AMD HD 7950's Pose For The Camera

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅20.01.2012 16:00:23

Almost two weeks on from the hard release of the 7970, AIB versions of the not-quite full fat 7950 are slowly making an appearance. Hopefully this indicates that the rumoured 31st January release date will be a reality and more end-users can get some GCN goodness in their lives.

The first card is a Sapphire 7950 with 3GB GDDR5 RAM, pictured by asder00 on the Guru3D Forums. Not many of the card specifics are known known beyond the product name, "Sapphire HD7950 3G GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/DVI-I/DUAL MINI DP OC VERSION", but by implication it'll feature a higher core/memory clock than stock. It certainly seems to have a meaty enough 2-slot cooler to back that up, and if the 7950 is anything like the 7970 it will be an excellent card for overclocking.

Next up there is Powercolor HD 7950. Even less to say about this card except to note the dual-slot twin-fan cooler and black PCB - it should look pretty good in most systems. Worth noting is the standard 2*mDP/HDMI/DVI connectors on the back, similar to the HD7970 for easy Eyefinity support.

Finally, Turkish leak site have posted what they believe to be the stock specifications of the 7950. The card will feature an 800MHz core and 1.250GHz memory frequency, putting it considerably below that of the 7970's 925MHz/1.35GHz core/memory stock specification. Whilst still featuring a 384bit memory bus the card will come in 1.5GB and 3GB flavours, the former being the obvious choice for those running single-monitor configurations.

Given the reduced Compute Unit count expected for the 7950 over the 7970 it's tough to foresee where the card will fit in terms of performance. Whilst still a high-end card, it will have its work cut out in surpassing the NVIDIA GTX580 but should be more than a match for the GTX570. Pricing - according to DH - could be $100-$150 less than the 7970, putting it firmly in 1.5GB GTX580 territory.

There is no mention yet of whether Tahiti Pro GPU's will be unlockable to full-fat Tahiti XT's as with the 6950->6970 shenanigans of the previous generation, but we wouldn't bet on it. The impact on the sales of the 7970 and 7870 would likely be significant enough that the loophole would be closed as a priority.

Expect AIB's to push the overclocking envelope to improve their own competitiveness and value for the end-user. As previously stated, the 7950 is expected before the end of the month.

Sources: Guru3D Forums, TechPowerUp, Donanimhaber

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