AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition: Ten years ago, Tahiti should have taken the throne with a vengeance

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Exactly ten years ago today, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (test) was supposed to take the GPU throne with all its might, after the regular AMD Radeon HD 7970 had previously defeated the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 (Test) had to admit defeat. With the second attempt AMD positioned itself again at the top of the single-GPU graphics cards.

Tahiti XT2 should counter Kepler

< p class="p text-width">In December 2011, AMD was initially only able to woo customers in the high-end sector with the Radeon HD 7970 (test), since the competitor in the form of the GeForce 600 series based on Nvidia Kepler was still a long way off. AMD had done a good job and with the new GCN architecture significantly increased performance in all respects, improved efficiency and increased image quality compared to the previous generation.

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Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Back
7970 GHz Edition (top) and 7970 (bottom)

The success lasted until Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 680 with the revised Kepler architecture in March 2012, which wasn't able to completely set itself apart from the Radeon HD 7970, but ultimately came out on top as an overall package. So AMD had to counter again.

In order to get back to the top with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, the regular Radeon HD 7970 was “bored up” as follows:< /p>

Radeon HD 7970 → Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

  • 925MHz → 1000MHz
  • No boost clock → 1050MHz boost clock
  • 3GB GDDR5 @ 2.75GHz → 3GB GDDR5 @ 3.0GHz
  • 3,789 GFLOPS (SP) → 4,096 GFLOPS (SP)
  • 210 watts TDP → 250 watts TDP

From then on, the Radeon HD 7950, HD 7970, HD 7970 GHz Edition as well as the GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 680 fought for positions in the high-end gaming sector with the following specifications:

Radeon
HD 7950 Radeon
HD 7970 Radeon
HD 7970 GHz Edition GeForce
GTX 670 GeForce
GTX 680 Logo Chip Tahiti Tahiti Tahiti XT2 GK104 GK104 Transistors ~4.31B ~4.31B ~4.31B ~3.54B ~3.54B Manufacturing 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm Chip Clock 800MHz 925MHz 1000MHz 915MHz 1006MHz Boost Clock X X 1050MHz 980MHz 1058MHz Shader Units
(MADD) 1,792 (1D) 2,048 (1D) 2,048 (1D) 1,344 (1D) 1,536 (1D) FLOPs (MAD) 2,867 GFLOPS 3,789 GFLOPS 4,096 GFLOPS 2,459 GFLOPS 3,090 GFLOPS 2,459 GFLOPS 3,090 GFLOPS 32 32 32 32 32 /s 32,000 MPix/s 29,280 MPix/s 32,192 MPix/s TMUs 112 128 128 112 128 Texel Fill Rate 89,600 MTex/s 118,400 MTex/s 128,000 MTex/s 102,480 MTex/s 128,768 MTex/s SM.5 SM 15.1 Shader Model 5.1 SM 5.1 SM 5.1 effective Windows
Power saving function ✓ (ZeroCore) ✓ (ZeroCore) ✓ (ZeroCore) ✓ ✓ Memory amount 3,072 MB GDDR5 3,072 MB GDDR5 3,072 MB GDDR5 2,048 MB GDDR5 2,048 MB GDDR5 Memory clock 2,500 MHz 2,750 MHz 3,000 MHz 3,004 MHz 3,004 MHz Memory interface 3 4.5 Bit6 Bit38 8484 Bit 256 Bit Memory Bandwidth 240,000 MB/s 264,000 MB/s 288,000 MB/s 192,256 MB/s 192,256 MB/s Power Specifications
Typical/Maximum ?/200 Watts 210/250 Watts 250/? Watts 141/173 Watts 170/195 Watts

On June 22, 2012, the editors tested an AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition in the reference design, which does not deviate from the specifications differed from the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and relied on the well-known 2-slot design and a 27.5 cm long PCB as well as a heat sink with a copper core, aluminum radiator and 80 mm fan.

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Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Rear

On Windows, the Tahiti XT2 GPU clocked at 300 MHz on the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition to save power be able. The same applied to the 3 gigabyte graphics memory, which was produced by SK Hynix at the time.

AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition “Reference Design” Feature Characteristic PCB Design AMD reference design Length 27.5 cm Power supply 1 x 8 pin
1 x 6 pin coolerDesign AMD reference design, 2-slot heat sink copper core, aluminum radiator Fan 1 x 80 mm (radial) Fan control Yes clock
(power-saving mode) GPU 1,000 MHz (300 MHz) GPU turbo 1,050 MHz Memory 3,000 MHz (300 MHz) Memory size 3,072 MB GDDR5, Hynix Ports 1 x Dual Link DVI
1 x HDMI
2 x Mini DisplayPort

The goal of beating the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 was achieved by the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition in June 2012 and in some cases clearly set itself apart from Nvidia's spearhead. The editors drew a correspondingly positive conclusion at the time.

The goal of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is quickly explained: the GeForce GTX 680 to beat. And AMD has easily managed to do that in terms of performance.

With a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, apart from the eightfold anti-aliasing, it is “only” enough for a tie, but in the higher resolutions and when using 8× MSAA, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition ultimately pulls up and away.< /p> ComputerBase, June 22, 2012

In terms of frames per second, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition delivered in 1080p, 1440p and the multi-monitor setup with 5,760 × 1,080 pixels the following image:

Charts

Performance rating – 1920×1080

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690145,2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590108,3
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 680100,9
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100,0
    • AMD Radeon HD 699097.6
    • AMD Radeon HD 797092.4
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67091.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 795079.8
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58078.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 787073, 6
    • AMD Radeon HD 697069.3
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57069.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 785062.7
    • ATI Radeon HD 587062.4
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB62.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 695062.3
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti56,1
    • AMD Radeon HD 687055,3
    • AMD Radeon HD 685046,2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46042.9
    • AMD Radeon HD 777041.3

Unit: Percent Rating – 1920×1080 4xAA/16xAF

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690149.6
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590108.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 6990100.1
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 680100.1
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970GHz100.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 797092.2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67090.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 795077.4
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58074,6
    • AMD Radeon HD 787070,5
    • AMD Radeon HD 697065.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57064.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 695058.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 785057.9
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB57.0
    • ATi Radeon HD 587055.7
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti52.1
    • AMD Radeon HD 687049.8
    • AMD Radeon HD 685040.6
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46039.2
    • li>

    • AMD Radeon HD 777036.9

Unit: Percent Rating – 1920×1080 8xAA/16xAF

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690156.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 6990110.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590101,1
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100,0
    • AMD Radeon HD 797090,9
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68087.3
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67080.4
    • AMD Radeon HD 795075, 2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58068,4
    • AMD Radeon HD 697067,8
    • AMD Radeon HD 787066,9
    • AMD Radeon HD 695060.8
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB60.7
    • AMD Radeon HD 785058.2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57057.0
    • ATi Radeon HD 587056.4
    • AMD Radeon HD 687052, 9
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti46.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 685044.7
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46035.6
    • AMD Radeon HD 777035.3

Unit: Percent Performance Rating – 2560×1600

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690150,2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590102,8
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68096.4
    • AMD Radeon HD 699095.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 797093.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67086.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 795078.7
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58073,5
    • AMD Radeon HD 787069,9
    • AMD Radeon HD 697065, 4
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57062.9
    • AMD Radeon HD 695057.8

Unit: Percent Rating – 2560×1600 4xAA/16xAF

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690154,2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590101.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 699095.6
    • li>

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68093.8
    • AMD Radeon HD 797092.1
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67083.7
    • AMD Radeon HD 795077.2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58067.8
    • AMD Radeon HD 787067.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 697062.7
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57056.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 695055.3

Unit: Percent Rating – 2560×1600 8xAA/16xAF

    • < li class="chart__row">Nvidia GeForce GTX 690151.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 6990109.4
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 59096.8
    • AMD Radeon HD 797090.7
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68083.1
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67077.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 795073.2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58064.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 697064.2
    • AMD Radeon HD 787063.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 695057.6
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57051.7

Unit: Percent Performance Rating – 5760×1080

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690136,8
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100,0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68097.3
    • AMD Radeon HD 797094.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67075.1

Unit: Percent Rating – 5760×1080 4xAA/16xAF

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690138,2
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100,0
    • AMD Radeon HD 797091,4
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68088.2
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67078.6

Unit: Percent Rating – 5760×1080 8xAA/16xAF

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690142.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz100.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 797089.4
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68080, 6
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67072.6

Unit: percent

Criticized On the other hand, the editors commented on the sometimes very high power consumption of up to 342 watts under load and the associated noise development of the reference design.

Charts

Power Consumption

  • Idle – Windows:
    • Intel HD 3000 @ 2600K50
    • AMD Radeon HD 775059
    • AMD Radeon HD 777063
    • AMD Radeon HD 667064
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti64
    • Nvidia GeForce GTS 45065
    • < li class="chart__row">AMD Radeon HD 795066

    • AMD Radeon HD 797066
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz66
    • AMD Radeon HD 785067
    • AMD Radeon HD 787067
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46067
    • AMD Radeon HD 675068
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti68
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68068
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67069
    • < li class="chart__row">AMD Radeon HD 677070

    • ATi Radeon HD 587071
    • AMD Radeon HD 685071
    • AMD Radeon HD 687071
    • AMD Radeon HD 695072
    • AMD Radeon HD 697074
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57078
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB80
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58086
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 69086
    • AMD Radeon HD 699093
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590102
  • Last – Crysis 2:
    • AMD Radeon HD 6670166
    • AMD Radeon HD 7750170
    • li>

    • AMD Radeon HD 6750184
    • AMD Radeon HD 7770190
    • AMD Radeon HD 6770201
    • Nvidia GeForce GTS 450209
    • AMD Radeon HD 6850219
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti225
    • AMD Radeon HD 7850227
    • AMD Radeon HD 6870232
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460234
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950250
    • AMD Radeon HD 7870256
    • ATi Radeon HD 5870257
    • AMD Radeon HD 7950258
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 670268
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti276
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB280
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 680299
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 570307
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970315
    • AMD Radeon HD 6970316
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz342
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 580344
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 690389
    • < li class="chart__row">AMD Radeon HD 6990437

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590461

Unit: Watt (W) volume

  • Idle – Windows:
    • Intel HD 3000 @ 2600K30.0Passive cooling
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti32.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTS 45033.5
    • < li class="chart__row">AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz34.5

    • ATi Radeon HD 587035.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 69035.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 777035.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 787035.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 797035.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46035.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57036.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 795036.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68036.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 687037.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti37.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58037.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 667038.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB38.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 695038.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 685039.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 697039.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67039.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 775040.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 785040.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 677042.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 675042.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 699044.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 59044.5
  • Last – Crysis 2:
    • Nvidia GeForce GTS 45034,5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti40,5
    • li>

    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 46041.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 667044.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 777044 ,0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti45.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 775046.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 675047.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 695048.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 785049.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 677050.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 685050.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 795050.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 67050.0
    • ATi Radeon HD 587050.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB50.5
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 57050, 5
    • AMD Radeon HD 787052.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 58052.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 68052.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 69052.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 697052.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 687053.0
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 59056.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 797058.0
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz60.5
    • AMD Radeon HD 699062.5

Unit: dB(A)

Apart from isolated slips in the individual benchmarks AMD had successfully achieved its goal of dethroning the previously leading Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 from the single-GPU throne and should hold the top position until the next generation duel.

The editors already had more detailed information on the Graphics Core Next architecture of the Radeon HD 7000 series when the regular Radeon HD 7970 was released in December 201 1 summarized.