AMD reveals Radeon HD 7970

December 29th, 2011 in .PC Components .Products
Suds McSoapdish
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The next generation of graphics cards from AMD is ready, with codenamed Tahiti GPUs prepping for release. This isn’t a gradual update from the previous batch, this is a much more radical move forward in terms of technology, mostly thanks to the confluence of several new standards and manufacturing processes.

The Radeon HD 7970 reference card offers the world’s first GPU made using 28nm fabrication, the most efficient and advanced GPU production yet. It’s also the world’s first PCI Express 3.0 graphics card, so the data bandwidth is theoretically twice that of PCI Express 2.0 right there.

And it’s FURTHER the first card that openly talks about 4K resolutions (that’s about twice 1080p in terms of memory per frame). The max resolution for this card is currently 4096 x 3112, up from 2560 x 1600 for previous generations.

Image courtesy AMD Corporation

For the HD 7970, AMD have revised their stream processor architecture, now talking abut GCN counts (graphics core next). GCNs are the next evolution of logic units within the GPU, designed by AMD as parallel computing engines that are quite well suited to both GPU tasks and general processing, so the card is better at helping the system out overall. In other words, the HD 7970 is a computing beast.

Each GCN includes stream processors, texture units, ROP units, and more processing components. Since I personally got accustomed to stream processors as a measure of GPU power, I’m quite thrilled that the HD 7970 has 2048 of them, as opposed to the sad 1120 stream processors in my beloved 6870…

Also, the memory interface for the HD 7970′s 3GB of GDDR5 is 384-bit wide, up from 256-bit for previous high end AMD cards. There are 4.3 billion transistors in the GPU here, which is quite mind-boggling.

The core clock is set at a zippy 925MHz, while the GDDR5 runs at 1375MHz. The card draws a maximum of 300W from the power supply, which is OK for something this powerful.

The added oomph all this represents makes AMD Eyefinity and DirectX 11 implementation much more readily doable, and when you really consider just how much processing power is made available here, the thought of games to come is really exciting. Actually, come to think of it the HD 7970 clocks another first, adding DirectX 11.1 compatibility to its list of features. AMD have truly gone all out on this new design, and it will be very interesting to find out what the more mid-range variants, such as the possible 7870 and 7850, will have to say for themselves…

And forgive the lack of photos, as AMD haven’t really released any pics for this new part.

Stay tuned and let us know what you expect out of this new generation of graphics cards!

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  • Vishal

    Totally Market dominating specification.
    Lets wait for Kepler arch.