The AMD Radeon HD 7000 adventure started last year with the Tahiti chip. With 4.3 billion transistors it is the largest, most complex and fastest out of the three Southern Islands GPUs that AMD has released the last few months. Tahiti contains 32 compute units with 64 shader units each, which makes a total of 2048 shader units. The GPU is linked via a 384-bit bus with the memory.
The Radeon HD 7970 is fast enough to be able to run most games in Full HD resolution on max settings. If you use three monitors in EyeFinity mode you will have the sacrifice some quality, or invest in a second card. In the meantime, Nvidia has launched an alternative in the form of the GeForce GTX 680.
On the 7970 all 2,048 shader units are enabled and the GPU runs standard at 925 MHz. The 3 GB of GDDR5 memory run at 1375 MHz. Radeon HD 7970 cards come with single DVI, HDMI and two Mini-Displayport connectors. Two Crossfire connectors make it possible to combine three and even four cards in Crossfire configurations. An 8-pin and 6-pin power connector provide up to 300 watts of power.
The 7950 is a step below the 7970. Only 1,792 out of the total 2,048 shader units are enabled, a decrease of 12.5 percent. The GPU clock frequency is 800 MHz and the memory is also somewhat slower at 1250 MHz. Because its TDP is lower, the 7950 only has two 6-pin power connectors. It's about 15 percent slower and about 20 percent more affordable than the 7970, which means a slightly better price/performance ratio.
Just like we recently compared graphics cards based on the Radeon HD 7750/7770 and the Radeon HD 7850/7870, this review will compare and contrast video cards based on the Radeon HD 7950 and 7970. We will focus here on their mutual differences.