AMD Radeon HD 7950 specs leaked, price still unknown

By on December 26, 2011, 2:30 PM

Last week, AMD launched the Radeon HD 7970 as the first member of its 'Southern Islands' GPU family based on the 28nm 'Tahiti' core. The new card is expected to hit the market in January 9 just ahead of CES with a price tag of $549. But along with the new flagship card the company is expected to bring another -- and potentially more attractive in terms of price / value -- product to the table: the Radeon HD 7950.

Whereas the Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT, the HD 7950 features the scaled down Tahiti Pro variant that will be the direct successor to the Cayman Pro silicon inside the Radeon HD 6950. AMD has remained tight-lipped on the upcoming card's specs, but as usual, some details have found their way online.

According a slide posted by Donanim Haber, the Radeon HD 7950 will come with 4 compute units disabled compared to the HD 7970, bringing the number of stream processors down from 2048 to 1792. These will be accompanied by 112 texture units, while the 384-bit memory interface and 3GB of GDDR5 memory remains unchanged -- though memory is clocked at at around 5,000MHz. Lastly, AMD will also maintain the same display output configuration on this card with one dual-link DVI, one HDMI 1.4a and two mini DisplayPort 1.2.

Unfortunately the core clock speed, the exact memory clock speed, and target price-point remain unknown at this point. Power consumption figures were also kept under wraps, but the card is expected to feature the same ZeroCore technology as the HD 7970 that can shut off virtually every aspect of Tahiti and bring power consumption down to under 3W when in a long idle state.




User Comments: 29

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Guest said:

in few months nvida will release their new gpus, and they will kick amds ***, like always. amd sucks

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

9 Jan cannot come soon enough. I cant wait to build my first computer in a long time with an Ivy Bridge chip and one of these marvelous new ATI cards based on Graphics Core Next. ATI has been coming out with more power efficient cards than nVidia, have they not? From reading reviews long ago my mind thinks they use less power with almost the same performance to nVidia's counterpart solutions.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

BTW Guest, AMD are very competitive with nVidia which puts them in a price war with each other, driving costs down for us. So we should be grateful AMD/ATi exist

DokkRokken said:

Guest said:

in few months nvida will release their new gpus, and they will kick amds ***, like always. amd sucks

I have a GTX 470 that would beg to differ.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

This slide is fake as hell. You can't tell?

This Donanim Haber guy/site needs to be ignored. He/it is only right half (if that) the time. And no, that is not why I think this slide is fake... anyone not legally blind and knows what a real AMD slide looks like, can see it was altered.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I have a GTX 470 that would beg to differ.

Look again. The 470 consistently beats the 5850, and the GTX 480 consistently beats the 5870. Why are you comparing a last gen nVIDIA 2nd best GPU in a quote about what nVIDIA has for an answer to AMD's current top GPU (7970)?

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

BTW Guest, AMD are very competitive with nVidia which puts them in a price war with each other, driving costs down for us. So we should be grateful AMD/ATi exist

If competitive means cheaper, sure. Performance? No. How many times has nVIDIA had two GPU's that beat AMD's best?

ie: GTX 275 and 280 were both better than AMD's best.

ie GTX 570 and 580 were both better than AMD's best.

Nuff said.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

hahahanoobs said:

This slide is fake as hell. You can't tell?

This Donanim Haber guy/site needs to be ignored. He/it is only right half (if that) the time. And no, that is not why I think this slide is fake... anyone not legally blind and knows what a real AMD slide looks like, can see it was altered.

The slide is not fake.

Also can you re-signup with the name hahahatrolls.

ihaveaname said:

hahahanoobs said:

I have a GTX 470 that would beg to differ.

Look again. The 470 consistently beats the 5850, and the GTX 480 consistently beats the 5870. Why are you comparing a last gen nVIDIA 2nd best GPU in a quote about what nVIDIA has for an answer to AMD's current top GPU (7970)?

Isn't that how the market works? You bring something in, then someone brings in something better, and so on? Your argument can be applied to the gtx 470/480 just as easily; why didn't they make them faster than AMD's upcoming (6900 series) cards? The 7970 was made to be better than nVidia's best at present time. Of course it's not going to be as good as a card that doesn't exist yet.

DokkRokken said:

hahahanoobs said:

I have a GTX 470 that would beg to differ.

Look again. The 470 consistently beats the 5850, and the GTX 480 consistently beats the 5870. Why are you comparing a last gen nVIDIA 2nd best GPU in a quote about what nVIDIA has for an answer to AMD's current top GPU (7970)?

Oh please. Don't be obtuse. At their debut, the Fermi cards barely outpaced the AMD cards. Ok so they 'beat' the AMD cards in some cases, but merely by a few frames. And then, factor in the enormous amount of heat and noise generated by Fermi's first outing and you had a product that looked archaic in comparison. It was nVidia's 'Bulldozer': a negligable improvement over its predecessor at best.

I'm not comparing anything. I'm merely refuting some ***** who thinks AMD's GPU's are consistently subpar. History has shown otherwise. Case in point, the 4xx series. Simple! You must have a hard-on for nVidia to clearly misconstrue my simple statement.

Steve said:

also can you re-signup with the name hahahatrolls

I vote 'hurrhurrhurrderp.'

Guest said:

I can't agree with your statement, AMD has always maintained good price to performance... we can take a look at the last generation of AMD gpu's like the 6970 and the 6950, while AMD didn't have a single gpu response for the 580 there wasn't a need to have one when the 5970 easily dismissed it for similar money. But from a cost and performance perspective AMD is on the money and Nvidia should be worried why? Every generation AMD have increased performance 40-60% if not more from one flagship to another Nvidia can't say the same. Also people remember that AMD is working with smaller die sizes with efficient architecture. AMD tends to hit the sweet spot, look at the difference between 6970 CF vs 580 SLI... I couldn't justify buying spending 1k on 580's when 6970CF gives similar performance for over 200 dollars cheaper. So while the 7970 is king of the hill now, will it be? who knows but I am willing to bet that Nvidia next gen will run hotter and consume more power with little performance enhancements and not only that AMD with 7990 will maintain the fastest video card status for 3 generations....amd isn't worried about Nvidia it's the other way around.

veLa veLa said:

hahahanoobs said:

BTW Guest, AMD are very competitive with nVidia which puts them in a price war with each other, driving costs down for us. So we should be grateful AMD/ATi exist

If competitive means cheaper, sure. Performance? No. How many times has nVIDIA had two GPU's that beat AMD's best?

ie: GTX 275 and 280 were both better than AMD's best.

ie GTX 570 and 580 were both better than AMD's best.

Nuff said.

Why did you skip the GTX 470 and 580? Was it because their power consumption was out of the roof? AMD and NVIDIA don't really outpace each other. Both provide very good performance if you're willing to spend the money, and AMD is usually $20 cheaper.

Guest said:

the new hd7970, when over-clocked stays with the gtx590 and hd6990 and then even surpasses them in some benchmarks.... NOTHING SHORT OF IMPRESSIVE

check the bench marks below, you will be blown away

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-overclock-guide/

BlackIrish said:

According to a few other leaks, the 7950 should cost $449. Seems reasonable too.

Guest said:

The most important thing, is to b always the first company to bring the actually most powerful gpu,and this company is ATI (AMD), sorry nVIDIA, try to gt this on first quarter 2012... nVIDIA always behind ATI... jaja

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

These cards are pricey, but they always are when they first debut. Im hoping a GCN card can be had for $200-$250. Three hundred is a bit much to be a dropping on a graphics card, lol. Thats a chunk of change for something that loses its value fairly quickly.

shamus087 said:

---agissi--- said:

BTW Guest, AMD are very competitive with nVidia which puts them in a price war with each other, driving costs down for us. So we should be grateful AMD/ATi exist

Intelligent comment. +1.

Been saying the same thing about AMD VS Intel. We loss if AMD stops; even if we like Intel better.

venomblade said:

I read somewhere way before this, which had the same specs and said this costs $350.

Cota Cota said:

2 mDP ports.... really?

herpaderp said:

DokkRokken said:

Fermi.....It was nVidia's 'Bulldozer': a negligable improvement over its predecessor at best.

Uhhh...I don't mean to disagree with you but try to keep your facts straight. Fermi was in no way anything like Bulldozer. Sure, it ran hot and loud, but it also grossly outperformed the previous architecture. What, you think a GTX 470 BARELY beats out a GTX 275? lolwut

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Oh please. Don't be obtuse. At their debut, the Fermi cards barely outpaced the AMD cards. Ok so they 'beat' the AMD cards in some cases, but merely by a few frames. And then, factor in the enormous amount of heat and noise generated by Fermi's first outing and you had a product that looked archaic in comparison. It was nVidia's 'Bulldozer': a negligable improvement over its predecessor at best.

You might remember that Fermi wasn't actually designed for desktop use. Nvidia's desktop part (GT 212) was cancelled for a variety of reasons. The Fermi architecture was originally conceived solely for GPGPU use in the enterprise/HPC sector as Quadro/Tesla SKU's - as evident by the amount of die space set aside for compute functions. The GF 100/110 were also destined for TSMC's aborted 32nm process, and whereas AMD/ATi had a smaller die/smaller power envelope, a better understanding of foundry process, and a great deal of experience with the 40nm node with which to mitigate a backport of a 32nm design to 40nm, Nvidia could not do likewise, due to market strategy and executive intransigence/lack of foresight.

Nvidia have also been working with a double edged sword - a large monolithic die strategy to fulfil needs of the pro graphics markets that can pull double duty as a gaming GPU. Inevitably there will be design compromises...but if that direction was so wrong, why is it that AMD's new GCN architecture now embodies elements of compute functionality that Nvidia have made virtually standard?

Now, as for Nvidia's "Bulldozer"....remember that like BD, Fermi is aimed primarily at the server/ws/hpc markets...

[link]

...You see Bulldozer claiming anything close to that number from Xeon ? (Hint: AMD's present server marketshare is 5.5%. That isn't tipped to rise greatly-if at all- in the face of competition from Intel's Xeon E3, E5 and E7 range of processors

I'm not comparing anything.

...except for

It was nVidia's 'Bulldozer'

...I assume

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I'd like to see the possibility of unlocking to a 7970! That'd be interesting.

If I am reading this thread right, there is an appalling amount of trolling/getting trolled.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

, post: 1122203"]I'd like to see the possibility of unlocking to a 7970! That'd be interesting.

Would certainly make the 7950 THE value proposition, although I'm guessing that AMD might have learned from the last series, where 6950 sales cannibalized the 6970 market. Judging by the 7970's pricing, it seems as though AMD are looking a little more towards the bottom line this time around.

, post: 1122203"]If I am reading this thread right, there is an appalling amount of trolling/getting trolled.

Colour me amazed as well. This kind of thing never happens in a graphics launch thread.

Guest said:

Just a little heads up for NVidia fan boys. AMD has had the southern islands GPU family ready to launch for nearly 10 month, and have been waiting for TSMC to finish their 28nm nodes. So by the time NVidia have launched their 600 series AMD will have had over a year to design their 8000 series. NVidia is going to be a whole generation behind.

Guest said:

"Every generation AMD have increased performance 40-60% if not more from one flagship to another Nvidia can't say the same."

That's totally untrue.

GeForce 3 Ti 500 --> GeForce 4 4600 (at least 40-60% faster with AA)

GeForce 4 4600 --> GeForce 5900 U (at least 40-60% faster)

GeForce 5950 Ultra --> GeForce 6800 Ultra (75-100% faster, and 150%+ faster in DX9 games).

GeForce 7900GTX ---> 8800GTX (easily 100% faster)

8800GTX --> GTX280 (at least 40-60% more)

GTX280 --> GTX480 (at least 40-60% more).

I think you are WAY off. Both NV and AMD have been improving the performance of their cards very well. But your logic fails anyway since how much more 1 card improves its performance over itself is meaningless. Since HD6970 sucked in DX11 (tessellation), of course HD7970 improves its performance over it a lot. But vs. the GTX580, it's only 20-25% faster. Good, but not that amazing for a 28nm architecture.

Guest said:

"Just a little heads up for NVidia fan boys. AMD has had the southern islands GPU family ready to launch for nearly 10 month, and have been waiting for TSMC to finish their 28nm nodes. So by the time NVidia have launched their 600 series AMD will have had over a year to design their 8000 series. NVidia is going to be a whole generation behind."

News for AMD fanboy:

1) AMD is going to take almost 1 full quarter to launch the entire lineup of HD7000 series cards.

2) NV still has competitive cards in every price level on the desktop outside of the fastest single GPU. They can still lower prices on their current NV lineup and be competitive.

3) HD7970 is only 20-25% faster than GTX580. AMD might actually need HD8000 series to beat a full-blown Kepler....

4) AMD fanboys don't consider the possibility of an interim stop-gap 28nm Fermi shrink (i.e, 640-768 SPs card).

5) Having a theoretical design completed 10 months ahead of production is not "had the card ready". These new architectures take 3-4 years to develop. Fermi was also ready as a theoretical design probably a year before manufacturing. The only measurement that has any relevance is the date a card is available for sale, not when it was "ready".

5) Launching first is a great strategy to capitalize on higher prices (if you have better performance, to impress investors and meet the needs of enthusiasts who love to upgrade from one fastest card to the next. For everyone else, even when NV launched full 6 months later after HD5800 series, it was easily able to reocver with GTX460/560/560Ti/570/580 series and currently has almost a 60% market share on the desktop.

AMD fanboys love to make up their opinion as facts that launching first somehow means winning when market share numbers on the discrete desktop size tell a completely different story.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Would certainly make the 7950 THE value proposition, although I'm guessing that AMD might have learned from the last series, where 6950 sales cannibalized the 6970 market. Judging by the 7970's pricing, it seems as though AMD are looking a little more towards the bottom line this time around.

We might see a lower percentage of stable unlockable cards because of the new manufacturing process. They do have the dual bios so I'd really hope to see unlockable 7950s, if not now, maybe later.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

, post: 1122334"]We might see a lower percentage of stable unlockable cards because of the new manufacturing process.

Probable.

Difference in shader count in Cayman 8.3% ( 1536 for HD 6970/CaymanXT, 1408 for HD 6950/Cayman Pro)

Difference in shader count in Tahiti 12.5% (2048 for HD 7970/Tahiti XT, 1792 for HD 7950/Tahiti Pro).

Bear in mind that a percentage of the unlockable cards have proven to be long-term unstable due to running the HD 6950's slower 5Gb/sec vRAM out of spec over an extended time. The HD 6970 natively uses higher specced vRAM. The HD 7970 uses Hynix 1.5GB/sec (6GB effective) RAM @ 5500MHz...the 7950 is specced at 5000MHz effective, so it wouldn't be surprising if AMD went with cheaper vRAM to keep costs down as they did with the previous series.

Conventional core/memory overclocking yeilds much the same performance boost without the attendant risks of locking the memory IC's into the ragged edge of their performance envelope (i.e. how many unlocked HD 6950's can further push their vRAM past 1350MHz "stock" HD 6970 speed?)...

, post: 1122334"]They do have the dual bios so I'd really hope to see unlockable 7950s, if not now, maybe later.

HD 7970's (and likely all other 7000 series) have dual BIOS. It seems more like a general feature than an "unlocking" specific one.

Atham said:

I would like to get the 28nm, but can't as the only option is AMD and we don't know what Nvidia will bring up. I will go with teh HD 6950 2GB and wait for the GTX 800 series or the HD 8000 series.

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