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AMD Radeon HD 7970 Launch Review - PAGE 1

- Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 Like (2) Share (1)


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Supernova1332 Dec 22, 11
Great article, loved all of the architectural detail

The only thing I have to disagree with you on is that it's overpriced... or rather, it's not 'relatively' overpriced compared to Nvidia's GTX 580. For having an average of 25.8% higher performance in 2560x1600 (With only a single score under 18% difference) I think the $50 (10%) more you pay over the GTX 580 is worth it if you're spending that much to begin with. On a whole though both cards are overpriced.
Add on to that all the new or improved features and it's a pretty solid package imo, even though I was hoping for a bit more from the 28nm node.
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Unforgiven Dec 23, 11
^ Agreed.

ATI is trying to take advantage of its new GPU as the "fastest single-core chip" before Kepler is out. The price will be lowered afterwards plus some performance improvements through new drivers.
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harbin Dec 23, 11
Any knowledge on if there will be any performance loss by plopping it in a PCIe 2.1 x16 lane.

Was going to opt for one of the new Sapphire Dual Fan 6970s but since in a months time the 7xxx series will be out, will probably wait until these get on the market.

Only issue is that I can't fit a full 275mm GPU in my case. Ideally needs to be less than 250mm.




TBH after the failings of the FX/Bulldozer CPUs, AMD does need this to hit the market strong, since for the past years nVidia have been infront of AMD on performance. Seems AMD is starting to go for better price/performance instead of trying to compete head on with Intel.

Mind you, if the Piledrivers improve the Bulldozer architechture and fix it's issues (by having 8 true cores instead of modules), and manages to fit an AM3+ socket, then I might be tempted to go for one of them aswell.
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Ohmycaptain Dec 23, 11
It is overpriced, plain and simple. It should be $400. The GTX 580 is far overpriced for its performance - this is the reason I never got one (or two). For next-gen, this should not be anywhere near $500, let alone $550.

The 6970 was only around $300 at launch, so I honestly expected this one to be around $400. AMD is not going to sell many cards with this price point, because to be honest, it's NOT worth it. A 15% increase over a 580 in most cases is awful, not only because it's 28nm, but because it's a whole new Architecture.

Overpriced, underperforming, not worth it. I'll wait for Kepler.
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Vagabond Dec 23, 11
quote Ohmycaptain
It is overpriced, plain and simple. It should be $400. The GTX 580 is far overpriced for its performance - this is the reason I never got one (or two). For next-gen, this should not be anywhere near $500, let alone $550.

The 6970 was only around $300 at launch, so I honestly expected this one to be around $400. AMD is not going to sell many cards with this price point, because to be honest, it's NOT worth it. A 15% increase over a 580 in most cases is awful, not only because it's 28nm, but because it's a whole new Architecture.

Overpriced, under performing, not worth it. I'll wait for Kepler.
I agree that $549 is a bit high. However, looking around the net I can see that most people are not too upset with the pricing, and when it comes to people that can afford a $500+ card most don't tend to mind what they pay. They just want the performance.

Also, the HD 6970 had an MSRP of closer to $400 at launch, so it was expected this card would retail higher due to the better performance.
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Ohmycaptain Dec 23, 11
Did it really? I thought it was around $300 at launch - I got the 6950 for like $250 at launch? Maybe I got it for $300, can't remember to be honest.

Anyway, this should be at $400, if it were $400, it would be reasonable for sure. $350 would be the sweet spot that would really just destroy Nvidia. The thing I love about AMD/ATI's cards were the fact that they offered the best price/performance. $550 is absolutely overpriced, you can't even argue it. The GTX 580 is also overpriced, and while this does beat out the 580 for a similar price ($50 more than the 3GB 580), this is a standard reference next-gen card. It should be around the same price as their standard current gen cards, or around $50 more. It's nothing amazing in the performance department, either. If it had a solid 40%-45% increase over the GTX 580, I could see $550.
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VeGiTAX2 Dec 23, 11
quote Ohmycaptain
The 6970 was only around $300 at launch, so I honestly expected this one to be around $400.
The 6950 was MSRP at $299 but retail channels were pushing it as hard as 350 at times, the 6970 faced the same shortage problems and ran as high as 450 even though it was priced at $369. Having this replace the old MSRP makes sense but chances are they're trying to pay off that R&D this time for Graphics Core Next, they'll have the high end users pay the premium and slightly jack up the cost on the low end as they need those chips to continue moving to OEM's.

That said... I was still expecting a bit more wow factor, I'm guessing the 7990 when that comes around will do the big leap though much like the 6990 did. Maybe we can get a MARS version...
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hiigaran Dec 27, 11
great read. went over it a second time in case i missed anything. im quite impressed with the temperatures, especially after overclocking. it looks like you guys could have pushed it much further. are we able to see some extensive overclocking results? there has to be a way to get it past the limits of the overclocing sofware used, no? forget voltage increases...most people dont risk it with their cards, but just to see what happens on stock voltages would be excellent.

the price is high, but what do you expect? its new tech. they are always overpriced initally. sure, the initial price is high, even by those standards, but im sure if you wait a month or two, it will drop considerably. in any case, i believe that the extra price is partly justified with all the features offered, ecpecially considering that it has some better power management technology added in, as well as the improvements to eyefinity with the audio and the 3d features. i myself wouldnt use such a feature (the 3d), but hey, its there for others if they want it. ive never really understood the hype behind 3d anyway.

i say let people wait until its cheaper, and then im sure it would be a great value card.
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Supernova1332 Dec 27, 11
harbin91
I believe anandtech did a test with pci-2.1 and there was no difference in gaming. In GPGPU calculations there was something like a 7-10% performance loss. Don't have the exact numbers in front of me though.
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Shadow of Death Dec 28, 11
leochan - "Batman: Arkham City is the squeal to the smash hit...."

^Fanboy squeal amirite?

Anyway, although the performance is great on this card, I'm particularly interested in the cooling. I hope NvIDIA takes a leaf out of AMD's book and improves the cooling solutions on their future cards, as I'm not terribly interested in going back to AMD in the future (NVIDIA is just a more logical choice, considering its feature set and software support).

I look forward to a review of a 670 or 680 card (or equivalent, though I don't see them changing it).

My jaw drops at the thought of a 690 GPU though, I can only imagine how epic that card will be (performance and price wise XD).
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Supernova1332 Dec 29, 11
quote Shadow of Death
My jaw drops at the thought of a 690 GPU though, I can only imagine how epic that card will be (performance and price wise XD).
Because the 590 did sooo well....
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harbin Dec 29, 11
Two things stop me from getting a GTX 5xx and that is the size of the card and the price. One thing the HD 69xx cards have over nVidia is price/performance (well maybe not the 6990 because that's just damn expensive). The new dual-fan Sapphire 6970 is £50 cheaper than the cheapest 580 I've seen, and I've not really seen any 580s that would be able to fit into my case, since the harddrive bays get in the way... hell a 25cm card is pushing it.

Normally I would've gone for an Intel+nVidia build but to build it to the spec I would've wanted it would've cost me around £1000 atleast and I don't have that kinda money. AMD seems to have move to competing on price, hence why I've gone for an AMD build at a little over £500. However I've noticed alot of games are displaying nVidia logos on.

Granted I might not have explored every type of card on there but I'm going by what I've seen so far.
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