AMD’s latest generation GPU series is really starting to take shape now. Having been blown away by the performance of the Radeon HD 7900 series and then let down by the steep pricing of the HD 7700 series, we are keen to see what AMD has to offer with the new HD 7800 series.
Today marks the release of the 'Pitcairn' GPUs which make up the the Radeon HD 7800 series. As you would expect the series consists of two GPUs: the Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850, designed to occupy the ample $200 to $400 range.
AMD offers a valid alternative to its flagship GPU with the Radeon HD 7950, which is essentially a lower-specced and lower-priced version of the HD 7970. The HD 7950 is set at $419 for the 1536MB version, while the full 3072MB variant is $449. Although it's currently possible to find a 3GB model for $449, you can expect to pay closer to $500.
Gigabyte has redesigned the PCB and included an upgraded cooler on the WindForce 3 that is meant to lower temperatures and improve overclocking. Considering the HD 7970's respectable performance, we expect a solid showing from the HD 7950.
AMD is bringing its latest generation GPU to mainstream brackets today. The new Radeon HD 7770 and 7750 use the same 28nm design process and Graphics Core Next architecture as the 7000 series flagship, albeit in more affordable configurations.
The move to 28nm lets AMD squeeze 1500 million transistors into a 123mm2 die. In addition, the HD 7700 series die is 26% smaller than the HD 6770. As impressive as those figures are, gamers will be more excited to see AMD's prices: the HD 7770 is $159 -- in line with the GeForce GTX 560 -- and the HD 7750 is even cheaper at $109, combating the GTX 550 Ti.
You go out to buy a new graphics card, set a budget, and it'd seem that for another $30-60 you can always go with the next step up that performs a little better. Or, you could save those extra dollars, go for the budget model and overclock it and basically match the next step up's performance.
With that in mind, we have hand-picked three graphics cards that represent select price ranges to see just how much extra value can be obtained through overclocking. For the $100+ range we have the Radeon HD 6750, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti has been used to represent the $200+ market. Then at the top of the food chain we have the Radeon HD 6970 going for $300 and up.
AMD has reportedly decided to push back the launch of the Radeon HD 7950 until early February. According to the Guru of 3D, AMD made the decision to avoid another paper launch and have the card available on the market when it actually launches.
The Radeon HD 7970 is the first of a series of upcoming graphics cards that are making the jump to the 28nm fabrication process. The new HD 7970 will effectively become AMD's new flagship single GPU graphics card come January, when the board is expected to ship.
In the meantime, it’s definitely nice to get a look now at how it performs. The Radeon HD 7000 is a big leap for AMD, representing its most significant architecture overhaul in the last decade. Let’s take a moment to check out the new card's capabilities and features in greater detail.
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