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AMD's New Radeon HD 7950 Tested 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the showing-those-pixels-who's-boss dept.
MojoKid writes "When AMD announced the high-end Radeon HD 7970, a lower cost Radeon HD 7950 based on the same GPU was planned to arrive a few weeks later. The GPU, which is based on AMD's new architecture dubbed Graphics Core Next, is manufactured using TSMC's 28nm process and features a whopping 4.31 billion transistors. In its full configuration, found on the Radeon HD 7970, the Tahiti GPU sports 2,048 stream processors with 128 texture units and 32 ROPs. On the Radeon HD 7950, however, a few segments of the GPU have been disabled, resulting in a total of 1,792 active stream processors, with 112 texture units and 32 ROPs. The Radeon HD 7950 is also clocked somewhat lower at 800MHz, although AMD has claimed the cards are highly overclockable. Performance-wise, though the card isn't AMD's fastest, pricing is more palatable and the new card actually beats NVIDIA's high-end GeForce GTX 580 by just a hair."
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AMD's New Radeon HD 7950 Tested

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  • Disabled? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by schitso (2541028) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @10:11PM (#38885785)
    "a few segments of the GPU have been disabled"

    As in, can be re-enabled with a custom BIOS or something?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @10:15PM (#38885833)
    When Nvidia puts out a $500 card, it's attractively priced [].

    When AMD puts out a faster card for 10% less, it draws complaints about the price from the same reviewer. What gives?
  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @10:29PM (#38885977)
    Nvidia pays better, and sends better swag I'd guess.
  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @10:44PM (#38886087)

    ...well, let's clear things up: I was always an AMD fan. Their CPUs rocked. I had a seriously great time overclocking my SS7 gear until it boiled.

    The graphics cards sucked though. I'm talking about the old Radeon AGP cards. Put down your paddles, lads, 2006 was the last time I bought an ATI branded card (an X1800) and IMHO it sucked monkey balls. I couldn't even get it to perform at low resolution on Unreal 2002. That's why I went straight back to the store and swapped it for an NVidia 7600GT. Oh, yeah, life was sweet after that.

    A couple weeks ago I bought a secondhand Sapphire HD3650 with 512MB DDR2. OK, it's a bloody old and very low spec card by tech standards, but it blows my GF 7600GT right out of the water - even on a slower, single core 64-bit processor running 32-bit platform. That made me a fan of ATI/AMD graphics right there. The old machine (Core Duo) with the NVidia is now collecting dust.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @12:26AM (#38886979) Journal

    You should probably still be cheering because that means the last gen stuff will drop like crazy! Hell the HD4850 I've got in here now retailed for $240 at release, know how much i paid for it a year and a half ago? $60. And frankly it still cranks out the purty on my 1600x900 monitor.

    Of course that gets to the heart of the matter and why they are having to push 3D and GP-GPU and Eyefinity, simply because games don't keep up anymore. With the exception of a few games i call "benchmark bait" like Crysis frankly most of the games are console ports and all that extra power is sitting there twiddling its thumbs.

    So while i'm hoping this will mean I'll find a steal on a 5850 or 6850 just because they crank out less heat honestly I doubt I really NEED it for any of the games i'm playing. What you'd actually use this card for except for winning benches and showing you have the biggest epeen is beyond me, is there even a game that would stress this bitch?

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @12:57AM (#38887181)
    Try a flight simulator like DCS:Black Shark 2 or DCS:A-10C. They will work out any video card pretty hard. So while you may play first person shooters with 300 meter horizons that don't stress your card out, when you get up in the air and have a 20 km horizon your card will be working its guts out.
  • Re:But... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:32AM (#38890319) Journal

    It has nothing to do with AMD and frankly you will NEVER get those bits because it would be illegal to give them to you. AMD has already said there is nothing they can do over HDCP and protected path as that technology is owned by the HDMI consortium and to give out that information would be breaking DMCA as well as get every AMD card blacklisted. If you want those bits you can use the blob which again Phoronix ran full tests [] and found it runs just fine on Ubuntu 10.04 and Ubuntu 11 runs OOTB, it also smokes Atom + ION on their benches. For a board that costs just $142 for the barebone kit [] complete with PSU and case that makes it a hell of a cheap Linux box, especially when you figure in the fact you are getting dual core plus Radeon plus the ability to run 8Gb of RAM.

    But FOSS users are simply gonna have to accept the fact unless you wanna do like RMS and hop on chinamart for some funky ass Loongson MIPS netbook there are NO machines that you are gonna have complete access to, because if it has even slightly modern video output it'll have protected path and if it has wireless it'll have non FOSS firmware. Hell even the Raspberry Pi has broadcom binary blobs, welcome to reality. in the end what should matter is "does it work" and as phoronix shows yes it does, and it beats Atom + ION while having better graphics and often a lower price. Seems like a win/win to me but if you really have your heart set on Nvidia they have a PCIe slot, and there is an open box GT210 on Newegg for less than $20, knock yourself out. Even with the discrete card it'll still be cheaper than an Atom + ION board.