 7
  • ASUS P8Z68-V Pro/Gen3
  • Intel i7 2600k at 4x3.4GHz
  • 16GB G.Skill DDR3 1.25v low-voltage RAM
  • 2x Samsung 320GB T-Series HDD (one for the OS and games; one for swap file and FRAPS)
  • LG Super Multi Blu (HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Player)
  • Onboard audio
  • Corsair HX1000
  • My Open PC Dragon Case
  • Logitch K340 Keyboard & Performance MX Mouse
  • Ergotech Heavy Duty Triple Desk Stand - WSGF Edition
  • 3x Dell U2211H IPS 16:9 1920x1080 Displays

Hardware Tested

I only have AMD hardware tested for comparison in this review. This is not for lack of wanting to test NVIDIA hardware in Surround, but NVIDIA has not yet decided to support the WSGF with hardware for review and benchmarking. Considering that the WSGF is a hobby that just supports itself, I cannot justify spending the money needed to test NVIDIA cards.

Most of my time is spent working on the site (or other projects), and much of my "play time" is spent benchmarking. Cards would basically only be used for testing, and I cannot reconcile purchasing cards that would only be used for testing. It's simply not a good ROI.

Resolutions Tested

I tested both 1600x900 and 1920x1080 in widescreen, as well as 4800x900 and 5760x1080 in 3x1-L Eyefinity.

Games Tested

I have overhauled my suite of games. I replaced some older titles with their sequels, and I've simply dropped some titles either due to age or the time needed to benchmark. Additionally, I've dropped the DX9 and DX10 tests from the Heaven demo.

  • Aliens vs. Predators
  • DiRT 3
  • H.A.W.X. 2
  • Heaven v2.5 DX11
  • Mafia II
  • Metro 2033
  • Total War: Shogun 2

As always, all games are tested at max settings (unless otherwise noted), with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled.

Future Testing

I will be retesting the HD 6700 and 6800 series on the new platform, in anticipation of new HD 7000 releases. Additionally, I'm going to look into the impacts of overclocking. And finally, I will be doing some more detailed testing and AA analysis considering the 3GB frame buffer on the card. How far can we push it until it breaks down? ^_^