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AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition Review - Taking on the GTX 680

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (DirectX 9)


 

The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

Our settings for Skyrim

Here is a video our testing run through, for your reference

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The advantage the GHz Edition has in Skyrim is pretty small until we hit the 5760x1080 resolution where the new card is about 6% faster than the original.  Overall these new 12.7 drivers offer a BIG performance boost over previous versions in Skyrim and give the AMD Radeon HD 7970 the advantage over the GTX 680 at 1920x1080 and above.

June 22, 2012 | 12:40 AM - Posted by Zanthis

That Maingear block.

June 22, 2012 | 01:11 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yes?

June 22, 2012 | 01:27 AM - Posted by Zanthis

Is pimpin'

June 22, 2012 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Arb1 (not verified)

funny its OC'ed that much but barly beats a 670 and cost how much more?

June 22, 2012 | 01:11 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Which games are you referring to? BF3?

June 22, 2012 | 02:17 AM - Posted by Daniel Meier (not verified)

Don't know about barely, seems to me that it has good amount of extra frames to throw around, compared to the 670. But it doesn't beat the 680 by much, at least in the game department.

June 22, 2012 | 02:38 AM - Posted by Oskars (not verified)

But if you consider that the card is built apon the present architecture and manages to beat (modestly in games, trashes nvidia in computing) it is quite good if not utterly impressive.
Yes, no?

June 22, 2012 | 02:56 AM - Posted by camster35 (not verified)

AMD's making car's ?
typo on the 2'ed line bud.
"graphics cars"

June 22, 2012 | 09:28 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks!

June 22, 2012 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

hehe, nice catch. I thought I had fixed that but must have snuck through. thanks :)

June 22, 2012 | 07:30 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

keep in mind everyone.... the lightning is clocked higher, cos muuuuuch higher, and as I said on the lightning and 680 review,the 7970 has always been stupidly underclocked. It has always been the better performer oc vs oc and the 680 reviews have been such a wash with things drastically swaying per site.... I'll take my lightning any day of the week, and I'm getting a 2nd one very soon.

June 22, 2012 | 08:52 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

Overclocking can be hit or miss, I wouldn't buy a 7970 card relying on OC's to out perform the 680. I can agree that they may have binned the chips a little too low.. But they would have for a reason, some may never have been good OC'ers.

Although I would buy one if it was cheaper.. That's where AMD have Nvidia beat.

June 22, 2012 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

Only 50mhz of boost? That's ... pretty pointless..

Nice to see AMD not settle for 2nd best, although I don't know how they'll be able to sell a OC edition for $499 when you can already buy OC versions with 1GHZ for 479 (xfx black edition)

June 22, 2012 | 09:10 AM - Posted by Nilbog

Well its nice to see the under dog win, even if it is by a hair.
It would be nice to see a new comparison of the 7970 and 680 Lightning cards.

I also have to say how impressed i am in the raw compute performance, that was a large gap.

I just finished with the [H] review, and the card they tested got lower frame rates at stock.
This makes me think that there will be "Golden Cards" as AMD previously stated.

June 22, 2012 | 09:29 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Maybe, but I don't think there will be. AMD is very firm in their "NVIDIA is doing it wrong" stance in that they think every card should perform the same at stock settings in everyone's scenario.

June 22, 2012 | 02:14 PM - Posted by Nilbog

I was trying to point out the difference in performance between just 2 cards, based on the results here, and the [H]ardOCP results.
The differences seem large compared to how little difference there usually is in GPU reviews
You can also see the gap present with the 680 as well

June 22, 2012 | 12:31 PM - Posted by mAxius

Nice to see amd put out a faster clocked product due to TSMC's 28nm process improvements. yes folks this is a new stepping of the same old chip. kudos to them and not bad for a 6 month old gpu.

June 22, 2012 | 01:17 PM - Posted by Mark (not verified)

SO......this isnt Tahiti 2? Is this just filler to say they got one over on Nvidia?

June 22, 2012 | 05:29 PM - Posted by Arb1 (not verified)

The question of price is a big one but other question or questions, "How hot does it run?" and "how loud is it?" cause being labeled a jet engine space heater is not a good thing.

June 22, 2012 | 06:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

GTX 670 is still the best option and a hundred dollars less!

June 22, 2012 | 11:19 PM - Posted by mike@omgeek.net (not verified)

Great review as always Ryan.

June 23, 2012 | 02:26 PM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

Ok, I'm impressed. We all joke about AMD treading water these days but they do seem to be keeping their head above water quite well. I'm normally alot more interested in the low cost parts of the 'puter world, most of the rigs I build are for people on a budget, but this is DEFF worth considering if I get asked to build a power rig sometime soon. Thanks for keeping me "in the know" Mr. Shrout!

June 23, 2012 | 02:26 PM - Posted by collie man (not verified)

Ok, I'm impressed. We all joke about AMD treading water these days but they do seem to be keeping their head above water quite well. I'm normally alot more interested in the low cost parts of the 'puter world, most of the rigs I build are for people on a budget, but this is DEFF worth considering if I get asked to build a power rig sometime soon. Thanks for keeping me "in the know" Mr. Shrout!

June 24, 2012 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

its unfair.. nvidia already release a beta driver for 680 which improves the performance. but on the test setup they use the old one..

June 25, 2012 | 06:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Now you sound like an AMD fanboy "wait for the drivers." :)

August 17, 2012 | 05:48 PM - Posted by themistaken (not verified)

how about the gtx 690? it is the best card out there right?

November 26, 2013 | 04:55 AM - Posted by Muhammad Waqas (not verified)

help every one....some one is selling this card in Pakistan city lahore with complete full box.

He asking for 65,500 Pakistani Rupees

request to community that how much it should be if open box not used (in case) ..

Regards
Waqas M.

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