Subject: Graphics Cards | March 22, 2013 - 01:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hd 7790, graphics core next, GCN, ea Islands, bonaire, amd
AMD is trying to fill a gap in their product line between the less than $200 HD 7850 and the ~$120 HD 7770 with a $150 card, the HD 7790. The naming scheme implies two GPUs but this is not the case, it is a single Bonaire GCN chip with 896 stream processors, 56 texture units and an impressive fill rate of up to 1.79 TFLOPS thanks to some optimization of the GCN architecture. It has 1GB of GDDR5 at 6GHz effective and a CPU speed dependent on the model, in [H]ard|OCP's case the ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC runs at 1.075GHz. [H] passed it a Silver Award for being a vast improvement over the 7770 and good competition for the GTX 650 Ti but feel the card does need to be faster.
This card also makes an appearance on our front page, with a lot of Frame Rating charts so you can see not only the raw FPS data you are used to, but also an indept look at how the game is going to 'feel' while you play.
"AMD is launching the Radeon HD 7790 today. This new video card should give the sub-$200 video card segment a kick in the pants. Will it provide enough performance for today's latest games at $149? We will find out, testing the new ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC with no less than six of today's hottest games."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon HD 7790 @ The Tech Report
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 review (incl. frametimes) @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 @ TechSpot
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Dual-X 1GB OC @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB Dual-X OC @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7790 1GB Graphics Card @ Bjorn3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Dual-X OC Review @ OCC
- Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 CrossFire @ techPowerUp
- ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II OC @ Overclockers.com
- Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 Video Card Review w/ Gigabyte & Sapphire @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS HD 7790 Direct CU II OC 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD7790 OC @ Kitguru
- PowerColor PCS+ HD 7850 Radeon Graphic Card Review @ Pro-Clockers
- HIS Radeon HD 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo 4GB Video Card in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1GB Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Mid-Range AMD Graphics Card Round-Up (HIS 7770 GHz / HIS 7850 / Sapphire 7850) @ Kitguru
- PowerColor PCS HD7870 MYST Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
A New GPU with the Same DNA
When we talked with AMD recently about its leaked roadmap that insinuated that we would not see any new GPUs in 2013, they were adamant that other options would be made available to gamers but were coy about about saying when and to what degree. As it turns out, today marks the release of the Radeon HD 7790, a completely new piece of silicon under the Sea Islands designation, that uses the same GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture as the HD 7000-series / Southern Islands GPUs with a handful of tweaks and advantages from improved clock boosting with PowerTune to faster default memory clocks.
To be clear, the Radeon HD 7790 is a completely new ASIC, not a rebranding of a currently available part, though the differences between the options are mostly in power routing and a reorganization of the GCN design found in Cape Verde and Pitcairn designs. The code name for this particular GPU is Bonaire and it is one of several upcoming updates to the HD 7000 cards.
Bonaire is built on the same 28nm TSMC process technology that all Southern Islands parts are built on and consists of 2.08 billion transistors in a 160 mm2 die. Compared to the HD 7800 (Pitcairn) GPU at 212 mm2 and HD 7700 (Cape Verde) at 120 mm2, the chip for the HD 7790 falls right in between. And while the die images above are likely not completely accurate, it definitely appears that AMD's engineers have reorganized the internals.
Bonaire is built with 14 CUs (compute units) for a total stream processor count of 896, which places it closer to the performance level of the HD 7850 (1024 SPs) than it does the HD 7770 (640 SPs). The new Sea Islands GPU includes the same dual tessellation engines of the higher end HD 7000s as well and a solid 128-bit memory bus that runs at 6.0 Gbps out the gate on the 1GB frame buffer. The new memory controller is completely reworked in Bonaire and allows for a total memory bandwidth of 96 GB/s in comparison to the 72 GB/s of the HD 7770 and peaking theoretical compute performance at 1.79 TFLOPS.
The GPU clock rate is set at 1.0 GHz, but there is more on that later.
Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2013 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Sea Islands, radeon, GCN, amd, 8970, oland, hd 8000, RadeonSI, gallium, mesa
Phoronix has good news for Linux users about the "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver which AMD has slowly been developing for the HD 7000 series, MESA has announced the driver is being developed for the HD 8000 series. The project commit is a candidate for MESA 9.1 and the Linux 3.9 kernel which could lead to some issues as most Linux flavours are using 3.8 or earlier but should bode well for the future. This hopefully signals a greater commitment to OpenCL and other projects AMD has started but not managed to fully develop. We also have quite a few PCI IDs from the commit statement, 0x6600, 0x6601, 0x6602, 0x6603, 0x6606, 0x6607, 0x6610, 0x6611, 0x6613, 0x6620, 0x6621, 0x6623, and 0x6631 are all listed.
"While AMD has yet to officially introduce their Radeon HD 8000 series, published today was the initial open-source Linux graphics driver support for handling the Radeon HD 8800 "Oland" graphics cards."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dell agrees to $24.4bn buyout @ The Inquirer
- 3DMark for Windows Launches; We Test It with Various Laptops @ AnandTech
- New 3DMark Benchmark Highlights and First GPU Results @ Legit Reviews
- The next-gen 3DMark is here, we take it for a quick spin around the block @ Tweaktown
- BlackBerry 10: Good news, there's still time to fix this disaster @ The Register
- Blackberry Steelseries Free Bluetooth gamepad video demo @ The Inquirer
- BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2013 - 03:31 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, titan, ps4, podcast, nvidia, kavari, Kabini, H80i, gk110, GCN, corsair, APU, amd, 200r
PC Perspective Podcast #235 - 01/24/2013
Join us this week as we discuss potential AMD Hardware in the PS4, a GK110 NVIDIA product, Corsair 200R case and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:16:39
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:13:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
- News items of interest:
Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Pegasus R4 with Thunderbolt
- Jeremy: Not since the Sumosac has there been something more sure to get you the ladies!
- Josh: Just built a machine with one of these
- Allyn: Zip Snip ($20 at Lowes)
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 21, 2012 - 02:55 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tenerife, Sea Islands, radeon, GCN, amd, 8970
(Updated to add additional information on the 8900 series rumors – mainly on Radeon 8950.)
Earlier this week, we reported on rumors of two upcoming mid-range AMD 8800 series graphics cards based on the Sea Islands architecture. As mentioned previously, Sea Islands is the successor to the Southern Islands architecture used on the 7000 series. It features an improved Graphics Core Next GPU processor architecture based on TSMC's 28nm process. With that said, the chip will draw less power and be faster on GPGPU workloads thanks to several efficiency tweaks. Graphics cards based on Sea Islands will support DirectX 11, and will be available early next year.
While the 8850 and 8870 are based on the Oland GPU, this newly leaked Radeon HD 8970 will use the "Sea Islands" Tenerife GPU. New information seems to suggest that AMD will actually brand it the Venus XTX for 8970 cards and Venus XT/Pro for 8950 cards, though Oland would remain the chip name for 8800 series cards.
Tenerife offers up some impressive (but realistic) specifications, including 2,560 shaders, 160 texture units, 48 ROPs, and a relatively massive 384-bit memory bus. Also impressive is an alleged transistor count of 5.1 billion, which puts it a great deal above the Radeon 7970's 4.31 billion transistors. This rumored Tenerife/Venus XTX GPU (whichever AMD ends up calling it) will have a 250W TDP and will be use in the 8970 flagship graphics card. Venus XT/Pro will scale back the chip a bit by featuring 2,304 shaders, 144 texture units, and 32 ROPs. No word yet on what the TDP will be.
Both the HD 8970 and HD 8950 are said to support 3GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6GHz on a 384-bit bus, which works out such that the cards have approximately 322 GB/s of bandwidth! Further, the 16 additional ROP units in the Radeon HD 8970 will give it a nice performance boost over the 8950 and 8800 series, especially when running multiple monitors in Eyefinity configurations.
As far as specifications go, we do not yet know the die size of the GPU or what the GPU base (and boost) clockspeeds are beyond a source indicating the boost frequency of the 8970 will be above 1050 MHz. According to PC Perspective's GPU
packrat reviewer Josh Walrath, the Tenerife GPU will have a much larger die than that of Oland. Because it will feature a sizeable increase in number of transistors, but still be based on a 28nm process, the die size will be somewhere between 380mm^2 and 420mm^2.
To put that in perspective, the 8850/8870 has a die size of 270mm^2, and the current generation predecessor (7950/7970) has a die size of only 365mm^2.
The following chart compares the various rumored Radeon 8000-series graphics cards to their previous generation counterparts.
|Radeon HD 7850||Radeon HD 8850||Radeon HD 7870||Radeon HD 8870||Radeon 7950||Radeon 8950||Radeon HD 7970||Radeon HD 8970|
|Die Size||212mm^2||270mm^2||212mm^2||270mm^2||365mm^2||~400mm^2||365mm^2||~ 400mm^2|
|Bandwidth||153.6 GB/s||192 GB/s||153.6 GB/s||192 GB/s||240 GB/s||322 GB/s||288 GB/s||322 GB/s|
*Tenerife die size is estimate only, actual die size is still unknown.
The AMD Radeon HD 8970 will be AMD's next generation single-GPU flagship graphics card, and it looks to offer up some respectable hardware. The Radeon HD 8950 should be a decent step up in performance versus the 7950, though it would have been nice to see the 8970's additional ROP units stick around in the 8950. Unfortunately we do not know what this Tenerife (aka Venus) GPU-based graphics card will be priced at. For now, we will just have to be cautiously optimistic and wait a few months to see how much this card will cost. The wait should not be very long either, if rumors are true as they seem to indicate that the 8970 will enter manufacturing in late 2012 and launched in early (January/February) 2013.
Are you excited for AMD's next-generation flagship?
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 25, 2012 - 11:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon hd 7990, GCN, dual gpu, amd, 7990
The long-awaited dual GPU Graphics Core Next architecture Radeon HD 7990 has missed its original Computex reveal and will likely miss the July release suggested by previous rumors. Interestingly, VR-Zone China reportedly has some updated information on specifications and release date.
The 7970. Expect the 7990 to have a much larger PCB and heatsink!
The dual GPU 7990 will allegedly not be released until at least late August 2012. Further, it will be powered by four six-pin PCI-E power connectors, and will have 6GB of GDDR5 memory (total, 3GB per GPU). Connecting the two 7970 Tahiti XT GPU cores in CrossFire will be a PLX chip – similar to that found in the dual GPU NVIDIA GTX 690 graphics card. As far as video outputs, you can expect four mini-DisplayPorts and two dual-link DVI connectors.
Additionally, previous rumors suggested that the GPU cores would be clocked at 850 MHz, but that may not be the case now that AMD is seeing much better binning with its GHz Edition chips. Also unclear is whether or not the Radeon HD 7990 will have any sort of Powertune with Turbo boost technology like the 7970 GHz Edition. Being based on two 7970 GPU cores, you can look forward to 4,096 stream processors, 64 ROP units, and a dual slot design with three fans providing cooling for the heatsink.
Right now, AMD does not have an answer to the NVIDIA GTX 690 which has been on the market for a while. At this point, you may be better off getting two 7970 GHz Edition graphics cards and putting them in CrossFire. Granted, they are going to take up more space in your case but you can get them today, they will have GPU boost, and will likely cost less to boot. With that said, I do understand the allure of a dual GPU AMD card based on GCN and hope to see it soon.
Stay tuned for more Radeon 7990 coverage as it arrives.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2012 - 05:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, GCN, southern islands, hd 7950
After a delay of several weeks AMD has finally released a hot fix for Linux to allow for the usage of their new generation of video cards but they've not provided updates that can be rolled into the Linux kernel DRM driver, the X.Org DDX driver, or the new Gallium3D driver. However, since the new features seem to have been enabled with this hot fix, Phoronix picked up an XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black 3GB to test for performance on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. The good news is that they saw 40~50%+ faster performance than an HD6950 but unfortunately not at stock speeds, the driver did not fully recognize the card and would not let them set the GPU and memory speeds to their full defaults.
"The Radeon HD 7900 series were announced at the end of 2011 and since then the Linux support status for this hardware has remained a big question. For the Radeon HD 7000 series "Southern Islands" GPU launch, they did not send over any hardware samples so Linux consumers have left to be confused over the state of the non-Windows support for AMD's hardware based on the "Graphics Core Next" architecture. Fortunately, here is finally an extensive look at the Radeon HD 7000 series on Linux with testing of a Radeon HD 7950."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Radeon HD 7870 Overclock Guide @ Guru of 3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Dual-X 3GB OC @ Tweaktown
- PowerColor LCS HD7970 3GB Review @ OCC
- AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB Reference Design @ Tweaktown
- VTX3D Radeon HD7970 X Edition @ Kitguru
- VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in 4-Way CrossFireX @ Tweaktown
- Diamond Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card tested with Catalyst 12.2 @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD7750 Ultimate Edition @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate @ LanOC
- Sapphire HD7870 OverClock Edition Gallery @ HardwareHeaven
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- PowerColor PCS+ Radeon HD 7870 GHz OC Edition 2GB @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 OC vs GTX 560 Ti OC Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gigabyte HD 7770 OC @ Funky kit
- AMD Catalyst 12.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis @ Tweaktown
- ARCTIC Accelero Mono Plus VGA cooler @ Hardwareoverclock
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Almost High-End: Asus GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores DirectCU II @ X-bit Labs
- TitaniumGL: A Faster Multi-Platform Graphics Driver Architecture? @ Phoronix
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 26, 2012 - 05:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, GCN, asus, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, dx 11.1, amd, 7970, 28nm
[H]ard|OCP recently came out with two HD7970 reviews, one made by ASUS and one by XFX. The ASUS Radeon HD 7970 is currently one of the least expensive choices at $559 and runs at the default speeds of 925MHz and 1375MHz. It does ship with ASUS' GPU Tweak utility to allow for easy overclocking if you wish to push the card like [H] did, in their case to 1125MHz on the GPU core, and 1695MHz GDDR5.
The other choice is the XFX R7970 Black Edition which is a custom card, overclocked to 1GHz on the core and 1425MHz GDDR5 but costs $50 more than the offering from ASUS. At the out of the box speeds, XFX's card both draws less energy and runs much cooler and was silent compared to the ASUS offering. Even after [H] overclocked the card to 1125MHz core and 1575MHz GDDR5, which was the maximum possible using AMD's Overdrive, it was almost silent when running full out.
The decision seems to be how much it is worth to you to have a quiet card and if you are willing to find a way to overclock beyond what the Catalyst Control Center can manage.
"We have the new XFX R7970 Black Edition video card to evaluate, which is XFX's current flagship Radeon HD 7970 based video card. With a custom PCB, custom hardware components and custom cooling fan, will it take us to new heights in overclocking, or leave us wishing we had just purchased a "reference" card?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670 @ TechwareLab
- Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Asus HD7970 Tri Crossfire @ Kitguru
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II Top Video Card @ Legit Reviews
- HIS Radeon HD 6570 IceQ @ Funky Kit
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in 3-Way CrossFireX @ Tweaktown
- HIS 6670 1GB Fan @ XSReviews
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 3GB CrossFire Review @ Legit Reviews
- An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver @ Phoronix
- Arctic Accelero XTREME Plus II VGA cooler Review @ XtremeComputing
- Graphics Card Overclocking: Is it really worth it? @ TechSpot
- KFA2 MDT X4 – GTX580 @ Kitguru
- Galaxy GeForce GT 440 2GB Review @ Neoseeker
- Galaxy GT 520 MDT Review @ OCC
- Nouveau For A $10 NVIDIA Graphics Card @ Phoronix
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 20, 2011 - 03:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gpu, amd, nvidia, turks, Caicos, graphics core next, GCN, cape verde, HD7770, kepler
Rebranding and rebadging is becoming a very bad habit for both major GPU manufacturers. It is fair to imply that NVIDIA was the first to start doing so on a regular basis but AMD has noticed that they have successfully managed it on several different chip families and has since joined in on crushing enthusiasts hopes in the holy name of the profit margin. On the other hand, with the financial difficulties that both companies are experiencing it is a viable strategy no matter how much enthusiasts dislike the practice.
Just two weeks ago we received information about the mobile chips from NVIDIA and AMD and the news was not good. From AMD we have rebranded Turks and Caicos chips with improved clock speeds but the same base technology already on the market. NVIDIA didn't even go that far and released the exact same chips as the previous generation, under new names.
We have heard rumours that AMD will also be applying that marketing strategy to at least some of the upcoming HD 7xxx series cards but thanks to a link from VR-Zone we know where the new chips will start. The HD7770 will feature Graphics Core Next and a 128-bit memory interface, replacing the ageing Juniper chips. As far as power there seems to be only a single PCIe 6 pin connector needed, which should keep the power draw to around 100W. If you are planning on picking a new AMD card when they arrive on the market ensure you do not look lower in the family as you will be picking up a rebranded card.
There was also a leak on the NVIDIA side today, with a single slide marked for internal use only appearing at a site called EXP Review. These types of slides and the benchmarks on them should always be taken with at least your daily allowance of sodium, if not more as the rules for what optimizations can be done to the benchmarks are very different for internal testing. They do show a nice performance difference, the GTX780 ranges from 190% to 230% of the performance of a GTX580. Astute readers will immediately start wondering what happened to the GTX6xx family, as according to this slide NVIDIA seems to be skipping an entire series with Kepler. Perhaps that is where rebranded Fermi chips could find a niche?
The coming year looks dangerous for GPU buyers, with older cards masquerading as newer models, thanks to AMD mixing VLIW4/5 cards with GCN cards and NVIDIA's suspicious naming scheme. While we have a bit of information about AMD's new cards, no indication of their performance has tipped up on the net. If NVIDIA's benchmarks are even close to reality a doubling of performance in a single generation would be a coup for them, as that type of increase in such a short time is almost unheard of. Then again, NVIDIA has been working on this architecture for a long while now. We will find out more over the coming months as both products come closer to their first appearance on the market, likely by the end of Q1.
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2011 - 12:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, GCN, southern islands, HD7000
Over at SemiAccurate you can find some information on AMD's next generation of GPU, some call it Graphics Next Core, HD7000 is likely and Southern Islands is common parlance as well ... just don't call it Tim. The biggest news is the 384-bit memory bus which continues AMD's opposition to NVIDIA's lowered RAM size; there will be 3GB cards for those with monitors large enough to benefit from the larger memory size. They also have pricing; subject to much change of course.
"AMD logoIt looks like AMD (NYSE:AMD) is planning on launching desktop HD7000 GPUs in January, and SemiAccurate just got a few more bits about them. There isn’t much new, January launch for Tahiti XT, followed by Tahiti Pro a month later, then Pitcairn XT in March, Pro in April."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Interview Intel's Anna Cheng - X79 @ kitguru
- ARM builds new R&D center in Taiwan @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft's Windows 8 secure boot process is foiled by researcher @ The Inquirer