AMD Radeon HD 7970 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 12/21/2011 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Overclocking The Graphics Card
As most of you know, with most videocards you can apply a simple series of tricks to boost the overall performance a little. You can do this at two levels, namely tweaking by enabling registry or BIOS hacks, or very simply to tamper with Image Quality. And then there is overclocking, which will give you the best possible results by far.
What do we need?
One of the best tools for overclocking NVIDIA and ATI videocards is our own AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphics cards out there. We can really recommend it, download here.
Where should we go?
Overclocking: By increasing the frequency of the videocard's memory and GPU, we can make the videocard increase its calculation clock cycles per second. It sounds hard, but it really can be done in less than a few minutes. I always tend to recommend to novice users and beginners, to not increase the frequency any higher than 5% on the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest that you don't increase the frequency any higher than 30 to 50 MHz.
More advanced users push the frequency often way higher. Usually when your 3D graphics start to show artifacts such as white dots ("snow"), you should back down 10-15 MHz and leave it at that. Usually when you are overclocking too hard, it'll start to show artifacts, empty polygons or it will even freeze. Carefully find that limit and then back down at least 20 MHz from the moment you notice an artifact. Look carefully and observe well. I really wouldn't know why you need to overclock today's tested card anyway, but we'll still show it.
All in all... do it at your own risk.
|Core Clock: 925 MHz||Core Clock: 925 MHz||Core Clock: 1052 MHz|
|Shader Clock: 925 MHz||Shader Clock: 925 MHz||Shader Clock: 1052 MHz|
|Memory Clock: 5500 MHz||Memory Clock: 5500 MHz||Memory Clock: 5800 MHz|
First things first, AfterBurner was not yet ready, but the Catalyst control center will allow you to overclock the card really well.
Open up AMD overdrive. Now we need to free the card up from TDP restrictions first, so all the way down move the Power control settings slider towards 20%. The max allowed board TDP is 250 Watt x 1.20 = 300W of overclocking headroom.
Overclocking wise the card will allow itself to be clocked to roughly 1050 MHz on the core easily (!) and that's without additional voltage tweaking. Voltage tweaking will get you higher, but the software for it was not yet finished.
And that brings us to a completely stable overclock, and that is very impressive. The GPU was getting slightly warmer as we reached 80 Degrees C. The noise level remained roughly the same as well as the TDP (it was only 10W higher).
Above, Crysis 2, same maxed out image quality settings as before yet now with added overclock results:
- DirectX 11
- High Resolution Texture Pack
- Ultra Quality settings
- 4x AA
- Level - Times Square (2 minute custom time demo)
Above, 3DMark 11 - the Performance test and score. As you can see, there is an additional bump in this very GPU limited software, lovely.
Above, Alien versus Predator, in 1920x1200 at 4xAA and 16X anisotropic filtering
We review the AMD Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. These two new mid-range cards are going to shift the dynamics in the graphics arena alright, as the entire package including performance is really impressive for the 7800 series. A product series that is to replace the 6800-series performance-wise, it is based on AMD's 28nm process and of course the latest Graphics Core Next GPU architecture.
AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 review
It's now February 2012 and AMD thinks they have a new '5770' in their hands. The codename is 'Cape Verde' for the GPU, and the graphics cards deriving from them are the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 One GHz edition. This is not a refresh it is a completely new GPU based on the same technology that powers the R7900 series, the GCN architecture. Head on over to the next page where we'll meet and greet Cape Verde, aka Radeon HD series 7700.
AMD Radeon HD 7970 review
We review the Radeon HD 7970. Injected in the 499 EUR / 549 USD price tag bracket the product will have to compete directly with the equally expensive GeForce GTX 580, it will actually be a decent notch better then that IMHO. The results that you'll witness today will not dishearten. Where it matters (the latest and newer games) the Radeon HD 7970 will be a good 20%, 30% sometimes even 40% faster then the competition, and in the world of enthusiast graphics performance that's what we call, a product with a little extra booty.