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Friday, June 22, 2012
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Unveiled, Battles With Nvidia GeForce GTX 680

Today AMD launched it's latest graphics processing unit (GPU), the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, positioned to take on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680 solution.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition uses AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and offers GPU compute functionality through AMD App Acceleration technology, allowing users to enjoy fast gameplay and realistic physics effects. AMD App Acceleration technology also optimizes common tasks like encrypted file compression and speeds up digital content creation suites.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition also comes equipped with 3GBs of GDDR5 frame buffer, AMD Eyefinity 2.0 technology, and support for PCI Express 3.0 and multi-GPU configurations with AMD CrossFire technology.

Compared to the Radeon HD 7970, the new Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (7970GE) features the same PCB, cooling, VRMs, and AMD's Tahiti GPU - meaning 2048 stream processors paired with 128 texture units and 32 ROPs, all on a 4.31B transistor GPU with a die size of 365mm2.

GPU Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition AMD Radeon HD 7970 AMD Radeon HD 7950
Stream Processors 2048 2048 1792
Texture Units 128 128 112
ROPs 32 32 32
Core Clock 1000MHz 925MHz 800MHz
Boost Clock 1050MHz N/A N/A
Memory Clock 6GHz GDDR5 5.5GHz GDDR5 5GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit
FP64 1/4 1/4 1/4
Transistor Count 4.31B 4.31B 4.31B
PowerTune Limit 250W+ 250W 200W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Architecture GCN GCN GCN
Price $499 $549 $449

When it comes to clockspeeds, the 7970 shipped at a 925MHz core, while the 7970GE will ship at 1GHz. Furthermore the 7970GE introduces AMD's PowerTune Technology with Boost, which is AMD's name for GPU turbo, and similar to the GPU turbo feature that is already on AMD?s APUs. The 7970GE can boost a further 50MHz up to 1050MHz. AMD has also boosted their memory clocks from 5.5GHz to 6GHz, which will give the card more memory bandwidth.

The 7970GE will have a PowerTune limit of 250W, identical to that of the 7970.

AMD says that compared to rival Nvidia GTX 680 graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition offers higher FPS at DiRT Showdown (up to 59%), Sniper Elite V2 (up to 40%) and Nexuiz (up to 37%) - at 2560?1600 in each game's highest possible detail settings.

Reports reveal that the Radeon HD 7970 GHz competes well against the GeForce GTX 680, trailing in some synthetic benchmarks but trading aggressive blows with Nvidia's best on gaming tests. Generally, the cards go head to head and their in-game performance seems to vary accross game titles.

In addition, it seems that an overclocked GeForce GTX 680 has a small lead over an overclocked Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition will be available as early as next week from ASUS, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Sapphire, TUL and XFX starting at USD$499 SEP.

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