Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 06/21/2012 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
One of the biggest success stories of the Radeon series was the introduction of Eyefinity. Eyefinity allows you to use multiple monitors in desktop and gaming mode. Typically you needed the very same monitors and resolutions, Eyefinity 2.0 changes that. You are now actually able to create a custom resolution. So if you have three difference sized monitors, you can actually get that working (not that I'd recommend it) .
More monitor signal bandwidth is created with the 7900 series cards as well, you may now create resolutions of 16k x 16k. This for a fact allows you to setup say five screens in 5.1 Landscape mode in 1920x1200 and even 2560x1600 monitors.
You guys slowly start to understand now why the R7970 has 3GB of graphics memory right, huge resolutions require huge framebuffers. And for the above mentioned setup with 2560x1600 monitors that would boil down towards 12800 x 1600 pixels, that's a 20 Mpixels resolution -- HUGE!
Later on in the February 2012 release of AMD catalyst drivers you will see support for afore mentioned custom resolutions as well. So 3072x768 can be made manually as well as 5040x1050 or 5670x1200. You are in control of the resolution you like to apply to your monitors.
In the upcoming Catalyst 12.2 you will also see a new feature called taskbar positioning. Say that you setup 3 or even 5 screens in landscape mode. Then it's always a total bitch that the start menu and icons are located all the way to the far left screen. The new feature will allow you to configure the position of the taskbar, so if you want it positioned in the middle monitor, that will become an options. That's progress folks...
Stereo 3D - HD3D
First off let me state this, the 3D Stereo feature will get expanded to Eyefinity as well. So with the upcoming driver updated you will get the option to play games in 3D on multiple monitors.
But there is far more interesting news. AMD expanded on the HDMI 1.4a specification and now is going to support frame packing for Stereo 3D. And that will allow far greater framerates. The 7900 series GPUs will and are the first to support 3GHz HDMI with frame packing support for Stereo 3D. See typically you'd be limited to HDMI 1.4a restrictions. ie. highest the resolutions for 3d gaming are 720p60 or 1080p24. You couldn't do 1080p60.
The new spec allows that over HDMI you can setup the screen at 1080P and get a good 60Hz per eye, that's thus 120Hz in total. This in the past was not possible as over HDMI you'd get 24/30 Hz (and thus FPS) per eye at 1080p. Which is great if you are a fan of seizures.
For HD3D gaming you'll be reliant on an external partner like DDD for your 3D game experience though.
AMD's Radeon 7900 series cards will support DirectX 11.1 as the hardware is compatible. It's way too soon to even talk about it really, as DX 11.1 is due to be released alongside Windows 8.
New primary features in this update will be:
- Target independent rasterization
- Flexible interoperability between graphics compute and video
- Native Stereo 3D support
AMD's Unified Video Decoder
Inside each AMD Radeon GPU there's some separate core logic dedicated to video en and decoding. This is called the Unified Video Decoder. The Radeon 7900 series will see a small update to it. Obviously it will keep al the features it's predecessors had, however MVC (Multi-View Codec), MPEG-4 and DiVX are now supported in hardware. Also a small feature called Dual Stream HD+HD has been added.
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