AMD HD7950 'Tahiti Pro' Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅31-01-12
The little brother to the HD7970 is here. The HD7950 is a great piece of hardware that almost matches it's big brother for performance and in some cases even beats it when overclocked. Going back a year or so we were amazed at the HD6990 dual GPU card from AMD with it's performance simply stomping all over the competition. Here we have a graphics card that on occasions can better that performance (when overclocked) all from a single GPU! That in itself is an amazing achievement but to do this with much less power consumption, less heat less noise while expected to be much cheaper makes the HD7950 quite mind boggling. Without wanting to get too carried away on the euphoria of this cards performance it has to be said that it didn't (couldn't) outperform the HD7970 which of course is to be expected in that the HD7970 is AMD's current flagship card. It did however come pretty damn close and if all AMD HD7950's overclock like the sample we have tested today then you will have better-than-HD7970 speeds for less monetary outlay which is never a bad thing.

Compared to the older GTX570/560 models (we didn't have GTX580 results on our latest test bench) the performance is not even worth considering unless you are an out and out Batman fan as this is really the only game where the NVIDIA cards excelled in comparison. All of the other games showed the 7950/70 to be top of the pile and those with a keen eye will notice our other HD7950 cards on test which even surpassed the HD7970, even when both cards are overclocked to the max!

While we have no concrete information on price at the time of writing, I would expect the price to be around the £350 mark which is a fair appraisal given the cards performance. At this price point however it is just on the edge of GTX580 territory. Were it my money I would still opt for the HD7950 though due to the advantage of 3GB of memory and GTX580 prices will plummet on the release of the hugely anticipated Kepler range of GPU's. For £350 you will be buying the latest gen graphics capable of playing today's and tomorrow's games at the highest resolutions with a performance level that is currently unrivalled by the competition. What more could you ask for?

In short then what we have sampled today is the resurgence of AMD. They have created a card that is not a castrated HD7970 as some feared. Of course it is a trimmed HD7970, we all knew that would be the case but castrated/crippled is too harsh a comment to bestow on the HD7950 as it still has amazing performance. It is a streamlined effort that can, in the right hands, beat the HD7970 and even if you don't have the right card, or the right skills, in stock format it is still a formidable card which is worthy of serious consideration for any high end gaming machine. For this reason it gets our Gold and recommended awards.

+ Amazing GPU core overclocking
+ Good cooling
+ Great performance especially at High-res
+ Quiet (when fan below 40%)
+ Good looking design
+ Black PCB

- Similar price point to the GTX580
- Loud fan above 40%, deafening at 100%
- Only one DVI port
- It's not a HD7970

Click here for an explanation of our awards at Thanks to AMD for providing today’s review sample.

18 pages « < 15 16 17 18