The Radeon HD 7970 was released sa good day ago and it has been received quite positive. In our previous review we explained the card, the technology, architecture and of course have shown you all the ins and outs in terms of performance.
There's that other factor though that kept tickling my mind, if you purchase a graphics card, you'll need the infrastructure and the processor to allow the graphics card to do its job properly. Your PC forms a symbiosis of components.
With the incredible amount of processors available these days I really wanted to see how the Radeon HD 7970 behaves with different processors. Now we assume that if you are going to purchase a Radeon HD 7970 card that at the very least you have a modern day quad-core processor, but what is the effect of that processor on game performance ? That's what we are going to look at in today's article.
We'll take eight different processors and fire off a good chunk of games from our game benchmark suite at them.
The Processors used:
On AMDs side we take a quad core Athlon II and Phenom II processor, as well as the AMD FX 8150 eight core processor that was released a while ago:
Athlon II X4 645 (85 EUR)
Phenom II X4 970 (125 EUR)
AMD FX 8150 (230 EUR)
Intel has had a more competitive edge this year so here we have used slightly more test setups in the form of the following processors:
Core i5 661 (141 EUR)
Core i7 870 (240 EUR)
Core i7 965X (600 EUR)
Core i7 2600K (265 EUR)
Core i7 3960X (900 EUR)
So from top to bottom that's a decent set of processors commonly used by mainstream to enthusiast users. We'll also throw in some overclocked results, typically you'd use the all new flagship Core i7 3960X processor, however with the Core i7 2600K available for almost less then a 4th of the Core i7 3960X pricing and roughly the same game performance, we figured that overclocking a Core i7 2600K towards 5GHz made the most sense.
The benchmarks results that you will see today are all based on the same cloned OS image, meaning all drivers, OS updates etc are the same, it's just the hardware that changes.
With each processor comes a motherboard and each motherboard has a different chipset (AMD880FX/990FX/X58/Z68/X79/P55) these are all chipset used. Each platform had a minimum of 6 GB memory for triple channel memory and 8GB for dual-channel memory. All motherboards, except the overclocked results, have been reset in the BIOS at 'optimized defaults' with 1333 MHz memory set at CAS9.
The article is an easy read, nothing in-depth .. it was just to satisfy my own curiousity really. Next page please.
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