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AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Review

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Res 22nd December 2011, 13:45 Quote
To those that are saying there is no valve in this because PC games are being held back ect ect, I'm not sure I'd agree (unless you are only 1 generation behind, I tend to always upgrade every 2 years or generation jumps, currently using a ATI 5870).

For me (a total graphics and frames per second wh*re) I'm only fully satisfied when, on a single GPU, I can run all games at full setting with the bare minimum of X4 AA/16x AF at 1920X1200, with the frame rate never dropping below 60 FPS. It seems we are only just getting to that point with this generation.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I need to fulfill those requirements to enjoy a game (or I'd only be playing games from 2005 or before, heh) but it's not until all those were met that I'd consider an upgrade to a graphics card not worthwhile. Still, hard to disagree that it's worth hanging on a few months to see what's around the corner.
rogerrabbits 22nd December 2011, 13:56 Quote
I agree with the only necessary for super high resolutions thing. With the fugly old console games we have to put up with these days, it's not worth it unless you insist on playing Skyrim at 9 million fps. :/
Ross1 22nd December 2011, 14:04 Quote
Interesting that your review has the 7970 with similar power draw to the gtx580 at load, yet every other review seems to have the 7970 significantly lower. Are you numbers correct there?
fingerbob69 22nd December 2011, 14:09 Quote
@Cei
You said: BT caters for the entire market

I said: A magazine that caters to those who concern themselves with bleeding edge tech, even if they can't all afford it

Think BT might prefer my idea of their target audience.

Seems peoples' main critic of this card is based on price. The gtx580 was how much on launch? £380 to £430!
http://hexus.net/tech/news/graphics/27390-nvidia-gtx-580-launch-day-pricing-availability/
And prices have not actually been confirmed yet.

And for what percentage gain over the 480 ....10% While the 7970 is giving 9-72% over the current competion ....580 and the 6970.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/12/22/amd_radeon_hd_7970_video_card_review/14

And I know I have read, with the launch of a new top end card, from either AMD or nVidia, the point always being made that if you have the previous top end card then the price/performance gain is always gonna be small.
S1W1 22nd December 2011, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
39fps - 6fps higher than the HD 7970 2GBs stock performance
Quote:
but for the most part the HD 7970 2GB was still around 20 per cent faster than Nvidia's current single-GPU top dog, if only at ultra-high resolutions such as 2,560 x 1,600 with 4x AA.

Should that say 3GB or have I misunderstood? :D
Res 22nd December 2011, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerrabbits
I agree with the only necessary for super high resolutions thing. With the fugly old console games we have to put up with these days, it's not worth it unless you insist on playing Skyrim at 9 million fps. :/

Nope, but I would like to maintain 60 with the AA cranked up as high as I can :)
runadumb 22nd December 2011, 14:28 Quote
Holy crap! This came out of no where. I was still reading rumours about it yesterday.

I will wait for the dual card versions of both Nvidia's (maybe) and AMD's cards before choosing. Running 3 screens means I will never have enough power but it needs to be a worthwhile jump and I don't want to spend more than £600. This may be wishful thinking.
capmoq 22nd December 2011, 14:56 Quote
Haha this card really came out of nowhere. AND IT'S AWESOME! If it was a bit cheaper tho..
maverik-sg1 22nd December 2011, 15:06 Quote
The ultra high resolutions only come into play with a multi-monitor set-up or a really really high end 27-30" monitor..... I don't have the space for more than one monitor and my 28" unit at1900x1200 seems to be okay for me, especially when I can employ just 4xAA to smooth things out and get rid of any jaggedness.

So it's performance at these settings that interest me, until higher resolutions are more affordable and the min frame rate performance is beyond 60fps at these settings - of course I suspect it's not so necessary for have AA set high for these resolutions so reaching these goals and having the game looking gorgeous will be more down to brute force rather than 'eye candy' settings.

When will ray tracing be the standard?
warejon9 22nd December 2011, 15:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capmoq
Haha this card really came out of nowhere. AND IT'S AWESOME! If it was a bit cheaper tho..

Launch day pricing is quite high, however they have started revenue shipping, so there should be lots of cards availiable from day 1. I have seen somewhere that the first few shipments are on a more expensive PCB, and that AMD will be releasing a cheaper PCB? Finally if you are the undisputed performance king atm, you can charge what you like (within reality) when kepler is release will probs bring prices down, just look at what you can get now for between £150-200 due to competition in that area.
sub routine 22nd December 2011, 15:19 Quote
sorely tempted. Bit too early in the next gen launch and a bit more than what I was hoping for, with smaller dies you`d be expecting a cheaper mightily overclocking offering soon.
Cei 22nd December 2011, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69
@Cei
You said: BT caters for the entire market

I said: A magazine that caters to those who concern themselves with bleeding edge tech, even if they can't all afford it

Think BT might prefer my idea of their target audience.
BT covers everything. We get copious amounts of reviews on the GTX 560Ti/550 and their ilk, and they're distinctly mid-range cards. The buyers guide has an entry level system, a mid-range system and the premium. Every review looks at the value proposition of a piece of hardware. Yes, BT deals with the latest hardware, but that hardware spans a great range of cost.

I think if you found BT dealing with only high-end kit they'd lose their readership and CustomPC mag would die. A simple look at the forums shows plenty of people spec'ing up new builds that definitely don't use the cutting the edge due to budget reasons.
Quote:
Seems peoples' main critic of this card is based on price. The gtx580 was how much on launch? £380 to £430!
http://hexus.net/tech/news/graphics/27390-nvidia-gtx-580-launch-day-pricing-availability/
And prices have not actually been confirmed yet.
Correct, and most people said the GTX 580 was too expensive at launch as well. It's only been with price cuts that it has become a better proposition for a build. You also have to look at the context in which a card is launched - if AMD wanted to hand a hammering to NVIDIA they need the 7970 to directly compete with 580 buyers on price, not be significantly more expensive.
Quote:
And for what percentage gain over the 480 ....10% While the 7970 is giving 9-72% over the current competion ....580 and the 6970.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/12/22/amd_radeon_hd_7970_video_card_review/14
10% gain over the 480, and a massive drop in noise and temperatures, a key facet of the 480 that crippled the card unless it was water-cooled. The 7970 is asking for £80-90 premium over your average 580 for a 9-20% increase...or about 5fps...when gaming at high resolutions.
Quote:
And I know I have read, with the launch of a new top end card, from either AMD or nVidia, the point always being made that if you have the previous top end card then the price/performance gain is always gonna be small.
Well yes, which is why waiting 2 generations usually makes more sense.
DwarfKiller 22nd December 2011, 15:23 Quote
This was a very pleasant surprise. Gives AMD a decent foot to stand on while they continue to roll out the 28nm parts, a little pricey but nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary.
I suppose round 2 would be the arrival of nVidia, until then I will quietly wait before planning any kind of upgrade.
towelie 22nd December 2011, 15:33 Quote
Looks really good but expensive.But i guess thats alway the case so unsure whether to move to nvidia or stick with AMD for my next card.Single monitor setup at 1920@1080 hoping for a 2-300 price range on the 7950s
the_kille4 22nd December 2011, 15:42 Quote
to all who are saying that the next-gen high end nvidia card... it is not the GTX 680. if you have followed somewhat it is named as GTX 780...just saying.

what a few people us not saying much about as well as something that I hoped bit-tech would take is the multi-monitor setup that amd is touting about which is quite interesting. there is actually two parts to this...

1. the first part is the resolution that is possible. apparently the maximum resolution in total would be 16k by 16k. to put that number into context, you can put six 4K monitors in eyefinity where each one would be 4096X2160 resolution.

2. the second is the range of monitor resolution that you can place aka the flight sim setup. Also you can place other different sized monitor sizes in eyefinity.

http://assets.vr-zone.net/14296/amd_hd7970_eyefinity_2.jpg

link: http://vr-zone.com/articles/could-the-radeon-hd-7970-be-up-to-60-percent-faster-than-a-gtx-580-/14296.html
r3loaded 22nd December 2011, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhadina
Really? Guys at Hardwaresecrets have a different results ...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/AMD-Radeon-HD-7970-Video-Card-Review/1458/14

I said for GPU compute applications. PCIe 3.0 doesn't (yet) do anything for games, but computing definitely requires all the bandwidth it can get.

Sent from my I9000 using Tapatalk
debs3759 22nd December 2011, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Is there a Folding@Home client that can run on this new architecture? If there is, it would be nice to see some results.
Quote:
Originally Posted by slothy89
Also need more tests! ........ Folding............

The fah V7 beta doesn't recognise the new cards yet. Noidea yet when the next beta will be available, or if fah will have had access to a card by then in orderto implement it. That's the biggest problem with using a new technology - when it's supported I expect it to perform very well, but until then nobody can say for sure.

I'm glad the SR-X and the new Xeon chips won't be out for a few months. It gives me a few months to assess which is going to be the best card for me (I don't think the high-end NVidia cards are due until late next year, but I can't remember where I saw their roadmap)
dead beat 22nd December 2011, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
Roll out the GTX 680 4GB, as this is what I want for my extreme resolution...

Same here mate.
Farfalho 22nd December 2011, 17:09 Quote
Since I'm still a proud owner of a Sapphire HD4870 Toxic vga (top of the AMD HD4000 single gpu family tree - 4890 wasn't even a rumor back then) and probably the same would apply, back then who needed that much grunt?! Today I see the benefits of investing in such beast because I can play today games at medium-high, thing that wouldn't be possible to a mid-range card so to the likes of me that aren't upgrade junkies and only do when their hardware dies or gets outdated, this 7970 might be the update I really need to regain the grunt I once have. 4~5 years with the same top-end vga says a lot so I think this is quite a viable option even with such expected price.
I can't help but think there is a little bias towards Nvidia because I remember in the GTX580 review, such thing wasn't said and there's a GTX580 3GB from eVGA.
I agree that you didn't give it the recommended award and the extreme ultra but a recommendation in the article, a simple line would be enough.
Finally, I'm probably going to update when Sapphire or other partner releases a special OC version of the HD7970.
azazel1024 22nd December 2011, 17:28 Quote
Very nice! Now, what is the 7670 or 7750 going to offer for performance, price and power use? A nice passively cooled 7670 might be just the ticket for me if it can also offer 50% better performance than the 6670.
Waynio 22nd December 2011, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
Roll out the GTX 680 4GB, as this is what I want for my extreme resolution...

Yeah me too, but everyone's extremes vary quite a bit :D, my new extreme is 2560x1440 new IPS cheesecake wooooo :D.

This one sure is very nice though but a tad expensive for a single GPU I think, hope that isn't the new standard price for top end single GPU's, definitely a bit too much IMO, if that is the new standard price I guess dual GPU's will be a grand :'(.
PingCrosby 22nd December 2011, 17:59 Quote
"However, it's questionable whether you seriously need that much graphics performance. With the PC games industry tied down by games that need to be developed for ageing consoles, you won't benefit from this sort of graphics power unless you use very high resolutions". This is true, but I also own a GSXR 1000 and can't use all its potential on the road....but its just good to know its there if I need it.
r3loaded 22nd December 2011, 18:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
This one sure is very nice though but a tad expensive for a single GPU I think, hope that isn't the new standard price for top end single GPU's, definitely a bit too much IMO, if that is the new standard price I guess dual GPU's will be a grand :'(.
The reason it's highly priced is because they can. AMD know that Nvidia won't have any response to the 7970 until at least Q2 2012, and so they can avoid their usual profit margin-destroying strategy of undercutting Nvidia.

Once Kepler lands, they'll slash hard to maintain their lead.
Redbeaver 22nd December 2011, 19:22 Quote
WARNING: Nvidia fanboy posting:

Ooooooh snaaaaaaaaap

its not much from GTX580! LOL

i was expecting MUCH more, AMD. What happened? This **** will get bulldozed by the time Kepler arrives... (pun definitely intended)

but ok, ill give credit that now AMD is back on the trone, baby!
fingerbob69 22nd December 2011, 19:34 Quote
"most people said the GTX 580 was too expensive at launch as well. It's only been with price cuts that it has become a better proposition for a build."
...and this wont come down in price?
"You also have to look at the context in which a card is launched - if AMD wanted to hand a hammering to NVIDIA they need the 7970 to directly compete with 580 buyers on price, not be significantly more expensive."
...you want new tech at old tech prices....hmmm?

"a key facet of the 480" ....was that it was 6 months late! And no one knows when nVidia's response will turn up... or how it will perform.
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