Tahiti Gets Clipped
It has been just over a month since we first got our hands on the AMD Southern Islands architecture in the form of the Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics card. It was then a couple of long weeks as we waited for the consumer to get the chance to buy that same hardware though we had to admit that the $550+ price tags were scaring many away. Originally we were going to have both the Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 in our hands before January 9th, but that didn't pan out and instead the little brother was held in waiting a bit longer.
Today we are reviewing that sibling, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB GPU that offers basically the same technology and feature set with a slightly diminished core and a matching, slightly diminished price. In truth I don't think that the estimated MSRP of $449 is going to really capture that many more hearts than the $549 price of the HD 7970 did, but AMD is hoping that they can ride their performance advantage to as many profits as they can while they wait for NVIDIA to properly react.
Check out our video review right here and then continue on to our complete benchmarking analysis!!
Southern Islands Gets Scaled Back a Bit
As I said above, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB is pretty similar to the HD 7970. It is based on the same 28nm, DirectX 11.1, PCI Express 3.0, 4.31 billion transistor GPU and includes the same massive 3GB frame buffer as its older brother. The Tahiti GPU is the first of its kind of all of those facets but it has a few of the computational portions disabled.
If you haven't read up on the Southern Islands architecture, or Tahiti GPU based around it, you are missing quite a bit of important information on the current lineup of parts from AMD. I would very much encourage you to head over to our Radeon HD 7970 3GB Tahiti review and look over the first three pages as it provides a detailed breakdown of the new features and the pretty dramatic shift in design that Southern Islands introduced to the AMD GPU team.
Subject: Editorial | January 26, 2012 - 05:10 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, podcast, kepler, Intel, HD 7970, GTX 580, gigabyte, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #186 - 01/26/2012
Join us this week as we talk about a Gigabyte GTX 580 Super Overclock card, how much money Intel and AMD made (or didn't make), Kepler rumors, HD 7970 stock and more!
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Subject: Graphics Cards | January 25, 2012 - 07:42 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, HD 7970, 7970, southern islands, tahiti
If you have been looking for a Radeon HD 7970 graphics card since its official release on January 9th and our review on December 22nd, then you better hurry up, as Newegg is showing the cards as in stock as of today.
There are three listed, all at stock clock speeds:
Also, Amazon.com lists a few but only one as currently in stock (with 8 remaining!!). In reality, there aren't that many people interested in buying $550+ graphics cards but those of you that want the absolute fastest single GPU card on the planet, this is it.
You can check out review of the HD 7970 reference card right here!!
Q4-2012 In a Nutshell
Tis the reporting season. Yes, that time of year when some of the major players in the computing world get together and tell us all how well they did this past quarter. Ok, so they do not necessarily get together to announce results, but they sure time them that way. Today was AMD’s turn (and Apple’s), and the results were not nearly as positive as what Intel had to offer a few days ago.
Q4 2011 was flat in terms of revenue as compared to Q3. The company had gross revenue of $1.69 billion and had a net income loss of $177 million. That net income is not necessarily a bad result, but more on that later. Margins rose to 46%, which is still a far cry from Intel’s 65% for the past quarter. Gross revenue was up 2% from last year, which considering the marketplace and Intel’s dominance, is a solid win for AMD.
When we start talking about non-GAAP results, AMD had a net income of $138 million. The difference between those two numbers (a loss vs. a nice profit) is that the loss came from one time writeoffs. AMD has lowered its stake in GLOBALFOUNDRIES to 8.8%, and in so doing incurred a hefty charge. This is not so much money lost as it is lost value in the company.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 9, 2012 - 12:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, 7970, HD 7970
Well, today is the day! You should be on the lookout for the brand new AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics cards that we first were able to show you on December 22nd! And today we posted our review of the retail-ready XFX Black Edition Double Dissipation card with overclocked speeds - be sure to give it a read as well.
Scheduled to be on sale today, I decided to take a quick look around the Internet...
Newegg is on auto-notify for ALL Radeon HD 7970s...
Amazon shows a single card as in stock, from Sapphire, selling for a staggering $683. But it has Prime shipping!
Our search at TigerDirect came up empty.
Someplace called ExcaliburPC shows one for sale at $637, but is backordered.
Finally, Provantage shows a whole lot of nothing...
I am hoping that stock will improve as the day goes on and some of these vendors start to show availability in their systems. Otherwise, AMD is going to have a lot of explaining to do.
Feel free to post below if you find them for sale or not!
Retail-ready HD 7970
We first showed off the power of the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics card in our reference review posted on December 22nd. If you haven't read all about the new Southern Islands architecture and the Tahiti chip that powers the HD 7970 then you should already be clicking the link above to my review to get up to speed. Once you have done so, please return here to continue.
Welcome back, oh wise one. Now we are ready to proceed. By now you already know that the Radeon HD 7970 is the fastest GPU on the planet, besting the NVIDIA GTX 580 by a solid 20-30% in most cases. For our first retail card review we are going to be looking at the XFX Black Edition Double Dissipation that overclocks the GPU and memory clocks slightly and offers a new cooler that promises to be more efficient and quieter.
Let's put XFX to the test!
The XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Black Edition Double Dissipation
Because of the use of a completely custom cooler, the XFX HD 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation looks completely different than the reference model we tested last month though the feature set remains identical. The silver and black motif works well here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 4, 2012 - 05:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ROG, overclocking, LN2, HD 7970, asus, amd
ASUS' Republic of Gamers is off to an incredible start this year with the release of the HD7970, though there are always those who cannot leave their GPUs at reference speeds. For instance Shamino, who is not just a ranger in the Ultima series, but is also now the ultimate champion of extreme GPU overclocking. Taking a brand new HD 7970, removing the stock cooling and replacing it with LN2 cooling has netted him the record for single GPU performance. He scored 15,063 on 3DMark11 and 54,725 on 3DMark Vantage with an 84% overclock, the GPU was running at 1700MHz when he hit the record.
It can certainly be hard to get into a game when you need to constantly replace the evapourating LN2 cooling the GPU but for overclocking purposes you simply cannot beat the cooling ability of LN2. His record may not stand for long, they never do in OCing competiton, but for now he is king of the ring and is looking to move onto bigger and better things ... in this case a quad-CrossFire system which he intends to use to take the grand title of fastest graphics performance on the planet.
Subject: General Tech | January 2, 2012 - 01:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tahiti, HD 7970, 28nm, southern islands
With 2,048 stream processors, 3GB of GDDR5 memory, and DVI, HDMI and a pair of mini-Displayport outputs the new HD 7970 can support six displays and might even have the power to do it well. Internal reviews, which are to be taken with your daily allowance of NaCl, suggest a 70-90% jump in performance when compared to the previous generation of AMD GPUs. This all comes at a cost however, with a ~$700 price tag being predicted for the base model and unfortunately that is likely what you will get. Even though AMD opened up the specifications for their manufacturers, allowing them to set whatever clock speeds and cooling solutions they desired it seems that most companies opted to go with the reference model, at least for now. The other cost is power; the new 28nm process allows extremely low powered idling but as the card requires both an 8 pin and a 6 pin PCIe power connector you can be assured the card will use a lot of power when going full out, especially if you utilize the automatic 33% overclock that is enabled by the Powertune application mentioned by The Inquirer in their article.
"CHIP DESIGNER AMD has released the Radeon HD 7970 based on its Tahiti GPU chip.
AMD's Radeon HD 7970 is the first graphics board design based on its 28nm Southern Islands Tahiti GPU. The chip, which AMD claims has 4.3bn transistors, has been significantly changed from the previous Northern Islands generation Cayman Radeon HD 6970, has more on-chip cache and the firm claims it has greater overclocking headroom."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Acer, Lenovo to launch Wintel tablet PC in 3Q12 @ DigiTimes
- Why The Radeon Gallium3D Performance Is Down @ Phoronix
- Who will take over AMD marketing for 2012? @ Kitguru
- Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP v1.7 @ PCSTATS
- Parrot AR.Drone @ techPowerUp
- Samsung Monochrome ML-2950ND Laser Printer Review @ Modsynergy
- NewerTech NuTouch Gloves Review @ circuitREMIX
- Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T Review @ TechReviewSource
- Win DDR3 memory Kits courtesy of ADATA! @ Kitguru
- Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Contest @ Legit Reviews