Last week we posted an in-depth review of the Radeon HD 7970, the first in a series of upcoming graphics cards from AMD to utilize a 28nm fabrication process. Although we concluded that the card is extremely fast, it won’t be available to gamers worldwide until January 9.

This paper launch is uncharacteristic of AMD and led many media outlets to question the move. As a result, AMD has reportedly decided to delay the launch of the Radeon HD 7950 until early February. According to Guru of 3D, AMD made the decision to avoid similar concerns and have the card available on the market when it actually launches.

The Radeon HD 7950 is based on the same Tahiti core used in the higher-end 7970 except that four of the card's GCN (Graphics Core Next) compute units have been disabled. This will result in what AMD calls the Tahiti Pro core, where as the GPU on the 7970 is known as the Tahiti XT. According to NeoSeeker, the 7950 will feature 1792 Streaming processors and a 3GB GDDR5 frame buffer running on a 384-bit interface. The card will use the same video output configuration as the 7970, meaning it can support up to six screens.

The only unknowns at this point are the total TDP, clock speeds and price point that the 7950 will launch at. It looks like we might have to wait at least another month to get these answers unless AMD has something to share with us at CES 2012.