AMD's Pixel-Crunching Extravaganza: Radeon HD 7970 Review

By Julio Franco
Dec 27, 2011
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  1. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,194   +105

    Anyone understand why they only use shroud coolers these days?

    Real pain in the bum to clean, and i get better cooling from a dual fan palitt card than i do from a shrouded bfg.
  2. One reason I can think of to use shrouded coolers is to protect components. I screwed up a perfectly good card once by damaging a cap as I was putting it in a tight space.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,134   +276 Staff Member

    These high-end cards throw out so much heat that unless you have exceptional case cooling it's going to heat up everything else in there. The shroud design allows the heat generated by the graphics card to be efficiently removed from the case regardless of the cases cooling setup.
  4. "These high-end cards throw out so much heat that unless you have exceptional case cooling it's going to heat up everything else in there. The shroud design allows the heat generated by the graphics card to be efficiently removed from the case regardless of the cases cooling setup."

    And its Load.
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,905   +115 Staff Member

    For purely academic reasons I'm curious what happens if you pair this card with a 32bit OS?
    Since all of the PCI devices must share the same 4GB address space in a 32bit OS will it even be able to boot up properly?

    I've got a Dell M1710 XPS laptop here with Win7 x64 and 4GB RAM just as an example, but due to it's Intel I945PM Chipset only 3.25GB is usable, that is with a 128MB video card, so I can only imagine what would happen with a 3GB video card :D
  6. Such an amazing card, can't wait for the 7990 to see what happens with their flagship card against nVidia. My guess is that it trumps even 2 590s in SLI by about 20-30%
  7. If you're using a multiple monitor setup then, AMD really takes the cake with performance. But for single monitor use, Nvidia really holds the upper-hand.
  8. I hope Nvidia releases their answer to the HD 7000 series soon so AMD lowers their prices.
  9. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 761   +178

    The 7970 looks nice but judging from these results its not much of an upgrade for a GF-110 owner.
    Even in the demanding games the 580 is right on its tail.
    Looks like I will be going SLi with my 570.

    The rant/nag comment about it beating/matching 590's/6990's is always funny and once again shows this Country's low intellect. 4 GPU's is a TERRIBLE, buggy, glitchy, poorly supported setup and not much has changed.
  10. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 761   +178

    And the comment about AMD having better performance with more monitors makes no sense.
    It's about performance at large eyefinity/3D Surround resolutions.
    Both Nvidia and AMD have great solutions/performance for Eye-finity/3D Surround.

    Nvidia has the best driver set on average with less hassle and more features.
    AMD is bang for your buck.
  11. darkzelda

    darkzelda Newcomer, in training Posts: 60   +7

    Great card, I wish I had money to replace my HD 6850 with one of this beasts!
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 852   +84

    It's depressing looking at the 1920x1080 results in relation to the 5870 and 6970, and then the 7970. I feel sorry for people that "upgraded" from a 5870 to a 6970. The $549 MRSP is justified hands down. Add the potential of a 200MHz+ overclock on the core and 6Gbps+ on the memory, and you have a BEAST. If I didn't already have Crossfired 6950's I would want a 7970 (or two 7950's), but I will wait for Kepler or AMD's 8000 series. With AMD giving up trying to compete with Intel on the CPU side, their GPU's should only be getting better from here. Kudos to AMD, they did a great job here.

    Good review as always.

    Why was the 5970 left out of this review?
    Can I suggest putting the card that is being reviewed in bold or a different colour to make it easier to find on the charts?
     
  13. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,443   +268

    @hahahanoobs, indeed, the Radeon 7970 scores are all highlighted in red and its main competitor (GTX 580) has been colored green. The rest of the pack are in yellow.
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    How about the $600-620 that the card is likely to retail at *?

    I'd be a little inclined to reserve judgement (based on pricing) until :
    1. The card actually hits retail
    2. If the HD 7950 meets its price points ( $449 for 3GB, $399 for 1.5GB versions)
    2a, How the pricing affects HD 6970 and GTX 580.
    *3. Availability is known. As far as I'm aware, supply is likely to be very constrained. How constrained should become evident by the yeild/availability ratio of 7970 to 7950 - and followed by a second salvage part (Tahiti LE- HD 7890 by all accounts).

    At $549 - $600 the card represents an ok single card solution- which is probably the only viable reason for choosing it over the hit-or-miss vagaries of multi-GPU. I'd still suspect Crossfiring two HD 6950's for $420 -480 represents better value for the most part.
  15. princeton

    princeton TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,716

    Especially when certain 6950s like the Sapphire versions can unlock to 6970s.
  16. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    Princeton, I havnt seen any information on that subject. Can you provide some good links?
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,847   +62

    amstech said:
    Well amstech, I have built 4 quad GPU machines for myself over the last 24 months (and several for customers) and none of them have been either "TERRIBLE, buggy,glitchy,or poorly supported. Unless "buggy" Glitchy", and Terrible" are the names of games, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    BS. I work extensively with both and have no more problems with one than the other.
    More boilerplate regurgitation.
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    Ooooooopen wide, here comes the choo-choo.

    Ok, that's enough spoon feeding for one day. I hope you're grateful for the 23 seconds of work it took to find you that link.

    Be careful when questioning someone's religious beliefs.
    I believe "AMD is bang for your buck" is sandwiched between "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thine image quality", and "Thou shall forsake all TWIMTBP titles" in the official fanboy stone tablets.
  19. lol. Now that's funny
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,847   +62

    Dividebyzero said"
    ROFL, I did forget I was on sacred ground there for a minute.
    (I am now picturing Chuck Heston's tablet with an # 11 on it now.)
  21. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 852   +84

    *Wipes egg from face.*

    How come you didn't test the 5970 though?

    It's simply AMD's reference design. Once AMD allows their vendors to change the design, shrouds like these are hardly used, except maybe when keeping the core and memory clocks at stock and adding nothing to the PCB to aid in overclocking.
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,847   +62

    another person who last checked in around 2008. if you can agree that triple/quad GPU makes no sense at 1080P or less, I get scaling to all four cards at 5760 x 1080, and significant at that. what more important is what it allows you to do with the graphic settings such as DOF, AA, etc,etc.
  23. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,699   +586

    Hey, why not? Chuck's acting dial also goes to eleven

    /unfortunately the acting scale is 0 - 100

    As for the argument against tri/quad SLI/CFX, I would have thought that there were enough articles on the net to dispel any myths.
    [​IMG]

    What is often mistaken for no increase in scaling performance is usually a product of CPU limitation.
  24. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,847   +62

    Dividebyzero said"

    [​IMG]


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