Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

Southern Islands Get Small

When AMD first started to talk to me about the upcoming Southern Islands GPUs they tried to warn me.  Really they did.  "Be prepared for just an onslaught of card releases for 2012," I was told.  In much the same strategy the company took with the HD 6000 series of cards, the new Radeon HD 7000 cards have been trickling out, part by part, so as to make sure the name "AMD" and the brand "Radeon" are showing up as often as possible in your news feeds and on my keyboard.  In late December we wrote our review of the Radeon HD 7970 3GB flagship card and then followed that up in January with a review of the Radeon HD 7950.  In those briefings were told in a general way about Cape Verde, the Radeon HD 7700 series, and Pitcairn, the Radeon HD 7800 series, but without the details of performance, specifications or release dates.  We have the answer for one more of these families now: Cape Verde.

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Cape Verde is the smallest of the Southern Islands dies and falls into the sub-$175 graphics market depending on card vendors' pricing and overclocking settings.  The real question we all wanted to know is what performance levels these new cards were going to offer and if they could be the TRUE successor to popular Radeon HD 5770.  While the answer will take pages and pages of details to cement into place, I can say that while an impressive card, I wasn't as excited as I had wanted to be.

But I am getting ahead of myself...  Check out our video review right here and then keep reading on for the full evaluation!!

AMD Cape Verde - the smallest of the Southern Islands

GPU companies like to brag when they are on top - you'll see that as a recurring theme in our story today.  One such case is the success of the Radeon HD 5770 that mentioned above - it still today sits on the throne of the most adopted DX11 capable GPU on the Steam Hardware Survey, one of our best places for information on the general PC gamer.  

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While the inclusion of it, as well as the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850, on this list are great for AMD a couple of years ago, the lack of a 6000-series card here shows us that users need another reason to upgrade; another card that is mass market enough (ala under $200) and offers performance advantages that really push gamers to spend that extra cheddar.

Bring in the Cape Verde GPU...

Continue reading our review of the Radeon HD 7770 1GB GHz Edition and HD 7750 Graphics cards!!

AMD Verdetrol 1GHz Prescription Pills Arrive at PC Perspective

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 9, 2012 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: amd, radeon, southern islands

Working from home comes with a host of stereotypes and assumptions that the rest of world places on people like myself.  I am often accused of working in my underwear, not showering through day-long stretches, not working and instead playing games all day and of course, being a drug dealer.  And NOTHING perpetuates that vision from the outside world like an overnight UPS package arriving with the sound of rattling pills inside.  This is what greeted me after my delivering smirked away:

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In preparation for an upcoming graphics launch AMD thought up a pretty interesting marketing campaign geared around a "Verdetrol 1GHz" drug that will apparently help the reviewing community "enhance performance".  Hmph.

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Actually contained within are 28 jelly beans (get it, 28nm???) of a flavor I can't quite detect though I am guessing they are somehow related to this.  And of course, these pills are for "external use only" - a healthy warning.

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The telephone number is listed as 905-555-7770 so you can probably guess what the hubbub is all about.

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And while the directions state to take one tablet daily by fan intake, we were never one to conform.

Podcast #187 - Our thoughts on Ultrabooks, the Radeon HD 7950, ASUS DirectCU GTX cards, and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | February 2, 2012 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, radeon, podcast, patriot, nvidia, Intel, gtx, arm, amd, 7950

PC Perspective Podcast #187 - 02/02/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our thoughts on Ultrabooks, the Radeon HD 7950, ASUS DirectCU GTX cards, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 58:02

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:40 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:20 Ultrabooks: Intel Knows What's Good For You
  6. 0:08:30 Patriot Pyro and Wildfire SSD Review - IMFT Async vs. Toshiba Toggle-mode Flash
  7. 0:14:20 AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB Graphics Card Review
  8. 0:25:50 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. 0:26:38 Asus DirectCU II Roundup: ENGTX560, ENGTX570, and ENGTX580 Review
  10. 0:40:35 Raspberry Pi Linux Computer Will Have Fast GPU For The Price
  11. 0:44:20 If you thought Intel did well wait until you see ARM
  12. 0:47:00 AMD 7700 and 7800 Release Dates Leak To Web
  13. 0:51:20 Live Blog: AMD Financial Analyst Day
  14. 0:52:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Radeon HD 7950 Cards
    2. Jeremy: I'm giddy as a schoolgirl, albeit a very mercenary one
    1. Josh: And it is on sale! $770 off!
    2. Allyn: Corsair Force 3 - very good pricing.
  15. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  16. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  17. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  18. Closing

Source:

AMD 7700 and 7800 Release Dates Leak To Web

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 1, 2012 - 11:32 AM |
Tagged: radeon, pitcairn, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, cape verde, amd

It is now February, and despite the weather outside (which feels like late spring/early summer) not following the middle of winter approach, the year has only just begun. AMD has really been on the ball with new releases; however, and has managed to launch two of the three planned enthusiast level graphics cards with the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 on January 9th and 31st respectively. What this means is that the company has the rest of the year to dole out the cheaper and lower performance cards. Even so, if this leaked slide is to be believed, it looks like AMD will not be wasting any time and is planning to roll out a slew of 7700 and 7800 series card launches before the second quarter of this year is over!

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As one step down from the 7900 series, Pitcairn represents AMD's new "mid-range" parts.  As of now, the Pitcairn series includes Pitcairn XT and Pitcairn Pro which will be labeled the Radeon 7870 and 7850 respectively.  This recent leak does not stray too far from previous rumors, and both Pitcairn 7800 series AMD cards should see a March 2012 launch.  The article further specifies a March 6th, 2012 release as the first day of the German CeBit 2012 trade show.  In name, Pitcairn is the successor to the current Barts XT and Barts Pro based Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 cards, but is rumored to offer a similar level of performance to the 6950 and 6970 graphics cards. Allegedly, the cards will utilize 2GB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory interface. Further, the Pitcairn XT that will be the HD 7870 will have 1536 ALUs (arithmetic logic unit) at 950 MHz, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs (Raster Operations Pipeline), 24 SIMDs (single instruction, multiple data), and a 120 watt TDP (thermal design power). The HD 7850 on the other hand will be slightly scaled back with only 1408 ALUs at 850 MHz, 88 texture units, and 22 SIMDs. Also, the memory clock will be scaled back. The reductions in hardware will give the card a supposed lower 90 watt TDP. 

Moving down the performance ladder, AMD will launch the Cape Verde XT and Cape Verde Pro based Radeon Hd 7770 and HD 7750 cards later this month on February 15th, 2012. BSN claims that the Cape Verde cards will use either 1 GB of GDDR 3 or GDDR5 memory and will be in the $100 and $160 price range (with the 7770 on the high end of the scale and 7750 on low end). According to this article over at Tom's Hardware, the 7700 series cards will be much smaller than their bigger brothers at a bit over 8 inches in length. They will feature a 128-bit memory interface, 6 pin PCI-E connector, approximate 100 watt power consumption, and a Graphics Core Next GPU architecture.

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The 7770 graphics card.  (Image leaked from ChipHell)

The remaining card that is likely to be of interest to our readers is the dual GPU monster that is the 7990.  This card will be based off of two 7970 GPUs.  Unfortunately; however, further details and pricing are not known.  There is speculation that the 7990 card will have 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, 256 texture units, 64 ROPs, 62 compute units (CUs), and a massive number of stream processors at 4,096 based on the card being comprised of two 7970 cards.  Also, the launch date is still listed as "To Be Determined."

Lots of information is still speculation, but if it holds true, AMD is looking to get as much of a lead on Nvidia as possible by getting as many of their 7000 series out of the gate as possible.  Which 7000 series cards are you most interested in?

Faster than a speeding GTX 580; the HD7950 arrives

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2012 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, HD 7970, hd 7950, dx 11.1, amd, 28nm

A smattering of reviews of the newly released HD7950 have arrived to the web as the card that many enthusiasts have been waiting for finally arrives.  The card does not differ significantly from the HD7970 with 1,792 Stream Processors down from 2,048, 112 Texture Units versus 128, a core clock 125MHz lower at 800MHz and 5GHz effective on memory versus 5.5GHz for the HD7970.  Apart from those changes it is still the same silicon and the same 4.31 billion transistors which raises hopes that a similar BIOS mod to the one which allowed you to turn some HD6950s into HD6970s will exist for this card as well.  [H]ard|OCP's testing shows the card to be better than a GTX580 but not enough to be an upgrade for current owners of that card but anyone with the ~$450 and an older card would do well to consider this car.

You can also see Ryan's take on this card alone as well as how it scales in CrossFire in our review here.

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"The new Radeon HD 7950 marks the launch of AMD's more affordable Radeon HD 7900 series GPU. The Radeon HD 7950 is priced to compete with the GeForce GTX 580. We'll look at performance in comparison to several video cards in single-GPU, dual-GPU CrossFireX, Eyefinity, and Overclocking to see where it truly lands."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

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.  

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Continue reading our full review of the Radeon HD 7950 3GB graphics card!!

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

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 26, 2012 - 02:12 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?"

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Cards In Stock - For Now

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 25, 2012 - 04:42 PM |
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.

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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.

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You can check out review of the HD 7970 reference card right here!!

Source: Newegg

Stock Check: Radeon HD 7970 Day 1

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 9, 2012 - 09:00 AM |
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...

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Newegg is on auto-notify for ALL Radeon HD 7970s...

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Amazon shows a single card as in stock, from Sapphire, selling for a staggering $683.  But it has Prime shipping!

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Our search at TigerDirect came up empty.

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Someplace called ExcaliburPC shows one for sale at $637, but is backordered.

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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!

More HD 7970 reviews that you would want to shake a stick at

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 2, 2012 - 11:03 AM |
Tagged: tahiti, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, dx 11.1, amd, 7970, 28nm

If somehow you ended up feeling that Ryan missed something about the HD 7970 that was important to you, we offer a long enough list of HD 7970 reviews that you will find it somewhere.  Come next week when these cards hit the market at about $800 apiece (the MSRP is $550USD so hope that number is inflated), you might want to know just how well the cards scale, assuming you are able to spend the better part of $2000 just on your graphics subsystem.  The Guru of 3D has answered your Croesus-like desires by running two HD 7970's in CrossFire.  The power usage turned out to be quite interesting, the total power used by two HD 7970s is comparable to that of a single HD 6970, which will at least help you save a bit on your PSU and electricity build.  More important to most is the performance scaling, which Guru3D tested exhaustively and are happy to report scaling between 1.6 to 2 times the performance.  Keep in mind you need huge resolutions to make this worth your investment, it takes a lot of money to play Battlefield 3 @ 2560x1600.

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"We review the AMD Radeon HD 7970 in Crossfire. With two reference cards in-house, we figured well, you might be interested in some multi-GPU lovin from AMD.

Let's take it to the next level -- multi-GPU gaming in 2-way Crossfire mode."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: Guru of 3D