Exactly six months ago, back in December 2011, the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card was born, and in that small timeframe a lot has changed already. The product was launched with success and board partners all introduced customized models with factory higher clocks and within that timeframe sure, there was NVIDIA with the GeForce GTX 670 and 680 releases battling against the 7900 series from AMD. The Radeon HD 7970 however is a potent graphics card with a lot of reserve, AMD today is releasing the GHz model of the 7970 card. Pretty much AMD is binning the Tahiti XT GPUs and the "better" batches are now labeled as Tahiti XT2.
They tweaked the existing design a little and combined with the right amount of voltage they made the product a good chunk faster by increasing the GPU clock frequency towards 1050 MHz (925 MHz is reference for the standard 7970). The product is called GHz edition though even a little more. AMD now uses a Boost feature, exactly similar to what NVIDIA is doing on the 670/680 cards. The R7970 Ghz edition can "boost" from 1000 MHz towards 1050 MHz if it meets the right conditions. So the board power (maximum power draw) needs to allow it to do so, if not it drops to 1 GHz or whatever board power range is allowed.
Not only have there been tweaks on the GPU, no the memory clocks got overhauled as well and have been increased from 5.5 Gbps towards 6 Gbps bringing the product a good chunk of additional memory bandwidth. Overall the new values should bring the product a nice 10 to 15% performance boost opposed to the regular model. With the release of this respin AMD will be in a better position compared to the current NVIDIA stack.
The Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition will be introduced in the 449 EUR / 499 USD price tag bracket. The product thus will have to compete directly with the slightly more expensive GeForce GTX 680 or if you look at it from the other side, the GTX 670. The results that you'll witness today will not sadden. Where it matters (the latest and newer games) the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition will be fast, very fast.
So lets welcome to our Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition addition with a nice review, a product with very nice game performance, a great feature set and a frame buffer of 3GB, GDDR5.
With the GPU developed under codename "Tahiti XT2" let's have a look at this Southern Island family member. Next page where we'll startup the technology overview first.
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