HD7970 from ASUS and XFX, who offers the most impressive card?

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 26, 2012 - 05:12 PM |
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.

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"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?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Just because you gave your GPU new clothes doesn't mean we won't notice it is the same inside

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 20, 2011 - 03:38 PM |
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.

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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.

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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.

Source: VR-Zone

More rumours on AMD's multi-aliased next generation GPU

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2011 - 12:22 PM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: SemiAccurate