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Home » Video
AMD Radeon HD 7950 Video Card Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: January 30, 2012
Page: 1 of 14
Introduction

The new Radeon HD 7950, which is being released today, is a more affordable version of the Radeon HD 7970. Let’s check its performance and see if it is a good choice for users looking for a high-end video card.

The Radeon HD 7950 is a Radeon HD 7970 with fewer processors and lower clock rates. It is based on the same new architecture as the more expensive model, dubbed “Graphics Core Next” or simply “GCN,” and supports the new PCI Express 3.0 connection and the latest DirectX version (11.1). For a detailed explanation of the new features present on this new architecture, please read our Radeon HD 7970 review.

At USD 450, the Radeon HD 7950 fills the void between the GeForce GTX 570 (USD 370-400, if you can still find a video card based on this chip) and the GeForce GTX 580 (USD 470-500 for models with the standard clocks and 1.5 GB of memory) in terms of pricing.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. The prices listed below do not include rebates and are for the models with the clock and memory configurations listed below. Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review, except for the Radeon HD 7950, which is the price advertised by AMD.

Video Card

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

DirectX

Price

Radeon HD 7950

800 MHz

800 MHz

5 GHz

384-bit

240 GB/s

3 GB GDDR5

1,792

11.1

USD 450

Radeon HD 7970

925 MHz

925 MHz

5.5 GHz

384-bit

264 GB/s

3 GB GDDR5

2,048

11.1

USD 550-560

Radeon HD 6970

880 MHz

880 MHz

5.5 GHz

256-bit

176 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,536

11

USD 330-370

GeForce GTX 580

772 MHz

1,544 MHz

4,008 MHz

384-bit

192.4 GB/s

1.5 GB GDDR5

512

11

USD 470-500

NVIDIA offers a 3 GB version of the GeForce GTX 580 for USD 550, which is the true competitor against the Radeon HD 7970. However, we didn’t have one to include in our comparison.

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Today, only the LGA2011 Core i7 processors (“Sandy Bridge-E”) have a PCI Express 3.0 controller. Therefore, we tested the video cards using a Core i7-3960X processor on a motherboard based on the Intel X79 chipset. In our Radeon HD 7970 review, we discovered that, at this time, there is no difference between using a PCI Express 2.0 or a PCI Express 3.0 connection. We also discovered that if you are using a high-end video card, the CPU doesn’t affect gaming performance.

Now let’s take a complete look at the AMD Radeon HD 7950 reference model.

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