AMD once again releases a product that is impressive on many levels. The performance of the product sits close to the GeForce GTX 580, and that's a really comfortable place to be.
There's a danger lurking around the corner though, and that danger for AMD lies in its pricing. Their yields are okay, but since NVIDIA is not yet outing their new cards, they keep the prices rather high. For the flagship product that's something people can live with. However lower binned yields and cards should be priced significantly lower. But we'll wait and see how prices settle, we expect to see it hover at roughly 400 EUR in the initial launch phase.
Now from any other angle the R7950 looks good. It is a relatively inaudible graphics card with temperatures that stay below 70 Degrees C. Power consumption really impressed us, with the GPU at 100% load our X58 Core i7 based AMD test PC was consuming merely 300W. When we input the variables and reverse calculate the TDP, we end up at a score of just under 140W for this card, and that's impressive.
Gaming wise obviously you will not have anything to complain about either, all modern games play perfect up-to at least 1920x1200 and higher. The 3GB memory is grand, but realistically it only comes into play once you start to setup Eyefinity with at least three screens, as that where memory starts to matter.
When you look at the overall package, performance, the new Eyefinity updates, PCIe gen 3 compatibility and all other stuff then we can only conclude that we happily embrace the Radeon HD 7950 in the enthusiast graphics card arena.
Overclocking then, for this first article we did not add any voltage tweaks just yet, we'll publish a separate article on that. Regardless of that there again seems to be massive headroom for overclocking. 1040 MHz on the graphics core was not an issue, the memory will likely run 6000~6300 MHz as well. So yeah, I expect to hear about your overclock and tweak experiences in our forums a lot in the months to come. Mind you that overclocking per card can differ. You might end up at 1000 MHz, some will even end at 1100 MHz.
The product as released by HIS as tested today works out well. It has all the variables to become a successful product, we do worry a little about the price level though. But we'll have to see how that develops.
Overall, again a nice product from AMD that will certainly get your gaming freak on. The performance level is downright good, and we are still a little flabbergasted by the low power draw. If you game at 1920x1200 then this is definitely a product we can recommend, if your budget allows it.
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