AMD Radeon HD 7970 - The World's Fastest Single-GPU (Part 2)

6/20/2012 6:09:45 PM

Southern Islands: a big hope in AMD’s GPU

Description: Southern Islands: a big hope in AMD’s GPU

1.    Long glass and leave skirt

It is maybe, if all of us decide to jump after the vibration-increase herd sound of Tahiti played according to the way to name the high-end Southern Islands GPU. This Tahiti XT chip is the first GPU producing 28nm we have ever seen. It is the Tahiti Pro silicon array reduced in the upcoming HD 7950.

2.    Prove itself

Dissatisfied with being the first 28nm graphics card in the market, AMD also chose to change the HD 7970 into the first card PCIe 3.0. Basically, that brings higher available bandwidth. However, in the real world, it is almost not recognized.

3.    Unworking cards

It may be the fastest simple graphics card nowadays, but it still does impressive things with power management. That is especially right in the CrossFireX architecture, and in desktop mode, it can turn off completely unused GPUs until necessary.

4.    In general

Graphics Core Next GPU is not only about visual image since one of the main reasons for rearchitecture is to allow higher ability in multi-functional computing segment. So, HD 7970 is much powerful.

Description: Graphics Core Next GPU

Graphics Core Next GPU

Graphics Core Next architecture is built from Compute Units, similarly to Nvidia’s threading microprocessors that it introduced with Fermi architecture.

Tahiti XT GPU in HD 7970 is built with 32 of these Compute Units, which are basically independent processors that can act independently.

In each Compute Unit, there are 4 vector units, and in each vector unit, there are 16 homogeneous shaders, series processors, or Radeon Core – depending on the person to whom you are talking. That means in full Tahiti XT, you will find 2,048 shaders, and compared to 1,536 shaders of HD 6970, this is a quite impressive number.

Thanks to the combination between 4-way vector processing and this scalar architecture, AMD hopes to push Tahit-based GPUs to the first row of the graphics card segment.

However, it is not the number of Compute Unit that creates difference in pertformance - Radeon HD 7970s real core clock is also higher than previous cards. With the 925MHz, it is faster than Radeon HD 6970’s 880MHz.

Description: Radeon HD 7970s

Money’s value

Now, we talk about the performance of this new graphics card silicon array. It is very fast. Ah, quite fast. 

HD 7970 beats Nvidia GTX 580 about graphics card performance, image point increase, polygon processing. In all game tests, HD 7970 made Nvidia card be ranked as the second, especially when you consider the heavily required Heaven 2.5 and Crysis 2 tests. With these two tests, you will see an improvement of 30% compared to Nvidia GTX 580.

However, we are scripts in the best cases, because performance advantage in other games is not very outstanding, just improves frame speed from 13% to 20%.

When talking about the previous generation – HD 6970 is provided power by the famous Cayman – everything appears to be more impressive. HD 7970 as 65% improvement compared to the older card in the Heaven 2.5 test. It is the fastest performance increase, but in the worst case, it is also around 25% faster.

It is all before you waggle overclocking magic wand. This chip can be overclocked. In fact, we encountered the limit of AMD OverDrive software rather than that of hardware. We pushed the card to 1125MHz over core clock speed and 1575MHz over memory clock speed.

With these numbers, performance increase compared to GTX 580 and HD 6970 is more remarkable, with HD 7970s beating the last generation nearly 80%. When overclocked, it is also as nearly good as the last generations of two GPU, GTX 590 and HD 6990. GTX 590 has the highest speed of 33fps while HD 7970 is close to 32fps. HD 6990 stands behind it with 29fps.

However, it is not only about raw performance data since AMD has had much effort with Radeon HD 7970s power demand, especaIlly when running in free mode and with turned off screen. ZeroCore Power technology means that when the screen is turned off and the computer falls into long free mode – where computer still runs but nothing is updated on its screen, so the screen falls into sleep mode – there is only a simple chip on card that still runs.

That chip is present so as for the computer to know that there is still a card in PCIe slot and there is no need to worry. The remained part of graphics card is completely turned off, including fan.

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