HIS HD7950 Review
We don't mind admitting that we were very unsure of what we'd see from the slightly smaller version of the HD7970.
On the one hand we had the knowledge of how different the HD6950 was to it's larger brother, but on the other hand we knew how immense the performance of the HD7970 was. It was just a matter of which side the coin would fall.
To say that we were left stunned by the performance of the HD7950 is almost an understatement. It's brilliant.
To get this version the big tweaks we can see are a reduction in the Stream Processor count by 256, and a lower stock clock speed. Sure enough at stock the card is very good, but around the kind of levels that one would expect from the cheaper model.
It's when you overclock it, a very simple task indeed, that the true power of the HD7950 is unleashed. By the simple task of moving a slider you can easily obtain equal, and sometimes better, performance than its pricier stablemate.
Indeed the only price you pay for this is slightly higher idle temperatures. When under load the cooler is perfectly capable of keeping the temperatures below 80°C, at the slight cost of some noise pollution. But when you're getting this kind of performance some extraneous noise is to be expected and we'd be very miserable indeed to mark it down just for that.
Our over-riding impression is that the HD7950 hasn't actually been cut down enough in performance terms. Why spend the extra on the premium model when this, with a 5 second overclock, can match it and save you enough money for a couple of games. How much are you saving? Prices aren't confirmed yet but we're hearing about the same as a vanilla GTX580. It might be worth snatching them up before AMD notice how good they are.
We love it. We know you'll love it. Just know that to truly make it shine it's best overclocked. That isn't to say that the stock card isn't great, it is, it just can be so much more.
Radeon is once again a brand you can be proud to have in your PC. Wonderful. Of course it's Gold.