Just before Christmas AMD paper launched their flagship HD 7970 graphics card, which is scheduled for a hard release January 9, 2012. This development focused all the attention on the high-end Tahiti XT processor, as there was little to no info released regarding the slightly slower Tahiti Pro GPU. All of this changes today, however, as we get our first look at the rumored specifications for the HD 7950.
In all the Tahiti Pro GPU looks to be nearly identical to the Tahiti XT core, but with 4 fewer compute units, which reduces the total amount of Streaming processors to 1792, in comparison to the 2048 Streaming processors on the HD 7970. The rumored specs also show the HD 7950 has a 3GB GDDR5 frame buffer running on a 384-bit interface, and utilizes the same video output configuration as the HD 7970. If these specifications are right, the HD 7950 should have solid solid gaming performance, and offer all the same expansion options as its older sibling.
The only pieces of the puzzle missing from the specifications sheet are the total TDP, clock speeds, and the cost of the HD 7950. Sources say we should get the missing pieces January 9, but this is not confirmed, so for the time being all this is mere speculation.
Additionally, there is no answer to the burning question, "Does it unlock?".