AMD announces Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB
June 22, 2012 // 10:31 a.m.
AMD has announced the launch of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB, a new revision of the company's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and - it claims - the industry's fastest single-GPU implementation.
'The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition rounds out our award-winning GCN family, providing world-class gameplay thanks to the industry’s fastest single GPU,' claimed Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's GPU division, at the launch. 'Gamers have been hungry for our AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series since our launch last December. We have been able to meet that growing demand as we expanded our AMD Radeon HD 7000 offerings and brought the industry's most advanced graphics across a complete family of leading-edge desktop and notebook graphics cards.'
The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB boasts, as the name implies, 3GB of GDDR5 memory and a core clock running at 1GHz - a not-insignificant boost over the original Radeon HD 7970 3GB's 925MHz. The boosted core clock, combined with an effective memory clock of 6GHz compared to 5.5GHz on the non-GHz Edition board, means an increase in raw performance from 3,789 gigaflops to 4,096 gigaflops.
Aside from the tweaked clocks, the design is pretty much the same as the existing Radeon HD 7970 3GB: a 28nm GCN core holds 2,048 stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROP units and hits an overall Thermal Design Profile (TDP) of 250W, powered by an eight-pin and a six-pin power connector. By maintaining the same power envelope but increasing the speed, AMD has boosted overall efficiency from 15.15 gifaflops per watt to 16.38 gigaflops per watt.
New to the GHz Edition, however, is a feature dubbed AMD PowerTune Technology With Boost, or PTWB. Similar to Nvidia' GPU Boost, the PTWB system allows the card to dynamically overclock itself to 1,050MHz from the stock 1,000MHz when possible - complete with dynamic voltage adjustments. Although it's only a 50MHz increase, every little helps - and it comes without breaking the 250W TDP, although it's possible to clock the board higher through the PowerTune control panel software.
One of the first hardware partners out of the door with a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB board is Sapphire, which has announced that it will be creating several new models based around AMD's tweaked GPU. The first, the TOXIC Edition, will feature clock speeds boosted beyond even AMD's specifications thanks to a high-quality PCB and digital VRM combination. The TOXIC Edition will be joined by a Vapor-X Edition which swaps out the stock cooling system for Sapphire's vapour chamber cooling technology, reducing noise while allowing for even higher overclocking.
UK retail prices and final specifications for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB have yet to be confirmed, with AMD setting a US retail price of $499 (around £320 excluding taxes.) The first boards are expected to hit retail channels some time next week.