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AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB Review

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billysielu 31st January 2012, 07:50 Quote
It'll shake the market up if you don't buy them until the prices go down. *fixed*
damien c 31st January 2012, 08:04 Quote
Look's good but I am still waiting for Nvidia to release there new card's before I make my choice.
lilgoth89 31st January 2012, 08:12 Quote
i wonder if these would be able to be 'flashed' like the 6950 < 6970's used to
xaser04 31st January 2012, 08:14 Quote
I nearly LOL'd at the prices over at Overclockers. The cheapest model is £360, whilst the custom cooled (but reference PCB) and OC'd models are nigh on £400.

I paid under £420 for my HD7970 FFS.
murraynt 31st January 2012, 08:20 Quote
There's alot of overclocking headroom with these new ATI cards. I expected the 7950 to be a bit cheaper though.
Pookie 31st January 2012, 08:32 Quote
I spy with my little eye a BIOS switch :)
Parge 31st January 2012, 08:40 Quote
STOP surprising us with AMD launches!
SolidShot 31st January 2012, 08:45 Quote
Amd is basically playing against someone who is afk and is trying to rack up a massive score before the other person comes back and continues to rape them.

Yawn. Bring on the big green machine please :)
McDuff32 31st January 2012, 09:01 Quote
When are the next set of Nvidia cards rumoured to come out?

Also I like that overclocking the 7950 takes it above the stock 7970.
Snips 31st January 2012, 09:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDuff32
When are the next set of Nvidia cards rumoured to come out?

Also I like that overclocking the 7950 takes it above the stock 7970.

As xaser04 said above, why not pay the extra £20 and get a proper 7970?
Baz 31st January 2012, 09:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgoth89
i wonder if these would be able to be 'flashed' like the 6950 < 6970's used to

We asked AMD directly; they said nope, not possible. The BIOS switch is merely there as a backup, as it was originally intended. Won't stop some people trying though!

In regards to pricing, we can only write reviews based on what e-tailers tell us, which was £349.99 - stock models seem to be going to £355, which isn;t too far off, although you'll always pay the premium for fancy overclocked versions.

We'll be water-cooling both the HD 7950 and HD 7970 at some point too, so watch out for that in the future.
Tattysnuc 31st January 2012, 09:34 Quote
Were any badgers harmed in the making of this review? :)

Great to see new hardware - an excellent review. I hope to see the article updated accordingly.

Any news on water blocks for these?
Kris 31st January 2012, 09:57 Quote
Thanks for the review Harry!

Great to see that you have changed the review setup: less cards, less pointless resolutions and Eyefinity testing!

However, for me what the eyefinity results show, is that "at these settings with X lvl of AA" the game is totally unplayable.

Perhaps revisit those / do a separate article where you acctually test to see the limits of what compromises you have to do to get games perfectly playable at 5040x1050, 5760x1080 etc. I hope you get my idea :)

Feel free to check out Hardocp's reviews for some inspiration ;)
BrightCandle 31st January 2012, 10:02 Quote
Thanks for the 5760x1080 resolutions, those really show how to push one of these cards past its limit.
xaser04 31st January 2012, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
Thanks for the review Harry!

Great to see that you have changed the review setup: less cards, less pointless resolutions and Eyefinity testing!

However, for me what the eyefinity results show, is that "at these settings with X lvl of AA" the game is totally unplayable.

Perhaps revisit those / do a separate article where you acctually test to see the limits of what compromises you have to do to get games perfectly playable at 5040x1050, 5760x1080 etc. I hope you get my idea :)

Feel free to check out Hardocp's reviews for some inspiration ;)

To give you a quick idea in BF3 my HD7970 at 1125/6600 returns 56.6FPS average and 40FPS minimum at 3560x1920* "High" settings with medium post AA.

Ultra settings with 4xAA in the same test section (5 minute playthrough of Operation Swordbreaker) is totally unplayable. Tri CFX would be a minimum at these settings in my opinion.

I have a thread detailing my results in the Hardware section.

(Link to my review: Here)

An interesting point is that my HD7970 returns basically the same framerate at 3560x1920 "high" as it does at 1080p Ultra with 4xAA. The doesn't look appreciably worse either (High vs Ultra) so it is very enjoyable.

*3560x1920 is comparable to 5760x1080 in overall resolution terms.
Hustler 31st January 2012, 10:16 Quote
Have to say that so far these 79xx cards have left me distinctly unimpressed.

For the money, the speed bumps over the 69xx cards is really quite small, given that this is a shiny new 28nm process and a new rendering architecture.

Here's hoping the 78xx cards are where it's at in terms of value/performance...although i suspect we will have to wait until nvidia turns up to the party before a modicum of sanity returns to the pricing levels.
fingerbob69 31st January 2012, 10:19 Quote
So....are you gonna do a buyers guide (last one was in September!)? And would the 7970/7950 be the recommendation?

Afterall, every rumour site and his dog is saying that nVidia's next new card wont be out til end of March/begining of April and I can't believe Bit-tech would start advising a "wait for jam tomorrow" strategy
r3loaded 31st January 2012, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
I nearly LOL'd at the prices over at Overclockers. The cheapest model is £360, whilst the custom cooled (but reference PCB) and OC'd models are nigh on £400.

I paid under £420 for my HD7970 FFS.

That's OCUK for you - price gouging the crap out of all new products.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
KiNETiK 31st January 2012, 10:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
That's OCUK for you - price gouging the crap out of all new products.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

They have a Sapphire 7950, today only, £347.99. Claims to be cheapest in the UK so above comments maybe not quite true?!
fingerbob69 31st January 2012, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Have to say that so far these 79xx cards have left me distinctly unimpressed.

For the money, the speed bumps over the 69xx cards is really quite small, given that this is a shiny new 28nm process and a new rendering architecture.

Here's hoping the 78xx cards are where it's at in terms of value/performance...although i suspect we will have to wait until nvidia turns up to the party before a modicum of sanity returns to the pricing levels.

Ya kidding!!??

This card beats the top two 6*** series by upto 60% ...[H] has no problem recommending this card as upgrade to AMD's last set of cards.

As for the gtx580, the the 7950 would be a sideways step if you already own a 580. But... as [H] says "The AMD Radeon HD 7950 is kicking the GTX 580’s ass and taking names." So if you're upgrading to this level, the 580 is obsolete by 10% in most games and at current 7950 prices.
Baz 31st January 2012, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69


Ya kidding!!??

This card beats the top two 6*** series by upto 60% ...[H] has no problem recommending this card as upgrade to AMD's last set of cards.

As for the gtx580, the the 7950 would be a sideways step if you already own a 580. But... as [H] says "The AMD Radeon HD 7950 is kicking the GTX 580’s ass and taking names." So if you're upgrading to this level, the 580 is obsolete by 10% in most games and at current 7950 prices.

This is, somewhat, the same point I made, albeit not so emphatically. The HD 7950 3GB is no doubt a better card than the GTX 580; but then with 15 months between release dates, you'd really hope it would be. If you're buying right now, it's the better choice, but I doubt GTX 580/570/560Ti owners will be hurrying to make that 'sideways step.'

Additionally, the HD 7950 is £110 more than the HD 6970 2GB (which are now around for near enough £240). Of course it's a performance upgrade, but for a hell of a lot more cash - if I'd bought an HD 6970 2GB within the last 12 months, I certainly wouldn't want to spend £350 for the extra performance.
DbD 31st January 2012, 11:06 Quote
Good card but not for that money. I get the feeling AMD is making hay while the sun shines, they will drop prices right down if some competition arrives.
Baz 31st January 2012, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
Good card but not for that money. I get the feeling AMD is making hay while the sun shines, they will drop prices right down if some competition arrives.

Spot on. As I said in the review, be it down to the 28nm production process' poor yeilds or the lack of competition, but AMD has launched the HD 7970 and HD 7950 at 2011 prices. At this rate, the HD 7990 will cost £800 / $1000. I can't see the situation staying the same once the 28nm production steps up.
fingerbob69 31st January 2012, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
This is, somewhat, the same point I made, albeit not so emphatically. The HD 7950 3GB is no doubt a better card than the GTX 580; but then with 15 months between release dates, you'd really hope it would be. If you're buying right now, it's the better choice, but I doubt GTX 580/570/560Ti owners will be hurrying to make that 'sideways step.'

Additionally, the HD 7950 is £110 more than the HD 6970 2GB (which are now around for near enough £240). Of course it's a performance upgrade, but for a hell of a lot more cash - if I'd bought an HD 6970 2GB within the last 12 months, I certainly wouldn't want to spend £350 for the extra performance.

I was really responding to to Hustler's lack of enthusiasum for new as opposed to criticising the review. :D

It seems ppl's only lever for critisising the 7950 is the price. Given AMD clearly aimed their new second best at nVidia's last best single gpu... and beats it... and then matches the 580 on price at launch (remeber the gtx580's price is after 15 months of sales as well as being last gen tech) I'm not sure what else ppl expected AMD to do.
fingerbob69 31st January 2012, 11:25 Quote
@ Baz

Is not the right question to be asking "Why is the GTX580 still so expensive?"
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