ASUS HD 7970 Review

By on January 24, 2012
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The first of the 28nm generation.

Good: Much faster than HD 6970 and GTX 580, Close in performance to HD 6990 & GTX 590, Slightly cooler than HD 6970, Draws much less power, Completely new 28nm architecture
Bad: Performance increase over previous-gen cards offset by price hike, Stock heatsink fan just as loud as previous generation
Price: AED 2,450
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

As the whole PC community was partying last December when the AMD HD 7970s were out for review, our invitation was misplaced as the test unit AMD was supposed to send us didn’t come through until two weeks back. As such, I decided to wait for a retail HD 7970 to review the card. Finally ASUS came through with their standard HD 7970, and today I’ll be looking at stock and CrossFire HD 7970 performance.


For those of you who still don’t know the hoopla surrounding the AMD HD 7970, here’s a quick primer on the new Radeon architecture. First of all, it’s the first graphics card to use a 28nm GPU core, the smaller size bringing with it lesser heat dissipation and lower power consumption. Secondly the HD 7970 uses AMD’s new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture which is a multi-purpose computation processor designed to handle various applications (not just games) of today and tomorrow.

The HD 7970 is the first implementation of the GCN architecture with double the L2 cache over previous generation VLIW4 architecture. This allows for a massive 2TBps bandwidth capacity across the core of the HD 7970.

The rest of the technical specs can be seen on the chart below:

Now let’s talk about the ASUS HD 7970 that I’ll be reviewing.

The packaging is standard fare for ASUS, nothing overly flashy on the box. Inside we have a manual, driver CD which comes with the ASUS GPU Tweak utility, a HDMI to DVI and a mini-DP to DVI cable. Furthermore we have a 6-pin power cable along with a CrossFireX bridge.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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