AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
Posted on: 06/26/2012 07:43 AM
Just 3 months ago the Radeon HD 7970 was dethroned by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680, so in an effort to reclaim that title AMD has done a little in-house overclocking. This has led to the release of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, a faster, more expensive version of the original...
Having successfully launched their first 28nm GPU codenamed Tahiti XT on January 9th 2012 AMD went on to release a whole family of Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs over the coming months. The last of which were the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 graphics cards, which were closely followed by the launch of Nvidia’s next generation flagship part, the GeForce GTX 680.
The GeForce GTX 680 instantly knocked the Radeon HD 7970 off its perch, becoming the world’s fastest single GPU solution. AMD attempted to lessen the blow by cutting pricing of their 7900 and 7800 series lineups. Yet in the end perhaps the best news for AMD came from the almost complete lack of GTX 680 stock.
In fact even today getting your hands on a GeForce GTX 680 is no easy task and those that have likely paid more than the $499 MSRP. Still this didn’t stop Nvidia from going on to release the GeForce GTX 670 just 2 months later at the bargain basement price of $399. At this price the GTX 670 cost less than the Radeon HD 7970 and based on our testing provided the same level of performance.
Meanwhile Nvidia’s flagship single GPU was found to be on average 5% faster than the Radeon HD 7970, and at times as much as 30% faster. This is the very reason why the 7970 was reduced from its initial price of $549 to just $449.
Having come so close to claiming the performance crown for the world’s fastest GPU it seems AMD is desperate to do just that, as today they are releasing a ‘GHz Edition’ of the Radeon HD 7970. As the name suggests the 7970 GHz Edition features a core clock speed of 1GHz, while the GDDR5 memory has also been overclocked to 1500MHz. AMD believes this will allow them to sell the GHz Edition cards for $499, which is an 11% markup, but will the overclock justify the price premium?
For those familiar with the Radeon HD 7970 there honestly isn’t a lot we can tell you about the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. Essentially this is the same graphics card with a little factory overclocking and a bigger price tag.
Whereas the standard Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards feature a core clock of 925MHz and a memory frequency of 1375MHz the GHz Edition has been overclocked to 1000MHz/1500MHz. This is a mere 8% core overclock and 9% memory overclock, so at best we expect to see less than a 10% improvement in price. Yet despite this users can expect to pay up to 11% more for the GHz Edition cards.
Even more surprising is the fact that users can already purchase Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards which have been factory overclocked to 1GHz and even beyond. The PowerColor PCS+ AX7970 is a perfect example, as this graphics card comes clocked at 1.1GHz (10% higher than the GHz Edition) while the memory is only slightly lower at 1425MHz, and it costs just $490.
AMD believes that an 8% core overclock and 9% memory overclock is enough to take the performance crown from Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680 and today we plan to find out if this is true. For more information regarding Radeon HD 7970 technology please refer to our original article.
Printed from Legion Hardware (http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/amd_radeon_hd_7970_ghz_edition,1.html)