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Old 12-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default AMD Radeon HD 7970 Video Card Review

There has been a new article posted.

Title: AMD Radeon HD 7970 Video Card Review
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...rd-Review/1458

Here is a snippet:
"Next month AMD will introduce their latest family of graphics chips, called "Southern Islands," based on a completely new architecture and supporting the new PCI Express 3.0 protocol. The first model ..."

Comments on this article are welcome.

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:30 AM   #2
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I'm glad HS got a card to review. I heard on other sites the review cards were in limited supply and after the 580 incident, I hoped AMD wasn't going to give you the cold shoulder as well.

I liked the comparison between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0- it's definitely a good 'mythbuster' test that shows PCIe 3.0 probably isn't worth an upgrade just for gaming...yet.

I'm wondering if the two different CPUs for the 2.0 and 3.0 for the MediaEspresso affected the scores as well or did you screen that out already?

Also, the graphical settings are pretty brutal for all the cards- I noticed on other sites, the percentage difference between GPUs was higher when you had slightly lower settings/AA. Granted, if you have $550 to spend on a card, you're probably looking to crank up the settings to 'max.' It would be interesting to see how the 7970 scaled with AA compared to its previous generation and the 5xx series.

Finally, if AMD ever gets GCN onto their CPUs, it could be quite powerful. I think they're still using VLIW4, but I'm sure at some point they'll make the change.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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Default Hi

Personally, I don't really need this. in my opinion, it's just a waste of money.
If you want to purchase it wait a little until the other models of Radeon HD 7000 come. ATi always tries to provide cheaper cards with reasonable perfomance too.
Another possibility is that I guess nVidia is going to beat AMD in performance in its future coming cards so wait for NVIDIA too. when you compare it to GTX 580 , it's not a reasonable comparison because that card is older than the 7970.

Last edited by hrp32; 12-22-2011 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrp32 View Post
Another possibility is that I guess nVidia is going to beat AMD in performance in its future coming cards so wait for NVIDIA too. when you compare it to GTX 580 , it's not a reasonable comparison because that card is older than the 7970.
HS typically reviews hardware within similar price brackets or against the previous generation. This makes more sense for the readers as it answers the common question "What can I get for X dollars?" In this case the 580 and 7970 are the closest Gabe has to compare pricewise.

Some review sites do review cards of different price brackets against each other, but while interesting, they don't make a lot of practical sense because someone with a $200 budget isn't going to even bother looking at a $500 video card as an option. Also the results are usually pretty obvious- it's like taking a college football club and having them play against ManU.

Finally, while it's reasonable to assume that someday in the future, NVIDIA will release a video card that will beat the HD 7970, that day is not today... nor (according to leaks and rumors) will it be for quite some time. They seem to be having issues dropping from 40nm to 28nm. I'm guessing the 7xxx series will be the only contenders for at least a quarter (I think we might see NVIDIA's new card maybe next fall). Which is kind of bad because prices won't drop due to high demand. :(
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W. View Post
I'm glad HS got a card to review. I heard on other sites the review cards were in limited supply and after the 580 incident, I hoped AMD wasn't going to give you the cold shoulder as well.
Thanks. We finally have a good relationship with AMD going on. They only picked a small number of websites to send the sample to, and luckly we made to the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W. View Post
I'm wondering if the two different CPUs for the 2.0 and 3.0 for the MediaEspresso affected the scores as well or did you screen that out already?
This is something I could find out yet, I need to do more testings. It may be the case, i.e., even selecting Media Espresso to run the transcoding on the GPU, it may still use the CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W. View Post
Also, the graphical settings are pretty brutal for all the cards- I noticed on other sites, the percentage difference between GPUs was higher when you had slightly lower settings/AA. Granted, if you have $550 to spend on a card, you're probably looking to crank up the settings to 'max.' It would be interesting to see how the 7970 scaled with AA compared to its previous generation and the 5xx series.
As you figure out, it makes no sense buying the most expensive video card available if you are not going to max out all the image quality settings. That is the only reason you should buy a more expensive video card... Because if you are not, then you can buy a cheaper video card and get good performance.

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Old 12-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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I was really looking forward to PCI Express 3.0. Thanks for showing the truth about this before I went out and spent another 1500 bucks.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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In the conclusion you mentioned Far Cry. The resolution stated is 2560x1536, but in the review it is 2560x1600.

Have you been able to OC the card yet?
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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Default GPU compute

The GPU's did the encoding way faster than the CPU's, but did you compare the quality of the finished videos with the videos that were encoded with the CPU's? I suspect CPU's will turn out better looking videos than the ones that were done with video cards. Either way great review and very nice graphics card, and that's coming from an Nvidia fan boy.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W. View Post
In the conclusion you mentioned Far Cry. The resolution stated is 2560x1536, but in the review it is 2560x1600.

Have you been able to OC the card yet?
Ops, obviously a typo, I am fixing this right away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by actionjksn View Post
The GPU's did the encoding way faster than the CPU's, but did you compare the quality of the finished videos with the videos that were encoded with the CPU's? I suspect CPU's will turn out better looking videos than the ones that were done with video cards. Either way great review and very nice graphics card, and that's coming from an Nvidia fan boy.
No, I didn't.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:22 PM   #10
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They have the superior memory connection over nvidia even with the smaller bus. So what did they go and do? They used almost the same connection with the 384bit than nvidia. That bus is nvidia achilles heel. They're processor is strong on the otherhand that's why they nip just infront of Amd everytime.

Now Amd got a stronger tweaked processor. Now why the hell did they take a step backwards with the memory connection?
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